Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Off The Beaten Path

Side view
If you're willing to live off the beaten path, you can find some really reasonable rentals.  I recommend renting a place for a year.  This gives you plenty of time to see if you really like the area.  If, you don't like it, you can move to another place.  During this year, you can look for better deals, renting or buying.  Everyone wants at least a 1 year lease,(except part-time rentals).  Go ahead and sign, because all the leases I have seen have a clause that states if you have to break the lease, you have to pay a one month penalty fee, which, I think is a pretty good deal.  So make sure you have that clause in your lease.  If you want to buy a home, keep in mind, the market here is very slow.  So, if you do need to sell, you may be sitting on it for a while.  Also, it is difficult finding financing.  I read an ad in a local magazine about real estate financing that was 50% down, and, a 5 year pay-off.  Doesn't sound like anything special to me.

Before we moved to Mexico, we spent two weeks in the Lakeside area looking for a house to rent and were lucky to find this place the day before we returned to the States.  We found it through a real estate agent in Ajijic.  She knew we both lived in the countryside in San Diego.  She wanted us to see this house in San Nicolas.  The house was almost too big for us, but we loved the area, so we said we would take it.  The house is 750 U. S. per month.  It is a four bedroom, three bath, two story home,  built in the last year.  We pay phone, internet, electricity, gas, and cable t.v.  These utilities cost us 150 U. S. per month.  Our lease is up in two months.  I re-negotiated the rent down to 450 U.S. per month.  I did sign a five year lease, but, keep in mind, if I have to terminate the lease, I only pay a $450 fee.  My landlord came down on the rent because she knew that it would be very difficult to find Gringos willing to live in the village.  Most want to live in the Ajijic area.  The Mexicans like Gringos as tenants because, they keep the houses nice.

Our house
Our landlord is Delia Ortega.  She was born and raised here.  The Ortega family is huge.  Lots of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, etc.  Seems like half the village are Ortegas.  Anyway, we got very lucky to have Delia as la duena.  I had heard all kinds of stories about how Mexicans expect you to pay for repairs, and, if they pay, they take forever to get things fixed.  Delia has been the opposite.  If something is wrong, she fixes the problem within a day or two.  Her husband died 5 years ago.  She has two daughters and a son.  The whole family are great people who have helped us acclimate to our new surroundings.  If you visit the Lakeside area, be sure to see San Nicolas.  It's a great place to live. 

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