The Lakeside area is a conservative, “suburban” area. You’ll find parents walking children to and from school, residents strolling to local markets and shops, and visitors touring the local restaurants and galleries.
It is not unusual to see a horse tied outside a restaurant or market, while their owner is inside dining/shopping. Here people know their neighbors, both Mexican & expatriate.
The prices of most things are dramatically lower in Mexico. For example:
~ Property Taxes are very low in Ajijic, and in Mexico, as a whole. The predial (property tax rate) is .08% of the assessed value; so taxes on a home might run $200 – $300 per year. If you pay in full annually by the end of February, you’re eligible for a 10% discount. To give an example: a home here in Ajijic Mexico valued in the $300,000 USD range would have a property tax of around $2,300 pesos or a little less than $200 USD for a full year.
~ A visit to an English-speaking doctor is about $36 USD/$48 CAD at Lakeside; and the visit can last an hour or more.
~ A trip to the dentist for cleaning & X-rays is between $31 USD ($42 CAD) here. Many people come to Mexico specifically for the excellent quality dental procedures available for a fraction of the cost elsewhere. Crowns, implants & root canals are a great deal more affordable.
~ A house call to change a flat tire or jump a battery can be $5.
~ It’s not unusual to have dinner for two, in a nice restaurant with a bottle of wine included, for around $40 to $50.
~ Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and inexpensive.
~ Most services (gardeners, maids, repairmen, craftsmen) are quite affordable … gardeners and maids earn about $4 to $5/hour.
~ Most homes do not have or need heating or air-conditioning, which keeps down utility bills. There are only a few weeks a year when one may feel the need for heat or air-conditioning, and these issues can be addressed with ceiling fans and fireplaces, or you can purchase a wall-mounted, ductless heating/cooling system, for your bedroom or wherever you wish.
~ Thanks to abundant year-round sunshine, many homes have solar electricity/hot water, which means your electric bill can be as low as a few cents or a few dollars a month.