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Many San Diegans choosing to make home in Mexico

Posted at 5:18 AM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 11:56:12-05

SAN DIEGO - A growing number of San Diegans are heading south of the border to make Mexico home.

Tijuana, Mexico, is a city with a population of more than 1.5 million, but with housing deals to be had, more people could be on the way.

Former Southern California resident Richard Hamar moved to Tijuana five years ago. He said he made the big move for the culture, the food and the major savings in rent.

"It's got everything for me recreationally. As far as I'm concerned, this could be one of the food capitals of the world. It's got everything that you've got in the coast of Southern California that would be excessively expensive," Hamar said.

10News spoke to Maricarmen Castellanos, the CEO of Probien, a company in Tijuana that helps place buyers and renters with new properties. She said she is seeing an increase in Americans looking to rent or buy across the border.

"All the developers of Mexico have turned their eyes here," Castellanos said. "Great designs, architectures, spaces, views, there's no comparison [between] the prices here to San Diego."

One example of a housing deal 10News found: A brand new two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium unit with just under 1,100 square feet of space at a cost of around $200,000, or $1,400 per month in rent. The home includes updated appliances, it's located in what is considered a nice neighborhood that is 15 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border and there is 24-hour/7-day-a-week security.

In downtown San Diego, a similar styled condo would cost more than $500,000, with rent for a unit that size likely to cost $2,500 or more per month.

Hamar said, "Why pay five times more when you don't have to?"

Hamar told 10News that anyone interested in living in Tijuana should visit and get to know the area before making any kind of commitment.

As far as safety goes, Shamar doesn't worry, saying, "You have to be at peace with the idea that this is a safe environment."