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We do have layers of physical security features here that we probably didn't have in the U.S. or Canada, but one of the last places I lived in a "nice" area in CA made having a security company on call and setting the alarm whenever one left the house a necessity. 

Re snobbery and reverse snobbery:  IMO, they are both the products of personal insecurities making the owner of them feel a need to be "better than" on some perverse level than others.  That's just sad.

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5 minutes ago, gringal said:

We do have layers of physical security features here that we probably didn't have in the U.S. or Canada, but one of the last places I lived in a "nice" area in CA made having a security company on call and setting the alarm whenever one left the house a necessity. 

Re snobbery and reverse snobbery:  IMO, they are both the products of personal insecurities making the owner of them feel a need to be "better than" on some perverse level than others.  That's just sad.

Lets face it "we" are all "big"  fish in a small pond whereas NOB we would be minnows in the Great Lakes..How we handle this new lifestyle varies..I looked in the mirror this morning and  smiled, another day in Paradise 

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lakeside, I don't disagree w/you at all. I think we're all pretty much saying the same thing, but my point was simply not to target one area as "the" crime area. As you pointed out, many have been hit.

Yes, we do have a slightly larger area, hence the septic upgrade. The previous worked ok, but there was a big brouhaha about 5-8 years ago where the authorities were checking because many areas were using arroyos as their black water dump. We wanted to make sure that we weren't one of the perpetrators (we weren't). Since ours is an older home, it was as good a time as any to upgrade and we did. It's still nothing fancy, but it does its job. 

As for safety and crime, well, let's just say I'm not in any rush (never) to return to the home country. While we have a wall, we don't have it electrified, nor do we have iron bars. We do have other safety features and have never had a problem in 14 years (touch wood). We don't give out our security password to anyone, nor does anyone else have a key. We pretty much had the same setup in our last US home. It's not that there aren't honest people out there, just a lot of those who might have a cousin, who has a brother, whose best friend needs money and guess who's going out of town?

BTW, I LOVE your last sentence and fits exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it so much better...

"...absence of evidence is not evidence absence."

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On 9/2/2018 at 4:11 PM, rafterbr said:

I have followed house prices in Ajijic for the last 6 years and in the last 2 years they have gone up 25 to 50 %.  You use to be able to buy a nice 2 bedroom house for $150 to 200,000.  Now it will be over $200,000 and the inventory has been depleted .  I have looked at houses all the way from Roca Azul to Chapala.  At the moment the best buys are in Chapala Haciendas but I think they have a crime problem.  In my opinion the best buys now are in Riberas Del Pilar.  You are close to Chapala and Ajijic and the area is starting to boom.  There are several good restaurants and medical attention in the area.

No Chapala Haciendas does not have a crime problem any more than any other area lakeside.  Chapala Haciendas has a great security guard and neighborhood watch group.

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The housing market is based on supply and demand. Last year there was a big increase in demand and prices soared. Houses that had been on the market for a few years sold overnight and bidding wars became common. This last year in response there has been a lot of new building and I think a lot of people will be surprised when their houses will not sell for what they might have a year ago.

Like all real estate it is about location. In villages like Ajijic and San Juan Cosala there is not a huge number of houses in the village and you pay a premium for them because of that. The increased real estate market also has meant increased traffic and that has resulted in a shift of desirability away from the growing west end to Riberas and Chapala where you do not have to wait thru the bottleneck of traffic in Ajijic.

Gringa gals advice to rent is a good one because part of living lakeside is the discovery that what you think you want to own might shift as the daily reality of life here sinks in. The problem is now to find a rental. The rental market has shrunk as people have sold their rental properties because of the increased property value and a chance to make a good profit. Many homes were being offered for rent in the past just because that particular house had NOT sold. That has now changed.

A home is a very personal thing. Some people think they want to live in the village but the noise and inconvenience during fiestas can change that. Some people think they want a gated community but the reality of lack of privacy and being isolated from the Mexican experience might shift that too. Some people think they want a small house with no yard to maintain but discover that this is a community where almost everyone entertains and a large garden is a pleasant oasis that is much easier to maintain than it is up north because of inexpensive gardeners. Come and visit, rent, make friends and figure out over time what it is you really want to own. If you can not do that then buy something with an eye to rent-ability or resale. Mexico is not for everyone and if lakeside living is not what you thought it would be, you need to have an exit strategy.

The demographic is also changing lakeside. Tapitios (People from Guadalajara) have traditionally had second homes on the lake, the latest trend is to have their principle home here and more and more are wanting to escape the city and commute from the lake. That is driving up prices and desirability in Chapala and San Juan Cosala and Jocotopec (as they are easier to get into the city than Ajijic).

This last year after a decade of renting we decided it was smart to own and while we had very strong ideas about what we wanted, found that the boat had sailed for us in Ajijic and prices were inflated and not condusive to resale in the future. It was a similar situation in San Juan Cosala where prices are now almost as high as Ajijic. We eventually bought in Chapala but even with us living here and knowing the area it took us about 3 months of looking at a LOT of properties to find the one we love.

My advice is make a list of what you want in your house, prioritize that list. Get yourself a GOOD real estate agent who will understand what you are looking for. One who can take you around and show you neighborhoods. One who as they show you properties understands what you are looking for and can be your eyes and ears while you are up north. My personal recommendation is Michaela Sirbu of Lake Chapala Real Estate https://choosechapala.com/agent/michaela-sirbu/

Hope this has helped

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On 9/1/2018 at 11:41 AM, vista lake said:

In my opinion! The best for you is buy a land and build youre dream home! Thats what I do! You see the procees, materials, quality, and when you finish you will be so happy in youre new home! Grettis 

I agree.  Most of our friends are mexican friends born and raised here.  One is an expert construction man, can build a home from raw land, electricity, plumbing, everything and he always says, BUY land.... build your own house,,,much cheaper....and dont pay "gringo" prices for this land......their "mexican" priced land can be found, word of mouth.  Dont fall for this high priced land marketed to your 
white faces.....If everyone would do that the prices would fall significantly.....But i guess if you have millions to spend on a house, more power to you.

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16 minutes ago, sputnik said:

I agree.  Most of our friends are mexican friends born and raised here.  One is an expert construction man, can build a home from raw land, electricity, plumbing, everything and he always says, BUY land.... build your own house,,,much cheaper....and dont pay "gringo" prices for this land......their "mexican" priced land can be found, word of mouth.  Dont fall for this high priced land marketed to your 
white faces.....If everyone would do that the prices would fall significantly.....But i guess if you have millions to spend on a house, more power to you.

The problem is that these empty lots at Mexican prices almost certainly have serious location drawbacks and as someone mentioned, location is almost everything here. It only takes one bad neighbor or neighborhood to ruin your life. So finding a "nice" lot without major drawbacks at Mexican prices...well good luck with that.

Why a Mexican would sell a lot below market value except to a family member or good friend is hard to fathom. Maybe if the seller is a builder and will make his money that way..

 

 

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17 minutes ago, ea93105 said:

The problem is that these empty lots at Mexican prices almost certainly have serious location drawbacks and as someone mentioned, location is almost everything here. It only takes one bad neighbor or neighborhood to ruin your life. So finding a "nice" lot without major drawbacks at Mexican prices...well good luck with that.

Why a Mexican would sell a lot below market value except to a family member or good friend is hard to fathom. Maybe if the seller is a builder and will make his money that way..

 

 

We recently bought a lot from a Mexican owner for a fraction of what other lots were selling for. There is a convenience factor in dealing with a real estate agency but that comes with a cost since the owner wants to walk away with a certain amount of cash and now there is a commission to factor in. I understand a lot of sellers also do not necessarily want family members to know they have sold a property as well and prefer a private transaction. It does require having a good notario to make sure all papers are in order and to orchestrate a system of escrow and a level of Spanish, but for us it was well worth the extra work. Deals like that require asking neighbors and friends and almost always come about by word of mouth but we found ours just walking a neighborhood we liked. NOT recommended for newbies to the area. Real estate agents are necessary when you do not know the community.

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The sale of bare land ALWAYS incurs a "capital gains" cost to the seller and it doesn't matter if you're Mexican or a Foreigner. There is a sweet spot between making a profit and not giving most of your profit to the tax department. Do your math when selling any real estate.

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Is the residential sales market buzzing...lots of hovering activity over the listings in Lakeside?

What price range is most sales active?

Can one expect to buy a 2 bedroom 2 bath house in a nice neigborhood for less than $200,000 US?

Are there sought after areas outside of AJIJIC?

The real estate agents I know tell me it is the strongest market in over 12 years.

Anything decently located under 250K sells almost as soon as listed unless it is a wreck.  That price almost gone from Ajijic and adjacent, like La Floresta.

Not in and adjacent to Ajijic.  Riberas, yes but fewer all the time.

I believe the most sought after locations range from west Ajijic to Chapala.  A lot of new activity in Chapala Haciendas and  Las Brisas.

Problem with no sewers in Riberas is the lot size of most homes there is too small to support septic drain fields properly.  Basically anything that comes out of the septic tank itself is going straight into the groundwater.  That area badly needs to be sewered for obvious environmental reasons.

 

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My 2 cents, buy something already build. Having title to a lot can take months to years. Building a new house come many a headaches and delays. Having gone that route I know. Recently I bougth a house that I am remodling and that has its own set of problems. Been at it now nearly a year and expect to have live in ready  in other 3 to 6 months, that is if there is no other major problems. As a senior I dont have the time nor energy that it takes  to construct a whole new house. Remember this is Mexico and things are done on mexican time.

Better yet rent for a while. If you buy a lot you still will to need to rent, while  construction is going on.

 

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Hello,

We bought a new house in a gated community last year.

I did a decent amount of research on the area as well as on the demographics of baby boomers.

We paid in the mid twos for the property, it is 3 bedroom with 3 bathrooms. 2400sq ft.

there will be lots of people who will say that gated communities are not real Mexico and even more that say the price is much to high.

As someone in my late 50's all my life the baby boomers I have seen prices rise with the tide of boomers my whole life, for example when I was in my 20's a lake lot could be had for $25000 by the time I was in my mid 30,s it was $100000+. 

My point is that on average between Canada and the States alone aproximatly 11000 people per day are retiring and I feel that is going to put pressure on all Ajijic type markets, it is great to say that prices have always been lower and things can be hard to sell however that simply does not ring true in current times and the past is the past.

i was in Ajijic in July sitting beside a camera crew doing a program for BBC on retirement places, it is just a start, retirees are becoming very big business and I believe the prices will continue to rise, and by the way, much like Vancouver, Ajijic has very limited land and that also needs to be considered.

Did we pay to much? Is a gated community the wrong place to be? I do not know the answer to these questions and only time will tell. I do know however that I am very happy to be in the game. I will be renting the house out for a few years so the gated community will make that easier and the rent will offset some of the capital cost and in the end we have a place to go once our working lives are complete.

In closing, we bought where we liked it, Ajijic is very nice as is the whole lakeside and the people truely make the place special.

I wish you good fortune in your quest and my thoughts are don't wait to long or that place you can afford today might be out of reach soon.

 

 

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On the other hand....

Gumby is assuming that prices will continue to rise over the next years due to the influx of baby boomers retiring.  Fast backward to 2008 and the recession.  Prices fell; sometimes drastically. Financial gurus are predicting a whopping crash in the next year or so.  What then?  The baby boomers acquire the cash to buy homes here from selling their homes in the U.S., so the dominoes would fall and prices here would reflect that.  Naturally, I'm crossing my fingers and toes that this scenario doesn't happen, but you never know.🤔

 

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"What goes up, must come down". Real Estate is a wave but the end result is that it always goes up. My parent's bought their first house for 14,000 Canadian dollars in 1959. That same house now is worth over 500,000 dollars. But, trust me, when I want/need to sell, the market will be in a trough. Guaranteed.

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2 minutes ago, Ferret said:

"What goes up, must come down". Real Estate is a wave but the end result is that it always goes up. My parent's bought their first house for 14,000 Canadian dollars in 1959. That same house now is worth over 500,000 dollars. But, trust me, when I want/need to sell, the market will be in a trough. Guaranteed.

😄😂😪  Lady Luck is what it's all about sometimes.

The gated community was a basically good choice on Gumby's part, from an investment viewpoint. Whether prices rise or fall is in the hands of fate.

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20 hours ago, Ferret said:

The sale of bare land ALWAYS incurs a "capital gains" cost to the seller and it doesn't matter if you're Mexican or a Foreigner. There is a sweet spot between making a profit and not giving most of your profit to the tax department. Do your math when selling any real estate.

Interesting, didn't know this. So it s a good idea to build a shed or something to avoid it being raw land  ? Permit required or good idea ? CFE hookup ?

 

 

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My understanding is a shed is not sufficient. It requires at least a bathroom. It is a somewhat grey area of the law subject to interpretation. A notario can give you better information (since they are the ones who collect Capital gains for the Mex Government) than a lawyer can. I know from past experience that even with a lot you are allowed to use your cap gains exemption (which is once every 5 years) here in Mexico. You will need at least your temporal visa status for that exemption.

 

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5 minutes ago, Ferret said:

So, Hal, when did that law change?

No idea. I am not a lawyer, just sharing my recent experience when we sold a lot this year. We were prepared to pay Capital Gains and at the closing the Notario asked if we wanted to use our exemption. We did not but were offered that option. This was in coastal Mexico, but I would assume such a rule would extend to all of the country.

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LOL. That is not a guarantee for sure. Been there, done that. Best to check with a professional in the area that you are selling. And that could/should be a Notario as Hal said. But, like all important decisions in your life, a second or third opinion doesn't hurt either.

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I guess it is prudent to have a real estate investment as part of your balanced portfolio...The important point some of us have to remember ........ because of our age the oldies and goodies, we can not wait for "The Market" to recover

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I see lots of contributors want to base the prices on when they bought and that is fair, what will the market do? Anybody's guess.

I feel there is value in owning a home and being where I want to be, if I loose money in the end I have to look at what I gained in exchange and if that's a rich relaxed lifestyle with less stress and more sunshine, I would have to say I am willing to take that deal.

it seems that some of the people who have lived lakeside preferred it when there were less people but for me I have only seen it's it is today. It is still wonderful.

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