People who know Mexico well always look at me incredulously when I tell them that I live in Mazatlán June through January, some of which are its hottest months.
But the same heat and high dew point that empties the city of snowbirds by late May offers its own unique opportunities for exploring the idea of living part-time, full- time, or temporarily in Mexico.
Consider these excellent reasons to live in any of the Mexican coastal cities in the summer.
1. You can get some real work done. I recommend off-season sojourns to anyone trying to write a book, mastermind a career change, develop a marketing plan or complete any big project that requires only a laptop, sustained concentration, and the creativity borne from solitude and the pounding of the ocean outside your door.
2. Off-season, the expat population is not diluted by hordes of snowbirds so you can easily meet permanent residents who know the names of the best doctors, dentists and other professionals whose services you may want to utilize someday.
3. You stand out off-season. Fewer tourists mean that locals are more likely to register your presence as an individual and take time to talk to you. They will respect the fact that you like Mexico and their city all the time, not just during the months that are easy to like.
4. Many resident expats have full dance cards in high season. Off-season their schedules are more open and friendships can be built more quickly.
5. You can review how a prospective retirement spot will look off-season.
Now and then people ask me if I’d ever retire to my place in West Virginia, a ski and golf resort. Having been there off-season to do repairs, I know during what months it’s a creepy ghost town. If you ever want to retire to the place you’ve only vacationed at, you need to experience it off-season before you commit to full time residence.
6. If you live in a Mexican coastal city off-season, you receive honorary local status.
When I was a ski instructor, a type of brotherhood existed among those of us who skied in minus 10 degree mornings, freezing rain and on fields of solid ice.
The same goes for those who gut out Mexican coastal city heat waves. You are part of the family.
7. The weather is more dramatic. For those of us from dry states, a good thunderstorm is almost an emotional experience. Watching one come in over the ocean at night is an enthralling and mesmerizing light show, sometimes going on all night, that some snowbirds don't even know about.
You can fall asleep to the sound of the surf and a tropical storm. These late night storms can happen as frequently as every few days in the summer.
8. Lastly, condos and houses to rent are much cheaper and more available off-season. Many home and condo owners strike very attractive deals for high season months if the time frame covers a few off season months as well. They are unapologetic about high rates if you only want the best weather, extremely flexible if they can earn income when tourists are scarcer.
For example, a two-bedroom oceanfront condominium for high season will cost around $1,800 - $2,200 a month, sometimes with a three month minimum.
But let’s say you have a special project that you need to work on distraction-free for six months. You may decide, as I always do, to stay for two months high season and four months low season. My lodging averages around $1,000 a month, and could be less if I liked the more traditional setting in a city's historic district rather than living on the beach.
I go in with a number I am willing to pay which always includes at least three months off-season rental. I know these places most likely will stand empty in the summer months, that I may well be the only game in town.
Coastal properties do better in the summer when people live in them. That's good leverage. Just make sure you understand how electricity is billed.
For people in more costly U.S. cities, off-season resort rates might be substantially less than what they pay for rent.
In fact, if you live in a more expensive urban area in the U.S, and can rent or sublet your own place, you might cut your monthly expenses overall by as much as half in Mexico while living at the beach and eating fresh ceviche every day.
Put it all together; a more relaxed social life, stunning ocean views and spending less that you might by staying at home all make a strong case for the contrarian approach to living in Mexico.
Keep the dream alive -
Related Link: Okay, so it's hot in the coastal towns. There are things you can do that help...very Mexican things. Ventanas Mexico
Next up: This is no vacation. You are going to be gone for months. These things can trip you up on the Big Day at the airport before leaving the mother country -
Most recent: Know the income requirements to move to Mexico permanently now. Yes, that's right, there are income requirements along with all that other pesky information.
Kerry Baker a partner with Ventanas Mexico which provides insights and resources to people considering full or part-time expat life in Mexico. One such resource is how to rent here, covered in her new book, "If Only I Had a Place."
She also wrote the "Interactive Guide to Learning Spanish Free Online," a curation of the best Spanish language tools on the web. Learning a language takes years.
Why now start today? Exercise your brain and prepare for the richest possible expat experience with the Guide.