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AIM Adventures In Mexico Newsletter
Your best resource for information about budget travel, affordable retirement, and living in Mexico.
Adventures in Mexico Newsletter
A newsletter on retirement and travel in Mexico
SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS MEETS CONSPICUOUS
CONSUMPTION IN COMPETITIVE SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
AIM-Adventures in Mexico Newsletter
June/July 2006

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PARTICIPATING IN THE SAN MIGUEL HOUSING MARKET

fffff AIM spoke at length with Lane Simmons of ReMax who let us know that since 9/11 the average price of a San Miguel home has jumped from $168,000 to $300,000, and that theres quite an elitist marketwith many homes being built or sold in the half-million dollar and up range. If you wish to participate in this market, or any housing market in Mexico, be aware that the price paid will not be the value recorded in the registry. The recorded or escritura price will be lower and is the valueon which you pay property taxes. We were told that this discrepancy between the market prices and recorded prices, sent Bank of America packing after weeks of trying to come up with a way to play in the mortgage market in SM.
fffff If youre planning to build, we were told, expect to pay $75 a square foot for construction. Many people, according to Simmons, are spending $125-150 sq/ft to build upscale haciendas in outlying areas 10 acre spreads with hot springs on them. To contact Lane Simmons: lane@cybermatsa.com.mx
fffff The Mexiquito area of town (on the road toward Dolores Hidalgo) is now being developed. We saw new lots for sale there for $30,000 in a small development of 840 sq.ft. houses.

FINDING A FURNISHED APARTMENT OR HOUSE RENTAL

fffff Last time we checked there were over 50 different apts and houses available by the month at:
www.portalsanmiguel.com/real-estate/rentals.html or
www.geocities.com/rentalssma/index-under.html We contacted a random four by e-mail and got responses from three within a day or two: 2 bdrm/ 2 bath,2 blocks from center, maid service, heat in all rooms, 2 weeks:$1,575,1 mo.$2675 owner is Tom Vincent 518-943-6789 or TOMOTVO@aol.com La Casa de Marcia 1 bedroom, 10 minutes to centro, $550 mo./$145 wk. mzdunetz@yahoo.com This apartment is part of a two-family, the owner, Marcia Dunitz, lives above. 415-152-6191,or call this NY v\number,and she answers from Mexico: 1-646-485-5562 www.lacasademarcia.com Casa de las Palomas 3 bedroom, 5 bath colonial mansion, in centro, $5500 - $6500/mo depending on season. US number: 281-201-4749, Mexico: 415-152-4201.

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PINCHING PESOS VS.PINCHING DOLLARSYOU CAN STILL RETIRE ON SOCIAL SECURITY TO SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE EVEN AS THE MILLIONAIRES KEEP ROLLING IN By Carol Schmidt

fffff Carol Schmidt and her partner of 27 years,Norma Hair, retired to San Miguel in 2002. Their website: www.fallinginlovewithsanmiguel.com subtitled Retiring to Mexico on Social Security, includes their blogs,forums,news,FAQs and photos of their life there.
fffff To read the popular press today, youd think you have to be a millionaire to live in or even visit San Miguel de Allende, but what does the Mexican government think you need to live in San Miguel,without relying on Mexicos limited security net? Each Mexican consulate and immigration office can vary on just how much verifiable monthly income is required for an FM3,the rentistaextended tourist visa on which most retired expats move south of the border. Right now in San Miguel its $1,200 a month for one, $600 a month for a dependent, half that if you own the house you live in. (Or you can have the equivalent amount for the year in Lloyd or Monex, local financial institutions.)
fffff It is still very possible to live well in San Miguel on that amount or even less (those who do not make enough to qualify for an FM3 can still return to the border every six months to get a new tourist visa),though real estate prices keep going up as more and more real estate flippers discover the town. The solution is to rent, and not in the expensive neighborhoods. Weve had friends arrive for a short visit, fall in love with San Miguel just as immediately as we did in 2002,and find a house within a week, even though they had no intentions of moving when they arrived. One was told there was no real estate for sale in SMA for under $800,000! Her mind boggled at the number of million-dollar McMansions she was shown! But we personally know dozens of expats who rent for under $500 USD a month within walking distance of Centro, and dozens more who have bought homes for under $150,000. Remodeling is cheap in Mexico.

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