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Moving to Mexico's Lake Chapala: Checklists, How-To's, and Practical Information and Advice for Expats and Retirees Reviewed by James Tipton

Moving to Mexico's Lake Chapala
This book really does tell you about everything you need to know if you are planning to move to Lake Chapala, one of the most popular retirement sites in the world for North Americans.

Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Editor-in-Chief of El Ojo del Lago, has this to say: "I found it highly readable, most comprehensive, and flawlessly organized. I think it's the best book of its kind that I have read, and I have been down here for 25 years."

Is the information current? You bet! Why? Because Lisa Jorgensen only moved here this past spring. read more

Pancho Villa, plumbing and Mexico real estate J. Brad Grieve

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting with some of my wife's family in northern Mexico. The old house where we stayed is approaching 100 years in age. I won't say the plumbing was poor, but the real estate was obviously dated and there were some noted problems and historical issues with the plumbing. read more

Investing to sell your Mexico real estate J. Brad Grieve

What are the best things to do when renovating a home to sell in order to maximize the return on the effort and money invested in renovations with the best sale price?

Some of the best investments are the simplest and overall the least expensive to do. read more

Annual home maintenance in Mexico J. Brad Grieve

Spring is the time for home maintenance before the summer rains. What annual issues have you been putting off that you should be reviewing, repairing or replacing? From water purification systems to leaky roofs to cisterns and water tanks, it's often the little things that can cause problems. I think it is safe to say that everybody has a screw loose… somewhere in the house. read more

The Best How-To Book on Moving to Mexico Reviewed by James Tipton

The Best How-To Book on Moving to Mexico is written by three people who have made the move. Carol Schmidt and Norma Hair moved to San Miguel de Allende in May of 2002. The third editor, Rollins "Rolly" Brook, "after visiting all 50 states in the USA and many countries around the world… found himself most at home in Mexico." In 2000 Rolly retired to Lerdo, Durango. Clearly this is no trio on extended vacation. They actually live here… permanently. These authors are bold and direct and the book is divided into four parts. Hats off to Carol, Norma, and Rolly! This just might be that best book. read more

Dealing with insects in your Mexico house and garden J. Brad Grieve

Bugs like tropical shrubs and palm thatching
Cockroaches, scorpions, earwigs, mosquitoes, termites, beetles, ants and even fleas, present different challenges to homeowners here in tropical Mexico. They are part of the dark side of our little paradise read more

Heating options for chilly nights in Mexico J. Brad Grieve

What can we say? It is now November and it has already been cold; cold like late December when the chill in the air sends us under the covers at night. Without the heating systems we knew north of the border, how can we keep the house warmer? read more

Grading and drainage in Lake Chapala real estate J. Brad Grieve

The rules are different for Lake Chapala real estate – the elevation of the house and how the surrounding gardens and street are graded can affect the quality of your home. read more

Waterproofing the roof in your Mexican home J. Brad Grieve

In Mexico -- or anywhere -- the three key words for roof sealing are: preparation, preparation and preparation. read more

Home construction or improvement contracts in Mexico J. Brad Grieve

Recently, I have had to help clients who are far along in their project, way past the original schedule and way, way over budget. read more

The cupola: Spain's gift to Mexico's colonial architecture J. Brad Grieve

A brick dome or cupola can be very attractive... and also, a maintenance problem.

read more

Windows and Doors in Mexican Homes and Offices J. Brad Grieve

It is rare to see windows made of wood and, still rarer, is to observe high-tech windows. Windows and doors are elements in our home that we use frequently. Yet we never give them a second thoug... read more

Seller's Overture: Advice for Selling Property in Mexico J. Brad Grieve

Why do some properties take so long to sell? After offering advice to buyers purchasing real estate in Mexico, it seems only fair to discuss the issues for a seller in a foreign country. You have dec... read more

Drinking Water Filter Systems For Home And Travel Julia Taylor

"Protect Your Health at All Costs!" If you want to "Live Your Mexican Dream", you've got to be healthy.   Drinking w... read more

Travelers' checks, ATM machines or cash… Oaxaca, Money and Exchange: A Primer Alvin Starkman

Advice to heed before heading out the door to the airport, questions you'll have after landing, and money issues that will arise in the course of your vacation You don't need to take travelers' checks... read more

Toilet Paper and Mexican Plumbing J. Brad Grieve

In village businesses, it is common to see a sign in the bathroom asking you not to throw tissue paper down the toilet. The debate among friends in high school was whether the toilet paper shou... read more

Teaching English Overseas: A Job Guide for Americans and Canadians Reviewed by James Tipton

Latin America is a really enormous TEFL market, with tens of thousands of jobs available every year in language schools, binational centers and universities…. read more

Obtaining Mexican Social Security (IMSS) Health Insurance Robert & Curtis Page MD

Expats living in Mexico have other considerations and better economic choices not commonly shared with the short-term traveler. First, there is no need for evacuation to a home country. Second, beca... read more

Communicating with Contractors J. Brad Grieve

Let's look at the construction business here at Lake Chapala. This is like many businesses in that just about anyone can hang out a sign and call himself or herself a contractor. I believe the freedom ... read more

Aljibes - underground water cisterns J. Brad Grieve

Last month’s article stirred up some questions from some homeowners that I thought we could address in this month’s issue. Aljibes (underground water cisterns) are a critical link it each homeowne... read more

The Sky Is Falling J. Brad Grieve

Once the rainwater drains off the roof, where is the water going? After two strong rainfalls in Guadalajara, I was up on my father-in-law's roof last weekend to help a contractor from Chapala clean an... read more

Is a flat roof really flat? J. Brad Grieve

It is there above us, protecting us from the sun, the wind and the rain however; generally we are not worried about our roofs until we see water leaking through it. Typically, roofs he... read more

Septic systems J. Brad Grieve

For the average new homebuyer, there is nothing more horrifying than the thought of buying a home with a septic system. This hidden, underground system seems to conjure up thoughts of backyards flooded... read more

Soils and foundations J. Brad Grieve

Ever considered the base on which your house is sitting. Yes, there is a foundation between you and the surrounding soils. In general there are stone foundations bound with mortar mixture to help keep ... read more

Care and maintenance of the fireplace J. Brad Grieve

As I write this month's article, I am sitting beside a wood stove in a cabin by a frozen lake in Ontario. So this article's topic becomes very tangible and important, especially because I want to keep ... read more
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