A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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The real estate market in and around Ajijic is very active, with many real estate firms working in the Lake Chapala area. Many of the agents speak English, and a good number of them are from the US or Canada. You will see Caldwell Banker, Century 21, and other firms you recognize from home, along with plenty of local firms. Do be aware that real estate agents do not require licensing or much in the way of qualifications. There are many skilled agents in the area, so take the trouble to find someone you trust. Mexican real estate is handled differently than in the US or Canada, so you need to work with someone who knows the ropes and can explain them clearly to you.

While many showpiece homes are offered at $300,000 US and up and up and up, there is also a good selection of homes below that figure. Prices are usually quoted in US dollars. In the lower price ranges, there are condos, small houses, and a few fixer-uppers.

Gated communities are popular. Many of the homes in the area are owned by Mexican families from Guadalajara who come out some weekends and holidays. Construction is going on everywhere you look, and much that is for sale is either brand new or just a few years old.

It’s easy to find out about Ajijic homes or land for sale. Several of the realty firms have weekly open houses or other introductions. There are at least three free full-color monthly magazines that you will see around town. If you are looking from afar, just do an internet search on Ajijic real estate, and that will take you to the websites of many of the real estate firms. A search on Ajijic rentals will yield information too.

Ajijic rentals

It’s an interesting fact of Mexican real estate that in most parts of the country rental prices are lower in proportion to sales prices than is the case north of the border. So you can often get great deals on rentals.

This isĀ  less evident in Ajijic itself than in other lakeside communities, because Ajijic is so popular with foreigners. But still, you can rent very nice furnished houses for well under $1,000 a month, though you may also be expected to pay for the gardener, maid, and utilities. Availability of rentals varies with the seasons. Even though the weather is nice here year-round, many foreigners go back to the US or Canada for some months in the summer. It will be much harder to find good rentals for the winter months. One place to look for rentals is the Lake Chapala Society bulletin board.

Some interesting numbers

There’s an association that some of the real estate companies belong to in the Lake Chapala area and it produces various reports. These numbers seem to only include sales that went through these particular firms, so the totals would be incomplete and a bit skewed.

In 2002, 154 homes in the Lake Chapala area were sold for an average price of about $112,000 US. The next year, the number sold jumped to 232 and the average price went up to $143,000. In 2004, the total sold jumped to 394 homes and the average price went up a little, to $148,000. Then in 2005, data through November indicated 366 homes sold, with a huge price jump: average price was $205,000. Of course, it only takes the sale of a few palatial estates to skew figures upward.

The overall picture does resemble the activity in the US. There seems to be quite a lot of feeling in this area that even with US housing market slow, this one would continue to be a good long-term investment, becauseĀ  many people are discovering the joys of living in Mexico in general and the Lake Chapala region in particular. And there are all those baby boomers heading towards retirement! We’ll see. The market is slower now, certainly, than it was in the boom times a few years ago.

2 Responses to “Ajijic Real Estate”

  • Lake Chapala says:

    Almost all Ajijic is sold out, the area that is booming at this moment is Riberas del Pilar, it is on the middle of Ajijic and Chapala, it faces the lake and is the prefered area for americans and canadians, prices are still down and new construction is everywhere, see some of them here: http://www.lake-chapala.com/riberas-del-pilar

    Regards
    Omar Chavez

  • Rosana says:

    Omar, I can’t really agree that almost all of Ajijic is sold out considering how slow real estate is these days, but it’s probably true that there is less space to build in Ajijic than in Riberas. I know many people in Riberas and I am not sure how many of them consider it the preferred area.

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