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Expat Advice: Moving to Ajijic , Mexico

Submitted by rvanparys

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An Expat Moving and Relo Report helps you explore housing options and life as an expatriate in Ajijic, Mexico. Located near Lake Chapala, southeast of Guadalajara.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Ajijic

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

Thanks to reading this website we brought two vacuums which worked out well. We could have left more of our art work at home. Also my hobby "stuff" in 25 book boxes that are now gracing the wall of our guest bedroom.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Since realtors are not regulated here in Mexico one should hire an attorney just to be on the safe side... We did and it was worth every peso... Cheap insurance.

Do your due diligence on line and stay for a month or more... If one has not lived abroad and in similar locals there might be a bit of a culture shock... How I explain this in simple terms: " If in the morning you have water for your shower.... It is a good day." and "If the water is hot... It is GREAT DAY!"

Living here is an adventure...One needs to be flexible, have a sense of humor, and accept the fact that things here move at a different pace. The Mexican people are warm and friendly, the expats are willing to help get you settled, and the weather is outstanding... What is not to like?

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

Our home is a two story, 2 bedroom with around 2800 sq ft. We have a pool and small garden. The house is stand alone in a gated community. The area in which we live is primarily single family and we are about 10 minutes driving time to the center of town.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

We made a discovery trip here in July. Loved the place and stayed a month... We toured the entire area and eliminated those areas that were a bit far out or did not meet our needs. We sold our home in the states in three days which spurred us to find a home... We have a dog and two cats that made renting a bit of a hassle so we decided to buy. I made another trip in September and we decided on one of the homes we had previewed earlier. It is a smaller gated community (7 homes) and we are quite delighted.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Much lower than in Washington state. Taxes are minimal but utilities (electricity) is rather expensive... Based on the former occupant's usage, we opted to install solar. This was a significant amount but with a 3-4 year pay back...We are able to have a maid, gardener and pool guy which we certainly couldn't afford up north... Eating out is inexpensive and about 1/2 of what it would cost NOB.

The average cost of housing depends a lot on the area one chooses. The closer to Ajijic center the more expensive. Houses with views (which we have) command a higher price tag... We were looking in the $3-400,000 range and there is a good supply at these prices.

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