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lakeside7

Beside the higher altitude SMA seems to have other serious issues

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Concerns about security have been growing among citizens as rapes and violent robberies have been on the increase. Four hundred people marched in protest last May in the city of about 60,000, better known for its historic center, art and expat population than crime. - See more at: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/no-security-san-miguel-de-allende/?utm_source=Mexico+News+Daily&utm_campaign=9ea61b8b3c-Jan+17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1536a3787-9ea61b8b3c-347994033#sthash.uxhBAWzn.dpuf

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For being Conde Nast's number one city in the world it certainly seems to have a lot of problems according to local blogs and chat boards from its residents.

Been there and I take Lakeside over SMA anytime.

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Guest bennie2

i was in SMA several times. for me it was terriffic, 100% different than here on every level. (minimal crime as well). i have read it changed these past years. very depressing news.

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Every place has serious issues these days. For me, the most serious issues about SMA is isolation, more extreme climate, cost of everything. And it has a disappointed amount of graffiti these days, pretty inexcusable given the size and affluence of the expat and art communities there.

No thanks. You just can't beat this place for climate, access to everything either local or very nearby in GDL, great air service 35 minutes away, closeness to the beach, you name it.

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Guest bennie2

MC i dont get "isolation"? you mean airports? shocking for an upscale place that they would allow the graffiti they were so strict @ one time. even if a sign was a little too big, it needed to be changed. it was a beautiful place, w/cafes bookstores, beautiful churches, ect. it was like being home. (untill i left the historic area, then became ugly as years past). the property values will go down if they dont clean up the spray paint.

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SMA is a long way to a major airport or city, unlike our area. That is what I was referring to with the "isolation" comment.

It was disappointing to see all the tagging there, even on the historic church, and the lack of response to it.

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Guest bennie2

the lack of response is unbelievable. maybe they have new people in office. i heard SMA is about 1 1/2 hrs from an airport. between the grafitti & the crime it doesnt seem appealing.

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The person behind that article is completely ignored by the administration. His approach is confrontation and embellishment. The mayor whom I know personally has openly stated he will not meet with him. There is much more to this story / relationship. I am being polite and careful in my words describing this person and suggest no expat should be so "politically" involved with people so powerful.

Many areas in SMA have an active neighborhood watch including the one I establish were we live. We have an emergency button that when pressed results in an immediate call to our house from the monitoring center and at no cost. As recent as Thursday the police were at our house to test it out. There are well over 100 such emergency buttons in SMA including our friends who have a hotel 10 miles out from the city. Police often come by our house, a rural setting 3 km from Liverpool and honk their horn letting us know they are here and often sign a log sheet indicating they were here.

We have dogs and when living in Ajijic and here in SMA never locked our doors. The reason being is we have large windows and one can just as easily come through a window. Our perimeter is locked but that is a 6' wall and on one side a 6' chain link fence. Never once have we had an issue.

As to airports it is 55 minutes to the QRO international airport and 90 to Leon. Shuttle van is $28 to $30. For most, they fly so seldom not an issue.

As anywhere SMA has issues but people have many choices in Mexico. There are many pluses here as there are at lakeside.

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SMA is very popular, there must be something there that people like. We certainly enjoyed our visit there though as noted were disappointed to see all that graffiti on such beautiful homes and streets. Maybe Sonia will share our success with her neighbors there and they will realize they do not have to tolerate this.

If you can get to the airport in 55 minutes I'll be certain to stay out of your way. :)

Sonia, I would be happy to give any group that might form there to deal with tagging a briefing on how it can be suppressed cheaply and effectively.

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Mainecoons I know you are instrumental in cleaning up the tagging there and maybe I am just so use to it I have not noticed in SMA but will look again. Thanks for offer.

The QRO airport is that close, straight south and part of way on HWY 57D which is 4 lane and totally bypasses the city. Leon is further and first half is a narrow two lane road.

I know the perception is that it is more expensive here vs lakeside but on that I would disagree. Gasoline, utilities are all the same. Our property taxes were 896 pesos and house is valued about $250K on a 1/4 acre in a setting like Brisas de Chapala. At the Mexican fruit and vegetable stores and huge Tuesday market prices compare to Chapala weekly market and I believe less that Ajijic weekly market. There is a large range in home prices and rentals but if one looks on real estate sites here they are about the same. I say this based on friends in Ajijic and knowing what they pay. Certainly there are expensive homes and Toller's was 5 million.

And, unfortunately, the winter nights are definitely colder and similar to temperatures at Guadalajara airport. If I could live anywhere it would be Cuernavaca for year round weather.

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AS someone who has visited SMA many times, Sonia "tells it like it is there". My only choices when I came to Mexico was SMA or Chapala. Chapala won because of the Lake (way out there then), but still a lake. SMA won on all other comparisons for me. SMA was a little more expensive then, now maybe prohibitive. Still, a very nice place to visit for a few days.

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Guest bennie2

SMA is a world heritage site. there should not be any grafitti there. someone in office doesnt care.

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AS someone who has visited SMA many times, Sonia "tells it like it is there". My only choices when I came to Mexico was SMA or Chapala. Chapala won because of the Lake (way out there then), but still a lake. SMA won on all other comparisons for me. SMA was a little more expensive then, now maybe prohibitive. Still, a very nice place to visit for a few days.

I chose SMA; didn't know much about Lake Chapala at the time. Three yeas later, I'd had it with the cold winters, the polluted air downtown and a few other things, though it is beautiful and the historic buildings add to the ambiance. The graffiti was already out of hand in my neighborhood. In general, I found it a bit too "precious"......which I can't quite define, so don't ask. :unsure: Some folks love that aspect of it. Different strokes.

About that time, we visited the beach and passed a night in Ajijic on the way. Another on the return trip. Doubt entered our minds, and it wasn't long before we spent more time in this area and finally moved here. No regrets.

SMA is without a doubt, a very lovely place to visit. We still do, and have friends there.

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Guest bennie2

not sure what "precious: means. if there is grafitti then that word doesnt apply. as for pollution, dont think it's much different in ajijic. (depends where you are). havnt been to SMA in several years, cant judge. they have a rosewood hotel, film festivals, many exercise options. i felt very much @ home. i did see changes, it was nicer 15 years back. as for weather? there were fireplaces, never cold. after reading these comments, not sure i will return.

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The air pollution was from the making of the red building bricks. Those operations have relocated. Rarely, do you see locals mention air pollution other than that from the buses but certainly not like a year or more ago.

One plus is the 2 hospitals and a third one being built across from the side of Liverpool. The new one will be a level 3 which is impressive for this area. So two private hospitals and 1 Seguro Popuar.

We have a 10 year old daughter and some great school choices for her at a reasonable cost. One leads the whole state academically and ours which is Cambridge based means automatic enrollment to UNAM upon graduation.

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The air pollution was from the making of the red building bricks. Those operations have relocated. Rarely, do you see locals mention air pollution other than that from the buses but certainly not like a year or more ago.

One plus is the 2 hospitals and a third one being built across from the side of Liverpool. The new one will be a level 3 which is impressive for this area. So two private hospitals and 1 Seguro Popuar.

We have a 10 year old daughter and some great school choices for her at a reasonable cost. One leads the whole state academically and ours which is Cambridge based means automatic enrollment to UNAM upon graduation.

For those with children of school age, what you mention is important.

The graffiti problem, wherever it exists, is a blight on the most beautiful places, including SMA.

The work of those eradicating it has made a big difference here in the Lake Chapala area. Kudos to them.

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Gringal, I laughed (OK, snorted) outloud when I read your comment about SMA being "too precious". I was last in SMA in the early 80's -- I spent a few months there before I moved on to Guanajuato (which I loved). Afterwards, when people would ask me about San Miguel, I would describe it and say how nice it was, but.... somehow, it was too precious. And every time, I would struggle to explain what I meant.

As you said, different strokes.

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Cuernavaca a medium sized city is referred to as City of Eternal Spring. We travel there frequently. Winter daytime highs are warmer and humidity lower.

http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/zmw:00000.1.76726

http://chapalaweather.net

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We traveled the world looking for the right place to settle. Visited Lakeside 3 times, and thought that it was the place. One stop in SMA and it all went out the window.

We love it here. Although much larger than Lakeside it still has a small town feel.there maybe some graffiti but I do not see it a large issue.

As to the crime, I came from Detroit, I never have even a moment of unease anywhere in town.

BJX (Leon)is about 90 minutes away. But really, if that is your issue you fly too much and should live closer to a airport.

The only negative I have found is that the temperature swing. I live a short way above town, and is gets pretty cold at night. With a high during the day of 75, a night at 40 is pretty cold. But I just look at the weather back in Detroit and I feel fine.

If your focus is crime, you will find it. There is crime everywhere. But my guess is the the pre-capita crime rate in SMA is pretty low. Reliable numbers are hard to find, as many crimes go unreported.

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As to the crime, I came from Detroit,

That made my day!

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I laughed at the Detroit comment, too. A few years ago, I had to go to Detroit for a couple weeks for a job. I was staying in a very nice hotel right downtown. I stepped outside the lobby for some fresh air, and the doorman started chatting me up. He asked where I lived. I said, "Mexico". He replied, "Isn't it dangerous there?"

:blink:

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We traveled the world looking for the right place to settle. Visited Lakeside 3 times, and thought that it was the place. One stop in SMA and it all went out the window.

We love it here. Although much larger than Lakeside it still has a small town feel.there maybe some graffiti but I do not see it a large issue.

As to the crime, I came from Detroit, I never have even a moment of unease anywhere in town.

BJX (Leon)is about 90 minutes away. But really, if that is your issue you fly too much and should live closer to a airport.

The only negative I have found is that the temperature swing. I live a short way above town, and is gets pretty cold at night. With a high during the day of 75, a night at 40 is pretty cold. But I just look at the weather back in Detroit and I feel fine.

If your focus is crime, you will find it. There is crime everywhere. But my guess is the the pre-capita crime rate in SMA is pretty low. Reliable numbers are hard to find, as many crimes go unreported.

Welcome, sadly Detroit is a mess..however, I hope you will not miss all the great ethic restaurants that Detroit and environs have..or have they also disappeared?

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I think there is a big difference between folks who are attracted to SMA and those who are attracted to lakeside. The two areas are very different and attract different types of folks. Some make a mistake initially and after a few years or less decide the other area is a better fit. Lakesiders move to SMA and SMA folks move to lakeside to fit their lifestyles. An interesting phenomenon. There is no way that I would find SMA a fit for me and my lifestyle, but I enjoy visiting.

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