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Aug 1, 2014, 3:16 PM

Post #1 of 7 (21414 views)


Would appreciate info on living in San Miguel

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My wife and I have been living in Mexico for the past two and one half years. We currently live in an area with a very large expat population and really don't enjoy living here for many reasons. I will not name the place we currently live to avoid the usual comparisons so please don't go there.

We have visited San Miguel and really like the city and are considering moving there but we have a few questions we hope can be answered.

First, how large is the expat community and how active is it ?
Second, are there active clubs such as a bridge club ?
Third, How is the availability of shopping such as Costco, WalMart, Mega, Sears, etc. ?
Next, how is the real estate market. We plan to rent for the first year and then buy. Are properties selling or staying on the market for a lengthy period of time ? Is it a buyers market ?
Last, are there areas where you would recommend we look ? We would want a safe, clean and fairly well off area.

Any other thoughts you would have would be very much appreciated. Send us a PM if you wish or answer on this forum.



Aug 1, 2014, 8:52 PM

Post #2 of 7 (21380 views)


Re: [twelveoaks] Would appreciate info on living in San Miguel

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I'll fill you in until someone adds more definitive info....

Yes, there is a large expat community in San Miguel, probably on a par with Lakeside especially in the winter months. The expat community is very active in both gringo life as well as with the Nationals. I'm surprised that you did not see this on your visit there. There are also many 'clubs', including Bridge. Much great entertainment including opera, orchestras, International tours, etc. See the English language weekly newspaper online at:

Walmart in the form of Bodega Aurerra (smaller version); yes on Mega as well as Soriana. No Costco but one in both Ceyala and Queretaro neither which are not that far away and are easy to get to. Don't know about a Sears but yes on Liverpool, Office Depot etc.

Can't help you with real estate but you will find plenty to rent or buy at similar pricing to the overall Lakeside area. I'm sure if you are buying the agents will tell you that it is a 'buyer's market'. Similar tale if you are selling but it would then be a 'seller's market'! There are plenty of nice places/neighborhoods from which to choose. Safety is a subjective term in Mexico (or anywhere for that matter) but I would again put it on a par with Lakeside. I've never felt insecure in my months there, as I do not at Lakeside. You will easily find your 'fairly well off' areas and then some.

I would say that there is more 'nightlife' there than at Lakeside and it may be a bit more cosmopolitan. It will also be cooler in the winter there as the elevation is higher. People used to talk about excess pollution there but the last two winters I did not find that to be a problem for me. Some of the brick kilns have been shut down. Also there is talk of bad traffic (especially on the weekends with tourists) and narrow one-way streets but I didn't find that to be too objectionable. In fact, there is a 'code of driving' downtown where EVERYONE stops at intersections to let you in line etc. Even taxi drivers do it and I think it's great! A local told me "it is our culture.... we are not uncivilized".


Aug 4, 2014, 5:30 AM

Post #3 of 7 (21304 views)


Re: [twelveoaks] Would appreciate info on living in San Miguel

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Obviously one person's opinion: Santa Fake South.

As a followup to my above statement, an anecdotal instance just related to me this morning:
"Ran into a "normal" person in Traders Joes, she is packing up her gallery and returning to San M de A. House up for sale. so it goes....

her justification was residents of SMDA are afraid to go elsewhere in Mexico so they stay in SMA and shop?????? folks arent shopping here..."

Albuquerque, NM

(This post was edited by chinagringo on Aug 4, 2014, 7:25 AM)


Aug 9, 2014, 2:31 PM

Post #4 of 7 (21199 views)


Re: [twelveoaks] Would appreciate info on living in San Miguel

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I've been living in SMA since January of this year so I could offer a bit of insight on life here. The expat community is in the thousands and quite evident just about everywhere in town. During the winter there are even more. We don't "take over" as it were and Mexicans far outnumber us. This is Mexico. A girl from California told me yesterday that she had a difficult time at the local Banamex in the Jardin because none of the tellers speak English. This is Mexico. I must say that the way Mexicans and gringos get along here is respectful and fun! As Arnold Scwarzenegger would say, "no problemo". Loads of Canadians are around town, British, huge loads of Mexico City folk at the week ends and Americans from all over the States organizing all kinds of events and clubs. I enjoy Mexican food and whenever I'm in the mood for gringo food there are dozens of places that cater to us.
When I first came here after a stint in Mexico City I made a list of stuff I'd need to buy and only available in the States. I subsequently found everything except Glide dental floss.
Renting for a year is a very good idea. Just where you'd be happiest depends on your priorities and physical condition. I often walk through a colonia called Guadiana. Very central and quite nice. There the hills are not too steep compared to many upscale neighborhoods. You'd be within easy walking distance of the central district. If you move up into the hills the views are so charming but you'll want to have a car for most of your activities outside the home. I'm told by my buddy who has been here 18 years that we are still in a buyer's market.
Cheers y Buena suerte!

(This post was edited by geoffbob on Aug 9, 2014, 4:28 PM)

La Isla

Aug 9, 2014, 4:23 PM

Post #5 of 7 (21180 views)


Re: [geoffbob] Would appreciate info on living in San Miguel

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Glad to hear that things are working out so well for you in San Miguel. It was nice meeting you during your brief stint in Mexico City early this year.


Aug 9, 2014, 4:37 PM

Post #6 of 7 (21174 views)


Re: [La Isla] Would appreciate info on living in San Miguel

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Hola La Isla,
SMA is a very easy place to live especially if one can walk with an agile footing. Electricity for home use is subsidized by law in this town and my last bill covering a two month period was for less than U$D 7.00 per month. Oh happy day.

La Isla

Aug 9, 2014, 4:47 PM

Post #7 of 7 (21171 views)


Re: [geoffbob] Would appreciate info on living in San Miguel

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Hola geoffbob,

That's about what I pay for electricity per month too. I don't have hilly streets to navigate here, but I do have several flights of steps in my building that I climb down and up every day. Great for getting some built-into-my-daily-routine aerobic exercise!


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