Homesteading/rural living outside of San Miguel De Allende?

Hi all, my family (me, hubs, 2 small kids) WERE planning on buying land in the high desert of Arizona, building a straw bale home, and starting a permaculture garden.  Once that is set up nicely, we planned on travelling for a few months out of the year to Mexico.  Now that we're learning and getting more excited about Mexico, we are thinking of making Mexico our home base, and instead travelling home to the states a few months a year.  A switcheroo!

If we choose the expat route, we are drawn to San Miguel de Allende and other mountain towns with beautiful weather.  However, we're hoping to buy or rent a place on the outskirts, more in the countryside so we can pursue our permaculture projects.  We had our hearts set on building our own straw bale home, but would be ok buying or renting an adobe home or other sustainable (eco-friendly) home.  We're hoping for acreage- at least 3-5 acres, if possible.

Can you guys tell me anything about the surrounding countryside of San Miguel De Allende?  About buying land there or renting ecofriendly home with acreage?  About building a home in the area and the red tape?  Any insight is appreciated!  Also, is it doable and safe to bike into town from the countryside?  I know it's very hilly.   

Thank you so much.

I'm interested in answers to this as well. Not that I would be doing the same, but I do think I would like to live more rural sometimes.

I am waiting for replies. This is the life I would like to live. I am a single woman so I would like to feel safe too.

there isn't much activity on this forum is there?

Not much. I assume that majority of people are moving out of USA to Mexico to have a maid, eat out, play golf and live a fun life on their average pensions that they could not afford in US. I was thinking if you want to grow your food and live a very basic life in a country, majority probably can pull it off without immigration. Am I correct?

no idea, i live in Thailand, I haven't moved to Mex yet. but i am going to try a new forum with more activity

I looked at homes around SMA in rural area, basically open field, small casita, $160K. They are out of their mind. I am in Sacramento CA right now and we are in the real estate buble but when it crashes, again, a huge house on 5 acres in very nice area would be around $200K. I am sure it is cheaper to build in Mexico. Building permits here starting at $50K minimum. That is nonsense to me. Someone is getting rich on this trend of moving to Mexico now and laughing all the way to the bank.

yep, $160k is nuts, my friend has 4 acres and a house he bought that last year near Irvine O.C. for $250k. i guess you saw this … 8/sosnavar

i guess you need to speak spanish, drive around and ask people

Yes. This is the one. They are insane! But even more insane will be the people who will pay this price.

Thank you for your input Itobys and steveh2112!  We have a lot to think about. 

We are getting out of the Irvine, O.C. area because we are not seeing any acreage for a decent price. Our small, simple house with tiny yard in O.C. will sell for around 600,000 when we're ready to sell, so your friend is very lucky! 

50k for a building permit?  Wowza.  I'm thinking building in AZ,  and renting a home part of the year in Mexico will be our best bet. 

Any other thoughts are appreciated!

The people buying around San Miguel are mostly Mexicans and the city is very popular with Mexicans. Full time expats make up about 5% of the population. Easy to find land a few miles outside of the city. My web site has a cost of living page for San Miguel.

kris-bliss so you are in Irvine too?, small world. I am renovating my friends place near Irvine, Silverado Canyon. he has a lot of land as I mentioned but the house is little more than a shack. i'm converting it to a real 2 bed house. the permits were only a few thousand for a remod.

but i'd rather live in mex than the US myself


I'm in Mission Viejo- so about 5-10 mins from Silverado.  I really like that canyon area.  It's beautiful.  Your friend got a killer deal, even for a shack!

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