Sid’s Story


Hello, my name is Sid Grosvenor. I live, work, and play in the beautiful Lake Chapala area of Mexico. My past lives include being a Dallas Police Dept. Commander, an Attorney, (Juris Doctor – Southern Methodist University with Advanced Studies in International Real Estate Law at the University of Exter, Exeter England), and a Real Estate Investor/Broker.

My late wife, Patricia, and I spent several years checking out possible retirement destinations. We checked into retirement possibilities in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and various locations in Mexico.

We decided on Lake Chapala, Mexico! All things considered, it was the best for us. It just might be best for you too! Before I lost my wonderful wife of 36 years to cancer, Patricia and I enjoyed living part of each year in East Texas and part of the year here in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico.

After her death and getting my grief under control, I decided to return to Mexico. I'm very glad I did, because I found the second love of my life here, Arcelia ( R – say LEE ah). After a lengthy courtship (almost 2 years) we married. We are very happy here and would like to invite you to visit our lovely area.

Check out the various sections of, read and comment on our posts and ask any questions you may have, subscribe to our free RSS, email notification service AND, you can even customize your portal's home page (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) to add to it and keep up with all the latest news about Lake Chapala Mexico, (you may even want to drop your current news feed from ABC, NBC or CBS as their news is usually not very positive and ours almost always is.)

What do I do to stay out of trouble here at Lake Chapala.

Well, I'm currently associated with Lake Chapala Real Estate as an Exclusive Buyer's Only Realtor. As a Realtor member in good standing in our local MLS group we call Chapala Association of Realtors I can help you with any home or lot offered by any of the area member real estate firms as well as independed real estate firms and even For SAle by Owner Properties.

It’s in your best interests to contact me to help you. Read on to see exactly why.

The main searchable Multiple Listing data base has hundreds of homes in all different price ranges offered from all over the Lake Chapala area.

The Lake Chapala Real Estate Market: The homes listed in pesos will likely be Mexican sellers. You can approximate the price given in pesos into dollars by dividing the stated price in pesos by the current exchange rate which is about 13 to one as this is written.

The result will be very close to the asking price in dollars. For example a home listed at 880,000 pesos would be listed at approx. $67,692.30 USD. Homes here may or may not be less expensive than where you live now (but almost always are), since so much depends on just where you live and market conditions there. Homes here are built stronger and of more durable materials than are used North of the Border and they are built using a lot more hand labor.

A typical home here takes from 8 months to 12 months to build as a result. Land is valued higher here than in some parts of the USA. In our area except for very large tracts, land is sold by the square meter. A square meter is approx. 10.76 sq. ft. I tell you all of this as a reality check for you since many people think that land and homes here are very inexpensive.

That depends on your frame of reference of course. If you are coming from an inflated market then the homes seem very inexpensive. But, if for example, you are coming from the Southern USA then the homes here may not seem so inexpensive. But, even if homes here are at or even above the cost of comparable sized homes where you live, there's a lot to offset the cost of buying a home here… and you should consider all your expenses here compared to all your expenses where you live now to see just how much better off you would be financially living here compared to where you live now.

Real Estate Taxes at Lake Chapala and Ajijic: Your property taxes will be almost nothing here. For example, I value my home at $$165,000, but my property taxes are under $80 USD per year. My utilities are a lot less too than they would be in the States. And, almost every other expense I have would be well under the USA costs. Well, thanks again for reading this article. Ihope you join Chapala Club. Membership has its privileges, as you will soon discover. I truly look forward to being of service anyway I can.

"My promise to you is to treat you as I would want to be treated if our roles were reversed. In short, I know you have a choice in just who you put your trust in to help you discover the Lake Chapala area."

I strive every day to be a better husband, father, grandfather, person, friend, and Realtor. I have many, many delighted clients/friends. (Personal references upon request). One more very important thing I want you to carefully consider before going to the data base link I’m about to provide to you. I act in the capacity of an "Excusive Buyer's Only Realtort".

Now you could just go to the listing seller's agent on any home you find in the data base without my help. But consider this:

Who does the listing agent represent and just who is he or she looking out for? The listing or seller's agent represents the seller's best interest, not yours. This is as it should be. But you should have someone representing your best interest too!

So, I strongly advise you to use me or some other buyer's agent to represent your best interest. A buyer's agent can usually find out things from the listing agent and other means available that you could not find out on your own. OK, here's the database link

Siempre tu amigo (Always your friend)




  • Steve Iman

    Dear Sid:

    Sometimes stuff just feels right. Sometimes sharing the feeling can make a whale of a difference years later. In about 1972 I landed in California and thought about buying a house. I found a real estate gal who I liked and stuck with her as the only person to go to for quite a long search. She knew what I wanted. We couldn’t find it — so I rented at the beach and also has an old house which was a tear-down but right on the campus where I was teaching.

    It was over a year later that Elaine called and said “Steve — I found your house!”. She was absoutely right, and I was thrilled to live on Butte street for years. It was a little single story charmer with a pool in the back yard. I took the lumber from a very old gas station that was being torn down and converted the entire huge back area to redwood decking. For then, the pool was fantastic as a way of living, though for the maintenance, it’s the last full pool that I’d want to own;-)

    I was looking at Craig’s list the other day – dreaming as usual when I ran across a FSBO that I’d love to be able to think about more seriously. I don’t know if it’s overpriced or not, but it’s charming, the right size, great location within a block of la Bodega on Privada – a block from the lake.

    This little place has possibilities for us. Love the large room upstairs for work, the great kitchen and high ceilings. Love the brick work on ceiling in dining area. It’d be nice to have a bit more yard – not a lot — but some space for gardening and maybe some hydroponic greenhouse. It’s a bit hard to see what the outside of this thing looks like, but love the upper patios, and wonder about yard security for parking the van, and keeping bad guys out of the bedrooms upstairs;-)

    The house is owned by the publisher of the subscription-site, MexicoConnect, with it’s great long standing forums on Mexico. I’m an organizational psychologist as you may remember, and so was this guy in a previous Canadian packaging. I can’t think of his last name at the moment, though there’s a chap by his same name who does software and lives down there who did Judy King’s site. Small darned world.

    Care and appreciation…

    Steve Iman & Kenny Gardner

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Steve, Thanks for your comments. I always enjoy hearing from you via e mail and now via the comments section here.

    I know your a smart careful guy, but for the benefit of others who may be reading our comments I feel obligated to mention to potential home buyers here at Lake Chapala Ajijic the following:

    If you decide to buy a home from a FSBO, remember to have a recommended Notario to check all the paper work.

    But, also remember that the Notario doesn’t act as an escrow agent holding the money and performing other related services not associated with the deed itself.

    The GIL (Groupo Inmobilario del Lago) Realtors which are members of the MLS with the website routinely act as escrow agents for the purpose of holding initial payments (Escrow deposit) in their USA Bank Escrow accounts with wire services, being sure that the utilities are pro-rated and changed to the new owners name, and many more details associated with a sale that Notario’s typically have no part in.

    I’m not saying never buy a home from a FSBO. What I am saying is to be very careful. Best to contact a GIL member firm to assist with the closing such as “Lake Chapala Real Estate” ( 766 – 4530 and ask for Marvin or Barbara. This is the best way to insure that the closing goes smoothly.

    Thanks again for your comments. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Steve, Thanks as always for your comments. You have a nice writing style.

    Yes, I know just what you mean about sometimes a place just seems right.

    My advice would be to just be very careful when dealing with for sale by owner properties. I’ve bought them myself in the USA, but as a lawyer there I drafted my own sales contract and had been a broker so I knew the ropes.

    Mexico is different. Different laws, Different traditions. Different Business practices etc.

    I hope our readers do not interpret these words in a negative way as my intent here is not to attack Mexico or it’s laws or traditions in any way, but only to advise those not familiar with them to be sure and get a clear understanding of everything involved BEFORE you commit to buy any property.

    This is one of the major functions of the Realtor members of the GIL and the MLS associated with GIL (Groupo Inmobilario del Lago).

    For Sale by Owner properties are not inherently bad, but you must be your own advocate is my point. As an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent Realtor and member of GIL my highest priority is to protect my clients best interests.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and dreams with us.

    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Frank

    I am looking to rent 2 bedroom house or condo close to amenities for June or July 2009, before I make any decisions about buying there. Please send me any available information.

    Thank you


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Frank, I hope you’ve received my e mail directly to you. It was a bit long to add to the comments section here.

    If other Club Members have rental questions please send me an e mail directly to and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

    All for now, Siemre tu amigo, Sid

  • Randy Kemp

    It’s nice to read your story and have you join my Linkedin group. Perhaps I might retire down there – very nice website.

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Randy, Thanks for taking the time to check us out here at Yes, Lake Chapala is the perfect place to practice the writers life. We even have a writers club here. The writers club members are at all levels (from accomplished published poets and novelists to beginners) but none are copy writers.

    The arts of all kinds are alive and well here. Thanks again Randy. Sid

  • http://none Nancy King

    Hi Sid : totally enjoy the website and appreciate your Chapala videos. Very informative. Never been to Chapala but plan to come down sometime between April – June 2010 to check it out as my possible retirement home. Anybody there from the Sacramento Calif. area? Is there a knitting/crocheting club there? Gracias!

  • Sid

    Hi Nancy, Yes, there must be a few. I’ve sold homes to several folks from California and of course they lov eit here.

    Please let me know when you’re ready to come for a visit, because I want to be sure and schedule some time to show you around the area and answer all your questions.

    The time of year you’re planning to visit is a great time to come… but then there’s never really a bad time weather wise at least to visit here.

    All for now. Thanks for your comments. Sid

  • HC Zwicky

    Dear Sid-

    Your newsletter web page is very interesting and well composed.
    I am considering looking for a residence in the Lake Chapala area, and BTW I am a Dallas resident.
    I’d like to know if you and your readers think the Focus on Mexico familiarization trip is worth the cost.
    (8 days-intensive tour and expat living information/seminar
    for prospective residents)
    My opinion is that if one is buying a home in a foreign country, a few thousand dollars research might be a valuable education if it is straight-forward stuff. I am also interested in your services, a Real Estate Buyers Agent is certainly a good idea, in any home purchase.

    Please let me know when you have a moment to reply.

    Best Regards,

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi HC,

    Thanks for the kind words, I sincerely appreciate them.

    The Focus program is very well orchestrated and you get lots of good information but I hear it is a bit on the pricey side.

    A number of my clients have attended and all said it was a good program.

    I definitely believe in doing your due diligence and checking various sources so we’re in total agreement and if necessary given the potential investment I also agree
    that it would be worth several thousand dollars to get solid, verifiable, and unbiased information if you could not get it for less. You don’t always get what you pay for unfortunately.

    Send me an e mail to or give me a call at 1 877 514 1396 (toll free) and I can expand on my comments.

    I hope someone reads your comments that has been through the Focus program and can add more to this thread.

    As far as I know currently the Focus folks are not making referrals to Exclusive Buyers’ Only Realtors like myself.

    Thanks again for the kind words. Tu amigo, Sid

  • juan p montano

    Is Ajijic limpio organization still running?, want to be part and keep some areas that border ajijic clean, at this time this area do not have garbage deposits.

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Juan, Yes, they are.

    Here’s quote from an article that gives their contact information.

    ” Please join Ajijic Limpio in any way you can to help clean up our world, village by village. We also want to remind everyone of the garden waste pickup program that is currently underway as part of the Ajijic Limpio compost project. Free curbside pickup service is now offered on North South streets as well as East West streets at Ajijic addresses located below the carretera. Make sure to put out your garden waste in baskets or bins (no garbage bags) on Thursday mornings after the municipal garbage truck passes by. We also provide special pickup service for a reasonable price when you have large loads of garden debris. For full details and scheduling call Víctor Martínez, Cel. (01) 33 13 82 12 51; evenings, Tel. 766 1722. For more information see or contact us at

    Hope this helps. Thanks for helping keep our area beautiful. Sid

  • http://donothave dan meyers

    hi sid,i never get tired of your information, iam surprized to find you all over the web. how do you do it all. i need a nap , again how do you do it. i am inveious. stay healthy. i will be there the week may9 , i would like to meet you if we can arrange it see you soon danny meyers

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Dan,
    Yes, I love what I do and like to spread the word.

    It’s a lot of what some people would call work, but honestly it’s hard for me to determine where having fun and working start and end.

    It’s very self fulfilling to be able to help so many people.

    Look forward to your visit and meeting you in person.

    Tu amigo, Sid

  • Lawrence

    this is Lawrence again….I touched something…as I was saying we were thinking of coning down a fews days earlier and possibly taking a bus from Cancun to Lake chapaka. Is this a good idea, are the buses reliable and what is the cost? thabks Sid,

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Lawrence,

    We’d love you to come visit us here at Lake Chapala, but the buses from most other parts of Mexico come here via Guadalajara.

    So I think your bus would go to the LArge New bus station just outside Guadalajara in Tonala. From there you would need to take a taxi ride to the old bus station in the Central area of Guadalajara.

    From there a bus to our bus station in downtown Chapala and from there a a taxi to your hotel or B and B.

    You can stay at a Hotel or B and B in Chapala, but most of the B and B’s are in Ajijic to the East of Chapala about 10 to 15 minutes by taxi.

    Local buses can take you from our bus station to a hotel or B and B at Chapala but not easy to carry suitcases on and off local buses.

    The same for taking a local bus to Ajijic. from opur local bus station. There’s a taxi stand in front of our local bus station.

    The fare from the Old Guadalajara Downtown Central bus station to our station here is 45 pesos per person ( a bargain given the distance) and it takes about an hour.

    Let me know by e mail to if you’re coming and we’ll try and help you once you arrive here.

    Tu amigo, Sid

  • Syd Sumnall

    I have an uncle (Stan Sumnall) lives in or around chapala.

    What worries me more than anything abour Mexico is all the drug problems and murders.
    Also, travelling down the mexican highways doesn’t sound too safe.
    Am I being paranoid. Please advise

  • Sid Grosvenor

    HI Syd, Thanks for your comments.

    Our area while not crime free has low overall crime, especially confrontational crime.

    The police did recently catch a small gang of guys who were into car theft and kidnapping at the far West end of the Lake. All of them are now in custody.

    We have excellent police response time on emergency calls (around 3 to 5 minutes).

    Our ladies here feel safe to walk alone at nigh unescorted in our towns and villages.

    I think you should come down and see for yourself, talk to people who live here, and decide for yourself.

    Many North Americans drive here from the Texas border and as far as I know none have experienced problems.

    I’ve driven back and forth many times over the last 16 years never with any problems other than once I blew an engine and spent over a week at a Mexican truck stop while the car was repaired.

    All for now, Tu amigo, Sid

  • http://yahoo kirk

    If you have had a house keeper for a number of years before you pass away, does your estate have to pay them a pension since mexico does not have social security? Thank you

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Kirk,

    As I understand Mexican law if the housekeeper was part time help no pension is due.

    The estate would owe the house keeper some some of money for terminating her services in a lump sum based on her years of service plus pay for any unused vacation time she had accrued.

    You can probably find the formula on line or ask a Mexican Attorney or Mexican Notario.

    The housekeeper must sign a release that she’s been paid to keep her claim from beinga cloud on the title. If the property is being sold the Notario who handles the closing should take care of the needed paper work.

    At Lake Chapala the listing real estate agent often helps the seller prepare this paperwork.

    This is the basic rules as I understand them for the State of Jalisco, but other States may vary. Best to check with a lawyer or Notario whee he property is located. Charges should be minimal or none at all just to tell you the rules

    Hope this helps, Tu amigo, Sid

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Kirk,

    As I understand Mexican law if the housekeeper was part time help no pension is due.

    The estate would owe the house keeper some sum of money for terminating her services payable in a lump sum based on her years of service plus pay for any unused vacation time she had accrued.

    You can probably find the formula on line or ask a Mexican Attorney or Mexican Notario.

    The housekeeper must sign a release that she’s been paid to keep her claim from being a cloud on the title. If the property is being sold the Notario who handles the closing should take care of the needed paper work.

    At Lake Chapala the listing real estate agent often helps the seller prepare this paperwork.

    This is the basic rules as I understand them for the State of Jalisco, but other States may vary. Best to check with a lawyer or Notario whee he property is located. Charges should be minimal or none at all just to tell you the rules

    Hope this helps, Tu amigo, Sid

  • irma saucedo

    Hola Sid, un gran saludo y afecto por ver tu pagina muy bonita y tu informacion sobre chapala muy interesante…… espero me leeas pronto y reciba respuesta de tu admiradora Irma Saucedo…
    Saludos… Te quiero¡

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hola Mija, Gracias por tu mesaje, Te quiero mucho. Saludos a Merifer y Oswan y toda la familia. Te estrano a todos. Tu admirador, Sid

  • nancy stone

    Hi Sid my friend told me to contact you about living in Mexico. My husband and I are retired in Michigan and we have 15 year old granddaughter we care for. We are very interested in the Lake Chapala area. We would like to rent and be by a good high school any comments?

  • John

    Hey Sid, I’d like to get in touch with you… how can I call you? I met you at Heather and Kerry’s chili party and I am interested in property. John Ward

Email for more information:

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