Move to Mexico? Are you crazy? That’s the response we got from many of our friends and family when we told them our plans to move to La Paz in Baja California Sur. When people ask what prompted the move, we laugh and tell them, “Too many episodes of HGTV’s House Hunters International!” It’s true. We would watch, and dream, and then one day we realized we could make a move like that, too!
If you’ve dreamed of moving to Baja but don’t know where to start, we’ve been there. Many people ask how we made such a big change. Wasn’t it intimidating? How did you know where to look or what to do? Can you even buy real estate in Mexico? Where did you start? We tell them, if you start with a great real estate agent, that makes the rest of the process so much easier. One year later, our move to La Paz is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We moved to Baja, and you can, too!
While we had been vacationing in Los Cabos for many years, we had yet to visit La Paz. We had heard stories of its beautiful white sand beaches, a thriving downtown malecon, and a very reasonable cost of living, all only a two-hour drive from the Cabo airport. We decided to check it out.
We began our research online, and that’s when we found Robin Hodgson and Miriam Welldon at Vista Properties in La Paz, BCS. Their web site was the first to come up in our search, and we were surprised to find they had actual MLS listings, just like in the U.S.! We sent an email asking if they might be available on our next trip to Baja to show us around, and they responded right away. It was the kind of friendly, professional service we would later learn was the standard for this highly regarded real estate team.
A few weeks later, we flew to La Paz and met at a local Mexican restaurant, where we began peppering them with lots of questions. “Why did you move to La Paz? What is it like to live here? Is it hard to buy property here? Will we need to learn Spanish?” They patiently answered all of our questions, as well as some we hadn’t thought to ask.
After lunch, we toured some neighborhoods in downtown La Paz, viewed homes in a few other neighborhoods closer to the beach, and then made a short drive out to the nearby town of El Centenario, where they showed us a lovely gated community called Haciendas Palo Verde.
There, on a hill overlooking the gorgeous Bahia de La Paz, Robin and Miriam showed us a beautiful two bedroom home for sale with a pool, a spacious patio, a large yard for our dogs, and a stunning view of the bay. It even had a rooftop deck with an even better view, where we immediately envisioned ourselves sipping margaritas at sunset. We looked at each other and said, “This. This is the one. It’s perfect!”
Robin and Miriam guided us through the sales process, always available to answer our many questions, and making the entire experience amazingly smooth and easy. We learned what a fideicomiso is, how property rights work in Mexico, and even completed the sale remotely from our home in California, using a power of attorney they helped us set up.
Excited to finally own our vacation home in Mexico, we came to stay for a few months, and ended up loving La Paz so much we decided to stay. We sold our California home, applied for our permanent resident visas and made La Paz our full-time home. Since we’ve been here, we’ve gone snorkeling with whale sharks and sea lions, kayaking and paddleboarding on the bay, watched the Baja 1000 off-road race, visited some of the most stunning beaches in all of Mexico, and enjoyed countless gorgeous sunrises, sunsets and moon rises from our rooftop patio.
Moving to Baja was the best decision we ever made. So, when are you going to join us?
-Jim and Rebecca MacDonald