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Jason

Help Selecting Rental

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After 20 years working as an engineer and manager in the U.S. I have had enough of corporate life and am contemplating early retirement. Thus I plan to spend the month of April experiencing Lakeside life as part of a scouting mission to Mexico. I could use some advice on good neighborhoods to get the most out of the visit and perhaps some help vetting a rental before I commit to a whole month. Online listings and photos don't tell the whole story, and I'd hate to find myself in an undesirable part of town or next to a jackhammer testing facility. On the other hand, I am doing my best to stay within my early retirement budget and expect to make some compromises. I will be driving down with my dog, so off street parking and a garden/courtyard area would be nice. Good internet service would be helpful. Although I will have a car, it would be nice to be able to walk to restaurants, etc. It's just me and the dog this time so I don't need a large house... I would rather be paying for location and quality than size. Tips on where I should focus my search would be greatly appreciated.

I apologize if this is a tiresome subject on this board. Feel free to message me directly.

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Hi and welcome! There are a lot of variables to consider so will tell you some of the things I wish I had considered when I moved here with 3 large dogs 4 years ago. It's hard to find garden space in the village of Ajijic without paying more, so dog size matters, as does your dogs personality. There are a fair number of street dogs in the villages, fewer in the more rural locations. Also, most villages from Chapala to Joco have periods of fireworks throughout the year, so again, depends on the animal. There are areas that are quieter, such as Riberas del Pilar, which is within reasonable distance of the restaurants and shops of Ajijic and less expensive if you shop for a place. I live on the outskirts of the area with more garden and house for my limited budget but it took a few moves to figure out. You might want to find a short term location while you look for an area that suits you, and dog, for reasons only you know about! Whatever you choose, I hope you will come to love the area and the people as much as I do. Best of luck.

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43 minutes ago, IMBurnen said:

Hi and welcome! There are a lot of variables to consider so will tell you some of the things I wish I had considered when I moved here with 3 large dogs 4 years ago. It's hard to find garden space in the village of Ajijic without paying more, so dog size matters, as does your dogs personality. There are a fair number of street dogs in the villages, fewer in the more rural locations. Also, most villages from Chapala to Joco have periods of fireworks throughout the year, so again, depends on the animal. There are areas that are quieter, such as Riberas del Pilar, which is within reasonable distance of the restaurants and shops of Ajijic and less expensive if you shop for a place. I live on the outskirts of the area with more garden and house for my limited budget but it took a few moves to figure out. You might want to find a short term location while you look for an area that suits you, and dog, for reasons only you know about! Whatever you choose, I hope you will come to love the area and the people as much as I do. Best of luck.

 

This is the kind of response that makes this such a great group of folks.  Thank you very much for it.

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I second that! Thank you IMBurnen for the advice and for thinking of my dog. Fortunately fireworks and other noises don't seem to bother her, but I might check out Riberas del Pilar for my own peace. Are the street dogs territorial? Do they form roving packs and pick on loners? If my dog goes for a sniff will there be trouble? Mine has never initiated a fight, but I worry that she is a bit naive. Even in a good neighborhood in Seattle she and I were attacked by a pack of dogs while jogging. Not a pleasant experience for me, but it didn't seem to phase her and weighing 75lbs she did just fine defending herself. In fact after we escaped the area she acted like it was all great fun. Now, tussling with hardened street dogs might be another story!

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While you're here, you might want to talk to realtors who handle rentals. Realtors know the territory and can provide a lot of info on the various neighborhoods in the process of showing you rentals.

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April is a slow month here...the snowbirds are gone so there will be plenty of places for you to rent.  It will also be fairly hot and dry, in anticipation of the rainy season.

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Am I understanding correctly that securing a rental in advance shouldn't be necessary? Just show up in town, and there will be plenty of options available in April? It would be nice to see a place in person before committing!

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It would be very reasonable to think that you could rent a b&b for 2 or 3 nights; email or call a recommended realtor and have an appointment set to look at several homes for rent in one or two days.  The realtor could have rentals that meet your needs already scoped out.  By April most of the snowbirds have left and the summer vacationers have not arrived.  Come on down ?. You will probably love it.

Regarding your dog.  It isn't a good idea for you to let him "go for a sniff" off leash.  You also want to read on this webboard about dog poisonings and take precautions.  Most street dogs don't give trouble but there have been attacks just as you experienced at home.  That being said, many people walk there dogs everywhere and since your dog is big and seems to know how to take care of itself you shouldn't have any problem.

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