Questions about living in Cancun

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by kgunn, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. kgunn

    kgunn Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Hello all, my first post here!

    We are seriously considering a long-term move to Cancun. We have lived overseas before (Spain, France, Germany and Norway). I work for an international firm based out of Denmark and my husband is an author (so he can live just about anywhere). We have six-year-old triplets (two girls/one boy). Our son is high-functioning autistic--but is now transitioning into the typical classroom (will enter kindergarden in the fall). Our girls will go into the first grade.

    My family is spread all over the world, so living as an expat is something we are very much used to, however, we are not greatly familiar with Mexico and LA in general. So I could use some help. We have visited the area several times before, but as you are all aware, vacationing is much different than living.

    We have two options. Option one is taking an extended holiday over Christmas (three weeks) and spend time getting to know the city/region. Then plan for a move for the fall of 2011. Option two is for my husband to take visit (two weeks in July) and gather information/contacts for a move with our children enrolled this fall.

    I would like to see what kind of apt/home we could rent long-term for $1500 per month. What will this get us? Close to the school and shopping, good neighborhood are critical factors. We prefer modern/minimalist styles, but understand selection may not allow us many choices and will adapt.

    I would prefer to be within 30 minutes or so of the airport, so living south is not the preferred option--unless someone can give me some great reasons for doing so (special house or school).

    I have done some initial research in to the schools. Colegio Bilingüe Alexandre is one we are strongly considering. I would like to hear some feedback on this particular school and others that may be good options for us as well. Tuition rates and school size as well would be nice to know.

    Activities such as tennis, golf, horseback lessons, music, volleyball for our children either with the school or other organizations are also very important.

    What is the cost to have a live-in maid? What does it cost for a gardener to come (if there is a yard) once/twice a week.

    What are grocery costs for a family of five? You can ballpark this, I just need general numbers.

    I think this is it for now, I'm looking forward to reading your responses.

    Thanks in advance!

    --Kimi
     
  2. kgunn

    kgunn Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Another question. What is the highest Internet speed available (T1) or something close? What this the cost?
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Welcome to the forum, I'll have a go at a couple of questions, maybe others can fill in the gaps.

    $1500 rent a month should get you a pretty nice place. Downtown you'll probably want to look at areas such as SM15 or SM18 for a 3/4 bedroom detached place. These areas are very central, not far from the HZ, close to schools and supermarkets etc and relatively safe. Conjuntos (a collection of normally semi detached houses with shared pool / security / gardens etc) will run a little cheaper in those areas -but usually have a maintenance fee on top. For that kind of price then a smaller place in the Hotel Zone might be within reach, but wont be close to shops, schools etc. One thing to be wary of are the places you'll find advertised online, they are invariably overpriced because they are largely marketed to foreigners. You'll find a much better selection and better rates once you're here by using the normal channels such as the local newspaper or following up for rent signs.

    Alexandre is considered one of the better schools. There are others though, Britannico is highly regarded as is CES, Ek Balam, St Johns and several others. We reviewed the school for our 5 yr old recently as it's close to end of school year. She's currently at Britannico and we did consider switching to Alexandre, but due to her date of birth (Dec) it would have meant she had to repeat the year since their cut off date is Sept - so that may be a consideration for you. Prices (at Britannico) are 6000 pesos inscription (per year) plus 4,500 pesos per month for 10 months of the year. Books, uniform and materials etc on top of that. Alexandre is about the same or a little less. For 3 kids it wont be cheap, but there is usually a small discount for more than one child.

    Sports /Art activities for kids are plentiful and not that expensive, some schools are better than others at providing them but most are pretty weak imho. Britannico is one that is not great at offering school sports. Dani's PT class is like something I expect they do in the army :) She goes to swimming class, not connected with school, twice a week - 600 pesos per month.

    A live in maid (we dont have one) but around 1500 pesos a week is roughly about right, you'll have to buy all food and pay all bills etc. As for a gardener, we pay a guy 250 pesos to come once every 2 or 3 weeks for about 5-6 hrs (we only have a small garden - most houses here are on quite small plots). We pay our maid 250 pesos a day and she comes twice a week.

    Internet. My connection just got upgraded to 4MB from 2MB and that's about as good as it gets, unless you want to pay astronomical prices for a business connection.
     
  4. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    I would second Steve's comments. My girlfriend's two children, 6 and 10, go to Balam but not sure if that is what Steve refers to as Ek Balam. SM 15 and 18 are great neighborhoods. I would rank 15 the better of the two but that is my personal opinion.

    How do you plan on getting around? If you have a car it is a no brainer but if you are going to rely on the buses and taxis then location should be factored into the decision.

    The Alexandre school is in a nice neighborhood so you could walk the kids to school but it does rain here. Plus the school is not remote if you have a car so if you lived near there without a car you would need to take a taxi to most places.

    Even though you have lived abroad and have experienced other cultures, you will certainly have things to adapt to that are not always fun. Before I would move anywhere I would certainly visit there extensively and immerse myself into the real world. Because for sure, "You're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy."

    Good luck.
     
  5. kgunn

    kgunn Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Thanks Steve for the information.

    What do you consider astronomical for the price?
     
  6. kgunn

    kgunn Enthusiast Registered Member

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    We would bring our car, so a taxi to the airport is about it.

    How would you compare Balam to Alexandre?
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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  8. beverlyhillsgirl

    beverlyhillsgirl Newbie Registered Member

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    Hi, it seems that a lot of people are concidering moving to paradise!! I live in Spain and highly considering to move too... I am a single mom with family in Playa del Carmen. I don't know if I would be able to afford a private school for my daughter. What can you tell me about public schools?
     
  9. kgunn

    kgunn Enthusiast Registered Member

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    How is the SM 11 neighborhood? How is the Cumbres area?
     
  10. TraceyUk

    TraceyUk Guru Registered Member

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    Re Cumbres- its a nice area and has a new supermarket and some restaurants - it is also very close to Alexandre . However within Cumbres itself it has alot of building work still going on and its nowhere near finished.

    Campestre is a nice area and has a school within the gated community.Older , larger houses with more outdoor space around the houses.The school is Montessori and has a good reputation.

    Re Balam v Alexanfre- I hear lots of good things about Balam and not so good about Alexandre - many kids have moved from there to attend my kids school - CES.
    Good Luck
    Tracey
     
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