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Lakeside increased population?

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Many thanks Michael for your observations on where you came  from...But that was not my  question

Had you checked out other locations in MEXICO?

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Our compromise, in answer to Gringal, was Tucson, Arizona.  It provides a lower elevation for my COPD breathing problems, and has dry & relatively clean air too.  There is no humidity or mosquitoes to bother us, and the dry heat of summer is tolerable. However, without air conditioning, we would be “toast“. So, unlike Lake Chapala, we must depend upon a constant supply of electricity, gas and water.  The medical facilities, both VA and civilian, are quite good, but the personal attention and care that we experienced in Mexico are not comparable, in most cases. Hurricanes and snow are not a part of our lives and the city is easy to navigate. We are close to Nogales, Sonora, and visit there for dental work. Other than that, we are usually at home, which is a typical 3BR ranch in Southwestern style, with desert landscaping. As such, we need neither gardener nor maid and can take care of most things ourselves. Shopping is convenient and home delivery of almost everything is available, if needed, including groceries delivered from any of several stores, including Costco, by the recently introduced Instacart online program. 

With our age and health conditions, it suits us, but it is a bit boring.

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Lots of thoughtful posts here, from newbie MIchael's epic rant to much-valued insight from the likes of reliable stalwarts such as gringal and Mainecoons (and RV - we miss you!). 

We started visiting this area in 2004 and have logged a cumulative 4+ years here as full-timers since 2009 albeit with way too many moves back and forth to the U.S. We never wanted to be here year-round but pre-Obamacare were health care and insurance refugees, and being early (honestly - premature) retirees such access is still the #1 factor in us being here since we are a long way from Medicare eligibiity.

We were happily ensconced in Tucson ourselves last year and enjoying spending summers in Mexico but post-election realized that writing was on the wall in the very "red" state of Arizona that our access to health insurance would likely go away. I don't want to drag this fine thread into a discussion of NOB politics but suffice it to say that I'm quite sure that a large percentage of the newbie invasion Lakeside has been experiencing over the past 18-24 months is from people fleeing the U.S. without a very clear idea of what awaits them here. They know what they are fleeing from, but aren't aware that joining a few Facebook groups, spending an hour or two perusing forums like this and maybe poking around on rental web sites and "International Living" may not be sufficient grounds to move down here lock, stock and barrel. 

As Mainecoons wisely points out Tapatios are far more of a factor in life here than we gringos will ever be but both groups drive up prices and increase congestion. Traffic in low season now is worse than it was during high season last year, while high season traffic is so bad that many friends who live in close-in West Ajijic commonly spend the better part of an hour getting from, say, the Waffle House to Wal Mart at off-peak weekday times. Far from thinking about investing in new buses, maybe requiring taxis to work something beyond banker's hours, etc. the local government's response to the infrastructure crisis is the Ajijic bike lane boondoggle, Chapala's "Waiting for Godot" street repair project and handing out a few more building permits for massive projects that will exponentially magnify existing problems. I know people who have lived here for 30 years who are throwing in the towel - some moving to other parts of Mexico, some headed to Spain, others moving back to the U.S. simply because the quality and pace of life they came here for is gone. 

In just the past year we have seen rents - and not just for gringo-owned places but also for peso-priced places in Chapala that used to be only for locals - increase by 30-40% or more,  while the inventory of homes for sale under 200K has pretty much vanished. With the peso being so weak during this time frame food both at the mercados and at local (Mexican) restaurants is amazingly cheap for those lucky enough to be buying their pesos with U.S. dollars (and ditto with out-of-pocket medical and dental care) but otherwise it is very easy to live well in many desirable places in the U.S. (albeit NOT the coasts) for the same or less than things now cost here. 

People rightly celebrate Lake Chapala weather but northern Baja's near Ensenada is arguably as good or better while real estate and rentals are cheaper and it's a 2 hour drive on a 4 lane highway to the border. Who knows how long this will last but I mention it by way of pointing out that the relentless publicity for Lakeside and San Miguel don't mean that everyplace in Mexico is going down the tubes at the same rate as we are.  If I were looking for a place in México to move to now I'd make sure to choose one with significant barriers to entry for those who just want to be down here for weather and lower costs - meaning a place where decent Spanish is required, the expat community is small and there are weather and/or cultural barriers that limit the influence expats can have. Pátzcuaro and Colima come to mind immediately but there are many others (the names of which I ain't sharing :D). 

Rick did a good job of talking about Fort Collins but it, too, is yet another one of those places that has been endlessly touted by the likes of AARP and Kiplinger's as an ideal retirement location, driving prices through the roof. There are other places in the Soutwest (Cañon City, Colorado, Silver City or Las Cruces, New Mexico, Tucson [provided you have a summer escape plan] come to mind - where one can easily live on the same or less money than we do as budget retirees here, and while the weather year-round isn't as good there is hiking (dangerous and limited here) biking (suicidal), much cleaner air and water, infinitely superior infrastructure and actual rule of law - as well as the magical ability to deal with climate issues by flipping a little switch on the wall (which need not be a whole lot more expensive than fleeing NOB in the hot months or heading to the beach in the cold ones as many do here at Lakeside). The only problem with living in a place like that and then snowbirding or sunbirding down here is that the demand for rentals locally is such that finding a short-term place has become nearly impossible. Good friends of ours who lived here for decades but had to move back to Portland OR now winter in Thailand because it's so much cheaper than Lakeside - even with ~$1000 roundtrip airfare. 

My crystal ball is at least as hazy as anyone else's but my guess given what is happening in the U.S. is that the intense newbie invasion Lakeside has been experiencing the past couple of years is probably still in its early stages. Surely a significant number of those who have simply fled the U.S. without really knowing what they were fleeing to will return NOB, but I think it's likely each one who does will be replaced by two or three others, and that in any case the off-the-charts rental and real estate prices, traffic gridlock and filth will get much worse before they get better - unless of course the real estate and financial market bubbled NOB burst, which seems quite likely. 

We can't afford to buy anything here and are now priced out of the rental market too so we will be letting our temporal visas expire and moving back to New Mexico (where we have a 2 bedroom casita awaiting us at $200 less a month than we are paying in Chapala). We'll still be close enough to a walk-across border crossing to get our dental work done in Mexico. We will miss a great deal about Lakeside - the amazing expat community, the weather, the kind and dignified locals, great fruits and veggies and (last not least) affordable, accessible medical care, and we also know that further erosion of the health care and insurance system NOB may force us down to Mexico for good. When and If that happens we'll make sure to get permanente visas from the get-go and move to a city far off the gringo and International Living magazine radar. 







 

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I am yet to encounter these huge traffic delays, yet i travel at different times 5 or 6 times a week between sat and west ajijic.

Occasionally traffic snarls up when refuse truck is working or bus stopping and the bike lane works might add a couple of minutes,but an hour ???

Worst is walmart lights and s.a.t maybe 5 minutes at peak times.

Weekends between 1 and 3 pm can be busy but 15 minutes tops.

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Excellent post KK. We thank our stars that most people figure they hate heat and humidity enough not to even consider Puerto Vallarta as an alternative. The roads ain't perfect, trash can be seen in some areas, there's a little graffiti (not much really), there are many tourists both foreign and domestic but they generally stick to the same predictable locales. The upside is there is no huge number of expats banding together trying to change Mexico, no LCS to attend and give yourself a border promotion, easy access to good shopping, health care facilities, restaurants and outdoor activities of all sorts. Did I mention we have a couple of beaches? No, they aren't world class, they don't have the blue water of the east coast, they can be very crowded at certain times, like Easter. Prices are still very affordable and it's still a buyers market here, we have 2 units in this 12 unit building for sale ranging from $160,000 to $220,000 and neither has sold in the last 3 months. Both 2/2, 1850 sf with great views of the bay but unless you're a mountain goat you do need a car. Taxis are much cheaper than lakeside and they run all night. An underground parking space right in Old Town runs $1000 pesos and you can park as much or as little as you want for a month or $20 pesos an hour. Our airport is right in town and has flights to many international destinations, especially Canada with no US connections. Southwest just announced service from San Diego and they already have it from Houston (Hobby), Oakland, San Jose, LA, Santa Ana, Denver and I probably am leaving some out. Always 2 bags for free. When you live here full time you learn where to go and when to go and unless you want to go to the tourist areas you would never know you're in one.

Gringals post inspired me to check out retirement places in New Mexico as being one of the states she did not rule out. One article mentioned the top place as Anthony, NM which I had never heard of. Anybody familiar?

PS   The summer season here is ungodly hot and humid, don't even consider it. It's like Calcutta, the wagon comes around in the morning to pick up all the people who died overnight.

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11 hours ago, michael2595 said:

Back where we lived in the states we had trash pickup once a week but paid 70 USD a month for it. Our home taxes were approx 12,000USD. School taxes were about 4,000. Internet about 100 per month for fibre but you purchased it in increments as in one price for 20 mbps and another price for 50, etc. Gas and electric averaged about 400 a month The potholes on state roads through our town that were fixed were not done correctly thus they were fine for a few months and would reopen and be worse. Our town used to have a big crew fix pot holes and to maintenance and was flush in monies until corruption took over hence all but 2  were laid off and tey made the crew boss with no financial training town manger. I used to say that we didn't own our tires but rented them.  Our state is in a fiscal free fall and even had to take bonds out on state liquor stores to help shore up the budget. A portion of state revenues were always set aside to give to school districts and they have dropped significantly and as a result school infrastructures are in bad repair. Our district was ranked 3rd in the state and yet the buildings had become full of mold and in disrepair and will take tens of millions to fix so I hear taxes will be going up again. The state university system over the last 10 years has lost so much funding that it has become a nightmare for parents and students. State schools were designed to teach the poor to middle class. Now room and board is about 40,000 and you can get a better scholarship at a private school. That's a 300 percent increase from when my son graduated about 6 years ago. He lives iN San Francisco now , one of the most beautiful cities in The USA and yet so many streets are riddled with hypodermic needles and human feces and people sleeping on the streets in front of companies like twitter and Pinterest and the homeless population has grown by leaps and bounds. Yet some of the largest tech companies are right on the corner and do nothing to help. The traffic is beyond nightmarish and a recent poll showed that if they could, 75% of the population would leave. The largest outdoor encampment of homeless in all of the US was right by the San Jose airport smack in the middle of Silicon Valley . You could see google and the other high tech companies from this encampment that was destroyed and the homeless dispersed and yet in this homeless encampment were people with jobs and advanced degrees who couldn't afford rent because the area has a 96% occupancy rate and rents would go up and up and up. Leases were 10 months with minimum 20 percent increases. They were based on the markets prices. Many so called wealthy tech hackers live 4 and 5 in a 2 bedroom apartment and the parking lots of google and other high tech companies have hundreds of vans or winnebagos in their parking lots where employees sleep. They wash and eat in their company facilities and  these companies know whats going on. Los Angeles and its beautiful suburbs are being overrun by homeless. Venice Beach , the American version of a Pueblo magico is getting so bad that blocks and blocks of businesses and citizens now have guards protecting them. I say this because it isn't much brighter NOB from my perspective. If everyone here wants trash picked up on schedule and the local roads to be taken care of far better infrastructure and a fully functional fleet of what we call garbage trucks here , and faster internet service, etc. are you willing to pay the extra monies in the form of taxes and internet bills? Look at your tax bill. It is ridiculously cheap beyond imagination. Your yearly real estate taxes  could not get you a meal for 2 at a white tablecloth restaurant in a major city.  

I am new here having purchased in October  but I see the US going downhill as Mexico is going up hill. Our taxes , HOA fees, water and propane and 24 hour manned security and a crew of 10 or so people to maintain the development is 2200 a year. Our transition apt in the states after we sold our home was more than that and it want anything spectacular. I call it back to the eighties here. Yes , it has changed here but there will be adjustments made and if its so bad why are prices going through the roof into bubble territory. How many have come here because they have realized they can no longer afford to retire in America or Canada and places in Europe and can still live a good life on social security and or pensions and there is no way in hell they could do that back home. Is it getting worse? Depends on what you mean by worse. It can be much better from an infrastructure point of view but are we all willing to have our taxes increase five or ten fold (and that would still be cheap). Speaking of corruption, our town back in the states was corrupt as ever. Borrowed 50 million in the form of bonds to give large landowners (gentleman farmers) monies to have easements put on their properties so that developers couldn't buy and build luxury homes (that no one wants anymore)and the town also froze the taxes on these parcels. Corruption comes in many forms. At least here they are open about it. I would assume many people here cannot leave because their finances dictate that they cannot go back home. If I went back home I could not afford to buy the house I sold 1 1/2 years ago , let alone pay close to 25,000 a year for lousy health insurance (1 1/2 years away from getting full social security benefits at 65 1/2)  and perhaps get an appointment with a doctor in 3 months if I am lucky. I believe the latest statistics are that a couple retiring today will need 275,00 USD just for medical expenses in their future years and 3 years ago when I looked the estimate was 235,00.  Assisted living median price is 10,000 per month in the states and the facilities are basically owned by private equity firms. You want an extra slice of bread, that will be 50 cents and pharma companies use these places as testing grounds for new drugs. How much is it lakeside? 1500 a month?.Or you can have a live in caretaker for less. Perhaps there is a price to pay for having a roof over your head here in the form of bad roads and internet services and sub par utilities and garbage strewn streets but one has to look at the whole picture. A retired couple can live out the rest of their lives here easily and comfortably with far less in assets if one is prudent. You wouldn't be able to do that NOB where a couple would need at least 2- 3 million or have rock solid pensions and I believe no pension is rock solid anymore.  I say the price for the inconvenience is worth it. Many of you have the finances to have multiple homes. I can only afford to have one. Back home we had to get in the car to go for a bottle of milk. Here many expats are getting healthier because we walk so much more and eat  healthier food (if we choose to). I know of 5 people who have rented here who are freaked out because their landlords see the crazy prices being offered and have sold their properties and now these people will have to move somewhere even cheaper because of the difficulty in getting suitable living quarters at the price they can afford to pay and they cant afford to buy anymore because they have been told to "rent for 6 months or more to see if you like the place" and they really do but in taking that advice they have been priced out.  We looked into buying in Mazatlan and SMA and the real estate agents called the properties investments. The light went off in my head. A house for me is only an investment  if its an income producing property. Now the real estate agents here (some who could never be one NOB) are doing the same thing. Calling homes investments.  We are competing with the educated middle class Mexicans who don't exactly trust their banks and have always seen real estate/land as a solid investment. GDL is being known as the High tech capital of Mexico with close to 20 billion in revenues. Microsoft and intel and other high tech companies are there and quite a few of their executives live Lakeside which is not considered in any way an exclusive area compared to some in GDL.  

Many expats here are crying behind closed doors because they know they are in trouble. I would assume whats driving these prices much higher is that the boomers are retiring in droves and are looking for an affordable places to live and are not doing the appropriate due diligence but rather watching some stupid you tube videos on how to retire In Chapala for 1,000 a month or read that god awful International Living magazine that reprints the same article on the area every 6 months, and they flock here and buy andn many get burned in the process.  Medicare and Medicaid in the states are at risk, even social security because how do you run a country that in a couple of years will have a 30 trillion dollar deficit. The cut backs will kill many people, especially the elderly and poor and disabled. And its not going to get any better. I cant speak about Canada and its issues but only about the states. It is scary what may happen. The stock market is going up but everything is cyclical and over 50 percent of the population aren't in the markets. Technology is moving at light speed and estimates are that one third of the workforce will be without jobs unless they educate themselves real quick . My 28 year old son can go through the turmoil but people my age with limited resources cannot. I will gladly deal with all the bad things here than back in the states where if either my wife or I got very ill and required to go to a private institution it would most likely bankrupt our family and my son who makes 200k a year at 28 living in silicon valley is barely considered to be middle class (pays close to 50 percent in taxes between federal, state and local and now they are thinking about taxing you based on how many miles you drive.). He cant afford to buy a home and rents a 120 sq foot room in a person's home for 1,000 per month and still drives a 1996 Subaru. He sees the future and it is not bright. I doubt if he will live there in 5 years. The nature of his work is one that he can work from anywhere in the world and connect to his ofice. He came down to visit and was enthralled with our place (One third the size of our home we sold) He saw what so many who have been here a long time do not see anymore. He saw possibility. He saw happy people. He ate some of the best food he ever has eaten. Machima was his favorite place for breakfast and lunch and he made sure he was there almost every day.  Its only 3 hours by plane from where he lives to GDL and I have this feeling that he will be coming down every few months to work and play and learn about this wonderful culture.

Sorry for the length of this post but I believe being new here I come with a different perspective. Many of us don't have pensions to fall back on. We lost a sizable amount of our hard earned money or lost businesses in the tech collapse of 2,000 and then the real estate banking crisis of 2008. And pensions although guaranteed by law to be paid are in trouble. All we need is one supreme court ruling that will allow states to go bankrupt and it will be a house of cards. How does New Jersey pay pensions to its workers with a ballooning pension deficit  closing in on 100 billion (better a bit now than 2 years ago because of higher stock market returns but that's only fleeting). Or how about Illinois where the state cops had to buy their own bullets and Chicago couldn't even afford to pay for its toilet paper in City Hall and the outflow of people from that state is huge.The ex mayor Of Los Angeles said that All City Hall basically did all day was cut pension checks for hundreds of thousands of people. That is unsustainable.

Perhaps instead of focusing on whats wrong here we should focus on what is right. Its all a matter of perspective.  For me , this will be my year round home. Am I willing to put up with what we all believe to be worsening conditions? Yes I am,  because I know that I really can never return to the states to live.  Here in this culture, family is so important. We have no family but for one child. I intend to have family here be it with the local folk or like minded expats.

To me there is no energy in complaining. The energy is in taking action and doing something about it. When one only lives here but for 6 or 8 months per year , I assume that is different than being here full time. Hopefully I can help make changes. I may be off my rocker but I will give it a darn good try. You won't see me hanging out all day and buying trinkets in Ajijic and then boozing it up and having dinner out 6 nights a week. I plan to be doing lots of volunteering in places west of Chapla on the lake where children are dying because they have kidney disease and can get a kidney only if their parents can show the means to pay 50 dollars a month for medication and they cant. But I have to believe that in order to live out my life here I need to be respectful of the fact that this gvt has allowed my wife and I entry based on fairly  minimum requirements which many NOB cannot even meet while my country up north is kicking out fathers and mothers who have lived there for decades and will leave behind children who they will probably never see again.  Pretty sobering.

I assume I will get pretty nasty responses as I have been called a troll, etc but I am a newbie and am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to learn much from all of you. To me some of you are like family. I love reading some of the posts and banter  I have gained  so much information from many of you and that has helped me tremendously even though I still cant figure out this whole private health insurance craziness. With all its foibles this is a wonderful forum. All I ask is that you look into your hearts and ask yourselves why you are here? I told you most of the reasons why I am here. I am probably the only one who has never been in a Costco since I found out that the Kirkland brand toilet paper (the number 1 selling item at Costco is terrible for flushing in my development (seriously) Life could be far worse. We are still 6 feet above ground rather than 6 feet below. Its all about perspective.

Each and everyone of you is special.There are so many people who read this forum and don't participate for fear of being attacked, etc. My wife and a good friend are two of them. Heck, I would like to ask more questions and participate but I have trepidation . You represent a wealth of knowledge that people like me are looking for. That is something special that you have. In 10 years If I am still here I will make it my point to answer any questions from newbies ( all of you know who we are just by looking at our names) with courtesy knowing I am helping someone who was like me. Confused, a bit scared and don't know who else to turn to. Yes, Some of you , the elders of this forum wield power that you do not know you have. The power to give people like me information in 3 sentences that if not for you would take me 3 weeks or months or more to figure out. 

 I wish all of you a magnificent day and thank you for allowing me to have posted this.

The best post I have read in a long time.  For a newbie (I hate that word. Sorry), you are very well informed and we are lucky to have you here .  Thanks

Rony

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And that is very high praise indeed coming from Rony, one of the best "goodwill ambassadors" and role models for how to be an expat I have met anywhere. And I concur - one of the most outstanding posts on these forums. 

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The traffic congestion is definitely awful this winter.  Due to the construction, and there are definitely more and more people coming here that want to drive cars.   I moved here full-time over three years ago, and didn't bring a car (I sold it in Canada before I moved down).  In the beginning, it was so easy and inexpensive to get around be either walking, or taking the bus.  Occasionally, I'd take a taxi if I went to Walmart and had a lot of bags.  On Wednesday, I took the Directo bus from West Ajijic to the Interlago plaza on the Libramiento.  It took a full hour just to travel that distance.  The traffic was horrendous!  The poor bus driver was getting frustrated, because he was so far off his schedule to get into Guadalajara!  Many people now drive from one end of town to the other by driving along Ocampo and Constitution!  Even though it's harder on your suspension, it's MUCH quicker than the carreterra!

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On 3/3/2018 at 1:21 PM, lakeside7 said:

Many thanks Michael for your observations on where you came  from...But that was not my  question

Had you checked out other locations in MEXICO?

Yes we did. Mazatlan and SMA and its environs were the others we were very interested in. The Cerrito beach area was nice in Mazatlan but if you look at it on google earth you will see why we wouldn't feel like it was home. Great for a few month stay or weekend retreat. Expat community year round is sparse.The Malecon there, I believe is the longest in Mexico. Some parts reminded me a bit of Atlantic City, New Jersey. You can tell there is a lot of money pouring into that area with massive developments in process or planned. In SMA while we were looking it got an award from leisure and travel magazine, I believe and the prices went nuts. We got priced out and real estate agents were too busy for us. And yes some of the houses that were over priced I see are back on the market at much lower prices. If you are into the art scene and a gastronome its great place to be. If you talk about grid lock at lakeside try and get into el centro especially on weekends. Makes AJijic look like no one is in town. Prices of homes remain somewhat reasonable on the outskirts but the vibe was not right for us. You have to be there to understand. We were really enthralled with Guanajuato but that's a walking city. Not meant for cars and the stairs and narrow by ways were not good for me since I had ankle surgery years back  One has to live on the periphery and you HAVE to speak Spanish but it is chock full of life and culture and is a university town and expats are hard to come by. If it were flat and driveable we may have ended up living there. The airport in leon was not far away. I hope I answered your question.

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As someone who is moving down in 6 weeks after having spent a year in intensive research (and yes, visiting), it feels good and bad to have others saying what I have been thinking.  We will land in Chapala, and then we will see. We can be comfortable in Chapala for several years, but then might be priced out.  But my husband really wants to get settled somewhere he can live long term (as in, the same house), and I don't want to buy there; it just ties up too much capital for me to be comfortable, and too hard to get it back out if things go wrong.  So my plan is to look around; Morelia, Queretaro, Tequisquiapan, and lately Xalapa have caught my attention.  However, it also jus tmight be over the hills to Ixtlahaucan.  Prices in Jocotepec are already starting to inflate in the last few months. 

Lakeside has some advantages that are still attractive: the proximity to the airport, big city culture in Guadalajara, and the plethora of activities Lakeside, several of which are really important to my husband.  The large number of English speakers has sparked development of English language services that will make aging easier - assistance with healthcare and bureaucracy, for example No place else has quite the same mix.  And yet - I look at development and think, environmental disaster not too far in the future; not to mention crowds and inflation.

I have often heard complaints about incivility on this board but I have to say I have not encountered it. I have asked some newbie questions, but not the most egregious ones I hope, and received some very thoughtful answers.  Occasionally people start their own little dialog but I can ignore that.  So I want to thank the many, many of you who have already helped us.   Anyway, compared to Facebook web boards are models of polite ,drama-free communication.

I look forward to meeting more of you in person next month, after the last month of my working life has driven me to the edge.  My husband retired last month; I agreed to stay on to manage an important event which now has me tearing my hair. So I will need a week to un-frazzle when I get there - but then, Mexico is good for that, if you have the right attitude.  regards to all, Elisabeth

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There is something for everyone everywhere. Be patient because you're probably not going to find what you're looking for on a short visit or even in the first year or more. Live, learn, explore and, above all, don't panic. Enjoy the journey.

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Good point OP.

We all have our reasons to be here or not.

Here goes my rant and scattered thoughts:

Ajijic is romanticized by reading webboards like this . Most people who come here now should thank the previous generation of ex-pats for developing an infrastructure for easy living in Mexico. There are lovely places around Mexico but you pretty well need to have some Spanish which 90 percent of newcomers do not have. Lakeside is popular because you can live here without learning a word of Spanish.

There are some issues in every place  and we have to pick our poisons.

---

Most people in the past moved here for weather and adventure and less for economic reasons. When we first arrived(1999-2000winter), it was a true paradise (minus the bashura which existed and bothered me even then). There were no developments. The Birds of Paradise condos were just finished and I thought in that time that it was in the "boonies". San Antonio was completely bypassed as it would not exist and Riberas was the place where people with big hair lived .....and look at it now. The weekend crowds from Guadalajara were miniscule. Interestingly, I remember that the Superlake already existed even then. In that time "El Parque" (one of the first developments) was a big campground....or more likely a place where you can park your RV.   Ajijic was a place for creative people where artist and writers enjoyed their place in the sun. We came to visit for 2 weeks as a side trip from Puerto Vallarta and I never wanted to leave. There was something magical in the air.

Then  came the 2004-2005 and within few years Ajijic population expanded dramatically. So did the real estate business and rapid development started .There were plenty of shady deals in those times. We were looking for a place to move full time as well . We came for winters and rented in many places as the area was starting to develop. However, we never bought a house and stopped looking around 2008. The make up and feel of the Lakeside started to change .  I do not say that it was for the worst or better... We just did not identify with this new economic refugee tsunami and a petty crime increase as a result.  I did not want to live behind high walls, barred windows and razor wires. (My apologies to owner of this site) 

 We still come for winters but would not want to live in the place full time now. Our stays are shorter and shorter now and often in combination of stays along the coast. As for OP question.....I am glad we did not buy a house because we would probably be among the selling crowd. What a hassle it would have  been. If you feel that its congested now , wait another few years. I have a feeling that next huge wave of gringo emigrants to the area just started . It could be good or very bad depends which side of the fence one stands.

I understand Michael's post as we live in similar conditions up north...high taxes...etc. But I agree with Rick as well. I would not change our Island lifestyle for any other. I definitely do not identify with scary pictures of "North" some people here describe.

The weather Lakeside is still great and to me the village of Ajijic is very charming . People that are leaving will be replaced with new and the life will go on.

As for reading this (or any) web board , we all know that : "the grass is always greener on the other side " so rent, do not burn all the bridges behind you right away. Coming for few weeks exploration will not reveal the whole picture.

All the best to all and thanks this site and its participants for paving the road for a future  generation, who ever they are. It is a great tool now as it was then.

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19 minutes ago, Islander said:

Good point OP.

We all have our reasons to be here or not.

Here goes my rant and scattered thoughts:

Ajijic is romanticized by reading webboards like this . Most people who come here now should thank the previous generation of ex-pats for developing an infrastructure for easy living in Mexico. There are lovely places around Mexico but you pretty well need to have some Spanish which 90 percent of newcomers do not have. Lakeside is popular because you can live here without learning a word of Spanish.

There are some issues in every place  and we have to pick our poisons.

---

Most people in the past moved here for weather and adventure and less for economic reasons. When we first arrived(1999-2000winter), it was a true paradise (minus the bashura which existed and bothered me even then). There were no developments. The Birds of Paradise condos were just finished and I thought in that time that it was in the "boonies". San Antonio was completely bypassed as it would not exist and Riberas was the place where people with big hair lived .....and look at it now. The weekend crowds from Guadalajara were miniscule. Interestingly, I remember that the Superlake already existed even then. In that time "El Parque" (one of the first developments) was a big campground....or more likely a place where you can park your RV.   Ajijic was a place for creative people where artist and writers enjoyed their place in the sun. We came to visit for 2 weeks as a side trip from Puerto Vallarta and I never wanted to leave. There was something magical in the air.

Then  came the 2004-2005 and within few years Ajijic population expanded dramatically. So did the real estate business and rapid development started .There were plenty of shady deals in those times. We were looking for a place to move full time as well . We came for winters and rented in many places as the area was starting to develop. However, we never bought a house and stopped looking around 2008. The make up and feel of the Lakeside started to change .  I do not say that it was for the worst or better... We just did not identify with this new economic refugee tsunami and a petty crime increase as a result.  I did not want to live behind high walls, barred windows and razor wires. (My apologies to owner of this site) 

 We still come for winters but would not want to live in the place full time now. Our stays are shorter and shorter now and often in combination of stays along the coast. As for OP question.....I am glad we did not buy a house because we would probably be among the selling crowd. What a hassle it would have  been. If you feel that its congested now , wait another few years. I have a feeling that next huge wave of gringo emigrants to the area just started . It could be good or very bad depends which side of the fence one stands.

I understand Michael's post as we live in similar conditions up north...high taxes...etc. But I agree with Rick as well. I would not change our Island lifestyle for any other. I definitely do not identify with scary pictures of "North" some people here describe.

The weather Lakeside is still great and to me the village of Ajijic is very charming . People that are leaving will be replaced with new and the life will go on.

As for reading this (or any) web board , we all know that : "the grass is always greener on the other side " so rent, do not burn all the bridges behind you right away. Coming for few weeks exploration will not reveal the whole picture.

All the best to all and thanks this site and its participants for paving the road for a future  generation, who ever they are. It is a great tool now as it was then.

La plus ça change, la plus c'est la même chose  ... whatever ..... it will be what it is for whoever comes or goes ......

 

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At Open Circle 2 or 3 months ago, the gentleman who does demographic studies of Lakeside said that the Anglo population here is now 75% baby boomers (many of the older ones have died off) and that as the boomers keep coming, the infrastructure will be stressed to the point that those who can afford to leave, will.  He cited internet issues as being one of the main problems that will cause frustrated people to leave. Of course, there are also the issues of traffic (with no good solutions to remedy the congestion), electricity, sewage, water...

I, too, applaud Michael2595's post.  Good job!  I, like others, am here for the long haul.  You can't beat the climate and other plusses for the price!

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Maybe the increased number of residents will mean more folks need my pet-sitting services. I live in Nayarit, north of Pv, and have been here 20 years. I have animal emergency training, was on the board of Pug Rescue 20 years in Houston, and never met a dog I didn't love. Sorry, got cat allergies. I prefer out of centro, have a reliable Honda, and I don't charge to take care of your best friend(s). Let me know if I can help you.

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For those who want to compare to the US then I agree we have it very good.

For me arriving 15 years ago paradise is rapidly disappearing.

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Can not agree more with Floradude. 12 years since my first winter visit and now a permanent resident am looking to move elsewhere in Mexico. I can speak Spanish which will obviously  help when determining where I can move to.

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Seren: " Ajijic is romanticized by reading webboards like this . "

HUH?  Most of the posts are those complaining about it;  more dissing than compliments.

I'm here for the long haul and have no rose colored glasses about anything I've found in Mexico.  If it's "paradise" you're seeking, it's best if you're a believer in an Afterlife. You won't find it anywhere on Planet Earth.

One person mentioned the obvious:  the population explosion happened and the results were inevitable.  One other poster was referring to the good old days before the "economic refugees" started arriving and ruining paradise. Reality check:  an ongoing economic disaster has befallen most people from NOB reaching retirement age.  It's a combination of inflation overcoming earnings, lack of reliable company pensions, sometimes their own lack of good judgment  in allowing themselves to live beyond their means due to easy mortgages and credit availability. We must also take into account the deluge of advertising which permeates the culture and led people astray.  So let's be a bit more generous-spirited towards those baby boomers arriving with less than buckets full of money.  Previous generations didn't have the same circumstances.  People had to pay cash for cars.  They had to put 20% down on a home.  The wife's earnings weren't counted when applying for credit (as in home mortgages).  The consumer culture wasn't as firmly ingrained.

So, many of our newbies were huckstered.  That doesn't make them unworthy people.  There are just TOO MANY PEOPLE looking for a place to survive on what they have.  Period.

 

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If all the homes and apartments are taken and all the hotels are full, isn't that the limiting factor for residing here?

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Its funny in the 1990's many people left Mexico because they could not get used to seeing the crushing poverty every day. And then the troubles started in Chiapas, and many feared a mass rebellion. It will be interesting to see what happens if a strong "leftie" gets voted in to be Presidente this July. My feeling is that many here are living on the smoke of artificially high U.S. dollar. American politics might also pull Mexico into a trade war.

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I also live in San Cristobal de las Casas where the traffic has gotten worst as well and where internet service is lousy and we do not have an influx of foreigners... so how do you explain that one?

One good thing is is that cabs are plentyful so I do not drive unless I leave town with heavy packages because there are also lots of public vans that can take you just about anywhere you wish to go unlike Lakeside where people have to drive everywhere because public transportation is not good by Mexican standards.

 

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1 hour ago, CHILLIN said:

Its funny in the 1990's many people left Mexico because they could not get used to seeing the crushing poverty every day. And then the troubles started in Chiapas, and many feared a mass rebellion. It will be interesting to see what happens if a strong "leftie" gets voted in to be Presidente this July. My feeling is that many here are living on the smoke of artificially high U.S. dollar. American politics might also pull Mexico into a trade war.

I'll bite:  how does this work, specifically?  You lost me.

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1 hour ago, bmh said:

I also live in San Cristobal de las Casas where the traffic has gotten worst as well and where internet service is lousy and we do not have an influx of foreigners... so how do you explain that one?

One good thing is is that cabs are plentyful so I do not drive unless I leave town with heavy packages because there are also lots of public vans that can take you just about anywhere you wish to go unlike Lakeside where people have to drive everywhere because public transportation is not good by Mexican standards.

 

How about "too many people" (homegrown); and "too many people now owning cars"?

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