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  • Writer's picture Michaela & Ricardo

Has Covid Made Retiring to Lake Chapala Even MORE Desirable?

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Every morning I scan the news articles and time and time again I see the world struggling to get back to a sense of normalcy. In fact, I see people doing things in desperation. Traveling the world or taking cruises during a time when it is difficult if not downright unsafe to do so. In many cases these trips were canceled causing further restlessness and anxiety.

At the same time I'm seeing many people migrating and/or making the early retirement move to Lake Chapala. As a result , we are seeing inventory levels on our MLS continuing to drop towards historically low levels as more and more homes get bought up.

What we are also seeing is a huge migration of local homeowners upgrading to homes with views and/or with pools/gyms, etc, so that they might enjoy more amenities and safe daily interaction with others in the community.

To give you a bit of a back round, traditionally we used to have inventory levels of 600 units. After the big run on real estate during 2017/2018, where so many Americans were escaping U.S politics for a better life in Lake Chapala, we got below 300 units. During 2019/2020 things settled down and inventory returned to the low to mid 400's. Since then, after a slow start in 2020, real estate has once again started to boom and the trend is continuing. (As of the time of writing, residential real estate sits at 335 units)

What are the Reasons Why People are Coming to Lake Chapala?

We certainly are lucky here! Time and time again when doing interviews with recent expats the #1 reason people give as to why they moved to Lake Chapala is because of the weather.

We dine year around outdoors; the weather is always perfect.

We cook in our outdoor kitchens and entertain in our outdoor terraces and yards (Outdoor kitchens are common here since we have such a great climate year around)

We live in a small town/rural environment which reduces our interaction with people and thereby helps protects us from this (possibly) fatal virus.

We can get everything we desire delivered to our door.

We do the majority of our shopping at outdoor farmers markets and roadside stands.

We enjoy a low cost of living thereby allowing us to stockpile some money for future years even as we enjoy life here to the fullest.

Outdoor sports such as pickleball, tennis, swimming, fishing, hiking, kayaking, golf and so much more are enjoyed year around. Even less active pursuits take place outdoors such as playing cards/board games, ping pong, yoga, dance, etc.

What is Current Covid life Like in Lake Chapala?

Daily life has changed little here in Lake Chapala. Mexico's policies against Covid have not changed since 2020. Masks must be worn in all indoor areas and stores. Temperature checks, hand sanitizer and floor mats with disinfecting solution are still being used just as they were though last year.

At least half of the people continue to use masks outdoors.

I met Kathryn last week from Florida who was visiting Lake Chapala. She said, “I feel safer here than in the U.S and I like the fact that there is no hostility toward mask use and everyone follows the rules.”

Having said that, the roll out of vaccines is slow and cumbersome. Currently (at the time of this writing) approximately 45% of adults have been vaccinated in Mexico with Jalisco closer to 40% . Low numbers, and although they will improve with time, shows the lack of funds and bureaucracy is part of Mexico.

What does the Future Hold?

Are there more people coming? It certainly looks that way as there is another factor driving the migration from the U.S to Lake Chapala.

I recently read a recent article saying Americans renouncing citizenship in 2020 was at an all time high.

In fact a 200% increase! Many of the people doing so are doing it because of the IRS and it's FATCA and FBAR accounting and regulations. It seems that the rules and greed for tax money has hit a limit with the American populous and they won't take any more!

Mexican Citizenship,however, is difficult to get, but we are seeing people taking money from the states and investing in real estate Lakeside. Whether a more expensive home for themselves or investment property.

So has Covid Made Retiring to Lake Chapala Even MORE Desirable? Where else can you do all your living outdoors year around? Where else can you enjoy life so much, save money and feel so safe from the threat of the virus? Is it necessary to struggle so much to take trips abroad? Or is it better to make the move to Lake Chapala and enjoy an exciting new life in a foreign country!

Contact me today to discuss living options and how to go about making the move from the U.S to Lake Chapala. We're here to help!

Michaela & Ricardo are your FULL SERVICE Real Estate Agents. Along with our Retirement Seminars, our over 20 years of combined experience Lakeside, and our network of area Professionals, we help guide you to from beginning to forever in your Retirement Journey to Lake Chapala, Mexico.

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