John & Barbara Baker

In October 2013 we spent a week through Focus on Mexico to learn about the process of immigrating to the Lake Chapala area of Mexico. We had been assigned to our mentor, Catherine Gonzales, who connected us with her Ajijic realtor, Thomas Hellyer. In that my husband John and I were committed to making the move the next spring, we spent an afternoon looking at various real estate to see what might fit into our budget and our desires. We returned to Texas with some idea of what was available. Would we live in the village? Would we live on the outskirts of the village? Would we live above the village? We didn’t know, but we were thrilled to imagine our future here.

We returned to Texas with hopes that one day we might find just the right home for us. In the meantime we closed up our lives in Texas by having an estate sale and selling our two cars. With Permanente status granted, we landed at the Guadalajara airport on May 1, 2014, with a rental in tact.

We soon learned that we do not have the natures of renters. In the serendipity that is characteristic of the Lake Chapala area, we met a couple who was selling their home by owner. Visiting them alone for the first time, we were 99% convinced that this home was destined to be ours. We asked Thomas to approve of our decision. The next day he showed us this plus three other homes, assuring us that our find was the best home and location for the price.

John and I returned to the owners’ home that evening and negotiated our deal. However, we knew that we needed to execute this contract legally and asked Thomas if he would represent us. He was remarkably easy going about the transaction and took care of us through the five-month process. You see, we had to live out at least half of our year’s lease per our landlord. Understandable, although annoying!

What we imagined to be a simple affair turned out to be more complex than we could have realized. Yet, Thomas handled the owners’ concerns as well as our needs, going far above beyond the expected call of duty.

We would highly recommend him because of his easy-going nature, his knowledge of the community, his honesty, his vast contacts, and the support he has from his real estate office. His low-key nature makes everything seem much more effortless than it must have been behind the scene. We are so grateful to him for his representation.

Barbara and John Baker