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barkable


Jan 28, 2007, 1:43 PM

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# of Houses on the market

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Hi,

I am new to this forum and am planning my first trip to Ajijic to look at houses. I am astounded by the number of houses that are available in the area. Is there a lot of turnover here? Do the houses retain their value?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Rachael



Rolly


Jan 28, 2007, 2:02 PM

Post #2 of 27 (3114 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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Be careful not to confuse asking price, selling price and value. They are often miles apart

Rolly Pirate


bournemouth

Jan 28, 2007, 2:08 PM

Post #3 of 27 (3108 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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Are you referring to properties for sale in Ajijic, or all the properties shown on the MLS, which covers a large area.


Septiembre


Jan 28, 2007, 2:17 PM

Post #4 of 27 (3105 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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It's a lot bigger place than you think as you'll see when you get there. It is strung out for quite a number of miles along the north side of the lake and reaching pretty far back in some places.

And there's a lot of old folks which means a fair amount of turnover when they hit the point where some no longer feel comfortable living out of the home country. A lot of these houses are up on the hillside where a car is required to do most anything. Much fewer homes for sale in the really good village locations.

Also, this is the time of the year when the market really cranks up as the snow birds and lookers arrive. People who are leaving know to put their homes on the market in the winter.

Rolly is right, plus there's a big range in the quality of construction and people play games with pricing. Prime location and first-class construction are not cheap Lakeside, as we found out. IMHO, the "gringo" life lakeside isn't much cheaper than living stateside. Leaving winter behind forever comes with a price. :)


Bubba

Jan 28, 2007, 3:44 PM

Post #5 of 27 (3084 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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Barkable:

There seems to me to be glut of housing available all along Lake Chapala´s north shore from the Poncitlan municipal line on the east to about El Chante near Jocotepec on the west. This glut was fed by several factors:

*The recent recovery of the once seemingly doomed lake due to heavy rains a couple of years ago.
*A bullish real estate market in the United States inducing many people in hot real estate markets in that country to sell out and buy homes down here for cash which has fed unchecked development.
*An inelastic market in which sellers decline to respond to normal market forces as properties are normally owned free and clear, property taxes are miniscule and many homeowners are retired This combination of factors makes bargaining for a sale by homewowners less compelling.

This is just a guess but I predict that, over the next year or so home prices will soften because of the downturn in the U.S. housing market and, while many retired homeowners will just stay where they are, the developers will be forced to discount prices in order to move inventories. A lot is riding on what happens in the housing market in the states and most experts in the field are predicting a recovery there in the next two years. If housing turnover recovers in the U.S., demand in Mexico should be bullish.

In the long run, as baby boomers flood the retiree market, barring political unrest or economic dislocation, long term housing prices at Lake Chapala and many other areas in Mexico should trend significantly upward especially if obscene prices continue to prevail in such hot markets as California, the Northeast and such retirement havens as Arizona and Florida.

Don´t expect that much flexibilty in pricing here in the short run unless you buy in a development.


esperanza

Jan 28, 2007, 4:10 PM

Post #6 of 27 (3076 views)

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Re: [Bubba] # of Houses on the market

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For the last eight or nine years, there have typically been plus or minus 750 houses on the market at Lakeside at any given time. During the last two years, that number was somewhat reduced by the reflection here of the hot real estate market in the States. Houses at Lakeside were selling like pan caliente. The market has slowed a bit now, again reflecting the slowdown in the USA real estate market.

Until the two year mini-boom in real estate sales at the Lake, it was not unusual in the least for a house to be on the market for three to four (or more) years.

We'll see what the near and distant futures hold.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









arbon

Jan 28, 2007, 4:39 PM

Post #7 of 27 (3068 views)

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Re: [Rolly] # of Houses on the market

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Rolly
"Be careful not to confuse asking price, selling price and value. They are often miles apart"

How about building cost?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



barkable


Jan 28, 2007, 5:29 PM

Post #8 of 27 (3053 views)

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Re: [arbon] # of Houses on the market

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Thanks to all of you for your comments. I will be in Ajijic this Friday (02 Feb 07) through Monday to look at houses. It may me a month or three before I am ready to buy so it is nice to know that some of properties I look at may still be available.

The idea of living IN the village appeals to me but only if I could feel totaly safe in that environment. I will have a car so living higher up is an option.

Does anyone have an opinion of the areas of Chula Vista, Upper Chula Vista and Ranch Del Oro as compaired to in the village? These seem to be the areas that have the houses I find most attractive. I have dogs, so tolerant neighbors would be best.

Thanks again for your input.


(This post was edited by barkable on Jan 28, 2007, 8:34 PM)


Bubba

Jan 28, 2007, 6:55 PM

Post #9 of 27 (3026 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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I have dogs so tolerant neighbors would be best.

What do you mean by that barkable? Do you control your dogs or allow them to bark incessantly? If the latter, I say as an owner of five dogs, ranging from 12 to 150 pounds, stay out of my neighborhood. In fact stay out of the village altogether. Perhaps you didn´t mean that the way I read it in which case your dogs will be welcome anywhere.




barkable


Jan 28, 2007, 7:09 PM

Post #10 of 27 (3022 views)

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Re: [Bubba] # of Houses on the market

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No, they are not heavy barkers. I guess I am just use to living in close quarters with unfriendly neighbors. Sorry to have given that impression.


Bubba

Jan 28, 2007, 7:38 PM

Post #11 of 27 (3009 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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Sorry to have seemed to jump on you about it. Noisy dogs are a particular problem around here. Welcome.


Bloviator

Jan 29, 2007, 5:55 AM

Post #12 of 27 (2971 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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My sister and brother-in-law, who is an architect were here yesterday, so we went out looking at open houses. Also, I wanted to snoop the two houses next door to me that are for sale in Rancho del Oro.

We saw a beautifully built and very attractive house in Las Fuentes that was for sale for about $620K (5,000 sf) (all $ figures are US). My brother-in-law estimated that the house would go for at least $2M in Sacramento where he lives. We also looked at one for $1.2M just below the other (15,000 sf). It was huge, but not at all desirable. The owner told us he had over $300k in just the foundation alone - who cares as long as the house doesn't slide cown the mountain. Another in the same area (2,000 sf), nice small yard, limited views, small rooms, odd amenities - was $300K+ and probably overpriced. The problem with that area is that is is quite isolated from the amenities of Ajijic - only 10+ miles, but nighttime driving might be a problem for some. However, it is right next to Jocotepec.

In Rancho del Oro, we looked at three houses. One in a gated enclave that was quite nice, with a multitude of colored walls, a pool, a mirador with some view of the lake for $375?K (3,000 SF??) and the two next to my home. One was for sale for $525K (2,500 sf), beautiful peaceful grounds, nicely decorated, limited lake view and no northside lake view. The other $325 K (2,000 sf??), very limited lake view, no northside lake view, fairly nicely decorated, and limited grounds. Both had swimming pools. I think both are overpriced, but I hope I'm wrong as they are next door to my home and their sale price will effect the value of my home.

Oddly enough, both had very limited views and we have one of the best around. They were built low and far back on their properties with lots of trees in front.

All the houses were for sale furnished - most with all the furnishings in the house and one with most of the furnishings. That can be an important consideration. Furnishing we saw ranged in value from $10s of thousands in value to a few thousand.

The one next door to my home is typical of what happens here sometimes. A person comes, falls in love, and then realizes it was a horrible mistake. After only a month, the woman, who had told me how much she loved the house and living here, got homesick for family. They put the home on the market, packed their bags and went back to Florida.

There seems to be a constant turnover of ownership as people get sick, die, get bored, have financial changes in their lives, or just generally decide that Mexico is not for them. Of the houses we saw yesterday, one owner was going NoB for health reasons, one was quite ill, one moving to Costa Rica, one selling to take advantage of the market and find a new local home (I think), one going through a divorce, and one got homesick for the US.

We were showing family the homes and my wife is very snoopy, so got the lowdown on the owners while we looked at the houses.


esperanza

Jan 29, 2007, 6:47 AM

Post #13 of 27 (2958 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] # of Houses on the market

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We saw a beautifully built and very attractive house in Las Fuentes that was for sale for about $620K (5,000 sf) (all $ figures are US). My brother-in-law estimated that the house would go for at least $2M in Sacramento where he lives. We also looked at one for $1.2M just below the other (15,000 sf). It was huge, but not at all desirable.


My jaw dropped to the ground when I read this paragraph. $620,000 USD and $1.2 million USD--and in Las Fuentes! Las Fuentes is a pretty housing development, but wow...my oh my, prices have gone into the stratosphere at Lakeside.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









bournemouth

Jan 29, 2007, 7:11 AM

Post #14 of 27 (2949 views)

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Re: [esperanza] # of Houses on the market

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We'll know that prices are in the stratosphere if the Las Fuentes houses actually sell for anything like the asking prices.


esperanza

Jan 29, 2007, 7:17 AM

Post #15 of 27 (2946 views)

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Re: [Rolly] # of Houses on the market

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Be careful not to confuse asking price, selling price and value. They are often miles apart

Bumping this up--Rolly and bournemouth, you are so right.

But still...yikes.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Georgia


Jan 29, 2007, 7:48 AM

Post #16 of 27 (2935 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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Our house shopping in Mexico was illuminating .... and somewhat amusing. The house we ultimately purchased was one our real estate agent did not want to show us. First of all, I knew nothing about Ajijic, but lots about Mexico when we came here. So, the mention of Ajijic did not sway me one way or the other. As a "country mouse" it struck me as crowded. I needed more elbow room. But these were the objections our agent made against the house we purchased at the west end of the lake:
1. It very far out. (From what? We were from New York, and everything was very far out.)
2. It's in Mexican village. (Huh? We didn't expect an Italian or French village. This was Mexico.)
3. You'd have to speak Spanish. (As it turns out, we did. Not an issue.)

We love our home. It suits US. We have a casita we rent out, and one of the funniest questions we get is whether or not it is in a "quiet area." As far as I can tell, if you want "quiet" in Mexico you either need to be already dead or living in the northern desert between Matehuala and Saltillo. And I'm not so sure it's that quiet there either. Mexico is noisy.

The point is: you need to know what you need for your own personal comfort level: town or country, heavily gringo-populated community or not, a sense of space or a sense of being in the middle of things.


Bubba

Jan 29, 2007, 7:53 AM

Post #17 of 27 (2933 views)

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Re: [esperanza] # of Houses on the market

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Be careful not to confuse asking price, selling price and value. They are often miles apart



Bumping this up--Rolly and bournemouth, you are so right.

But still...yikes.


Be that as it may, these asking prices are irrational. There has to be some rational basis for negotiation. Where does one go from $1.2Million Dollars to arrive at a value for a residence in Las Fuentes that makes any sense at all. Listen potential buyers. Do you have any idea what a beautiful home in a matchless location you could buy in Mexico for even half that price? If you buy it you´ll never sell it so it will become your mausoleum.

Remember banker´s rule #1. Never buy a residential property that is an overimprovement for its neighborhood - and this property is way overpriced for that area. In fact, it is way overpriced for any place at lakeside.

And, Las Fuentes for God´s sake. If you want to move to a foreign country and totally isolate yourself from the local community above some rustic farm town with the amenities of the Nebraska outback, then this is your place.

Three months after moving there you´ll be mixing the martinis at 10:00AM.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jan 29, 2007, 7:55 AM)


esperanza

Jan 29, 2007, 7:55 AM

Post #18 of 27 (2929 views)

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Re: [Bubba] # of Houses on the market

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What he said.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Septiembre


Jan 29, 2007, 10:04 AM

Post #19 of 27 (2909 views)

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Re: [Bubba] # of Houses on the market

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You know, that's what we found to be so cool about this place. There are infinite variations on the theme. Bigger Mexican town life-Chapala. Mexican-NorteAmericano-Euopean blend--Ajijic village. More Mexican village than that--San Juan or Jocotopec. Splendid isolation and view--many of the hillside subdivisions. Big city life-Guadalajara.

Whatever you chose, it isn't better or worse than the others, just different.

As for the "living Mexican" business, some Mexicans come here and recreate their environment too. Take a trip to LA these days if you don't believe it. Freedom is all about being able to make these kinds of choices. Some really want to immerse, some want to enjoy a blended culture with most of the amenities they're used to.

I agree the RE prices are crazy. Any place in the path of the retiring baby boom/second home market is experiencing the same. Been to Puerto Penasco lately? Absolutely insane. We live in New Mexico and we've seen prices on our house jump 20 percent a year before finally leveling off (temporarily I believe) this year.

Add to this the fact that Mexico, despite the usual problemas is on the move. So it isn't going to get any cheaper lakeside but it is much more caveat emptor than many of us are used to. That's what makes this board so valuable, the ability t6 interact with the people who are actually living the dream.


(This post was edited by Septiembre on Jan 29, 2007, 10:05 AM)


tonyk

Jan 29, 2007, 10:24 AM

Post #20 of 27 (2900 views)

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Re: [barkable] # of Houses on the market

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Make sure that your real estate agent has properties lined up for you to see and also has the keys. Many offices are not open on the weekend, making it difficult - if not impossible - to get access to homes for sale. I had a bad experience a couple of months ago with that and had to come back several weeks later (and change realtors) to accomplish the task. I'm not saying it's impossible to do it on a weekend, just make sure everything is lined up and you know what you're going to see before you get there.

Tony


patricio_lintz


Jan 29, 2007, 4:15 PM

Post #21 of 27 (2858 views)

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Re: [Rolly] # of Houses on the market

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Also when a property is sold, the realty agency will publish an inflated selling price. When I paid $215,000 pesos for a lote, C-B reported $250,000 in their monthly sales brochure.


jaybear

Jan 29, 2007, 7:25 PM

Post #22 of 27 (2818 views)

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Re: [patricio_lintz] # of Houses on the market

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- I have wondered if one of the houses for sale in Las Fuentes is the one owned by the widow whose husband was murdered in a nearby field by mistake. I think of her often and hope she is recovering from the trauma. Seemed to be a water rights issue and the husband was standing in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Only case I have heard of here.

- Do line up real estate agents in advance. They don't like to work on the weekends any more than the rest of us. And despite the fact that it has been raining on and off for 2 weeks now and the housing market in the US is depressed, there seem to be a ton of tourists here looking at property. When we came to look 2 years ago, the first real estate agent stood us up and the second could only go out with us on one day. However, there are a number of open houses on the weekend, so if you are just looking, you'll be able to go to all of those.

- If you like quiet, Chula Vista is quiet, except for the occasional party with kareoke. Most of the residents are either very old gringos or Guad 2nd home owners who rarely visit. It is so quiet here the burglers have to tiptoe.
"Don't believe everything you think" - Maxine

JayBear



Bloviator

Jan 30, 2007, 5:48 AM

Post #23 of 27 (2783 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] # of Houses on the market

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I think both have been on the market for quite a while. Compared to other comparably prices houses we have seen in the area, the $623K one is priced appropriately - except for the location - and the other, who knows. I've been in only two other $1M+ houses (hacienda estates) and both were much better.

Neither house in Las Fuentes was that of the widow.

While I agree completely with the comment - a great one - that one must be either dead or way out in the desert if you want quiet in Mexico - there are degrees of noise. We used to live in Villa Nova. Among the nine or so dogs in the houses right next to us barking 24/7 and their owners who are evidently not on site or deaf, the comings and goings - and screaming - from the Betty Ford wannabe clinic, and the noise from the cohetes from the village bouncing off the mountains just behind us, it was very noisy. Though I mentioned this to a friend who lived nearby and she said she did not have any of those problems.

We now live about four blocks away in Rancho del Oro and it is much quieter.

I'm sure people who came here twenty years ago are really shaking their heads at the whole concept of a house valued at more than $500K US in Ajijic or elsewhere Lakeside.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Jan 30, 2007, 5:59 AM)


Los Gringos

Jan 30, 2007, 3:11 PM

Post #24 of 27 (2720 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] # of Houses on the market

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Barkable,

In response to your question "do the houses hold their value", we sold our place in Rancho del Oro last summer. Possibly an isolated incident but we made just over 50% on our investment in slightly over two years. The key is to buy right and keep the old adage "location, location, location" in mind.


Bubba

Jan 30, 2007, 6:10 PM

Post #25 of 27 (2694 views)

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Re: [Los Gringos] # of Houses on the market

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Houses were siting on the market for several years when we bought there. Do not think you were smart or knew anything, just lucky with the timing. Prices went up in the last 3 years. Prices here in San Cristobal have doubled in the last 3 years. Actually it is hard to find anything but things could go back as well and sit for a few years.
Brigitte
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