Aug 30, 2010, 6:17 PM
Post #6 of 7
A house like mine here, which I consider basic/minimal for the average gringo retiree, in Hermosillo, rents for about $800 per month. It would be more in Kino or SC. A/C is going to run a minimum of $150-$200 a month, 7-8 months out of the year, and that is with the government subsidy most of that time. And that depends a lot on the age and condition of the a/c units. It could be worse. There is no good place to get good fresh fruit and vegetables, not in Hermosillo, certainly not in Kino. The best I can find is at the better supermarkets like Soriana Plus. There are no stores, other than a little mom & pop convenience stores in Kino. There may be. I am not an expert on Kino, but I know most of the expats over there are running to Hermosillo to Costco and WalMart all the time. San Carlos is near to Guaymas and there are more options there, but nothing like in central and southern Mexico, the tianguis and all the fresh vegetables and fruit. Not here. Some food is cheaper here, like beef and shrimp, but most of it, especially from Costco, is more than in the USA.
LP gas and water, about $75 per month, minimum. Mexican phone, Mexican cell phone, internet, US TV service, US phone service (Vonage), another $250+. Maintaining even minimal car insurance in the USA and in Mexico, another $50+ per month. I guess I spend upwards of $100 in gas a month for the running around I do. My registration in the USA another $200 per year. Everyone I know here maintains registration and insurance in the USA and insurance in Mexico. It cost me 1700 pesos to get a one year Mexican driver's license. Which I am not sure I really need.
I do all my own housework, my own yard work and pest control. But I can't assume everyone else would. Most of my neighbors, who are all Mexicans, have domesticas. And no idea how much that would cost. I let a guy mow my 10'x12' patch of grass one time and he charged me 50 pesos. I guess a real lawn, front and back, maybe 200 pesos. I have my own washer and dryer, and I have no idea what it would cost to take all my laundry out. I once had two rugs washed at a "laundromat" here, about 3'x5' each, 100 pesos. Wash only, not dried. They were nearly dry by the time I got them out the door and to the bed of my pickup. It was about 117'F that day. But 100 pesos seemed high to me. I guess you would have to plan on upwards of $200-$300 a month just for laundry and dry cleaning, yard work, pest control, and a part-time domestica.
The one and only landlady I had here would do nothing, zip, nada in the house, like fix the a/c or send a pest control guy around, nor maintain the yard. I had to do all that myself. Someone else's experience with landlords would probably be better. I paid a plumber 200 pesos once to come over and fix the toilet in the second bathroom, only to be told that it was plumbed directly to the hot water heater. Which is why the bathroom streamed up every time I flushed the toilet. I guess I was the first tennant to fire up the water heater. I know many Mexican people here do not have hot water heaters, or ones that work, or do not heat them. The water comes out of the ground warm enough for a shower, again 7-8 months a year, and the rest of the year, I guess they just tough it out. I keep my water heater on "Pilot" all year round. I will have to mix "cold" water in in order to shower. Otherwise it is too hot. I guess the water heaters accumulate heat and when it is 110'F-118'F every day, the water stays hot. The water gets "just right" long about January-February.
Another $250 per month for Medicare Part B and MediGap insurance. (I spend a good $400 a year on dentists here because I keep having to have some of the work redone, every year. I made the mistake of letting a dentist here "improve my smile" doing some work on my two front teeth and it chips off within six months. I am fast running out of dentists, as I only give each one two shots are getting it right.)
So how much is all of that? That does not include any insurance at all for the house. Nor trips back to the USA, which is part of the reason I live close to the border. A 55 minute flight to Phoenix and back from here is never less $500, and often more.
Good on ya for doing it all on $1200 in MC. I am sure you do a lot of your own work and you probably don't spend $1500 a year on a/c there in MC. $1200 a month can't be done here and most definitely cannot be done in Kino or SC without major lifestyle changes. Certainly not the way I live, which ain't fancy, nor the way any of the gringos live that I know in Kino, San Carlos, or here in Hermosillo. Most everyone I know is spending much more than I am.
I do believe there are places in Mexico where living on $1000-$1200 is possible and not too ugly at all, but Kino Bay and San Carlos are not among them.