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  • Writer's picture Michaela & Ricardo

Knowing Yourself Is "The Most Important Thing" When Moving To Lake Chapala

I get it. Moving to another country is a daunting and scary task. Are you up for it? Do you know yourself well enough to make the crucial decisions?

After hosting so many Retirement Seminars and helping clients find properties, I have had the opportunity to get to know so many different people many different thought processes. There are those who really are mentally all over the place and can't seem to figure out what they want, jumping from rural to village and from Mexican to modern in their thinking. Then there are those who really have it all figured out. They know that they do not want to live in the village, they know the size of home they want, they know how much repairs they are willing to take on. In other words, they really know themselves and what they want. These are dream clients and whether or not they end up staying here, are a pleasure to work with, and not surprisingly, the happiest people.

Knowing Yourself

So where does the work start? It starts right now, with YOU. Explore the real reasons you want to expatriate to Lake Chapala. Write them down. While the reason, “I want to move somewhere cheaper” is not the best reason, it's okay. We can work with that. But we (and you!) need more. Dig deeper into yourself. Figure out the what type of home, what type of lifestyle makes you happy. How do you imagine yourself living here? What does your daily life look like? With this information (together) we can start honing down the perfect transition and expat lifestyle for YOU!

When looking at moving to Lake Chapala, answering the above questions is vitally important. Run through a typical day in your mind. What activities will you engage in? What gives you pleasure? Then continue your mental journey by looking at the week. The shopping, engaging with friends, paying bills, getting around. Further continue this journey by digging deeper and ask yourself the big questions. How often will you be returning to your home country? For how long? Are you at heart a renter or home owner? Would you plan to rent your home while away, or “lock and leave”? What will you be driving while living in Lake Chapala? Are you bringing pets? How will you manage health related issues? How will you pay for health care? What is your financial situation like? How will you manage it from Mexico? How much of your possessions will you be bringing down?

Where Will You Live?

When looking at properties, start by knowing yourself and what you like. Answer the following basic questions:

How many bedrooms?

How many bathrooms?

How big (if any) of a yard?

Is being in a gated community important?

Is a pool important? Community or private?

Is a view important? How good of one? Partial/Full? Mountain and/or Lake?

Do you like Mexican/Modern or contemporary style? How much Mexican color can you handle?

Do you want to live in a village/town, or rural?

Will you have pets?

Be Prepared

Prepare yourself for your initial visit and possible future move by reading books/blogs and by watching YouTube prior to your visit. Reach out and connect with people already living here and get their opinion on things. Keep in mind that just like researching "reviews" of a product, that there will be outlying ideas and extenuating circumstances that alter peoples opinions. Find the middle ground. There is so much information on the internet that you should have a good idea of what living in Lake Chapala is like. But be aware! There is a good chance your perceptions might change once you have boots on the ground!


These are the basics in planning your journey to Lake Chapala before, even buying a plane ticket.

So much more about visiting and retiring to Lake Chapala can be discovered in my new book “The Ultimate Guidebook To Visiting & Retiring To Lake Chapala".

Preview the chapters below to see what is all inside:

Part 1: Discovering Lake Chapala

Chapter 1: What Makes Ajijic Special?

Chapter 2: Top Reasons Why Lake Chapala Is One Of The Largest Expat Communities In The World

Chapter 3: Lake Chapala Climate

Chapter 4: Why You Should Consider Retirement In Lake Chapala

Chapter 5: Fun Facts About Lake Chapala

Chapter 6: A Quick Comparison: San Miguel de Allende vs. Lake Chapala

Chapter 7: 8 Essential Character Traits To A Happy Life In Lake Chapala

Chapter 8: How To Avoid Culture Shock In Lake Chapala

Chapter 9: Visiting Lake Chapala

Chapter 10: Your First Visit To Lake Chapala

Chapter 11: Where To Stay In Ajijic

Chapter 12: Where To Stay In Chapala

Chapter 13: Transportation In Lake Chapala

Chapter 14: Communication: Keeping In Touch

Chapter 15: Eating Out: The 6 Best Restaurants In Ajijic

Chapter 16: Favorite Restaurants: Ajijic To Jocotepec

Chapter 17: Favorite Restaurants: San Antonio to Chapala

Chapter 18: Lakeside Activities

Chapter 19: Grocery Shopping

Chapter 20: Lake Chapala Specialty Markets

Chapter 21: Reality Check: Is Lake Chapala Perfect?

Chapter 22: Safety & Crime

Chapter 23: The State Of The Lake

Part 2: Getting Serious About Moving To Lake Chapala

Chapter 24: Mexico Visa Considerations

Chapter 25: Immigration

Chapter 26: The CURP & RFC Numbers

Chapter 27: Healthcare Options

Chapter 28: SkyMed: The Bridge Back To Your Healthcare

Chapter 29: Cost Of Living

Chapter 30: Banking & Money Matters

Chapter 31: Owning A Vehicle

Chapter 32: Employees

Chapter 33: Pets: Bringing Your Loved Ones To Mexico

Chapter 34: Moving Your Household Goods

Chapter 35: Tech Stuff

Chapter 36: Household Water Systems

Chapter 37: The Important Role The Notario Plays In Mexico

Part 3: An In-depth Look At Housing

Chapter 38: Lake Chapala Communities

Chapter 39: Types Of Homes Available

Chapter 40: Advantages & Disadvantages To Renting

Chapter 41: How To Find Rentals In Lake Chapala

Chapter 42: Rental Checklist

Chapter 43: Pros & Cons To Buying A Home

Chapter 44: Pros & Cons To Purchasing In A Gated Community

Chapter 45: Evaluating A Home For Purchase

Chapter 46: Buying Property: Purchasing Considerations

Chapter 47: Pros & Cons To Building A Home In Lake Chapala

Chapter 48: The State Of The Real Estate Market

Chapter 49: Picking A Great Agent & Real Estate Company

Chapter 50: Maintaining a Home After The Purchase 

Chapter 51: FAQ's To Purchasing Real Estate In Lake Chapala

Moving to and retiring to Lake Chapala is a big life change! This is the time to discover the best in yourself.

Get all the information you need on moving to Lake Chapala! Whether you are a first time visitor or seriously considering relocating to Lake Chapala, this book is for you!

Buy Now on Amazon Kindle!

Don't have Kindle? Contact us for a PDF version and receive $2 off your purchase!

Michaela & Ricardo are your FULL SERVICE Real Estate Agents. With over 25 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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