Costs & Values
As the world spins out of control it seems that just about everyone is looking for a place to hide from the external forces vying to disturb your security, peace of mind and quality of life. Is there a place where you can exist and can afford it? La Mision might be the perfect choice which has one heck of a lot of great advantages.
Many have been coming to Baja for years and especially Southern Californians have certainly made their weekend forays to Tijuana and Rosarito, Ensenada and even San Felipe. The surfing, the nightlife, the fishing and camping will always be great Mexico attractions, but what is life like for those who choose spend more time down here, either seasonally or even as full time residents?
The best comparisons cost-wise are to look at what things cost in San Diego and Los Angeles. A one bedroom apartment - anywhere close to your job - could cost as much as $1600 a month or more. San Diego, CA housing is 123% more expensive than the U.S average, while utilities are about 13% pricier. When it comes to basic necessities such as food and clothing, groceries are around 10% more in San Diego, and that's not factoring in the latest very concerning inflation trends.
Baja by contrast, has housing and food costs that are roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of those north of the border. For the same $1600 a month you would pay for a small one bedroom situation north of the border, you can rent an entire 3 bedroom home with an ocean view, or rent an exclusive condo with all the comfortable services. Other options could include parking your trailer on a lot you are financing while you build your own house for the same money. Smaller apartment - type situations are available for less of course, but the best thing is that you are always close to nature and beach. La Mision, in particular has local mountains, ranch land, a Federally protected estuary and beautiful beaches.
Many remark that although they enjoy the party atmosphere of Tijuana or Rosarito there are just too many people and crowding is becoming more and more of an issue. Those who discover the lovely hamlet of La Mision share the same sentiments and enjoy a lot more space, bigger lots, less density and a simpler atmosphere. despite the rural atmosphere however, La Mision is located on the main north-south artery, coastal highway one which never has anything like the crushing rush hour traffic to the north.
Your blood pressure will go down as your furry friends get to come with you just about everywhere in La Mision, from restaurants to the beach. Will you also be more relaxed watching the waves every day or the sunset on the cliffs in the back yard? You bet. Add to that the many restaurants, wineries and outdoor activities in the area and basically - you don't have to go far for much.
Realistically - La Mision is very well situated with everything very convenient to the north, south and east. Both Rosarito and Ensenada (20 minutes either way - La Mision is literally on the border between both areas) have a Home Depot, Movie Theater, Costco, AutoZone and many other familiar US brands as well as just about anything else you could need. What you will also enjoy are the number of small businesses run by the owners themselves who you can get to know on a first name basis - making you feel as though you have gone back in time.
Speaking of relieving stress, the state of Baja Mexico can't really afford red light cameras, license plate readers, radar guns or drone surveillance. It still feels like pragmatic freedom in Baja without all the beau acracy, administration, complexity and rules of the state so common in states like California in the USA. You'll have more time to enjoy life with a lot less looking over your shoulder to see if 'the man' is watching you.
Home owner's association's are rare, and while some communities do have them - mainly the ones who try to replicate this kind of living they are used to in the states, are willing to pay extra to live in a more exclusive community - and there are some very nice ones in the area. Still comparison-wise to the same standards in the USA, the savings realized by living in Baja - in the nicest areas, can be counted in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You're still close to the states in La Mision, and that's a big attraction for many who want to be close to family, their doctors or their bank with an easy commute - providing you time things right at the border crossing. Many start by coming down on just the weekends for instance, and slowly transition as they get more comfortable with Mexico, while others are sold on their first visit and rush to cut the cord with the US as fast as possible and get directly to their new lifestyle right away.
English is spoken just about everywhere in La Mision, everyone takes both the Peso and the Dollar, there is good internet and gas prices are cheaper. The food is fresh and great, you can dig clams at the beach or fish, you can have a horse in your yard, join local clubs, start a band or volunteer your heart out with everything from puppies and fire fighting to the red cross.
Some say that La Mision just feels like a bedroom community of San Diego and to a large extent that's correct. There are many people who actually get up early and commute to their jobs in the states because they can't afford housing north of the border. When they come home after work, they're living at the beach - not too bad.
For sure there are differences in lifestyle. Using propane, getting drinking water delivered, having to convert currencies using the current exchange rate, driving on dirt roads, cultural rituals and more, but just remember that thousands and thousands before you have gotten used to these types of small adjustments without a hitch and you will too.
If you're considering the possibility of a part time or full time move to Baja - and especially La Mision it's a lot to take in when you come down for the first time to look around. Yes there are some scams and situations to steer away from so don't be afraid to talk to a professional Broker - real Estate Person who can converse with you from an American perspective and a Mexican one. 25 year real estate veteran Lillian Barrueta has lived all over the world, built homes and more in the US and Baja and has guided hundreds to help with housing considerations on just about any budget.
Make a call, come for a visit to look around and Lillian will help you feel comfortable that you're in good hands as she shares not only an overall tour and understanding of the whole area, but specific properties and situations that will fit your own unique situation.
Lillian Barrueta Broker