cost of living san carlos mexico

I am often asked about the cost of living in Mexico, in particular San Carlos. I thought the best way to explain this is by comparing the cost of living to an ocean side community in the United States.

If we are going to make this a true comparable it needs to be a community on the West coast with a warm winter climate. That rules out Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. So, with that in mind I have selected San Diego.

From my research I find that the average monthly costs for utility and essential home services runs about $280.00 per month in San Diego. These figures are very similar to what my monthly costs are here in San Carlos except my monthly expenses also include my gardener and a cleaning lady one day per week. My home is 2800 square feet, with lush landscaping and all the usual electricity loving appliances.

Where the major difference comes in is when we review home prices and property taxes. We all know that real estate values in San Diego have decreased recently however; it is safe to use 700K as a sample for our property tax purposes. California’s property taxes are based on 1% of the appraised value of the home along with any bonds, fees, or special charges. This can raise the value to 1.2% more or less. For the sake of this comparison we will use the 1% figure, which brings the monthly property tax bill for a 700K house to $700 per month. In San Carlos the property taxes are figured based on square footage, neighborhood, bathrooms, and views. It’s a rather hectic and somewhat random formula, however that’s Mexico and her personality. My property taxes for my golf course home are $500 per year.

In San Carlos you can purchase a dream home with ocean views in the most prestigious neighborhood in the high 700’s. The same home in San Diego would no doubt cost 2-3M. plus. The monthly property tax bills on the 2-3M home would be thousands of dollars per month  whereas in San Carlos your highest property tax rate might be $1,000 per year.

In summary, the utility costs in San Carlos are similar to San Diego however, San Carlos comes out way ahead when it comes to the purchasing strength of your dollar and also on the property taxes.  Add those factors to the quality of life here…less stress…fewer people…less crime…no air pollution….and San Carlos really shines!