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Lost Dog
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I will be coming back to the Lake in January to find a rental home long term. We anticipate moving in the early spring and want to find a place with a year long lease and need a minimum 3 bedroom, 2 bath single level home without stairways. Lake view and/or pool would be good. We don't want to live in Ajijic central area due to the narrow streets and noise. The type of homes I saw in the Floresta neighborhood looked suitable but open to other areas. Is this a good time to start looking for a home to rent? Any other advice on getting this done? Thanks.

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Try to negotiate your rent in fixed rate pesos.

Try to include a clause that if one of you should perish, the surviving spouse has the right to break the lease.

Try to include a clause that if the property owner puts it up for sale, that can be cause for you to break the lease.

It may be difficult to find a house without stairways, inside or outside. Many people rent at Hotel Perico while they are looking at possibilities, you may have to book way ahead to get the best units.

Early spring is a lovely time to visit here. Just remember though, that many houses, especially the older, more interesting ones, are cool to cold in the winter. Today, for example, the skies are blue but at 2 pm it is just starting to break 70 degrees for the ambient air, but the sun rays are very hot. After 6:30 tonight it will be dark, and it quickly becomes chilly. This is all because of the altitude. With the right attitude, you can overcome the altitude. Hey I like that one - its a keeper!

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To be sure, no problems with the weather, similar to where I live regarding getting chilly. Just putting some messages out hoping maybe I can get lucky or at least to get some good leads on a rental.  Can't do much over the holidays, so getting a little ahead of the deal but anxious to make the change. Send PM's for more specific stuff please. Thanks.

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January is a busy time with many snowbirds in the rentals you are hoping to see.  We found our rental in March.  If you see a place you like, but it is a little out of your price range, "make an offer" - two rental agents have told me this.  I offered two hundred dollars less that the listed price per month and the owner accepted it.  

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Thanks for both replies today. I figured that March or later would be better to find something. Not worrying much about cost at this point. First is to find a place/places that will fit our particular needs. I will be coming probably once a month or so for a week starting in January not only searching for rentals but also to make contacts and get into the community flow. Looking forward to attending some expat meet-ups, etc.

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You keep giving indications that your unique requirements involve handicapped mobility access. If so, lets definitely get together when you come down. I am thinking of importing some pipe bending equipment and epoxy mortars. These would be to produce steel pipe grab bars, etc. - stainless is far too expensive. Importing medical/mobility equipment from the U.S.A. is extremely expensive, in many cases a low cost, local fabrication is possible, without the limitations of U.S.A. manufacturer's liability insurance, etc. Too many people here have found the good life here, then have it shattered by a bad fall. The goal is to help setup a local Mexican small business which would bring peace of mind to many, and for my own personal reward, a legacy for the future.

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9 hours ago, CHILLIN said:

You keep giving indications that your unique requirements involve handicapped mobility access. If so, lets definitely get together when you come down. I am thinking of importing some pipe bending equipment and epoxy mortars. These would be to produce steel pipe grab bars, etc. - stainless is far too expensive. Importing medical/mobility equipment from the U.S.A. is extremely expensive, in many cases a low cost, local fabrication is possible, without the limitations of U.S.A. manufacturer's liability insurance, etc. Too many people here have found the good life here, then have it shattered by a bad fall. The goal is to help setup a local Mexican small business which would bring peace of mind to many, and for my own personal reward, a legacy for the future.

I will give you a heads up when returning to Ajijic. Should be an interesting conversation. I am a bit baffled by the general lack of railings, grab bars, etc. in homes and public spaces in Ajijic. For example, when visiting Black Coffee and entering from the Libramiento side, the large concrete steps were fairly awkward and no railing to hold on either side. Also, the ramp at the end of the Malecon pier that rises from the end of the street up to the level of the pier is very steep and again with no rail. Using it to move someone in a wheel chair really seems impractical, especially going down to the street level. I realize this is Mexico and ADA type stuff is far from realistic but just pointing out some hazards.

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21 minutes ago, Lulugirl said:

There is a handicapped parking spot behind Black Coffee with a ramp on the other side of the building.

Thanks. If I had been more observant on my visit, I would have seen that. Obviously it will take some time to navigate the community and learn. Overall, the efforts to make access available in Chapala and Ajijic surprised me. Didn't expect to see much at all. What caught my attention the most were some private 2 and 3 story homes with rail-less staircases, etc. when searching Real Estate website properties. The downtown Chapala curb cuts and parking are more usable than Ajijic for wheelchairs but retrofitting a very old city with cobblestone streets and narrow sidewalks is virtually impossible. Maybe as Chillin has explained, the cost of stainless steel grab bars, etc. has been a limiting factor. Falls for elderly folks can be devastating. 

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14 hours ago, Lost Dog said:

 Falls for elderly folks can be devastating. 

Not for the local medical community - they are a major industry!

Don't feel bad about Black Coffee - the ramp leads to a side door (hiway side), with three very steep steps (higher than normal) and no handrail. Likewise the six steps on the intersection side. Don't remember about the mall side though.

I should mention that there are some "care homes" here which are handicap friendly. Very affordable, if you can live with a crowd (with your own personal space of course). If they were up north they would be called assisted living, for active seniors.

 

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There are perhaps more single story houses for rent in Chapala.  All the ones on my street are.  Fewer (if any) rentals with pools in Chapala, however.  Rents in my area are around 5,000 pesos and the rent contracts are in pesos. Of course, if you want views from a single story house, you`d have to pretty much be right on the lake or advantageously placed on a hill side. 

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2 hours ago, bdmowers said:

There are perhaps more single story houses for rent in Chapala.  All the ones on my street are.  Fewer (if any) rentals with pools in Chapala, however.  Rents in my area are around 5,000 pesos and the rent contracts are in pesos. Of course, if you want views from a single story house, you`d have to pretty much be right on the lake or advantageously placed on a hill side. 

Chapala has a lot to offer and I spent some time walking up and down the main blvd, along the Malecon and into some of the neighborhoods. I think finding the kind of home we need will be difficult there but I will be looking closely to what is/will be available in the next several months.

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On 12/7/2016 at 11:44 AM, Lost Dog said:

I will be coming back to the Lake in January to find a rental home long term. We anticipate moving in the early spring and want to find a place with a year long lease and need a minimum 3 bedroom, 2 bath single level home without stairways. Lake view and/or pool would be good. We don't want to live in Ajijic central area due to the narrow streets and noise. The type of homes I saw in the Floresta neighborhood looked suitable but open to other areas. Is this a good time to start looking for a home to rent? Any other advice on getting this done? Thanks.

you may want to consider a gated community. Most of the homes were built with Gringo retirees in mind. The majority are single level, large rooms and hallways/doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs. Those that come to mind are El Parque, Riviera Alta, Puerto Arroyo, Los Sabinos are just some that come to mind.

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Joyfull, a place in one of the gated communities will probably be where we end up and that will be fine. I still would like to explore living in a local neighborhood and not be so set apart from the culture. I am fully ambulatory but my wife is not and it has been that way for many decades. I have become skilled at finding ways to adapt over the years so not ruling out somewhere I could make things work. I was out at the Racquet Club on my last visit and there are some homes there that could possibly work but would like to be closer to Ajijic and Chapala. Getting what we need balanced with what we want is the chore.

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You might want to entertain the idea of renting somewhere central temporarily then exploring each of the areas mentioned.  A small area called Mirasol at the very eastern border of San Antonio though it looks like it is in Riberas del Pilar has many single story modern open architecture homes. No pools, however.  4-6 blocks from the lake. Quiet area, not near any town centers (where very large, loud firecrackers are set off throughout the year).  Many avoid these town centers for this reason alone. It is between Ajijic and Chapala, very easy access to both places. No cobblestones. Rents start at $400.

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Just a note about Mirasol. I think it is a great place to live, very convenient and relatively quiet. There are a number of single story homes in Mirasol that DO have pools. It is just not apparent from the street view. Quite a few have nice, flat back yards.

The only way for a lake view in Mirasol is to have a mirador, and there are only a few homes that have them.

I like the wide streets, nice people and the fact that is a predominantly middle class Mexican neighborhood with a good mix of North Americans, a few Europeans and recently, a number of gringo expats from Ecuador.

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I think Chapala centro would be ideal, as it provides reasonably good wheel-chair access to shopping, parks, malecon, restaurants, taxis, etc.

Living in most of the fraccionamentos would require driving to everything. The challenge, as you have noted, will be finding a suitable home in Chapala, as they are hard to find. Pounding the pavement and looking for signs, chatting with locals and checking bulletin boards will reveal more than will be found through realtors alone.

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For Chapala, go to the American Legion on Morelos for a starter and talk to folks there. Acoss the street lives Rony who maintains a list of available rentals. His phone number is there by his buzzer.

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23 minutes ago, bdmowers said:

For Chapala, go to the American Legion on Morelos for a starter and talk to folks there. Acoss the street lives Rony who maintains a list of available rentals. His phone number is there by his buzzer.

Thanks for the info. I will check that out when I come next month.

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Just a small note re: grab bars and railings: wrought iron is decorative and works well. If you offer to install these, your landlord should be grateful--less liability risk, and makes the unit more suitable for both children and elders.

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Lost Dog--You'd be so better off if you'd scroll through what is available by Googling the websites of the local rental agents. Some of what I'm seeing here is filled with not-so-accurate info. I spent months searching for what we needed (similar to your needs) before I found a suitable place. I now live in Mirasol. Mirasol rents starting at $400 for what you're looking for, as someone stated? Not likely.

Realtors' websites will give you rents quoted in US dollars always and sometimes the equivalent in pesos--matched to the current exchange rate. Beware and ready to negotiate. Rental realtors' websites will also give you an idea of what the grounds and interiors look like. It's a good beginning.

Lexy

 

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Lexy, respectfully, rent for our 3 bedroom house in Mirasol is $450. A 2 bedroom house down the street is renting for 7000 pesos. That`s $350. There are others in this range.

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