You need help from an advocate who has your best interest as the top priority, not the interest of the seller, the listing agent, or his/her brother-in-law. We will hold your hand throughout the entire process, from the search for your home to the day the keys are in your hand
The best deals are not on the Web. They are advertised locally and by word-of-mouth. I have an extensive network of contacts throughout Mexico and will personally go find your property for you. Dealing with a real estate agent long-distance whom you have never met is not a good idea.
I’ll hammer out the best deal for you. You are my client – and the seller is not. As prices soften in the U.S., the same will follow in Mexico in the areas of most interest. I negotiated multi-million dollar commercial real estate contracts in California for years before switching careers. I know how to do this.
Conducting a proper Title Search and utilizing a competent, experienced Mexican real estate attorneys (Notarios Publicos) are essential. We employ the right people for the job. I take a professional responsibility in guarding your money and interest — and I take this responsibility very seriously.
In many cases it is best to rent in the town where you think you will want to settle before making the commitment to buy. Within six months you should know whether you have found your place. I will help you find a rental if you aren’t quite ready to buy. Again, the best deals are found locally, and I have the connections to find the “deals.” You will need to understand your lease agreement, which will likely be in Spanish. Above all, live there through the summer. I personally love the rainy-season summer, but many people head back to the States during those months.
I have been to every state in Mexico – and I’ve been to most of them numerous times. The person considering moving to Mexico needs to learn about the various climates, town characteristics, and amenities available. I will share everything I know with you – knowledge I have gained through living and traveling in Mexico for over 35 years. The country has every climate from searing dry deserts to lush rain forest to 19,000-foot mountain peaks. Mexico has the largest city on earth and rural villages where centuries-old native dialects are still spoken. You need to decide what is best for you – where you will find the most comfort.
There are three options for the type of Visa you should have. They are the
It is important for you to know the distinctions and advantages of each. After five years of residency you will be eligible for permanent residency as an Immigrado. The process for obtaining any of these types of visa is uncomplicated, but doing it correctly is essential.
Health care is much better in most of Mexico than many people realize, especially in the expat communities. Many doctors are U.S. trained and speak fluent English – and they have excellent facilities. U.S. Medicare services are not available in Mexico. However, there are several options available to ensure that you have excellent care should you need it. Most expats living in Mexico are very satisfied with their health care.
You have three choices with regard to your personal transportation.
I find that having my own wheels enhances my time spent in Mexico, especially in exploring all of the fascinating, less-traveled areas.
Moving to Mexico, or anywhere abroad, is certainly not the best idea for everyone. All modesty aside, I can usually determine if someone has the right attitude to make this life change based on a short conversation. Feelings of racial and ethnic superiority are hard to hide. If your view of the Mexican people is totally framed by the guy who does your yard or the lady who cleans your house back home, you may be disillusioned once you are in their country. Mexico is a proud country with a long history and diverse culture. They do many things differently, and I would say better, than we do in the U.S. You need to learn these things and then decide if you can adjust to life as a foreigner – a humbling experience for many.
With a few exceptions, Mexico is as safe, or safer, than most cities in the U.S. In rural Mexico crime of any type is rare. The larger cities have some robberies and burglaries, as they do anywhere, but violent crime is nowhere near the level we see in major U.S. cities. I have been burglarized one time in 35 years, and that was the theft of camera during Spring Break in Baja in the 1970’s. I’m pretty sure that the culprit was a fellow gringo who was staying in the same campground. The bottom line is that you use common sense. Don’t flaunt your possessions and don’t give anyone a reason to want to harm you.
For many current or soon-to-be expats, a major reason for moving to Mexico is to enjoy a lifestyle that they can no longer afford in the U.S. The dream of a home by the sea in the U.S. has become a bad joke as real estate prices have spiraled exponentially and the pensions that were promised have been slashed or have disappeared altogether. Middle-class America has not fared well for the past thirty years and the golden years are turning into a cruel reality of diminished expectations for many. So how cheaply can you live in Mexico? Well, there is no standard answer, but it is considerably less than back home. I can give you some good estimates regarding various goods and housing costs. I know couples who live in small villages on the beach, near major towns, who go for morning swims every day and watch the sunset every night. They live well, with domestic help, for around $1,500 per month. Some people spend much more, and some much less.
You can own a business in Mexico, but there are limitations regarding what you can do to run your business or work for someone else. Generally, if a Mexican can do the job, you can’t do that work. But there are exceptions, and since the signing of NAFTA, U.S. corporations that have Mexico locations can procure work permits for U.S. employees. If you have an internet-based or an owner-operated business (writer, consultant, mail-order with U.S. fulfillment, etc.), you can work from anywhere, including Mexico. That said, I have met gringos working in Mexico under the radar. Eventually, they will get caught.
One of the most significant differences I have seen in the past thirty years is access to the internet almost everywhere in Mexico. Either from your home, or at the corner internet café, you can stay in touch with family and friends back home like never before. And cell phone coverage is vast throughout the country, particularly in the popular retirement communities.
The regional foods of Mexico provide an amazing array of dishes and flavors that the rest of the world has now discovered. Mexican food and recipes have become an international staple, far beyond the ubiquitous combination plate found at every family-run store in your neighborhood. There are some restaurants in every town that aren’t as careful with the purity of their food as others. The locals know the best places to eat – they don’t want to get sick either. I enjoy eating at the street stands, especially the ones with longest lines. But it isn’t for everyone. All in all, the food is safe in Mexico as long as you take proper care with your choices.
I don’t know everything about Mexico, and I know this is so because I learn new things all the time. So don’t hesitate to ask me whatever comes to mind. If I don’t know the answer, most likely someone I know will. And I have no problem using my vast network of contacts, associates, and friends I have made over a lifetime of Mexico travel. The key to every major decision in life is to be as fully informed as is possible. Paying for good advice is much cheaper than just one costly mistake.