Considering Rental Property Ownership Near Lake Chapala, MX

Considering Rental Property Ownership Near Lake Chapala, MX

Lake Chapala, in the State of Jalisco and just south east of Guadalajara, stretches about 60 miles. The south, east and west sides of the lake are dotted with native villages, but the north side is an English speaker’s paradise. There are several communities within Ajijic and Chapala. They lie at the base of the high mountain ranges rising out of the lake like powerful walls of protection against the elements: Barrio de Guadalupe, San Francisco, La Floresta, Pueta Nueva, Villa Real, San Gaspar, and the intrigue goes on. With boardwalks, parks, and a vast variety of restaurants and rentals, Ajijic and Chapala are a vacation dreamland. The charm of cobblestone streets all lined with buildings in brightly-hued colors, like an artist’s pallet, await the walking tourist or the visitor viewing from higher up on a patio while relaxing and sipping a cool, salty margarita.  

Rich Adventures

Legend claims that an old Texas cattle ranch owner emphatically stated, “Sure I got thirteen sections1 of land, it’s the only thing they ain’t making any more!” It is not necessary to hear that Texas drawl to comprehend what he is saying; real estate always has value. We know that with that much land, he has done some wise financial planning. However, when real estate is speculative for renters, there is more to contemplate.

Renting is a business. Consider the old business owner who says to his grandson, “I’m going to tell you all you need to know about running a business: success has to do with three things - location, location, location.” In other words, the asking price waterfront property is whatever that view is worth to the potential buyer. Waterfront lots are the finest location for purchase on Lake Chapala. The same is true for a renter. Did that renter travel from Newfoundland to Ajijic to look at the back of another condo? If it was mid-February and there was an opportunity to view expansive water, boats, birds, and other nature scenes or the back of another condo, what objects are preferred?

Waterfront Reality

The draw of water affects young and old alike. Nothing takes away our explorer’s breathe quite like sitting on a patio and overlooking a natural shoreline. Like a magnet, children see attractive water and run toward it to explore the feel, taste, touch, and smell of nature water. The fisherman’s heart races and the boater are long gone. A wide variety of ages and interests are drawn to the water’s edge.

What awaits the real estate buyer along the Ajijic waterfront is nearly indescribable. The building rules are so different in Mexico that the imagination of the property owner is allowed to run a free course with results, which are man-made wonders. Talented stonemasons select green or gray granite and finish it perfectly flat to create outside walls that have museum- quality finishes. Interior stone, brick, stained glass, or metalwork is unlike any seen elsewhere. Custom-made black iron is formed into waterfront facing windows that take in every square centimeter of unobstructed view of the water. Interior lamps created with stained glass grace the highly vaulted ceilings made of exposed beams or ornate brickwork. Most Ajijic homes not only have patios, but also rooftop areas for the highest view of the far-distant mountains across the lake.

Rent, Lease, or House Sit – No Problem!

Tourists and additional people looking for a long-term lease, flock to Ajijic. Yes, the summers are less populated, but travelers still visit because the beauty does not change. It is also a safe haven. Although the American media has worked very hard to keep US dollars in the United States, the truth will prevail. Mexico is a safe place to visit2. The Yucatan State of Mexico as the same crime rate as Fond de Lac, Wisconsin or Evansville, Indiana. Mexico City, which is home to more people that almost anyplace in the world, has a crime rate about equal to Albuquerque, New Mexico. You and your property will be as safe as living in one of those small or medium-sized US towns. Once the locals know you, even safer. English-speaking property owners living in Mexico look out for each other’s property much more than in North America. Contracting with a house sitter is another easy alternative; professional retired people often travel from house-to-house to further assure all is perfect for the traveling owners.


The time is right to invest in your future vacation property. Economic woes have lowered prices of real estate in some areas of Mexico; other places have already recovered to pre 2006 prices. Make plans to visit before this seasons ends and see what property bargain may await your visit. 

Written by 2Casa Mexico Expert:  Dr. Jacqueline Zaleski Mackenzie, author, speaker, and social scientist, is author of Empowering Spanish Speakers and other books to help understand the Latino culture. She has a BS and MS in business and an EdS and PhD in bilingual and special education and sociocultural studies. She lives in a native village in Central Mexico where she researches the Mexican culture.