In 1999, I took a weeklong trip with a good friend to Mazatlán, Mexico — and it was love at first sight. I used to be so smitten with the seashore metropolis that I went to a realtor the following day and purchased a small home for $28,000.
My plan was to make it a second residence for once I needed to get away from California. However in 2002, at 49 years outdated, I made a decision to comply with my favourite mantra — “Leap, and the web will seem” — and left the U.S. to reside in Mexico full-time.
After just a few years in Mazatlán, I used to be prepared for a change. I thought-about a number of locations, together with Oaxaca and the Lake Chapala space, earlier than turning my sights to San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era metropolis in Mexico’s central highlands, identified for its baroque structure.
I used to be very fortunate to have discovered an enthralling place inside my value vary for $160,000. Since actual property in Mexico is a money market — 90% of international patrons are money patrons — I needed to promote one in every of my rental properties in Mazatlán and take a small mortgage from my brother to give you the cash.
It took three months to shut the deal, and by 2006, I used to be totally moved in.
Constructing the proper residence
My 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom San Miguel residence has a entrance courtyard on the bottom ground. On the second ground is the lounge, kitchen, eating space and a small terrace.
It is a attractive residence with greater than sufficient area for one individual. However as a retiree who does portray, printmaking and sculpting on the facet, I needed to have a devoted place to work on my artwork.
So in 2007, I started development so as to add a 3rd ground studio and a rooftop, increasing the entire area from 900 sq. ft to 1,600 sq. ft.
I constructed two metallic stairwells from my entrance door — one to the rooftop backyard terrace, and the opposite resulting in my studio in order that guests who come to see my art work do not should enter by the bed room.
I do a number of studying in the lounge, the place there is a small library and a comfortable hearth. The small eating space connects to the kitchen, which is embellished with lovely Talavera-style ceramic tiles.
I am very proud of how the studio turned out. There is a ton of pure gentle, a big wall to show my artwork, and sufficient area to carry workshops.
In whole, the renovations price about $32,000 and took lower than a 12 months to finish.
What I really like about San Miguel
A Unesco World Heritage Website since 2008, San Miguel is a stunning metropolis full of old-world appeal.
There’s nothing like strolling on the cobblestone streets and passing the colourful colonial facades draped with bougainvillea. There are a number of small cafes, yoga studios, eating places and occasions for writers and artists.
Certainly one of my favourite issues to do is visiting artwork galleries. Sometimes, I am going to go to small venues to listen to reside music for the value of a meal or a $15 cowl change.
The one main draw back is that the climate is way cooler right here than in Mazatlán, which prompted me to purchase sweaters, jackets and heaters that I by no means wanted earlier than.
Whereas I largely stroll in every single place, I’ve a automobile that is primarily for transporting my art work or taking day journeys to close by cities.
My revenue and spending in Mexico
My revenue, which ranges from $1,100 to $2,500 monthly, is a mix of Social Safety, guide and artwork gross sales, workshops and rental property in Mazatlán.
This is a fast take a look at my common month-to-month bills:
- Property tax: $41
- Personal medical health insurance: $250
- Automobile insurance coverage/fuel: $50
- Utilities (water, electrical energy, cellphone, web): $70
- Groceries: $110
- Leisure/eating out/procuring: $99
Whole: $620 monthly
I am undecided if this shall be my perpetually residence. Mazatlán nonetheless holds a particular place in my coronary heart, and it is doable I’ll transfer again in some unspecified time in the future. However I positively plan to remain in San Miguel for the following 5 to 10 years.
I by no means would have been in a position to construct this good life again within the U.S. The low price of residing in Mexico permits me to reside my splendid retirement life-style and do what I really like most: creating, educating and being surrounded by artwork.
Glen Rogers is an artist residing in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She has traveled to many sacred websites searching for connection, understanding and inspiration; Newgrange in Eire, Knossos in Crete, caves within the south of France and Las Labradas, Mexico. Discover her on Fb.
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