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When I moved here ten years ago, people were complaining that it wasn't like it was twenty years before. Now, with the gentrification of certain areas, it's not like it was ten years ago. The people this is hard on are the renters.  If you are able and willing to buy, you can enjoy the place in the present and not be overly concerned about increase or decrease in value in the future.

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Gringal is spot on! Buying beats renting anytime... Downside it ties up a lot of cash that could be making interest... Having both made and lost money on houses over the past 50 years, I have to say that owning still is the way to go...

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I agree with both Gringal and rvanparys. One thing I've often wondered when people want to sell and are not happy with their "profit". If you add in all the rent that you DIDN'T pay during your years of owning, does your bottom line look any better?

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On the other hand...

We've had debates on here about renting vs. owning, with points being made about how expensive it can be to re -locate if you're an owner unhappy with your location vs. the ease of moving elsewhere if you're a renter; about the costs of maintaining a home (especially an oldie) and what it gets down to is that there are "nesters" who want to own because they like the sense of security and want to make their house "their way" beyond what a landlord will allow.  I'm one of the "nesters" and have made some radical changes in this old house.

On the money front, interest rates on reasonably secure investments have been so low in recent years that the return on capital is pretty pitiful, so you might as well sink it into a house, where you might do better.

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Another approach that won't put a roof over your head immediately but which should guarantee the ability to build to your own preferences at any time, or not (and factoring in any intervening personal or neighborhood enhancements or catastrophes, should they occur) is to purchase an easily buildable lot.  If you don't overpay, you are 'vested' in local RE values and taxes are next to nil; imho, such maximum optionality is a kind of luxury in itself. 

After systematic research online, a couple of years ago for the price of a good used car I bought a tiny lot at the top of the hill west of the Raquet Club in a non-frac subdivision with underground utilities that is developing at a surprising rate, with mainly middle-class Mexican ownership.  The hill is so steep that a splendid view of the lake should never be occluded (a key consideration, having grown up in the Berkeley hills - is it widely recognized that the profile of Mt. Garcia is indistinguishable from that of Mt. Tam?) , and I will defer any final commitment to build until serious internet services are stable.  I have been stocking up on pesos when the exchange rate is favorable, so am earning twice the US savings rate and waiting to see how the neighborhood evolves, the house having been paid for already, so to speak.  

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Just one more comment: Animals!!  Because rentals are in such demand, many owners will not allow even one pet. In many fracs , you cannot not have more than one or two.

This does present a problem if you have pets.

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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 

IME (In my Experiences), if you build in Mx (and many other places outside of U.S./Canada, figure twice the time quoted/promised and twice the anticipated cost.

When I had to do some re-work on my home in Vista del Lago, I found all sorts of trash, including plastic bottles, used for fill. And forget about electric/plumbing plans when/if you need them in the future.

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On 9/15/2018 at 9:24 AM, gringal said:

On the other hand...

We've had debates on here about renting vs. owning, with points being made about how expensive it can be to re -locate if you're an owner unhappy with your location vs. the ease of moving elsewhere if you're a renter; about the costs of maintaining a home (especially an oldie) and what it gets down to is that there are "nesters" who want to own because they like the sense of security and want to make their house "their way" beyond what a landlord will allow.  I'm one of the "nesters" and have made some radical changes in this old house.

On the money front, interest rates on reasonably secure investments have been so low in recent years that the return on capital is pretty pitiful, so you might as well sink it into a house, where you might do better.

Remember,when you rent, to some degree you are putting down (shallow) roots. If the landlord ups the price or doesn't keep the place up when needed, you could be up the creek. Also, moving is expensive and frustrating.

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6 minutes ago, Eric Blair said:

IME (In my Experiences), if you build in Mx (and many other places outside of U.S./Canada, figure twice the time quoted/promised and twice the anticipated cost.

When I had to do some re-work on my home in Vista del Lago, I found all sorts of trash, including plastic bottles, used for fill. And forget about electric/plumbing plans when/if you need them in the future.

Everybody has a story. We didn't build here but we did build on the coast in San Pancho. Excellent experience and it was built on time and on budget. We were also on site a minimum of two times a day. YMMV.

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11 hours ago, Ferret said:

Everybody has a story. We didn't build here but we did build on the coast in San Pancho. Excellent experience and it was built on time and on budget. We were also on site a minimum of two times a day. YMMV.

That last sentence says it all.  You need to be there...a lot.  Our massive remodel/repair needed very frequent owner input.  We had an inspection before buying, but the person doing it can't tear up the walls and there were LOTS of surprises. (Groan)

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It is suggested the three most traumatic events in life are death, divorce and moving.  Thus far we've avoided the first two and we avoid the third by owning.  We probably could have made a better choice and spent less but having watch a number of people we know who rent long term have to move up to 3 times in 11 years we are grateful we haven't had to move since arrival and hopefully never again.  If you are a renter and have managed to find a suitable, stable and affordable long term rental you are the lucky one.

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"When I had to do some re-work on my home in Vista del Lago, I found all sorts of trash, including plastic bottles, used for fill. And forget about electric/plumbing plans when/if you need them in the future."

When we built our home in Ajijic in 2003 the only "plans" were in the Maestro's head based on what we told him we wanted.  He did several show and tells for the workers but it only involved sketches in the dirt.  All turned out well but as ferret said, we were there a minimum of twice a day and had to make many "adjustments and/or corrections" on the fly but that's where I learned to speak Spanish as they did not know any English. A very sturdy 2-story with an outdoor shower and an aljibe that holds 60,000 liters of water.  Promised in 4 months and delivered in 4 1/2 and we paid by the week.  After the fact some plans had to be submitted and IMMS paid to get a clear deed.  Those days seem to be over.

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The fact of the matter, when it comes to "value," is that there are many kinds of value: Replacement, appraised, "market," etc.

IMO, the real value of anything is what a willing buyer pays a willing seller, in an open and competitive marketplace.

This is especially true in the R.E. market since there are so many variables. Location, condition, etc. and how much does the seller want to sell? And how anxious is the buyer to buy.

When I bought a house in Chapala Haciendas several years ago, I already had a house, but this was an emergency sale. I saw the value and jumped in. The Fates were with me then.

Takeaway: No hard-and-fast rule on values.

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