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Well I think I goofed but maybe not too late.  Moved here for the months of December thru May.  NOB for the pther 6 months 

I failed to consider the beach initially and I don’t know why.   Have been renting in Cuyutlan ‘cause its a 3 hour drive at most and the closest to Ajijic and too cold here for me.  In the couple of years we’ve been doing this the beach  has far exceeded our expectations.  

So if I had known or thought about starting out buying a beach house at the outset I know I’d have bought on the beach .    If we were to consider living here full time then Ajijic would have been first choice.  

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This winter has not been normal for the temps and length.  Look at historical weather data for average temps this time of year.

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If you love heat and humidity most of the year, plus all kinds of bugs, then the beach is for you. If you just need an occasional “beach fix” then live in Ajijic and hit the beach in January. Been here 12 years after moving from the “worlds best beach” (as judged by Dr. Beach) and we seldom go to the beach anymore. Today was Spring like and very pleasant. 

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The problem with both the beach and Chapala is the night time temperatures. It got down to 41F last week at night in Chapala, and depending on where your house is located, can take a long time to heat up, waiting for the late afternoon peak. On the beach, night time lows can be in the mid 70's F.  Both require a simple cure - adequate insulation, plug up all the air leaks, use double pane glass. You could potentially install a low energy/low BTU  air conditioner in a small room just for sleeping. Here is an example, anything bigger will put you into punishing electrical rates.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WRRZLYB/?tag=coolingmyrv-20

Same in Chapala - you need very little heat if  the room is insulated. You can use foam board which is stuccoed, or make a false wall filled with perlite.

I looked up Dr. Beach - there are no top ten beaches in Mexico. If I was moving back to the beach, I would choose Puerto Escondido. Still affordable and not a tourist destination (other than world wide surfers).

edit: important warning, if you do seal off an airtight room, do not heat with a propane heater. You could die.

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I note you specified from December thru May and agree with you 100%.  Perfect for snowbirds but for year round Lakeside is best.  Many living here have beach houses they primarily use thru the winter months and for weekend retreats.   Not all can afford that option.  Too, with snowbirds selection the beach for their 4 or 5 month visit traffic on the carretera might improve 

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We are halfway through our 16th year in Mexico, the first 7 in Ajijic and now here in Puerto Vallarta. Agree with chillin that Puerto Escondido might be a great place to live but we'll probably stay here unless the traffic gets horrible after the new road from the Autopista opens. Right now we have traffic but nothing like Lake Chapala. December through May is more comfortable here in our opinions, and June through November is usually better lakeside.  Living down here takes some getting used to the summertime humidity and some people never do. This winter has been quite cold and we feel like we must be acclimating as we both have used coats and sweatshirts extensively this year. Today is finally a bit warmer but I still have the sliders only halfway open. We learned that living here  you need A/C or you need to live where you get the breeze. The condo we now own is about a half mile from the beach as the crow flies and 280 feet up. The entire back faces the bay with sliders of single pane glass. We have ceiling fans above the dining room table, bed and in the TV room. We have the 3 blade metal fans that really move air, not the pretty wooden ones that look nice but would be useless here. We probably won't need them until sometime in April because we get a strong sea breeze daytime and a strong land breeze coming in our bedroom at night. We have 3 mini-split A/C's which we have never used except to test twice a year. July, August and September are hot and muggy but the rainy season is as spectacular as it is lakeside. Our yearly electric bill is less than it was in Ajijic but we had a pool there. Last year it averaged $23.50 US per month. Costco is 10-15 minutes away and they are about to open a huge Comercial Mexicana right next door. For us the single negative over lakeside is the summer humidity and we do sometimes complain just as we did in Ajijic about the cold winters and horrible hot dry weather in May with all the dust. Where we are mosquitos are almost non-existent, I haven't seen one in months and bobos don't seem to live here.  Much of the year, including during the winter, we don't even use the screens so as to not impede the view. Different strokes for different folks and it's all what you prefer. Our first year here we had second thoughts but for us the old bods adapted. YMMV

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I've never understood why Lakeside is touted as having "perfect spring-like weather year round ". Chillin says it got down to 41 the other night, but that that is not normal. Yet every winter I see posts on here by folks saying they are freezing and what are good heating options? Then in May or June, posters start complaining about how hot it is, and what are the best air-conditioning options?

I guess it's one of those things where when the weather is perfect, everyone forgets how cold they were in January, or how hot in June.

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BEACH: There's relatively shitty weather there part of the year.

HERE: There's relatively shitty weather here part of the year.

ANSWER: Pick which feels relatively less shitty to you and you WIN the "Where to move in Mexico?" game. Congratulations! :lol:

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True Travis! But, when it's hot and sticky, there's only so much you can take off... and you're still hot and sticky. If you're cold, you can put on more clothes, buy a heater. pile on the blankets etc.

Talked to a newcomer to San Pancho one day and she said she wanted to move inland. When I asked why, she said that it would be nice to dress up and wear something besides shorts and a Tshirt. Different strokes for different folks.

If you own inland, you can rent out your place to snowbirds in the winter and head to the beach. If you own on the coast, there are few renters who want to be there in the summer. In my experience, they roll up the sidewalks in June and unroll them at the end of October. YMMV.

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Why the continuing debate? People should live where they are most comfortable for most of the time. They don’t need to explain or justify where they live nor criticize where others choose to make their homes. 

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I think there are mountain people and ocean people. Maybe plains people too. I am a mountain person - don't much like beaches or oceans and they have too damn much air. I think the trick is figuring out which one you are and then moving there.

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Good one.

It'd be ideal to live on the outskirts of a forest not far from the beach, a small town nearby and a larger city down the road with no Wal*Mart,  Cosco, Sam's Club or Burger King in sight.  You know, ma and pa shopping.  That way your money goes to some kid's college fund and not to corporate sperm.    

   

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The OP is talking about winter residence not year-round just 5 or 6 months.  Most of the responses seem to miss that and respond to year round living.   If I was a part-timer I'd select beach living in a heartbeat for the winter months over Ajijic.   Many people here have, in fact, beach residences.   Escondido too expensive for me but tons of alternatives.   Only caveat I'd have is to avoid any beach town with huge numbers of tourists.

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10 minutes ago, el bartman said:

I'd have is to avoid any beach town with huge numbers of tourists.

Check.  And a good number of them seem to be whiners .. the sand's too sandy, the Sun too sunny.

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On 2/6/2018 at 5:48 PM, pappysmarket said:

We are halfway through our 16th year in Mexico, the first 7 in Ajijic and now here in Puerto Vallarta. Agree with chillin that Puerto Escondido might be a great place to live but we'll probably stay here unless the traffic gets horrible after the new road from the Autopista opens. Right now we have traffic but nothing like Lake Chapala. December through May is more comfortable here in our opinions, and June through November is usually better lakeside. ...

Please check your inbox, thx

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On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 10:45 PM, modeeper said:

Beach is best all things considered.  There's more to do there, more options.  Plus coastal cities seem to be more liberal.  Unless you like to live in the good ol' dayz.

There's one feature of the Baja that didn't agree with me .. too much Sun.  I mean you get tired of cloudless days, 100-degree dry heat for months.  

People live out of doors in warmer places.  That has advantages, depending how social you are.

For me GDL is paradise.  Best climate I've ever lived in, or maybe San Diego CA.  

San Diego is close to my favorite, La Jolla ! :D

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Beach Smeach! We're now 6/6 snowbirds and loved a lot about Ajijic but I drove much too far to need a fire at night for 6 weeks. We're now in Colima and and love it. Lot's to see and do, very hot (its' not for everybody - you need AC at least in the bedroom), you can drive right across the city in less then 20 min and,  best yet, the price of real estate is less than a third of Ajijic. And if you want a beach fix,  it's only 45 min away.

Muy Bueno!

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On 2/6/2018 at 11:42 PM, Xena said:

Why the continuing debate?

This for you is a debate?  Opinions and recommendation are a debate?  Then conversations are also a debate.

For me the core of this wicked debate is weather and people.  Everyone knows the beach is hot.  If the OP has mentioned the beach as one of his options then heat obviously isn't an issue.  

I settle into and unsettle out of a place with people in mind.  Coastal cities and towns are more liberal. I'll pass on cornfields, last Century's politics and redneckism.  

Use California as one of many examples .. San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, LA, Carmel, Monterrey -- coastal.  Now go inland, San Bernardino, Fresno, Modesto, Riverside, Stockton --  YUK! 

Guadalajara could be the most liberal city in Mexico .. without a beach.  Home sweet home!

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If I came here only 6 months per year I'd definitely give high consideration to living at a lower and warmer altitude.  Clearly a lot of people do that along the Mexican coasts as evidenced by the much higher winter population, and rents, they have during that season.   The OP plans on being a part time winter resident, it would seem the beach would be a real option.  If one doesn't insist on being ocean front or very near, there are reasonable rental options to be had, particularly in the larger beach towns like Manzanillo.  Years ago, my wife's parents went there with a large group of their friends every year and did just that.

This has been an unusually cold winter here, hopefully more of an anomaly related to a strong La Niña than a longer term shift.  However scientists who follow solar radiation levels and are noting the lack of sun spots and apparent reduction in the sun's outputs are suggesting this might become more common.  I'll be modifying our fireplace over the summer so that it actually puts out heat when used and lay in a good supply of firewood before next Winter.  If indeed we are in for much chillier winters like this one, we may want to start spending several months somewhere near the beach, or at least at lower altitudes.

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What's not good about having a cozy fire part of the year? I'm enjoying these evenings.  I'd love to live at a beach as we used to in CA, but no way year around in our local beaches.  It's great to have one near enough to visit during their cooler months.

However, every "body" is different, and that means some take the heat and are happy when it's hot and humid, so there's really nothing to debate.  Whatever works for your body is the place to be.

I'm waiting to hear from the Colima fan in around June.  Or perhaps sooner.  B)

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I hate to disappoint you but by June I'll be firmly ensconced in my home in the Okanagan Valley wine region of BC, riding my motorcycle, camping with friends and family, and periodically checking in with the property manager to see how things are in Colima. If I had bought in Ajijic ten years ago I might not feel the same but now traffic is terrible,  infrastructure is strained to the breaking point and housing is priced in USD and is VERY expensive, even by NoB standards.  So far we're very happy with Colima.

Saludos

 

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27 minutes ago, dboisclair said:

If I had bought in Ajijic ten years ago I might not feel the same but now traffic is terrible,  infrastructure is strained to the breaking point and housing is priced in USD and is VERY expensive, even by NoB standards.  So far we're very happy with Colima.

Interestingly the prices here have returned to about the level they were 10 years ago.  As for the rest, I'd agree although the big problem IMO is very bad local and state government that packs people in here and profit personally from it while neglecting most of the municipio and letting the state roads turn into potholed nightmares.  As I have now visited 3/4th of the states in Mexico I have found that Jalisco ranks with the worst of the country when it comes to things like roads, those expensive toll roads notwithstanding.  I've never seen such shoddy construction and almost total lack of maintenance even in poor places like Chiapas.

Colima from here appears much better run and much more modern.  Traffic is terrible mainly because of the neglect and mismanagement of the same governments.  When visiting Colima city and state I have been very impressed with how easy it is to get around there and the much better maintenance of local roads.  I think you've shown that there are a lot of options for part year residents and it is good you found one that works for you.  And it is sure hard to beat riding in BC in the summer!

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