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saavedra

May 10, 2003, 12:18 PM

Post #1 of 24 (6983 views)

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Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Hi, I'm brand new - a trial subscriber. I'd like to move from the U.S. by fall, trying maybe a few places before settling on one. I'm 60 years old (female), alone, and on a small income, so San Miguel may not be the right place for me, but I would like an artists' community. I am NOT a visual artist but am a writer.

As an expat I will be looking for a community of clearly non-rightwing people. If that puts San Miguel on the list, could someone please give me an idea of what kind of rent I would expect. I can live in a large studio or a one bedroom. Does not need to be fancy but must be clean and nice enough.

Any rough estimate would help me greatly. I've never seen San Miguel. Have been to Ajijic, for comparison's sake, but the arts emphasis in San Miguel appeals to me greatly, as long as there is a liberal/progressive community.

Thanks for any feedback -

Saavedra



Chumley

May 10, 2003, 12:58 PM

Post #2 of 24 (6961 views)

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Re: [saavedra] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Dear Saavedra: Glad I got to you before Jennifer Rose responded, especially considering your comment about non right wing community. Yes, we have a few of those here, but they mostly keep to themselves, playing golf or tennis, drinking their sunset cocktails and kvetching about life. For the most part, you will find like minded liberal thinkers among the rest of us, enjoying the artistic community and even if we aren't one, there is much to celebrate. I, too, have visited Ajijic, and that's about all I can say about it, it's a nice place to visit.

I really believe that you should come visit San Miguel to find out if it would suit your purposes. I speak from the perspective of someone your age, having begun coming here ten years ago on the possibility that it would be a wonderful place to live and work (I too am a writer) and along the way decided in favor of it, bought land, designed and built a house and now am a full time resident having left the madhouse called America behind.

Yes, San Miguel is trendy and can be expensive, and that is one of the interesting things about it, it's duality. A top ten place in the world to live, but also attracting hippies. It still has those pockets from the past that mean you can enjoy it and live the life you've wanted. There are apartments and rooms to rent that are well within your budget, I think, but the only way you will be sure is to come and visit yourself. I offer you my services, not only as moderator of this forum, but as someone who has found a wonderful place to live.

Don Agustin, moderator of the San Miguel Forum


gpk

May 10, 2003, 4:51 PM

Post #3 of 24 (6946 views)

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Re: [saavedra] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Yes, SMA has everything--but too much of some things! Visit Guanajuato also--quite a bit cheaper, and only about an hour from SMA. If you don't mind fairly cold winter weather, consider Patzcuaro in Michoacan. Quite a few artists/writers and MUCH cheaper. Friends had a pleasant, very rustico one bedroom casita just a block from one of the plazas for just US$150.00 per month.


saavedra

May 10, 2003, 4:59 PM

Post #4 of 24 (6941 views)

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Re: [gpk] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Thank you, GPK - When you say cold winters, how cold do you mean? Also, could you tell me the high temps (in Fahrenheit for this metric-challenged old lady) for summer. How large is Paz... don't have access for the spelling of the town. It sounds good, if it's large enough to have things going on. What about bus service between these towns? I'll try for photos through Google -

Thanks,

Saavedra


gpk

May 10, 2003, 5:08 PM

Post #5 of 24 (6940 views)

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Re: [saavedra] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Just search this site--Patzcuaro. It's also covered in the Michoacan forum--you'll get better answers there.
SMA has just gotten too expensive for me--and Patzcuaro is still relatively undiscovered. It's also only one hour from Morelia--one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico.


Carol Schmidt


May 11, 2003, 1:58 PM

Post #6 of 24 (6905 views)

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Re: [saavedra] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Guanajuato has only a few hundred gringos, I understand, and from your other posts you've mentioned you don't know Spanish yet. At least start with San Miguel until you feel comfortable with Mexico, with the comfort of a large artsy gringo community for support and lots of activities in English.

If you're very healthy and don't mind walking or taking the bus (30 cents) or taxis ($1.50 within the city limits) you can live a bit outside Centro for $150-$300 a month rent for pretty nice apartments. Driving a car to and fro within the city would be drag--parking is very hard, and there are no stop lights anywhere within the city limits because the city is a National Monument.

Within Centro or in the ritzier areas you could pay well over $1000 a month for the same kind of apartment, or you might luck out and find a nice place even in Centro for maybe $400-500. There are many houses for sale here which are half a million or several million dollars! Very rarely you might find a fixer upper outside Centro for maybe $60,000. Of course a Mexican house could be $20,000--smaller, not outfitted with the conveniences we expect. Rents are far cheaper than buying, which is overpriced today, IMO.

You could stay someplace cheap like the Hotel Sautto (around $30 a night) which is centro, and then walk around looking for what you like after you've gotten acclimated in a few days. Keeping your ears and eyes open is the best way to find cheap apartments. Atencion mainly has ads for the higher priced rentals and of course houses for sale. There are bulletin boards at some of the places frequented by gringos which list apts.

You do have to be able to prove something like $1000-1100 a month income to get an FM3. Check on getting it at the Mexican consulate nearest to you to see what the income requirements are there.

But really, you should come visit first before making such a big decision. You might find yourself so turned off by dog poop on the sidewalks and having to put toilet paper in a wastebasket rather than flushing it and dodging beggars all the time that you might not want to stay! Or, you could fall in love with the place in three days and decide to move ASAP as I did.

Carol Schmidt


raferguson


May 11, 2003, 4:02 PM

Post #7 of 24 (6899 views)

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Re: [saavedra] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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I belive that San Miguel is one of the most expensive places to live in Mexico.

For those planning to live in Mexico, perhaps the best source for
information, especially on the cost of living, is the AIM (Adventures in Mexico) newsletter. It has a practical focus, with each issue
covering a different town or area. $19 per year, Apartado Postal
31-70, Guadalajara, Jalisco, 45050, Mexico. (My 2002 renewal
included an envelope addressed to 1761 Hotel Circle S, Suite 100,
San Diego, CA, 92108, USA). Ask for the back issue list.


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Chumley

May 12, 2003, 5:36 AM

Post #8 of 24 (6882 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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While I have read a number of threads that complain of the expense of living in San Miguel, I hasten to point out the obvious fact that it is never the less far cheaper to live in San Miguel than anywhere in the United States, with the possible exception of rural Alabama.
Having built instead of bought, the money saved was used for "luxuries" like pressurized and purified water system, a grounded electrical system with circuit breakers and a grey water drainage system that fills a separate cistern for use in the garden.
The cost of services, ie electric, water and gas are a fraction of what those services cost in the United States.
If by expensive, these writers are implying that a meal in one of the best restaurants will cost you almost $20 US, that is still a far cry from one in the states that could set you back over $50. We solve that one by eating most meals at home with food bought at the mercado, fresh fruits and vegetables abound.


pathall

May 12, 2003, 7:20 AM

Post #9 of 24 (6872 views)

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Re: [Don Agustín] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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I agree with Don Augustin about the cost of living in San Miguel. We have found it to be very cheap, compared to the US or Canada. We have rented beautiful houses for amazingly low prices. We can live in SMA a lot cheaper than in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. You need to shop around, but with a bit of time and experience in SMA you can live very cheaply. I do wonder what the people who complain about SMA being expensive do to spend all that money. We have found that renting a house from Mexicans is much cheaper than renting from Americans.
Pat


Chumley

May 12, 2003, 12:47 PM

Post #10 of 24 (6853 views)

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Re: [pathall] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Thank you for seeing the issue clearly. I have spent further time thinking about it, and have come to the following conclusions. The cost of the following items is comparable to the United States: Gasoline, telephone, cable TV, Internet service, beer (and the only reason for that last one, I'm sure, is because the largest brewery in Mexico, Modelo, is owned by Busch in St. Louis).
In addition to those less expensive services I mentioned in my previous thread regarding services like electric, water and gas, add to that the cost of medical and dental care. I have a years coverage by a fine Mexican insurance firm for what three months coverage cost in the United States, and my Mexican insurance is good worldwide, including the US. My visits to the dentist cost $25.00 for a service that in the US cost me $150.
So, you see, expensive is all relative to what you are comparing. As far as I'm concerned, San Miguel is not expensive. I'm enjoying all the wonderful luxuries and necessities of life without all the expense I had in America. Viva Mexico.


pat

May 13, 2003, 9:58 AM

Post #11 of 24 (6827 views)

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jennifer rose

May 13, 2003, 10:57 AM

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moviestarmommy

Feb 28, 2004, 9:01 AM

Post #13 of 24 (6324 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Hi Carol!..

Putting toilet paper in a waste basket? Is that common practice in Mexico? Everywhere?

msm


Carol Schmidt


Feb 28, 2004, 10:09 AM

Post #14 of 24 (6318 views)

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Re: [moviestarmommy] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Keep reading this forum--there's a very long thread on this topic from just a few days ago.

Carol Schmidt


basta

Feb 23, 2005, 8:47 AM

Post #15 of 24 (6124 views)

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Re: [Chumley] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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 Chumley:

Way back in 2003 you wrote:

" I have a years coverage by a fine Mexican insurance firm for what three months coverage cost in the United States, and my Mexican insurance is good worldwide, including the US. My visits to the dentist cost $25.00 for a service that in the US cost me $150."

Could you give me the name of this Mexican insurance? And has your experience with it in the 2 years since your post changed?

Thank you. I appreciate your input.

In Reply To


Chumley

Feb 24, 2005, 5:14 AM

Post #16 of 24 (6067 views)

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Re: [basta] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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The company is called Grupo Nacional Provincial. The broker agent has an office in San Miguel where he spends one week a month dealing with his clients here. Otherwise, he can be reached at his Mexico City office. PM me and I'll supply you with his telephone numbers. And, he also provides us with our supplemental car insurance. I have had no claims against the company on any of the policies we have with it, so cannot comment as to its response.


(This post was edited by Chumley on Feb 24, 2005, 5:17 AM)


basta

Feb 25, 2005, 7:38 AM

Post #17 of 24 (6017 views)

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Re: [Chumley] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Chumley:
For some reason, I can't send a private reply - can't figure that out. My email is basta@mexconnect.com if you would send me the telephone numbers.
Brendan


Chumley

Feb 26, 2005, 5:53 AM

Post #18 of 24 (5973 views)

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Re: [basta] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Just click on Private Reply in the upper right hand corner of this post, and write your message when the screen appears. Then I'll reply to you.


basta

Mar 7, 2005, 9:29 AM

Post #19 of 24 (5845 views)

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Re: [Chumley] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Chumley:
Just to let you know I can't send Private Message to you re: medical insurance for some reason. DavidMcL is checking on this for me.
Sorry to post to the group.


Chumley

Mar 8, 2005, 4:50 AM

Post #20 of 24 (5800 views)

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Re: [basta] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Here is the information you are seeking: The Insurance agent's name is Stephen M. Patton. His office in Mexico City is located at Paseo de la Reforma 234-404 in Colonia Juarez, telephone # (55) 55-33-1620. In SMA, it is located on the top floor of the hotel at Hidalgo 8, Colonia Centro, telephone # (415) 154-7658. When he is not in SMA, that number rings in his office in DF.


Bubba

Mar 8, 2005, 3:30 PM

Post #21 of 24 (5756 views)

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Re: [saavedra] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Well, Saavedra, who started all this in May of 2003 must have already made up her mind so this is not addressed to her although I would love to hear from her if she moved down and how she now feels about her decision.

I don't normally encourage people to consider the Chapala area but she was looking for an area that is friendly to artists and politically progressive so I thought those of you still looking for those factors should know that, in the Ajijic village, we:

Flush our toilet paper down the commode with great abandon.
Have very few beggars and no pushy beggars at all.
Rarely see dog poop on the sidewalk since we have gardens and many places for a dog to relieve him or herself at the lake or along country lanes.
Have a true Mexican village atmosphere since we lock most unreconstructed gringos into secluded enclaves where we never have to see or hear them.
Are way cheaper than San Miguel for similar housing.
Are less than an hour from Guadalajara and its urban amenities and only 20 minutes from its international airport.

Now, on a more serious note. Some divisive cultural issues are emerging in the Lake Chapala area among various expat groups and expats and locals that appear to be similar to those problems you are experiencing there. The Guadalajara Reporter had an interesting article on San Miguel in its March 5th edition regarding the fact that the nature of the foreign population in San Miguel has been changing and that these changes may be proving detrimental to the cohesiveness of the community as a whole. The article states that in the 50 years or so Americans have been attracted to San Miguel, typical expats have changed from largely artists and art students to retirees and business owners attracted by urban amenities and a real estate boom. Some in San Miguel have become concerned about this and have organized a roundtable discussion of the issues on March 12th on ways the increasingly isolated foreign and Mexican communities can bridge the cultural gap and establish an atmosphere of mutual acceptance.

This roundtable may come to nothing but, it seems to me that, despite the very large differences in our communities, when it comes to locals and expats and the issues of living together in mutual respect, we have a lot in common. It will be interesting to see what comes of this meeting if anything.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 8, 2005, 3:34 PM)


bdudge

Mar 8, 2005, 8:25 PM

Post #22 of 24 (5729 views)

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Re: [Chumley] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Saaverda's question regarding the presence of "right wingers" in SMA is appalling in and of itself. How prejudiced for a supposedly "tolerant" leftwinger to only be able to tolerate those of like mind! The condescending reply that implies that conservatives mostly keep to themselves, having little "fun" except some limited sports, drinks, and mindless chit-chat, offends even the most thick skinned. How small minded, exclusive, and intolerant have the tolerant become? The more I hear, the more I wonder. There seems to be a ton of hypocrisy out there. Self-righteousness has taken a new turn. I don't know Jennifer Rose, but I know a bigoted put-down when I hear one. Let's try to take the high road. These kinds of comments are devisive and uncalled for. An honest attempt to accept differences and agree to disagree about some things is more interesting and certainly more fun for all of us. Nobody's better than anybody else.
Barbara


esperanza

Mar 8, 2005, 8:38 PM

Post #23 of 24 (5724 views)

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Re: [bdudge] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Odd that you guys are so whipped up over the original post that is nearly two years old, the poster has never been a member on this site, and he/she has probably gone on to have other concerns in his/her life. Seems like we could all move on as well, no?

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Mar 8, 2005, 8:39 PM)


Chumley

Mar 9, 2005, 5:14 AM

Post #24 of 24 (5707 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Cost of living in Guanajuato or San Miguel

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Well said. Basta.
 
 
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