They’ve been drawn here since right after World War II by the artsy and bohemian vibe, the full calendar of cultural events, indigenous festivals, an ideal climate, and low cost of living.
The centerpiece is the centro historico, a district packed with colonial Baroque-style homes, churches, public buildings, plazas, and parks…connected by narrow cobblestone streets. The buildings are in shades of vermillion, amber, orange, and intense red, and topped with terra cotta tile roofs.
It’s a picturesque, pedestrian-friendly city. You feel like you’re walking through history as you pass centuries-old buildings now home to chic boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, cafés, and restaurants of every cuisine imaginable, plus traditional favorites…there’s always something to do in San Miguel.
As a result, real estate—usually renovated colonial homes—in the heart of the historic center can be pricey. This is especially true the closer you get to El Jardin, the town’s central plaza in front of the famous red Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel church. This park is the traditional hub of activity.
But the good news is that you can buy a home within a quick walk or short taxi ride of the historic center for a fraction of the price. It could be a rehabbed colonial or something more modern; a condo or home. But in any case you’ll have a nice place to call your own, comfortable, with amenities like high-speed internet, well-equipped kitchens, and more. And you’ll be in a safe neighborhood just outside the most desirable part of town.
You could live here full-time. Or, as many expats do, come to San Miguel from January to April to escape the harsh North American winter. Many property owners also rent out their places to long-term tenants or vacationers, capitalizing on the city’s popularity among expats and visitors year-round.
A one-bedroom home, 15 minutes from the heart of the city, with plenty of outdoor space for enjoying a glass of wine and cool weather in the evening, is available for $125,000. One of the terraces has a fountain. It’s done up in a colorful, funky, colonial-influenced style with plenty of intricate tile work and artistic decor.
Go five minutes farther out, a 15-minute walk from the heart of the centro, and you have a two-bedroom home, 1,421-square-feet, on a quiet side street, including off-street parking which is invaluable in town. Walk to the market, restaurants, and more. It’s available for $119,000.
If you’re willing to walk a bit farther, or take a bus or taxi into town, you can get even more for your money. For $100,000, you can have a three-bedroom colonial style home a 10-minute walk from downtown. There is a terrace for outdoor living and a rooftop deck with views.
A two-bedroom, newly-constructed luxury home a quick drive from the historic district features colonial styling throughout, including extensive traditional tiles. A large terrace, good for entertaining, offers panoramic city views. Asking price is $167,000.
On the outskirts of town, you’d have to drive in or take a taxi or bus to visit the historic area, you have a new home, custom built for $69,000.
Life in San Miguel de Allende is a dream for many. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it. The large amount of affordable properties within striking distance makes it easy to save on real estate, yet enjoy all the fun this colonial gem has to offer.
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