Questions, You Have Questions!

September 10, 2011

1) Tell me about healthcare availability i.e. Doctors, clinics, hospital healthcare plan.
We have great local doctors and a couple of clinics. Mexican Social Security health care is under $300 per person a year and covers almost everything after a health exam.
(No prior existing conditions covered)  Hospitals are state of the art in nearby Guadalajara.
 
Local doctors charge from $7 to $35 per office visit depending upon the doctor, the specialty and what they do for you.
 
We also have a number of very good dentists here. You can get your teeth cleaned for about $25 USD.
 
Most prescription medications in the USA or Canada do not need a prescription here and most are far less expensive here.
 
2)  If visiting where would we fly into & then what is the recommended way to get to your area? What about safety?
 
You fly into Guadalajara International Symbol = GDL
 
Gateway cities include Dallas, Houston, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles
Taxi to our area from the airport is $35 USD or a private car and driver waiting for you with a smile and a sign runs $40 USD.
 
We live in a very safe area of Mexico. Most of us feel much safer here than we did in the USA or Canada. The ladies feel safe to walk alone unescorted in our towns and villages even after dark.
 
Homes here are built burglar resistant with steel doors and frames, dead bolt locks on all external doors etc. Some have security systems to feel even safer. I have a very elaborate security system on my home.
 
3) Obviously it is not practical to drive to Lake Chapala. What are the vehicle possibilities there? Or does it make sense to have vehicle shipped from US?
 
Many people drive here from the Texas Border. No reported incidents of trouble along the way to the best of my knowledge. Shipping vehicles here would be fairly expensive.
 
Mexican Plated Cars cost more than USA or Canadian plated cars. Most people just drive down their US or Canadian car.
 
4) Does it make sense to rent before buying? Furnished or unfurnished? Does it make sense to have furniture etc. shipped there & if so are you familiar with how this would be accomplished & is it expensive ?
 
Most people buy a new home and furnish it here. Shipping furniture is expensive, but we have two good local movers. I would estimate between $4000 and $8,000 depending upon how much you want to move and the packing required.
 
Sometimes the US furniture looks out of place in the Mexican style homes. There are furniture factories not far from Lake Chapala
.
Most homes are rented furnished. Most people rent long enough to be sure the area is for them, but others decide the area is for them right away. A very few decide for one reason or another not to stay.
 
5) What are the home financing options?
 
There is very little financing available. The rates are usually around 9% with 25% or so down with a high Fica credit score
.
They also require an owners title policy which adds another 2 to 3% on to the sales price of the house.
 
I’ve never closed a home here with financing on the house. Most people here do not get title insurance. The Notarios here check the title and have their reputation on the line and could lose their position if they miss something.
 
They are the only type of attorney that can legally transfer land in Mexico.
They’re appointed by the State Governor and must have been a regular attorney first and do an apprenticeship before becoming a Notario.
 
6) Banking, mail service, internet service, TV  Directv or Dish Network ?
 
We have the following area banks in our area. BanaMex Mexico, HSBC, Bancomer and Santander.
 
We have high speed internet service from Tel Mex via DSL fiber optic, from a local cable firm and a wireless firm. The cable firm and wireless do not supply all the areas but Tel Mex Telephone Company serves all areas.
 
They normally bundle phone services with internet services. Plans run from as low as 389 pesos per month to 999 pesos per month tax included. Just divide the pesos by the current exchange rate of pesos to dollars. As this is written, the exchange rate is about 12 pesos per dollar. So currently packages run from about $32 to $83 USD.
TV Service is by Cable, or Satellite. Best English language programming is by Shaw Direct TV. Again the packages vary greatly based on the programming package you choose. I pay around $50 USD per month using Sky and have 2 USA news stations and a number of movie channels which have movies in English and Spanish often with sub titles.

7) If I understand what I read food, taxes, gas, electricity etc. are inexpensive when compared to US.
Fresh Food is great and very reasonable. US brands must be imported and of course are higher than in the USA (but mostly available via a local specialty store).
Home taxes are very low. My home taxes are under $100 a year for an older, but nice 2,000 square feet, 3 bedroom, 3 bath home on a large fully landscaped lot with a lemon tree, an avocado tree, a mango tree and three banana trees, with a 2 car garage and a nice lake mountain view.
 
I use about $25 to $30 USD of propane gas a month to heat hot water and cook.
 
Bottled water is about $2.50 USD for 5 gallons.
 
Electricity (Hydro) is more expensive than the USA because they charge more per kilowatt the more you use. Some people spend $10 or $15 a month and some spend $80 USD or more a month so it pays to conserve.
 
Gasoline is currently about $3 USD per gallon for regular low lead. Premium a bit more.
 

7) If I understand what I read food, taxes, gas, electricity etc. are inexpensive when compared to US.

Fresh Food is great and very reasonable. US brands must be imported and of course are higher than in the USA (but mostly available via a local specialty store).

Home taxes are very low. My home taxes are under $100 a year for an older, but nice 2,000 square feet, 3 bedroom, 3 bath home on a large fully landscaped lot with a lemon tree, an avocado tree, a mango tree and three banana trees, with a 2 car garage and a nice lake mountain view.

I use about $25 to $30 USD of propane gas a month to heat hot water and cook.

Bottled water is about $2.50 USD for 5 gallons.

Electricity (Hydro) is more expensive than the USA because they charge more per kilowatt the more you use. Some people spend $10 or $15 a month and some spend $80 USD or more a month so it pays to conserve.

Gasoline is currently about $3 USD per gallon for regular low lead. Premium a bit more.

8)  Weather averages.

Our weather is year around spring time temperatures. The summer is our rainy season when it rains primarily at night. We get to wake up to a freshly washed morning.

Year round average temps run between 72 to 75 degrees F. Never freezes. Low humidity as we’re 5,000 ft. above sea level.

For 2011 the lowest temp we’ve had was 42.3 and the highest this year so far has been 92.3 F. Less rain this year so far than last year.

All for now. Siempre tu amigo,

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Email for more information:
Sid@ChapalaClub.com

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