How Americans are Stretching Their Money South of the Border in Baja California Mexico
The overall lower cost of living, affordable beach front housing,
lower property taxes as well as proximity and accessibility to US
services, have made Baja California a preferred choice for relocation
among retirees and families alike.
- ENSENADA, BAJA CALIFORNIA. MEXICO - Many Americans with reduced and
fixed incomes are looking outside of the US for retirement and economic
relief in these tough times, finding it just south of the border. Baja
California, Mexico is leading the trend to cater to retirees, by
offering services that appeal to the growing number of foreign
residents. These services include assisted living, property and personal
care among others at significantly lower prices than in the US.
US store names like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Smart and Final, Applebee’s
and Ashley Furniture are some of which are becoming more common in strip
malls around the area. State of the art medical facilities equal to
those on the US have been and are being constructed in order to provide
quality medical care services to the growing number of foreign
residents, the only difference being the lower cost.
The area between Rosarito and Ensenada just 45 minutes south of the border has become the preferred area, for new Baja Real Estate
where developers are also getting on board by bringing amenities to these new homeowners. NAOS Living & Calafia Condos & Villas,
are two of these developments, where their new tower offers more
amenities and social atmosphere for people with an active lifestyle.
Plus, it is pet friendly. Some of these amenities include a club house
with a TV room, game room, computer area, large gym, outdoor and a
private Jacuzzi. These amenities are becoming standard for new communities. Palacio Del Mar, Luxury Ocean Front Condos & Villas,
has built the first 25,000 square ft ocean front club house, that will
not only have an ocean front infinity pool, spa, saunas, gym and bistro,
they also Offer
an indoor granite bottom pool.
A current resident of Baja, Mexico, Karen Erstad says “I purchased a
second home in Las Gaviotas, (an established Northern Baja community),
over 10 years ago with the intent to someday live my retirement years
by the Ocean”. When she decided on early retirement and make her move,
her family and friends thought she was not on her right mind. Even
though she would be only a 2 hour drive away, their primary concern was
medical care and the question of who would look after her.
Some doctors in this Rosarito-Ensenada area are willing and do still
make house calls; there are also excellent medical facilities
throughout the state. Serena Senior Care is a corporation dedicated to
improve the quality of life for senior residents in Baja; among their
services are nursing assistance and doctor visits, which gives family
members’ peace of mind. In addition, ocean front developments in Baja
are largely inhabited by expatriates making them very tight
communities, who look out for one another.
Karen continues by adding “I can also put my own concerns at ease, by
moving to Mexico I can live the same lifestyle if not a better one as
if I were still working”.
Karen is one of many Americans discovering the benefits of lower costs
of living and a better lifestyle that Mexico living offers; furthermore,
with the increased purchasing power of the US dollar against the
Mexican peso they can lower their monthly expenses considerably, here
is an example:
- Grocery bill around 300 dollars a month for a small family.
- Cost of a movie for two people from less than 11 dollars including popcorn.
- Doctor’s visits starting at around 25 dollars.
- Internet Access and Cable TV from 60 dollars.
- Property taxes average 300.00 dollars and up per year.
- Game of golf in Bajamar starting at 55 dollars with a coupon
- Private bilingual school around 175 dollars monthly tuition
- Hair Salon hair cut and color can start at around 30 dollars
- Eating out
- McDonalds, less than 4.50 for a super size combo
- Chinese food, less than 4.50 for a “lunch” (enough for 2 people)
- Traditional Mexican food, complete meals in Ensenada from around 4 dollars.
- 5 star meal starts at 20 dollars per person.
Most of these coastal Baja developments are also located just 10 to 15 minutes from the newest hospital
in the area. Downtown shopping, and a 45 minute drive to the wine
country, where on Wednesdays and Saturdays they offer an organic
farmers market. Living in these communities Americans have the same
lifestyle as they currently have back at their homeland but for much
Max Katz owner of Baja Real Estate Group says “Due to the entire
housing inventory on the coast, developers set themselves apart by
offering more amenities, services and discounts”. He continues saying,
“Not only the newer developments are following the trends, even long
time established communities such as Las Gaviotas, an ocean front
community that has been a model of success for retirees over the last
35 years, are upgrading to larger gyms, creating social committees and
having weekly golf and tennis tournaments”.
Clearly, investing in Mexico real easte has become a solution
for Baby Boomers and American retirees against the economic crisis.
Especially for those who would like to remain closer to their families
and amenities in the US. For others, is just good business.
Written by Alejandra Esquivel