10 Tips on Moving to Mexico

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By Heather Borquez

You dream of giving up the crowded freeways?  The high prices?  The crazy politics?  The snow, sleet and ice?  The shopping malls? The office?

You want to exchange it all … for beaches, margaritas, mariachi music and lowwwwww prices?  Household or gardening help – no snow, no grass to cut? 

Here are some tips for how to make your dream come true.

1. Come on down!  There is no time better than the present.  Come on down and check it out.  Fly direct to Cabo – (airport is San Jose del Cabo).  Take the shuttle (Eco Baja Shuttle) up to Todos Santos or to La Paz … or just stay in Cabo.  All are great locations. 

Alternatively you could fly into Mexico City on Aeromexico and then connect onto another Aeromexico flight into La Paz. 

An even better alternative, depending on your location, could be to go to San Diego and walk across the Skywalk to Tijuana.  Hope on a domestic flight (Volaris) for about $100.00 and head straight to either Cabo or La Paz.  

Or drive down the Baja peninsula – and stop off at the vineyards of the Valle of Guadalupe, stop and see the whales in San Carlos. A few more miles and you arrive in La Paz.  

Cruise or sail your boat down! So long as you GET HERE!!

2. Make a decision to live here!  I promise you – you won’t regret it.  Just do it.  None of us is getting any younger and prices are only going up.  Come and see the place and make a decision to relocate. More opportunities in life are lost due to fear and indecision than anything else.  Go for it.

3. Find a good realtor to show you around.  No substitute for experience or knowledge.  Find a good realtor who is bilingual and has lots of experience living and working in Baja.  Have them show you around. Find one that offers free, no pressure real estate tours of neighbourhoods in La Paz, Todos Santos and Cabo and free information on the buying process, how it works, the fideicomiso, market prices, how to offer, how to close, how to furnish and how to move into your new home!

4. Explore work or income generating activities while visiting.  Lots of opportunities to work in Mexico without becoming a citizen.  The easiest way is to open a corporation and then work at your own business.  The Baja is booming, there are lots of gaps where services are still required which means business can be done here.  Setting up a Mexican corporation costs about 1,500 – 2,000 USD.  Just remember that any income generated in Mexico (including rental income from renting out your house) is subject to Mexican income tax.  A good accountant will take care of that for you and submit your taxes for you.

5. Decide what kind of health care you want.  There are all kinds of options – from pay as you go (for world class health care at a relatively inexpensive rate) to public health care offered by the state (you need to be a Permanent Resident to access the public health care system), to using American or Canadian health care insurance purchased there or here.  Loads of great hospitals, nurses, pharmacies, clinics can be found here.  We also have great dentists.  In fact, we have a thriving dental tourism industry as many people come to Baja to get their teeth done at much lower prices…

6. Decide if you want to remain a tourist or spend more time here and eventually qualify for public health care, as a permanent resident.  You can buy a property and live in Mexico for 180 days at a time as a tourist.  You must exit the country for a couple of days every 6 months, if you are on a tourist visa.  If you decide you want to stay longer and take advantage of the various benefits of Mexican residency, you can easily apply for and be granted either temporary residency or permanent resident, by first applying at the Mexican consulate near you, in the States or Canada, and then completing the process in Mexico.  Pretty easy – they will ask you to provide you are financially able to take care of yourself in Mexico … a little bureaucratic – but easy enough to do, on your own.

7. Find a property and make it your home!  Your realtor will show you a number of properties and you will be delighted with the choice and prices available.  Properties needing work can be beautifully upgraded, for very low prices.  For those who wish information on the BUYING PROCESS itself, please contact me and I will send you an article on how it all works.  It is quite straightforward and easy. Always use a licensed realtor and a good closing attorney.  Ask your friends for recommendations. 

8. Find someone to manage/rent out/or care for your home while you are away. If this is an investment or a part time vacation property – you will want someone to manage it for you.

9. Figure out what sports, activities you like to do … and start researching groups you can join.  We have all water activities; kite surfing, boating, swimming, sailing and all ground sports as well.  Loads of marathons, cycling races (Tour de France was here last year), Iron man, Pan Am beach volleyball, hikes and camping.  Camping is HUGE in Baja.  Mexican families love to camp on the beach… for free.  During several holiday weekends during the year, you will find the beaches full of campers, usually families … playing guitars into the night, under the stars, and the smell of the mesquite wood on the barbeque.  We have art classes, writers’ workshops, movie night, dance classes, dance clubs, eating, drinking! Loads to do … Just do it.

10. Lastly, start smiling a lot … and learn to say, “Buenos Dias Señorita, Buenos Dias Señor”.  The people of Baja are warm, friendly and funny.  They love visitors and will enjoy being greeted by you every morning as you stroll along the beach or on the waterfront malecon.  Coffee shops open early and the fishermen are up and about, bringing in their catch.  Start your day with a few words in Spanish – and the whole magical world of Mexico will be yours… it is easy.  Come and try!

Heather Borquez is a resident
of La Paz and a relocation specialist/real estate agent with Diamante Realtors.
 She can be contacted by email at
heather@diamanterealtors.com or by telephone at 612 157 1984.