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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hola, or G'day
I am looking over the net very strongly at beautiful Mazatlan to perhaps move to. I now live in Sydney Australia where it is very beautiful and the weather is mostly great but Mazatlan may beat it. I would welcome any comments generally and specifically in response to my particular concerns:
1. Is humidity a problem because it creates mould? Is this a problem just during rainy season or always?
2. I would like to think, while I would choose to simplify somewhat and certainly want to look at the old town rather than a home a lot like the apartment I live hin here, that I could still have the wonderful car that I love (presently BMW convertible). Will something like that create resentment and invite vandalism or theft?
3. I am badly linguistically challanged tho of course I would learn Spanish but it would be slow and very bad. How much of a problem will that be generally and specifically how often will I get "ripped off" - that is taken advantage of because I am an obvious ******?
4. Am planning on getting over there at the end of the year for a number of weeks to look around. Apart from getting around as much as I can, an pearls of great price for things I should make sure I see or consider then?
5. Lastly, have looked at the Ajajic/Lake Chapala forum, it is chockablock with info, not surprisingly because of the number of retired expats. Perhaps there is nothing like that re Mazatlan because there is not the same expat and retired (thus with more time) population, but if there is something similar I would be pleased to be pointed towards it or any other source of info.
Many thanks in anticipation, I will value anything given to me, and anyone who is in Mazatlan (particularly in the old town and wants a houseswap in December for a great apartment looking over the water at Sydney City, travelling distance to Sydney post office <4ks (2.5 miles), should email me.
best regards Wendy
Oh BTW also, I wondered if I should try to have Christmas in Mazatlan, is it a big event?
 

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1. Humidity in the summer and fall is a problem because it makes the heat intolerable for many people. Depending upon your ventilation or ability to afford expensive electric rates to run A/C, you may have mold. Of course, there is also the corrosive effect on appliances and electronics in humid areas.
2. Mazatlan Centro, especially the old colonial part of town has been discovered and there is a great deal of strictly monitored reconstruction in progress and a lot of old buildings or shells still available to be remodeled. I would not ship a vehicle from Sydney because you can only import it to Mexico temporarily. With the obligation to eventually remove it from Mexico, you would have to ship it back. Importing it to the USA would not be an option either. If you plan on staying in Mexico long term, you should consider buying a car in Mexico.
3. Language skills will make living anywhere in Mexico much more enjoyable and, yes, less expensive.
4. Mazatlan is an easy city to get around and tourist maps are available.
5. We always enjoy visits to Mazatlan in the winter and it is tempting to move there, except for the weather. We live in Chapala and will stay there for the weather. Many have moved from Lake Chapala to Manzanillo and/or Mazatlan but found the heat and humidity too oppressive for much of the year and have returned. Of course, there are a few who can afford to have second homes to solve that problem, or who vacation elsewhere for the hot months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RV many thanks. YOu wrote "If you plan on staying in Mexico long term, you should consider buying a car in Mexico.". I was not clear and I apologise. In some areas I know driving a nice car creates resentment. If I have something like the Beem convertable, and assuming I am living in an area with locals not an enclave, will I be asking for trouble?
Thanks for the other info, v helpful,
best, Wendy
 

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Not too much. Once it goes walkabout; no more trouble. Seriously, a BMW isn't the car for here. A friend had one and it couldn't stand up to the 'topes' and potholes. He had serious repair bills and had to take it back to Texas. On one trip, when he was following us, he had to turn and go back because he was bottoming out too often. A small SUV with rather high stance is much better. We have a Nissan Pathfinder and a Smart Car, both of which have 15" wheels and stand high enough to clear topes. Mexican roads often have no shoulder (I think that's a berm, to you) and the drop may be severe.
 

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G'day Wendy, I visited many places all over Mexico before I decided to buy a home, one of my criteria was a garage for my car and I have to tell you that most homes that are in "old parts or centro historic" parts of cities do not have garages...I suggest you visit the area during the hottest most humid and rainiest time of the year (which is now) and see if it's for you....I live about 4 hours driving time south of Maz and mold is not a problem as long as air is circulating, one small area in my patio gets no sun and a little mold grows there but I just spray a lite solution of water and bleach and it disappears in munites...good luck
 

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chicois8 is right, most places in old Mazatlan don't have a garage or even secure parking spot. I wouldn't recommend that you leave your BMW parked on the street. Many foreigners have bought homes in Centro Historico and are doing renovations but the work must be approved by the city and lately they have been giving foreigners a hard time. Personally I would not touch anything there with a 10 foot pole. There are plenty of other nice areas in Mazatlan, we have a condo in the Golden Zone and a Lot in Sabalo Country where we hope to build our retirement home someday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
f3drivr thanks. you wrote that you would not buy in the old town. Apart from a view presumably that the nice new part suits you better, has a great view, sea breeze etc (all things I love too - that's why I live where I do here in Sydney!) , and I note with thanks your advice about foreigners now having a harder road when renovating or restoring in Centro, is your view that it is an area not to live in based on anything else?
I will be coming for a look, first preliminary and then longer if the first trip is positive, but I wouldn't like to go on thinking Mazatlan might be great for me if there are some aspects about it which will make it a bad choice. Thanks v much for taking the time.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Chicois8 and RV, thanks to both of you for taking the time, comments noted.
One of the joys of life is to drive the lovely car around the bays and nice curvy roads up near the holiday house. Because the weather in Sydney is quite good there is no need for our holiday houses to be far away (as a lot of AMerican vacation houses are), so ours is 1.5 hours drive north which is the warmer direction. That means I get to do that fun driving often! I was thinking at this stage that perhaps Mazatlan might allow me to do the same thing, but perhaps not, and as long as there are enough other benefits I could give up that passtime. It would be lovely not to have to though. (Oh trying to have my cake and eat it too? Why not at least aim for that, life is short! <G>)
In any case it is v pleasing to pick up from all this that there is probably no concern about damage from resentful neighbours!
RV I note that you started out in Australia. It is time I looked at the tax situation Australia/Mexico, and will send you a short note personally to ask you to recount to me your first steps on your enquiries, but if anyone here has info which might help in that regard you might be kind enough to share it. Many thanks.
 

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If you really like the old colonial style homes then check out Centro Historico but just keep in mind that most of these homes are very old, require extensive renovations and city will not make your life easy if you attempt to take on a project like this. It has been in the newspapers about how foreigners are not following the rules but what is actually happening is that the city is being very unreasonable. Homes in this area were also very reasonably priced just a few years ago but now you can buy a nicer more modern home in a different part of the city for the same price. I read an article recently about the problems that a Canadian is having renovating a home in Centro historico, if I can find it again I will post a link here.
Mazatlan is a great place, I have been going there for 15 years, I own two properties and plan to relocate there permanently in the future. Personally I like El Dorado and Sabalo Country. Lomas used to be one of the nicer areas but it doesn't feel as safe walking there at night as it used to. My Condo is right in the Golden Zone, I bought it because it is close enough to everything so that I don't need a car when I go down and because it has 24 hour security and maintenance which I need because I can't be there all the time. Once I get there permanently I plan to sell it and use the money to finance building the house in Sabalo Country. Our lot is just a few blocks from Pueblo Bonito.
 

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I haven't seen many BMW's in Mazatlan, I don't think there is a dealer there but there is one in Culiacan 2 1/2 hours away. I have seen plenty of Mitsubishi Eclipse Convertibles, Mercedes Convertibles, Nissan 300ZX and other Sports Cars. We have done road trips from Mazatlan to Culiacan and there are a few large speed bumps and potholes but mostly the roads are good. The BMW would not be ideal for taking long road trips all over Mexico but for just driving along the Malecon, shopping and driving around Mazatlan it should be fine. There are some roads that don't have very good drainage and flood during rainy season so that is something to keep in mind as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ahh, thanks for comments re Centro and housing there, and also re the cars in Mexico.
The BMW convertiable is not magic to the extent that others don't come close, it is just VERY SEXY but f3drivr listed a few other nice ones too. VG to see that I could drive something fun around the area!
Re Centro, yes all noted and it sounds like once again I will have missed the boat on the lowest prices in housing in a great area <G>. Well why try to change now after all?<G> That is how I have done it though my life!. The story you mentioned, I think I also saw, details provided by the Professor's father who is still relatively local to the work being done. If it is the same story, at least part of it seems to be that the workers are taking steps not stricly in accordance with instructions. Mmm this seems a little familiar <G>.
f3drivr and others, one of the reasons I am so drawn to Mazatlan so far is the mix which is in so few places. You all seem to be in a place which has beauty, character, beaches, still v good value cost of living (unlike Monaco which I could otherwise force myself to retire early in <G>), and lots to do including varied restaurants and some expats to talk with me in a language I understand. I need all these things, and my searches have not given me too many places with everything. Am I seeing the place as it is or does it look better to me than it really is?
BajaGringo (is that hair all yours, I am envious if so!!) thanks for your thoughts. I suspect the areas you kindly refer me to are a little quieter than a social creature like me needs. Also, your low of 58 overnight tonight is a bit lower than I am aiming for during summer. We had 53 (by your measure) in Sydney last night, and we are in winter. If I am wrong about it being too quiet though please correct me because I would love any info which would take my searches further.
Thanks again to all, Wendy
 

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Don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but have you checked out the Mazatlan Forum at Mazatlan - for visitors or residents of Paradise

As for your Beemer, I've always been a little embarrassed when I drove down to Mexico in my 14 year old Plymouth or my 13 year old Pontiac and found so many locals driving very new, very expensive cars. According to the common ****** stereotype, I'm usually the one who "looks like a Mexican" as far as vehicles are concerned.

That being said, anyone using on-street overnight parking of a BMW or any other vehicle in any country, including Canada, is just asking for problems sooner or later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
HolyMole, Sorry, forgot to acknowledge your kind advice re the Mazatlan forum. Yes I have been looking at it but it doesn't have a lot of action and in particular not many replies, on wide questions such as I am asking. It has certainly got lots of info on watering holes and restaurants tho, and I have not failed to take note of such things! <G>
 

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No, I've never been to Australia. Sorry that I can't help on that issue but, to repeat: What will you eventually do with a BMW from Australia when it dies in Mexico? You are obliged to remove it from Mexico by your 'importada temporal'. You can't sell it, abandon it or junk it in Mexico.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi RV,
I inadvertantly misled. I would never propose to bring a car from Australia to Mex. Much as I love this one I would just replace it with something suitable there. My only purpose in mentioning that what I drive is a topless beemer was to put the question in perspective - even in Australia where Toyotas don't often get vandalised, cars like mine are a bit more prone. So if gringos are resented perhaps there it would be very prone! That was my thinking.
However it has since been put to me that the bigger issue is that I might be inviting carjacking or kidnapping from driving around Mazatlan in such a car, and that is to me a much bigger issue than vandalism.
These things are why thoughts from those there with knowledge, are so invaluable to someone like me. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to put your thoughts down.
best, Wendy
 

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Going topless in Mexico

The topless BMW, like any shiny, new, somewhat ostentatious car, would soon be scratched, dented and possibly vandalized anywhere in the world. It is no better or worse here, except that kids don't have rubber grips on their bike's handle bars and 'keying' of fancy cars can happen. Parking in Mexico is often 'by feel'. As mentioned before, the topes will be a problem with any low car. The other concern, is that showing affluence is sometimes an invitation to being targeted for theft in your home, car or person. It is kind of like wearing jewelry here; it is an invitation which works every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
RV thanks, yes. Aghh the "park by feel" that is seen in some European cities!
I just shuddered! ;)
I think this was probably the last thing I needed to give me the Mex perspective for a car there! Oh well, on the other hand I probably have it in me to become a good parker by feel, and I could adapt (given a suitable car to do it in - the 13 or 14 year old model sounds great) :D.
best regards, Wendy
 
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