Noise Considerations When Moving to Lake Chapala
Finding a home to buy can be stressful in itself, especially in a foreign country. You are making a long term commitment and the last thing you want to do is choose your home in the wrong neighborhood or location.
While some people who move to Lake Chapala choose to rent first, some may fall in love with a home and make a compulsive purchase without knowing anything about the area.
Lake Chapala has so many nice areas but not all of them may be suited for you. In this article, I will cover some basics you should consider before buying a home.
The goal of most real estate agents is to sell you a home (we do have to make a living) however, an honest agent wants to help you make the right choice and find you place you can live in comfortably for years to come.
Some will suggest that that you rent a home before buying but often times that’s not an option. Some people don’t want to go through the hassle of packing and unpacking.
Mexico is not a quiet country, some will tell you that there is constant noise all the time. Yes, Mexicans are happy people and they enjoy their festivities and loud music.
Living in the village can be noisy
You will find noise just about everywhere you go, big commercial supermarkets love promoting new products with blaring music, gas, and water trucks constantly drive up and down the village streets honking their horns or playing music letting you know they are on their way, this can be annoying to some, especially if you are not an early riser or like taking a nap midday.
While there are many conveniences to living in one of the small villages the noise may put you off.
Pros of living in the village:
- Easy access to local shops and stores
- You can walk just about anywhere
- No need for a car
- You get to experience the culture first hand
- Lack of off-street parking
- Lots of people and tourists (especially weekends)
- Difficulty finding off-street parking
- Traffic and congestion
There are some incredible homes in the village and in spite of their thick brick wall construction noise travels. Living in any small village especially Ajijic, San Antonio and Jocotepec you can expect it to be noisy. Many expats that live in Ajijic complain about the late-night music played in a few of the local clubs.
Other times of the year there is loud music that radiates from the bull ring. It’s not an every night occasion but it does happen several times a year.
Every small village has their fiestas besides Christmas and the Virgin of Guadalupe which is in November and December they have what is called a novenario which is 9 days of celebrating the patron saint of the local village.
For example, in Ajijic, they celebrate San Andreas which is a Fiesta dedicated to Ajijic’s patron saint (22 -30 November). During this time fireworks are set off throughout the day especially early morning and late evening and night. During this time many expats take advantage of the Thanksgiving beach bus tours offered and leave the area until after the fiestas are over.
Not everyone hates the noise, many people love the festivities and enjoy the noise that comes with them.
If you choose a home close to the Plaza (town square) you should expect at least 2 weeks where you will find parking or transiting any of the streets close to the square next to impossible. The square is full of rides, games and local vendors selling a variety of arts, crafts, and cookware.
While at first for some this may seem like a lot of fun, after a few years it could begin to get so it is something that should be considered before purchasing a home in the village.
Most small towns have the same sort of festivities, in Chapala, it may not be as noticeable since it is a much bigger town and things are more spread out.
I live in El Chante which is about a mile from Jocotepec so we can hear the fireworks but we don’t consider it noisy.
One complaint I often hear is the unbearable noise of barking dogs. Stray dogs roam the streets and sometimes even in packs.
Depending on your neighborhood you may have to put up with barking dogs during the day or night. Many Mexicans keep their dogs on the roof so they bark a lot especially when they see people or other animals walking down the sidewalk.
If the noise of barking dogs is something you cant tolerate it should be a factor to be considered before buying or renting a home, especially in the village.
Living on the outskirts of town
Living on the outskirts of time may be a better option for those looking for a quieter neighborhood. There are small developments on the outskirts of town that are still close to many of the things in the center of town and only a 5-10 minute drives.
Many of these small developments are gated communities and have certain restrictions and are usually quiet places to live.
For those looking for more rural areas, there are many places for sale east of Ajijic all the way into Jocotepec. North of Chapala you have Chapala Haciendas and Brisas which is farther away but is very quiet and there are a lot of bargains. You can enjoy the quiet and private living these areas offer.
Living away from the village or small town is often what many people choose, and you do get the best of both worlds, living in a quiet neighborhood and when its time to party and enjoy the festivities it’s a short drive away.
Public transportation is available in most areas
If you don’t have a car and choose to live on the outskirts of town public transportation is available.
Moving around by bus is a common means to get around not all the busses are in the best of conditions but they will get you from point A to point B. Taxis are also available but are more expensive. In some areas, you will find Uber is available but it’s not common, at least not at the time of me writing this article.
Besides noise there are other considerations you may want to consider and of course should ask your real estate agent before you buy these include:
- How stable is electricity in the area
- Available internet options
- Is Water abundant in your area
There are many other considerations to consider besides noise but the topic of noise often comes up, a lot of people have learned to cope with living in the village and after a while, they get used to the sounds and others do not.
Mexico is a noisy country however, there are a lot of quiet areas and gated communities around Lake Chapala so if noise is a concern of yours make sure you point that out to your real estate agent, he or she can help find a quiet area and one that will suit your needs.