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Hello all. My wife and I will be moving to Lakeside soon, coming from Panama, where we’ve been living for 2 ½ years. We saw a lot more short-term house rentals a month ago than we do now, and today is only the beginning of April, so we’re kind of surprised. We thought there would be more rentals. Is this normal for the summer house-rental market Lakeside?

My plan is to come alone after Semana Santa for a week, ahead of my wife and old cat, to find a rental house. I plan to drive around with a few realtors to see their listings, to drive myself around looking for Rent signs, and to look for Rent posts on bulletin boards. I read that LCS, El Torito Market, and Superlake are good for bulletin boards. We’d rather rent directly from a landlord, like we hve in two places here in Panama..

Questions: Would one week be enough time to find a rental house for May that has what we want? Would it be better to come before Semana Santa? Would it be better to come for longer than a week? Does what we want even exist? Any other advice for finding our ideal place?

I hope it isn’t too self-serving for this forum, but we’re looking for a short-term rental house initially, not in the village, but close enough to walk or bike until we get a car, with all these:

Furnished
2 or 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
Detached
At least 1400 sq ft
Lake view
Filtered water
Fireplace
Big TV
Dishwasher
Bathtub
Measurably fast internet, with WiFi
Good security, like with bars on windows
Quiet, like with no barkers next door
Private, like not easily visible inside by neighbors
Big yard, instead of a small walled garden
Up to $1000/month

Is it possible? Any advice to find this place? We’d also be willing to housesit and do small repairs on the house until October, or maintain a house for sale and do small repairs until it sells. If it was in the hills, we’d rent a car until we get our own.

Thanks everyone.

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Looks like you have done your homework. About 90% of our snowbirds will be gone by or just after Easter, so more properties will be available than at this moment. You may not get everything on your wish list in a house, but your list is reasonable, as is your price range for finding such a rental. I agree with your suggested methods of locating a home, also.

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Correspond by emIl and phone with the rental agencies before you come.  They can advise you as to what might be available and then be expecting your arrival.  Things might then go smoother.

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This is one of those "just my opinion" answers. Unless you happen to get very lucky (and some people do) I think it will take longer than a week to find a home with everything on your list. You can find houses with many/most of the features you want, but if you want all of them in one house it may take some looking. 

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Ditto what Al Berca said. A week should be OK but you will be busy unless you get lucky right away.  Internet speeds are a crap shoot from neighborhood to neighborhood if not house to house, and it will be hard/impossible to test when you visit. But one can fall back on a cellular plan w/data and a hot spot if the house Internet is poor. 

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If you look really hard, you may find places at half your intended rental price if you can commit to an annual lease.  If not, then grab whatever seems suitable and walkable as a temporary rental & then explore options as a couple.  I suggest Chapala Centro for walkability, bus & taxi connections, lower rents, convenient pedestrian shopping, mercado publico, etc.

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Chapala Realty/Coldwell Banker (sponsor of this board) would be a good place to start looking for rentals.

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It seems as though this spring there are lots of people looking for exactly the same type of rental - 2 beds and a den or 3rd, spacious, yard, and walkable with great amenities...but no one wants to pay more than $1000 US.   So be aware that there is lots of competition for those somewhat larger houses in the $1000-1600 US price range.  Expect to be at the higher end if you want to be centrally located, walkable, a veiw, and decorated furnishings.  There are an extraordinary number of houses available now that skirt $2000 a month.  It was just astonishing when we went looking recently.

Go thru the various Facebook pages and women's groups.  Then expect it to take longer.

 

 

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You mentioned "Measurably fast internet, with WiFi". Be careful, although there are many neighborhoods with 5 t0 10 megs down and a few with even faster, there are also many neighborhoods were the internet is even slower some where it is much slower.

So be careful and check before signing the lease.

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Chapala Centro is great if you have no car and don't mind loud noises at any hour, lots of Mexican celebrations......Also, I think you list is doable, except for maybe the bath tub and big yard without a wall.  Most houses just have showers.  Many lots are small.  A week may be cutting it close.  Also, don't be afraid to offer less than what they ask.  You will most likely end up compromising on a few items.

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If barking dogs and noise are on your deal breaker list then you may want to consider gated communities where there are limits to nu,bet of pets and the residents keep their dogs in their homes. These come to mind

Riviera Alta, Vista Allegra, Los Sabinos, these communities are on the hillside so many of the homes have views of the lake.

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I think I would come for more than a week.  I looked for a rental for a friend coming down and found a lot of places but many were dumps.

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Do be careful--as in the US and other places, rental homes, even the non-dumpy ones, are not always what they appear to be. My rule of thumb is: for every little thing you see wrong, multiply by 5, and don't expect the landlord to fix things here, as many do not. So, get a place that looks perfect, with no problems in sight!

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I'd have to second several of the motions here.  The first one is that a week is probably not sufficient.  The second is you need to be very clear about where your environmental priorities are.  How tolerant are you to traffic, noise, dogs, that sort of thing.  How important is "walkability" the ability to walk to stores, restaurants and services to you?  You want to visit and "try out" locations that appeal to you before getting locked into a long lease.  There is a huge range of living environments here.

You have a lot more negotiating room for one year or longer, up to two year, leases.  There are an awful lot of houses here that only rent seasonally and the higher monthly rents reflect that.

We've been here going on 9 years.  On the plus side of things, there is much more availability of goods, services and restaurants here than there used to be.  Air service to the north has improved steadily.  On the minus side the traffic both here, between here and GDL, and in GDL has grown exponentially.  We still don't have a good (or bad!) private hospital in the area and the commutes to get medical care in GDL can be brutal.  If you live on the west side of Ajijic, wading through town to get to Walmart can be very time consuming during certain hours and days.  You'll quickly learn when those times are.

The percent of expats in the population seem much higher in Ajijic and the fracs to the west.  Chapala is the place for the best rental deals, the most shopping and the most "Mexican" environment.  The rental prices are much higher around Ajijic.  And as noted, pretty much everywhere the tenant is expected to take care of most minor repairs, the standard leases actually set a monthly monetary limit on that.  It helps to be a handy person here, fortunately the local hardware/home supply stores, while spread out, seem to cover all the bases pretty well.  Usually, their prices are better than a big box like Home Depot.

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To OP

We are renters (snowbirds) and I look around all the time for exactly the same house with a little bigger budget. than yours .....It is much more lucrative for landlords to put their house for rent in winter. That is why there could be more available in winter months.

Lake views, bathtub, and  "quiet" might be hard to find for $1000/month.  I do not think that combination exists around Ajijic :-) and I am absolutely sure that you will have to forgo some of these. The rest, you will have no problem to get.

I think a week can give a good overview of the area (there is nothing not to like initially) but finding a decent rental might take longer than that. There are just too many variables. Although, you do have a good plan.

Best of luck in your search.

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I received a good piece of advice from someone I know quite well.  She said the best outlook in finding a rental here is to go into it with the attitude that you can deal with just about anything for six months.  If you don't like it after that time, move to another place until you find the home and area that you like.

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1 hour ago, suegarn said:

I received a good piece of advice from someone I know quite well.  She said the best outlook in finding a rental here is to go into it with the attitude that you can deal with just about anything for six months.  If you don't like it after that time, move to another place until you find the home and area that you like.

Excellent advice

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Leaving my apartment in Chapala Centro for reasons already cited by others - 1) noisy - about 3 fiestas per week it seems; 2) landlady refuses to fix the washing machine & recently had the kitchen electric rewired, but refuses to replace the double plug in - of which 1 outlet is burned out...  <_<  but is building a tiled, rooftop garden...???  :huh:

Found a lovely little 3BR, 3BA house, 2 levels, 2 living rooms, with dressing room & jacuzzi in the master suite, FULLY furnished down to the bar glasses, carport, books in bookcases, etc...  for $8500mx/mo (about $425 USD).  Located in Las Redes, it is close to the Soriana, Farmacia Guadalajara, organic butcher & more...  but no lake view (not essential for me).  The neighbors' homes are clean & well-kept, streets are nice & wide, ample parking, low traffic, and quiet.

I got lucky & found her ad, complete with photos, posted at the papeleria on the corner.  The Canadian tenants were nice enough to allow the house to be shown.  So, I have it rented before it became available, which is how I found this place...

Do be careful.  When I rented this apartment, it had a nice recliner & flat-screen TV, dishes, glasses & kitchenware, washer, etc., all included in the rent.  However, when things stop working, I ended up making my morning juice on the bathroom floor & coffee in the bedroom...  And when the washer left golf-ball size bunches of lint on my clothes, she would not have it fixed...  "Oh, some Americans bought that years ago and left it here...  Remember, when you came I told you if it needed repairs, it was YOUR responsibility."  Hmmmph!

There are plenty of places to rent.  Depends on your taste & pocketbook.  I would get into Ojo del Lago & make email & phone contact with some of the rental agents, as well as appointments to see what they have listed when you arrive. 

As was suggested, bargain over the rent.

Be SURE to test the faucets, water pressure, shower, toilet, etc.  Check the burners on the stove & the oven.  Check everything you can think of... and be prepared to deal with surprises.

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