Tag Archives: Living In Mexico

In Ensenada, Cheap Mexican Charms Await

 

TRAVEL
In Ensenada, Cheap Mexican Charms Await
Jan.14.2015

For as long as I can remember, Ensenada has had a whiff of south-of-the-border excess and spring-break stigma. Less than two hours from San Diego, down the Baja California peninsula, it’s one of the easiest and safest places to experience Mexico on a budget — which makes it easy to think of this small coastal city and cruise line layover as a sort of Mexico for Beginners. But dismissing northwest Baja is a mistake. Beyond the souvenir shops selling sombreros, knockoff artesanía (handicrafts) and tacky T-shirts, there’s a college town, a port town and a budding culinary capital that invite exploration. While Ensenada and the surrounding area can require a bit of patience, its pleasures are worth the time it takes to find them — and all the more so because they can be had so affordably.

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A restaurant at La Bufadora, a powerful blowhole where families pose for photos as the Pacific sprays them with sea mist. Credit Freda Moon

 

I’ve had an affection for Ensenada since childhood, when it was a daylong car ride from my Northern California hometown and my introduction to international travel. In those days, I’ll admit, its beaches looked cleaner and the Pacific Ocean felt warmer. My brother and I would sip virgin piña coladas and spend hours scouring the beach for sand dollars. In college, it remained exotic in my mind — a place Tim, my then-boyfriend (now-husband), and I could go on winter break and feel like adventurous runaways. These days, Ensenada is simply the closest we can get to the Mexico we love without a plane ticket.

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After The Kids Have Gone: Former Spring Break Destination In Mexico Finds Quieter Ways To Prosper

 

After The Kids Have Gone: Former Spring Break Destination In Mexico Finds Quieter Ways To Prosper
By Rebekah SagerPublished July 18, 2014Fox News Latino

Town Once Known For Spring Breakers Finds Quieter Ways To Prosper

The Rosarito Beach area of Baja California in Mexico, once a thriving spring break locale that was decimated by crime and a collapsing economy, has had to find new, quieter ways to prosper.

Until 2008 or so, Rosarito Beach, about 10 miles south of the United States-Mexico border in Baja California, was a hot spot for kids on spring break looking to drink tequila, eat cheap lobster dinners and party the days and nights away. Then the economy crashed and crime reached epidemic proportions and suddenly the streets went from 24 hour fiesta to ghost town.

Baja Fresh Produce

The Rosarito Beach area of Baja California in Mexico, once a thriving spring break locale that was decimated by crime and a collapsing economy, has had to find new, quieter ways to prosper.

Until recently, that is. Today Rosarito is a thriving place for families, foodies and small businesses.

A visit to the only winery in Rosarito, Claudius, provides a glimpse into the innovation and resilience desperate (and resourceful) business owners in the area have gone through.

Julio Benitez, a native of Segovia, Spain, established the business just four years ago, and only this year is the label releasing its first bottles onto the market. The vinyard caters primarily to aficionados who can take classes at a small wine-making school, and a tasting room and restaurant for enthusiasts who would rather savor it.

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Housing inventory not much of an issue in northern Baja California, broker Kathy Katz says

 

Housing inventory not much of an issue in northern Baja California, broker Kathy Katz says

By GLENN GRANT, Special to The Daily Transcript
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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Sales have doubled each of the past three years at Baja Real Estate Group in Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, says broker/co-owner Kathy Katz. Courtesy photo

Low housing inventory is a challenge for most San Diego County real estate firms. But it’s a different story just south of the border.

“We have great inventory in northern Baja California,” said Kathy Katz, broker and co-owner with husband Max Katz at Baja Real Estate Group in Rosarito Beach and Ensenada. “There’s been a lot of developer-financed new construction the past few years, but because we got hit by the economy along with everybody else, we have new standing inventory.”

Americans by birth, the Katzes have lived and worked in northern Baja for more than 20 years. They have a second home in Chula Vista but raised their children in Rosarito Beach, where they’re active in community affairs and among other Americans who live in the coastal city.

“I was doing vacation rentals in Rosarito, then met up with a developer and started re-launching his condos,” Kathy Katz said. “I was always in sales, so I guess this was my calling.”

The firm has clients in the United States, Baja and the Mexican interior, and prides itself on educating them about property ownership along the border. A client-relations staff member was recently hired to funnel prospective buyers to agents and help them make informed decisions.

The firm’s eight agents also help clear up prospective buyers’ apprehensions and beliefs about Mexican laws regarding foreign ownership, such as the 99-year land lease.

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The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

 

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico
January 15, 2014

Below is an unbiased look at the best places in Mexico to retire – with real pros and cons – to help you make an informed decision as to which best meets your needs, interests and ambitions.

So writes “Johnny Punish” (www.JohnnyPunish.com) in edited excerpts from his article written originally as an exclusive for www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!) and under the title The Top 10 Places to Live and Retire in Mexico and the reasons why. Note: this paragraph must be included in any re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Mexico

Punish goes on to say:

In the process of putting together this comprehensive report I have consulted with highly experienced ex-pats who have lived and/or live in the places that I rate here so, without further wait, here’s the top 10 places to live and retire in Mexico and the reasons why:

1. Lake Chapala, Jalisco
2. Ensenada, Baja California
3. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
4. Guadalajara, Jalisco
5. Merida, Yucatan
6. Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo
7. Mazatlan, Sinaloa
8. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
9. La Paz, Baja California
10. San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas

1. Lake Chapala, Jalisco (Winner)

According to Kristina Morgan of Focus on Mexico, “Of all the places in Mexico I have been, none can quite compare with Lake Chapala. There’s something about this place that just seems…magical and, as corny as it sounds, that’s the word I hear people use to describe Lake Chapala time and again. Lake Chapala gets into your heart and becomes home. It’s like stepping back 50-70 years here regarding the simpler lifestyle, culture and values. When I’m here I feel like I can be me, like I can breathe a little more freely and be the person I want to be and this is a sentiment expressed by most everyone who has ever been here or lives here”.

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An oasis of music and wine in Baja

 

 

An oasis of music and wine in Baja
Steve Lopez
Recent Columns
October 12, 2013, 12:05 p.m.

In the hills high above Ensenada, on the road to Ojos Negros, a dust-covered, mustachioed cowboy named Don Heriberto Aguilar has found the perfect life.

A trip to Aguilar’s rancho was not on my itinerary in Mexico. I was there to research a story, which will be coming soon, on more than three decades of good deeds performed in Baja California by the owners of Benning Violins in Studio City.

But Tito Quiroz, a musician who started Ensenada’s Academia Benning (which he named for his longtime mentors), was determined to give me and Times photographer Michael Robinson Chavez a look at a Mexico few visitors see. If we were interested, he said, he would take us to a party at a winery in the hills.

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Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer

Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer
By Ron Raposa

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO—Following its busiest summer ever in 2012, the Rosarito Beach Hotel & Resort is enjoying an even busier season this year, with overall season-to-season occupancy up 20 percent.

Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer

Rosarito Beach Hotel Enjoying Second Consecutive Record-Breaking Summer

Year-to-year occupancy was up 25 percent on both major holiday weekends, Memorial Day and July 4th. For the summer overall, occupancy is up 20 percent, including a 20 percent increase in U.S. visitors, who accounted for 88 percent of hotel guests on Memorial Day weekend.

The two strong summer seasons, the busiest time of the year in the seaside resort city, follow several years of low occupancy brought on in part by concerns about violence involving organized crime groups in Mexico.

“Rosarito and Baja are safe and welcoming for our visitors and residents, perhaps more so than ever,” said hotel owner and former Mayor Hugo Torres. “Work done by state tourism and the Baja Image Committee has helped greatly in making more people aware of that.”
“While the number of visitors from Mexico never declined, we’re now seeing our U.S. friends return because of the improved safety perception,” said Mr. Torres, who also is chairmen of the Baja Image Committee, a public and private partnership.
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This Sure Beats California…

Originally posted on InternationalLiving.com | By Patti Morrow

Margit Gantt wanted to find a more fulfilling lifestyle than the one she had in California. She was looking for great weather every day…somewhere she could get more for her money.

"Ensenada, Mexico feels like California did years ago"

“Ensenada, Mexico feels like California did years ago”

She and her husband Patrick knew where they wanted to be. They often vacationed in the seaside community of Ensenada, Mexico. “The feeling here is like California years ago,” said Margit. “It’s different and familiar at the same time. That’s what we love about it.”

Ensenada is on the Pacific coast of the Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Even though the population is approaching 400,000, it still maintains small-town charm.

In 1989, the Gantts took the plunge and decided they were staying. They never regretted it.

“It’s a thousand ti mes better,” said Margit.

“California is so overcrowded now, a bit of a circus, and people aren’t a community. It’s different here. Even strangers still greet each other on the street.”

The Gantts tried out several locations before settling on their current home—a three-bedroom hillside villa with panoramic views of Ensenada Bay, the city, and the mountains.
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The Best Countries to Retire to in 2013

POSTED ON FORBES.

Planning to retire abroad? Ecuador is the top spot for North American retirees, according to InternationalLiving.com’s newly-released Annual Global Retirement Index 2013.

This is Ecuador’s fifth consecutive year at the top of the heap.

Mexico voted #4 in Forbes best countries to retire.

Mexico voted #4 in Forbes best countries to retire.

This annual Index—now in its 22nd year–ranks the best international retirement destinations. To compile the ranking, InternationalLiving.com editors collated data from its team of experts on the ground in the most popular countries among U.S. and Canadian expat retirees. Editors assessed factors ranging from the price of groceries and average temperature, to utility costs and the friendliness of locals.

The information was then used to score each of the top countries out of 100 in categories such as “Real Estate,” “Climate,” “Special Benefits for Retirees” and “Health Care.

“It’s designed to help readers compare and contrast what we believe are the best options for retirement abroad in 2013,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor of International Living magazine.

“Ecuador is such an overwhelmingly attractive choice for retirees overseas today in part because your dollars really stretch there,” Stevens says. “You could live comfortably for $1,600 a month, rent included. The values extend to real estate, as well. A condo right on the coast that might cost you $1 million or more in California, you could have for less than $150,000 along Ecuador’s northern Pacific. We have readers who bought a little mountain place as well as an apartment overlooking the water and split their time between the two. They could never have afforded to do something like that in the States.”

The South American country offers great variety in lifestyle options, she adds. You have sunny beaches, temperate mountain villages, college towns where there are plenty of cultural offerings, and historic colonial cities. “This country rolls out the red carpet for its seniors, as well—offering benefits like 50% off international airfares and cultural events. Plus Ecuadorians are welcoming, friendly, and easy-going. It’s a friendly place to launch an adventure in retirement.”

Panama earned the No. 2 spot in the 2013 Retirement Index, while Malaysia rounded out the top three.

“Panama is just plain easy,” Stevens says. “Panama City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with great restaurants, and excellent hospitals. It’s a banking and commercial hub so you find a real international community there. Panama is committed to attracting foreign retirees and offers the world’s best incentive program to do so, making it convenient and easy to get residence there.”

Like Ecuador, the cost of living in Panama is significantly lower than what you’d expect back home. “A budget of $1,700 to $2,500 a month, housing included, would see you eating out, perhaps with a housekeeper a couple days a week, movies a few times a month, and so on.”

In the world’s No. 3 retirement haven, Malaysia, English is widely spoken as the unofficial first language, making it easier for North American retirees to transition.

Asia’s top retirement destination is also exotic and far away—but it is incredibly affordable. “Talk about a place where you can step up in your lifestyle without blowing your budget,” Stevens says. “Our contributing editor there says that he and his wife rent a sea-view apartment in Penang that comes with a pool and gym for $1,000 a month. They keep a small sailboat, eat out five nights a week, have a maid that comes once a week – and do it all for $1,700 a month.”

Another perk: Malaysia is a ‘medical tourism’ destination, so you can count on excellent care that’ll run you less than half of what you’d pay in the U.S., she says. “Plus, unlike elsewhere in Asia, in Malaysia you can buy property, land, houses, and condominiums freehold.”

The most attractive retirement havens aren’t just cheap; they’re welcoming places where you can integrate into the community, she adds. “They’re safe. They’re attractive. They provide the diversions you want, which could be anything from snorkeling to the opera, depending on your interests.”

But of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all destination. You really have to think about your own priorities and what you really want. “The beach? Maybe–but it might be too hot. A small village? Maybe–but if you have health issues to consider, you may want to be in a bigger community,” Stevens says.

“Retiring abroad isn’t for everyone,” she adds. “The happiest expats we meet overseas have one thing in common: They brought their sense of adventure with them. They went overseas ready to try new things, to be confounded, to be impressed, to be surprised. Living overseas works best when you’re pulled there and not just pushed. If your motivation for going abroad is entirely economic, brace yourself for disappointment.”

Also, remember that it doesn’t have to be a full-time endeavor. You don’t have to sell everything and upend your life to enjoy an international lifestyle in a good-value haven somewhere exotic in the world, Stevens concludes. “Go for a month, three months, six months. In a good-value destination, you could spend less on the whole of your everyday needs than you would on just heat alone back home.”

Full List: The Best Countries To Retire In 2013

Search for properties to buy in Mexico. Or look here for properties in Baja.

Crime In Mexico: Is Baja Safe For Travelers?

by Dave Seminara

Fifteen years ago, my brother who lives near San Diego took me to coastal Baja in Mexico and the experience has stayed with me ever since. We ate fish tacos, went swimming at a sublime, deserted beach and fell asleep on the beach to the sounds of the surf. In December, I’m heading west to visit my brother again, this time with my wife and sons, ages 3 and 5, but when I asked him to take me back to the same places we visited long ago he told me that it wasn’t safe.

Beach in Rosarito

Beach in Rosarito

“No one goes down there any more,” he said. “Those places are all ghost towns.”

And after contacting Budget, the company we’d reserved a car with at its LAX location, and being told that we weren’t allowed to take our rental car down to Mexico, I wondered if perhaps my brother was right.

Crime in Mexico is serious business and anyone who suggests that safety isn’t a legitimate concern is kidding themselves. But I’ve been traveling to different parts of Mexico for years, including recent trips in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and I still believe that there are parts of the country that are safe to visit.
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Mexico Real Estate Testimonial – Why I choose to live in Northen Baja California

 

Why I choose to live in Northen Baja California
Written By: Tomas Dolcini

Since I was a child growing up in a predominately Spanish-speaking neighborhood, my dream had always been to buy a home and live in Mexico, preferably by the ocean. On May 6, 2011, that dream came true for me and I signed off the escrow paperwork for my beautiful Mexican-style villa in a Golf Resort called Bajamar located in Ensenada.

Mexico Real Estate Testimonial - Buying A Home And Living in Mexico

Mexico Real Estate Testimonial - Buying A Home And Living in Mexico

The entire experience was an adventure for me. Having purchased a home here in the United States, I was somewhat familiar with how a real estate purchase worked, but was unfamiliar with the Mexican laws. I had heard that Americans could not purchase property along the Baja Peninsula and could only lease for 99 years, so that concerned me. I wanted to reside in Mexico, but be close to the United States, so my family and friends could easily visit. I never thought in a million years I would be able to afford a home with an ocean view in Mexico, because homes with ocean views in the United States cost over one million dollars.

I decided to do some research and stumbled across a website titled www.owninginmexico.com. I was blessed to have found that website. This website had links with thorough explanations to all the various developments in Baja California, and lots of pictures to see what I was up against. I was flabbergasted at the inexpensive prices that were totally within my budget. I made a phone call to ask some questions and spoke with Kathy Katz. She was very enthusiastic and answered all of my questions in a friendly and professional manner. I enjoyed the conversation so much and hung up feeling so positive, that I booked a flight and headed out for Baja that same week to look for houses.

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