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Yeah, I wonder what that little fiasco will cost Samsung all up.

In his book "A Better Life for Half the Price", Tim Leffel gives South Korea a very big rap. He lived there and taught English As a Second Language for quite some time.

He currently lives in Guanajuato and has this to say about Ajijic: "On Lake Chapala near Guadalajara, another mild climate place where you seem to see as many gringos as locals. Good for those who want American style homes with garages and don't mind depending on a car for shopping and social life." 

Note: I bought the book after I heard about and began looking into the Lake Chapala area.

 

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I seriously doubt that you will find anybody here in the Chapala area that will say they have an American style home.  All the homes, although, many of them are very very nice, but nevertheless, they are all also very very very Mexican in all ways Mexican.  They do not look or feel anything American.  And referring to the gringo part of Tim Leffel's book, well I don't know what the population for the whole North Shore is but I bet it is close to 100,000.  Ajijic has a population of around 10,000 and the expat population for the whole North Shore is around 15,000 full timers and in high season it may swell to 20 thousand or more expats for the entire area.  So, I guarantee you will not see as many gringos as locals here, not even close.  And if you want to see very few gringos, go to Chapala, or Jocotepec, there are very few in those cities with less being in the latter.  And right now we are having a hellacious storm, and I thought the rainy season was over, but at least we only get the real rain at night. Never more then the rare light sprinkle during the day. 

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Many newer home look to me  be just like a San Diego home. My friends new Racket club house sure looks Gringo to me on the inside. Its my understanding that it is cheaper to build the S.D. type home here than a classic Mexican home by about 20%. 

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Look at the rankings for Colombia too and that may explain some of the attraction there.

You can live a lot cheaper in Mexico than this particular area.  You are trading location and "transition" culture (blend of NOB and Mexico) for price here IMO  And proximity to GDL definitely raises prices.  GDL shares that higher cost of living common to most large cities where there is access to better paying jobs.

I would say we live in a U.S. style home, custom designed and built for a couple from California it features the kind of open flooplan very popular there.  However the finish is most definitely Mexican.

When I think of the more traditional Mexican homes, many of which we looked at before buying this one, they impressed me as more chopped up and darker, with smaller kitchens.  Several pretty expensive and grand Mexican style casas we looked at really lacked in the kitchen department.  It was explained to us that the people who normally own such homes have cooks and hence did not pay much attention to kitchen design.

I remember one such home in Las Salvias that was truly grand until you got to the kitchen and it was more like one you'd find in a smallish apartment.

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Are we talking about modern Mexican houses vs traditional type hacienda style houses?   Yes, many of the houses are very modern here with modern kitchens and granite counter tops with the latest kitchen appliances.  Or are we comparing them to houses from the South West USA that are heavily influenced by Mexican architecture.  The American houses I have seen while living in California and Arizona to me don't look like typical American houses, they look more like what you see here in Mexico.  I'm from the East Coast and the houses here don't look or feel anything like the typical wooden or brick houses you commonly see in my part of the country.  But they do often times resemble the houses you see in the South West USA that have been influenced by Mexican or Spanish architectural designs.  But of course this is just my opinion.  The houses here are all made from heavy cement stucco type or plaster and usually have hard ceramic tiled floors.  The windows are homemade with custom made to fit iron frames and bars, nothing standard measurements about them.  Many houses here have water come in during heavy rains, like the rains run in under the doors or leak in through the windows or skylights.  Maybe, we should ask this question to Canadians, do the houses here resemble houses from Canada in design and feel?

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Definitely a good point Dicho. I lived in the southwest as a base last 21 years, so my place feels very "american". But, the 40 years I lived in Wisconsin in Victorians, no. Nothing like that here that I have seen save a few older homes in old GDL. Those palaces sometime reminded me of that style and it was fun to walk by them every day.

There is a community on the mountain side by the Pemex out toward Joco that has all these boxy houses in the hills, all looking very the same. There are many Mexican neighborhoods now on the Southside of Santa Fe, NM  developing heavily in that design. Interesting how the influences cross from each side of the border.

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7 hours ago, dichosalocura said:

 Maybe, we should ask this question to Canadians, do the houses here resemble houses from Canada in design and feel?

I doubt that, as the climate is a basic factor to consider in the construction and design of houses. So, these resemble S &SW US type homes. BTW, the Infonavit Houses are all mass built with standard windows, doors, etc., and there are hundreds of thousands, everywhere here in Mexico. Look like US apartments. I thought that the high season we had about 5,000 extranjeros here, not 20, 000. You and the Mexican government count differently.

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I have read repeatedly on this board that it is estimated to be around 15,000 expats living here full time and the number goes up in the high season when the snowbirds arrive.  I admit that I am far from an authority on this topic, I just go by what I remember having read, perhaps that information is outdated, as there are less expats here than there were several years ago. If I quoted the estimate wrong, I apologize.  And in regards to house design, I just go by what I remember houses to look like and feel like on the East Coast in general.  A cement house with ceramic tile floors, arches, mirador, iron windows with bars, with big tall walls that go around them are a rarity there and if you see one, it would be called a Spanish style house, similar to what you commonly see in the South West.  And yes, I realize that climate determines the design of your house.

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Well, I don't get the impression there are fewer expats here although there probably was a dip in the numbers during the housing crunch which was reflected here by a lot of property on the market.  That seems to be largely over.

There are definitely a lot more Tapatios here, on weekends and during vacations.

There seemed to be fewer sunbirds last summer but I don't know that any reliable measures are available for snowbirds, sunbirds or permanent resident expats.

 

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There is a vested interest in keeping the Ajijic numbers low. Once we hit 30,000 we can opt for independence from Chapala. Who knows how many are here? Census takers mark houses done when people aren't home. No records are accurate.

 

The facades being built today here look like warehouses to me. A designer / builder friend says people are opting for minimalist interiors. True, older homes are chopped up small rooms with multi levels. The open concept began some 16 years ago here and most anything built since then is such. Finishings are upscale as anyone who could afford to build probably could afford it.

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The official population of the municipio de Chapala in 2005 was just over 43,000.  The population of the city of Chapala was about 15,000 and that is still the posted population on the sign entering the city, as far as I know.

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