Maintenance Costs To Owning A Home In Lake Chapala
(updated May 15, 2021)
Have you wondered what it would cost to maintain a home in Lake Chapala? We all keep hearing about how inexpensive it is, but, what does it really cost? In this blog I will try to clarify the true costs to owning and maintaining a home in Lake Chapala.
For all of you still living north of the Mexican border, this is big one. In London, Ontario, I was paying $3600 CDN ($2880 USD, in 2009, and my partner who is formerly from Vancouver was paying $2200 CDN ($1760 USD), in 2013. A Google search tells me that the average tax paid on a home in the U.S. in 2017 was $2149 USD.
So what do we pay currently in Ajijic? Between $100-$300 USD per year!
Very few carry property insurance in Lake Chapala. The buildings are all made of brick so there is little risk of it burning down. Admittedly, with the recent occurrence of two earthquakes in Mexico, there has been a spike of homeowners taking out insurance to cover the entire home. This depends on the home, of course, but figure on about $500 per year. Some homeowners, however, decide to take out only content insurance and this costs $74 USD per $10,000 USD coverage.
Heating and Cooling Costs
Living in the second best climate in the world has its advantages. With an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees F), we do not require heating or air conditioning in our homes. Most people have only a fireplace or space propane heater and ceiling fans or portable fans for the rooms.
One of the major expenses living Lakeside is electricity, however it is still vastly cheaper than north of the border. For most people, it runs between $20-60 U.S. every month.
In my own personal situation. We're spending an average of 600 pesos/month ($30 USD). A lot depends on your habits such as leaving on the lights and T.V., A/C usage, and if there is a pool. These costs can be offset substantially with the installation of solar panels. Those with the proper amount of solar panels only need to pay a 45 pesos ($2.25 USD) surcharge for billing purposes.
In Lake Chapala we use propane as the gas for heating, cooking, drying our cloths, etc. Propane bills average $27 U.S per month. In my personal situation, I fill our tank three times a year for a total of 6000 pesos ($300 USD) or $25 USD per month. So you can see, gas expenditures, like electricity, can vary depending on your lifestyle.
Maids and Gardeners
We are lucky here that labor is inexpensive in Mexico. For maids and gardeners the going rate is 50 to 100 pesos per hour ($2.50 to 5 USD per hour).
If your home has a pool you can expect some extra costs. The cost of pool maintenance services are inexpensive but you need to expect to spend some money on repairs to cracks and equipment maintenance and replacement. As well, if heated, a pool can add substantially to your electricity bill if you don't have solar panels. Typically pool maintenance people cost between 1000 to 1500 pesos per month ($50 to 75 USD per month) for service 2-3 times per week.
Just like north of the border, there are many ways to receive your phone, cable and internet. However, for an example, there is one package that offers it all for 670 pesos ($37 USD per month) which includes unlimited calling to Canada, U.S. Mexico.
Telmex and Telecable home phone & internet only, cost 389 pesos per month ($20 USD)
You will need to set aside some money for ongoing maintenance of the home such as a new roof, re-sealing the outside, repairs to walls due to salitre, cleaning your aljibe and/or tinaco, etc. You should set aside 1% of the value of your home per year for these expenditures.
So as you can see, maintaining a home in Lake Chapala won't break the bank. In fact, you will find that cost are significantly cheaper than in the U.S. or Canada!
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