Mexico: What I wish I'd brought:
The small town we left in the States allowed us two weekends of garage sales. We got overly enthusiastic with what we 'gave away'. We had purchased a 5 X 8 enclosed trailer for our journey. It was perhaps 2/3 full when we left - principally electronics (desktops,laptops, tvs, etc), clothing, kitchen stuff. No furniture at all.
If I had it to do over again - I would have brought EVERY tool we had up north. We had a beautiful solid teak dining table with chairs (the first piece of furniture we ever purchased). That should have come along and probably the generator.
During her working days my wife traveled the world extensively and had little nick nacks from her trips. Those should have come with us. As it is we used brand new plush bath towels to wrap stuff in the boxes. We should also have used good quality sheets as well.
I had never before driven car towing a trailer before - but we should have had an even larger trailer. We had a beautiful solid mahogany dining room table which cost us many thousands of dollars - that should have come along.
What we should have sold was our very sizable collection of SCUBA gear which has done nothing except collect dust here in Mexico...
Mexico: I guess it had to happen sooner or later:
We had to make a run to the US Embassy in Mexico City today, Wrapped that up, had some lunch and noticed we were right by a metro station - so elected to take the metro rather than a cab to the bus terminal (no traffic and free).
When the train arrived, the passengers got out of the car and all of a sudden I was surrounded by perhaps a half-dozen or so young men who pushed me from behind like it was a football match, Fortunately they did not bother my wife. 15 seconds after getting in the car I realized that someone had lifted my cell phone from my back pocket.
I just let my guard down. It could have been worse - it could have been my wallet which was in the other pocket. I should have had both my wallet and phone in front pockets. Well when we got home I suspended the number until I get pick up a new phone/sim. And, with a sigh of relief I was able to log into my gmail account and change the password.
The cab would have been a lot cheaper in the long run.
Mexico: Moving to Mexico A-Z???:
It is an old site which has not been maintained - but you might want to have a look at the Rolly Brook website.
Mexico: opening bankaccount:
We opened our first HSBC Mexico 'checking' account from a HSBC US branch with NO visa of any sort. BUT - we had a premium account with HSBC. We still have that checking account - but after getting our PR visas we next opened savings/investment accounts.
At one point I was considering the need for a Euro account and they were willing to open one of those for me as well (in the canary islands I think).
Mexico: Buying and closing costs:
We purchased a house which is not in a restricted zone (no trust). We paid the notary quite a bit above agreed purchase price. We paid the owners directly. I'm sure it is a local question as to how much you have to pay the notary - who must have collected state/city fees from us and passed them along. I do remember that the lawyer who handled our closing (an employee of the notary) gave us the contact info for another lawyer who specialized in recouping some of the fees paid to the state. In a sense she sued the state on our behalf and took a cut (maybe 40%). We still got back a decent amount of money.
We made a no-cost appointment with at least 3 notaries and interviewed them. Perhaps you should consider doing the same to get an idea of what to expect in your area.
Mexico: criminal background check:
It has been a few years now but we had to get a 'good conduct letter' from our local police dept and submit it to the consulate when we applied for our visa. I'm pretty sure the local police ran a background check on us (it took a day).
Mexico: Rental deposits:
When we moved to Mexico I had a cheapo LG cdma flip phone I purchased for about $3 on ebay. I put a new IUsaCel sim in the phone for Mexico and it worked great. Then AT&T bought IUsacel and converted everything to GSM - rendering my phone useless and eating my 4000 peso credit balance.
We visited PROFECO and filed a complaint, My wife kept great notes on all our interactions with AT&T. I think it took 2 visits to PROFECO the last with one of their lawyers who acted as an intermediary with an AT&T lawyer on the other end of the phone.
In the end - they agreed to reinstate our 4000 peso credit balance AND gave us a new GSM phone of our choice.
It was not a lot of money - but they should not have acted in the manner they did, AND - it was a great learning experience for us !!
Mexico: Moving US plated cargo trailer to Mexico.:
When we came to Mexico - we imported both our car and the trailer we brought in. We did it using a broker in the interior of Mexico. The car had to visit aduana but the trailer was imported 'virtually'. When we got everything squared away with aduana, we had a little trouble getting plates for the trailer back in our home state because no one knew how to handle the paperwork - they do not see many trailers. The car was expensive to import but the trailer wasn't so bad.
We got lucky and a friend acted as an intermediary in our selling the trailer after a few years. The guy who bought it put in a steel floor and uses the trailer to deliver large commercial grade kitchen equipment.
But - your mileage may vary...
Mexico: Considering Moving to Mexico...:
We live at just about 6000 ft about 20-30 minutes outside a decent sized city. Our requirements in choosing our spot were; proximity to Mexico City, enough US big box stores if we wanted them (Costco, Walmart, Sams, Home Depot), security, climate (not in that order). But - we live in a colonia that goes back hundreds of years - there are (some) horses in the street. We have no A/C - but neighbors do. We have fireplaces that we use perhaps 2 or 3 times a year. I am in the process of painting the house and after 10AM I have to move to a side of the house in the shade. It is as hot as Miami Beach. Yet - our pool is still freezing.
If I were in my 20's or 30's (and perhaps a university professor) I would seriously consider Guanajuato. It has a very nice young feel - BUT it is very hilly. And we only found a single Soriana's while there - although there were very nice restaurants. Guanajuato - for us - had a very similar feel to Taxco (which had no university and is quite a bit smaller). There are SO many places to see in Mexico - I doubt we will ever revisit either.
We have dove a handful or so cenotes in the Tulum area over the years. It is a nice experience - but unless you are making a living as a tour guide - that might not be something you do regularly, A lot of the better cenotes are on private land.
We very rarely go into the centro of the city we live near - perhaps 2 or 3 times a year. Normally to purchase hard to find plumbing supplies or such. In fact - there are areas of 'town' that I will no longer drive into - and we park in an area we know and take a taxi. Live is just too short.
Mexico: tax on mexico bank account:
Banamex or any any Mexican financial institution will provide you an annual report of what taxes you have paid over the previous year. Those reports normally become available in Feb/Mar. Whenever we receive interest in Mexico they withhold 0.6% in taxes. Citibanamex is unique for us in that they actually issue us a US 1099-INT slip. No one else does that.
As I recall - as part of the dance we performed for the consulate to get our RP pre-approval we needed to get a letter from our local police that we were good citizens. Not sure how that works if you are walking into a 'distant' consulate. Perhaps you would need to request a letter from your 'home' police and submit it to the consulate. No idea - just thinking.
Not really related to Mexico - but at one point we were 'inches' away from buying a beautiful house in Florida (actually within 5 miles of Parkland). It bordered on a huge woody area - almost a forest. So one evening we drove to the house we were interested in and parked the car and waited. Soon there were dozens of kids playing in the street. Although we have never had kids - we are not naturally opposed to them - but what we watched going on was enough to sour us on the area. Turns out within a couple years they leveled that woody area to put in a major east-west expressway,
In Mexico - most times we live in a very peaceful place - but there are times when it is anything but. To get a real feel - you would need to pick a major holiday and plan a stay...