Lake Chapala is one of the most popular expat destinations in Mexico, especially for retirees who are drawn to the area by its climate, lower cost of living and natural beauty. And estimated more than 30,000 expats, primarily Americans and Canadians, call lakeside their home.
Most expats rent or purchase homes in Chapala, Riberas del Pilar, Chula Vista, San Antonio Tlayacapan, La Floresta, Ajijic, San Juan Cosala or Jocotepec. Each town has its own character and price ranges. Popular Ajijiic, for example, has attracted many artists, writers and other creative people over the years and can be a bit more expensive.
If you plan on renting an apartment in Ajijic, a one-bedroom unit in the center of town is about US$350. A one-bedroom apartment outside of Ajijic’s center is about US$275. If you need more space, a three-bedroom apartment downtown is about US$900. Outside of city center, a three-bedroom apartment usually rents for around US$625. These costs are averages and could be higher or lower, depending on the property rented.
In addition to selling homes, local real estate firms also list apartments, condos and houses for rent on their websites.
If you are looking for a house or a condo to purchase, the best place to start is the Chapala Multiple Listing Service (MLS). You can find a wide range of homes for sale from below US$100,000 to more than US$1 million.
You may also want to visit Realtor.com, which has listings for Chapala, Ajijic and other communities along the lake.
You should also check the websites of major international real estate firms that operate in Mexico, such as Coldwell Banker, Century 21, RE/MAX and others.