Focus clients give us top marks!
Clients Testimonial Videos (2016, 2017)
“Did our program meet your expectations?”
- from T&K Walden 2017; “Not at all!! They EXCEEDED them!!”
- from Sydney Metrick 2017; “The program far exceed my expectations. You’ve had presenters that covered just about everything we need to know. One or the other answered even the most obscure questions or researched it for us.”
- from Alumnus Van Lilly 2017; “Exceeded them. Better than I remembered.”
- from G & K Stephens 2017 “The staff was very knowledgeable, friendly, and super helpful. They were always ready to give you the time necessary to answer your questions and give any help you needed…super helpful-first class.”
- from Heidi Woodhead 2017; “Absolutely! Great program and we will encourage anyone to attend if they have a desire to live in Mexico.”
- from Bette Brazel 2016; “Focus on Mexico delivered everything I expected and more. Before coming I had read some reviews where people said FOM provided information you could gather yourself. While that is true, I found that the information delivered by FOM was vetted, so that we were immediately connected to the best doctor, immigration and moving services, etc. Money spent on the course saved me both money and time that would have been spent locating resources on my own, deciding whether a move to Mexico was right for me, and possibly some mistakes along the way. For those planning a move to Mexico, FOM also provides the beginning of a network to build on which is hard to put a price on.”
- from Jane Findley & Brad Dougherty 2016; “Yes – and more. One of my wildest dreams was to include a family member who has zero interest in moving to Mexico. Not only did that happen, he grew in his vision that it could be a place we both agree upon. This is a magical place and we have been touched for evermore by our time and personal experiences here.”
…and from previous years…
The value of the program really is exceptional…
“Choosing Focus on Mexico was the best decision I could make. The value received was very much worth the price.”
The educational segment was excellent, much needed and much appreciated. I had not fully considered tax responsibility whether I live in the USA or not. The tax specialists were very informative. Investing in Mexico and information on the Mexican economy was enlightening and opened other considerations that, again, I had not thought of. The potential financial benefit is appealing. I especially appreciated “Alternative Health Care” and mainly because I hear/read so little of it at home. I will certainly investigate this further. “Survivor’s Spanish” was excellent and laid a much needed foundation on which to build at least conversational Spanish. ALL the outings were great. Ballet Folklorico was unbelievable. Honestly, I thought “Ballet? Oh great.” But it was a not-to-be-missed event. Thank you for including that. All of Sunday was excellent. I thoroughly enjoy walking to explore cities and seeing the open air markets, plazas, Tianguis were excellent introductions to Mexico, the people and their creative ways to make a living. Monte Coxala was a welcomed respite and came at just the right time in the week. The range of dining establishments was an excellent demonstration of the variety of restaurants available in the area. I think most of us expected simply restaurants serving Mexican food. I was tremendously and positively impressed with the warmth demonstrated by the Focus Team. From the time I got through Customs to the time that I went back to the airport, encouragement and warmth was consistently exuded. Not only that, but they were very helpful and stressed that they were available to help us 24 hours per day during our visit. So I already have friends in Lake Chapala and I won’t be going there alone!My Focus agent (Catherine Gonzales) was outstanding. She spent time with me one-on-one, answered my questions, made suggestions and said she would be on the look out for property that might work for me. Again the warmth and assistance was pretty amazing.I was interested in living in Mexico for lower cost of living and weather. I didn’t want to explore the country on my own and after extensive internet research, I chose Focus on Mexico to introduce me to the Lake Chapala area. Choosing Focus on Mexico was the best decision I could make. The value received was very much worth the price. They informed me of instances that would have taken me months to learn – – frustrating months that probably would have led to a return home. Focus on Mexico provided a wealth of information that I needed to know BUT I did not know that I needed to know! If anyone who reads this is considering an “exploratory trip” to Mexico, I encourage you to contact Focus on Mexico. If I had not chosen Focus on Mexico, I think it would have turned out to be a very big mistake for me.
“If you couldn’t tell, I loved my experience with the Focus on Mexico program. It’s a great blend of education and fun – the description of it as a Learning Adventure is right on the money.”
The educational segments were incredibly informative and helpful. I would never have found all this information on my own. All of the speakers were well organized, knew their stuff and were engaging. I especially enjoyed those who made us laugh – it helps us stay awake and engaged! I loved all of our fun outings. They were so varied that it’s hard to pick one favorite. The Ballet Folklorico (and the beautiful theater!) was definitely a highlight, as was the spa visit. I loved the Orozco murals in my first visit to Guadalajara, and found that the addition of a guide to explain something about them provided a meaningful new dimension to the experience. Everything in Chapala and Ajijic gave a fantastic introduction to the area. I can’t think of a thing you could do any better.I cannot believe the number of excellent restaurants and the variety of cuisine in such a relatively small city. You did a great job of introducing us to the variety that Ajijic has to offer and each of the menus seemed to have been thoughtfully put together to accommodate every whatever dietary preferences and restrictions people in the group may have. Wonderful all the way around!I cannot believe how absolutely warm, welcoming and wonderful everyone on the Focus team is. (Notice I don’t use the past tense, as I consider them all new friends.) We had to postpone our visit twice due to Maureen’s health crises, and never once did I experience anything but genuine concern about her and her well-being. Then, when we finally arrived, the warmth and caring continued. Liz is a wonder – kind, thoughtful, fun, always paying attention to each person’s needs. She makes it all look so effortless that it’s easy to forget she’s working. But, when you stop and think about how everyone feels that she knows them and is taking care of them, you realize how hard she works! Susan is terrific – a joy to be around, thoughtful, helpful and fun. Liz and Susan together are a great team. And Ray and Marie….well, there aren’t enough kudos. They are both so interested in people and easy to talk to, and the fact that they sincerely offer to help everyone at each step of the process – it’s just above and beyond. Anyone who works in a service industry should be required to work for a while with Focus on Mexico to learn how it’s done.
Catherine Gonzales is a fantastic resource. She was able to smoothly juggle the requirements of numbers of clients all of whom wanted to see lots of property at the same time. She is like all the other Focus Team members – smart, helpful, kind, fun and funny. Just an all around great and helpful person!If you couldn’t tell, I loved my experience with the Focus on Mexico program. It’s a great blend of education and fun – the description of it as a Learning Adventure is right on the money. It’s great to know that we can call on the team at any time with questions, we have resources to help us accomplish the move successfully with a minimum of hassle, and we can re-attend any sessions we want to as a refresher – at no extra charge! But, the best part is that I truly feel like we have a new set of friends in Mexico. I’m touching my gratitude rock and saying “Thank you” for being a part of such a wonderful experience.
Outstanding program with useful hands on info on “How to” make the move here.If anyone is contemplating a move to Mexico, whether to live there or to retire there, would do themselves a big favor by taking this seminar first!Especially found Julie Vargas’ presentation insightful as well as good talks of local cost of living by Marian Wellman and Legal procedures by Lic. Ramos. If you want to buy you have to know everything about Real Estate locally and you did a good job.Tlaquepaque was great!! I feel I was able to get somewhat familiar with the area thanks to outings.Food was great – All restaurants were a good choice – The “Garden” was a treat.Very helpful staff willing to share their experiences moving here. I always felt conmfortable asking any questions I had. Very professional but very warm- Paulette did everything she could to make the trip a winner. –Liz is a delight. – All personnel very warm. FLOWER ARRANGEMENT IN ROOM NICE TOUCH!!
A few days after the program, Karen replied to a survey:
The seminar proved to be better than we expected! The information was extensive & well presented. It was at times overwhelming because there was so much useful data offered. The seminar not only answered all of our questions about moving to Mexico, but gave us the necessary resources to tap into in order to “customize” our move.
Outings were great! We liked seeing the Orozco murals & listening to the guide’s comments. The visit to the murals was a definite highlight for us! Liked seeing the Wednesday market in Ajijic. We were able to get a good dose of the area & all it has to offer.
Daily breakfast at the Real de Chapala Hotel sitting on the patio with a view of the lake surrounded by unique vegetation, the unique ball fountains & the delicious temperature made one look forward to a wonderful day. The ambiance of the “Chac Lan” for dinner was special – beautiful views of Lake Chapala. Also dinner at “Los Cinco Potrillos” was memorable as was lunch at “Casa Fuerte” in Tlaquepaque. Food at afore-mentioned three restaurants was excellent! Dinner party at the Bullocks’ the last night was the best evening of all!!! Exceptional margaritas, too! You all have done a wonderful job in choosing the many restaurants we enjoyed!
Liz V. was super – a delight to be with & keep us on schedule. Everybody connected with the Focus program, Ray, Marie, Karen, Bill, as well as everybody connected with the program were a pleasure to deal with. They were all willing to share their experiences of moving to Mexico with us which made the program come alive. We had fun exchanging stories & info with everyone in our “Chame-lot” group. What a memorable week it was!
If anyone is contemplating a move to Mexico, whether to live there or to retire there, would do themselves a big favor by taking this seminar first! It provides the necessary information for making the move & fuels any incentive to examine a new & comfortable life in Mexico
Lee & Susan Downs, May 21-28, 2011
“Focus on Mexico provided us with a very cost-effective, thorough, and enjoyable experience.”All of the educational presentations were succinct, thorough, and useful in helping to complete the picture of Lakeside for inquirers–even after having spent five years doing our own research on the area.The trip to Guadalajara was especially memorable, with the Orozco murals particularly impressive. Ajijic’s tianguis, compared to Chapala’s market, was great! We really enjoyed the time spent visiting shops in Ajijic, and peeking behind the walls in this 450 year old village.The food was varied and delicious. We returned to Rick’s Early Bird Cafe, on one of our extra days, and I declared to all other diners that, after spending decades in my quest, I had just eaten the world’s best Reuben! Karen and Bill’s village (Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos) welcomed us with a brass band (actually, I think that it was a typical evening in the plaza), and the restaurant was perfect.From the moment Liz greeted us at the airport, until she transported us back 11 days later, our Program Director did her best to keep us on schedule, and met our special needs with grace, tact and good humor. The whole team did a great job in making the week truly memorable. Liz’ emails prior to the trip were very useful in our planning.
We are not interested in purchasing, and Catherine totally respected OUR “focus.” She was supportive and very helpful.
Focus on Mexico provided us with a very cost-effective, thorough, and enjoyable experience. Your team and the Mexican people–our true hosts–were welcoming and warm-hearted, and were instrumental in making the kind of memories that will certainly influence our plans for the future.
Brad & Mary Phelps, February 2008
Thank you for changing our lives. Since you and Ray had a strong influence on our interest in Lakeside and our desire to move here – plus so many of your kind words over the last 3 years, we wanted to let you know that our house in Colorado sold and the closing was yesterday morning. It was the last of our many ‘attachments’ north of the border.You’ll remember that after our first visit here just over three years ago we thought we’d be able to fly home, list our mountain cabin and sell it easily, do a little fix-up on our home and sell it and either sell or close out our business and move here in about a year. Even in an ideal economy those were pretty ambitious plans but we had a dream. So it took 3 years instead of one. On this side of it – not so bad.We did have a dream. With everything that we learned from Focus from the very beginning we’ve been able to make conscious and informed decisions about the steps we needed to take to make this our new home. We now enjoy a lifestyle far different than anything we had or could have imagined before we visited here. Had it not been for you and Ray and all the information that you provided through Focus and the people we’ve met as a result of Focus and the many times over that those people and connections have expanded and doubled to provide even more answers – I can’t imagine trying to get to this point and place in time without you.I haven’t told you this in quite some time but it is heart felt. Thank you for changing our lives.
Brad & Mary
Jim and Joanne Stuart, 2010 Feb 27 to Mar 6
“The program certainly exceeded my expectations!”The seminars were very informative, well organized, and ideally placed in the schedule. The meetings were so insightful that they prompted a lot of questions that further enlightened us about living in the Lakeside.Wow! I cannot choose a favourite outing. They were amazing! What a wonderful way to experience the Lakeside! You gave us a wonderful selection of experiences. If participants stayed extra time (as we did), they could pursue their own interests.What a wonderful diverse selection and experiences! We went back to many after the program as a result. Kudos! A truely engaging experience.What can I say! The staff we say Daily were EXCEPTIONAL! Ana was a “Mexican Tornado!” So much enthusiasm, so much information, and so much help! Liz was amazing! Very knowledgeable, personable and went out of her way to help. And Manuel- What a talented driver, who actually made you safe driving in those narrow cobblestone streets. Always greeting you with a smile!
The program certainly exceded my expectations! Your followup program is a wonderful idea and we are looking forward to our next visit and meeting with Paulette and Randall. A great addition!
A note after returning home:
Joanne and I were on the Feb/Mar 2010 Focus tour and loved the area so much we coming back in July to experience the rainy season, as suggested!We had such a wonderful time! You guys just made us part of your family and we had such a magical group! We have told anyone we met thinking about retirement abroad about your incredible program.
Best Wishes to all!
Joanne and Jim Stuart
“The program fulfilled the expectations created by the Focus On Mexico web-site.”Very thorough, detail oriented program designed to help potential expats move to Mexico in an efficient, low-stress way. The information was very comprehensive, the outings were interesting and fun and very informative. And we were shown a good representation of houses from lower to higher price ranges with a variety of features and with the positive and negative aspects of each property pointed out.
The Focus on Mexico Program “made John and me confident that we are making the right move.”
The Educational Segment overall was very good. I especially liked Tere’s talk on Alternative Care and the legal system in Mexico by Jorge Luis Ramos Uriarte.I really loved our outing in Guadalajara, with the amazing Orozco murals. Ernesto was a great guide, and, even with all the excellent restaurants we went to during the program, I believe the restaurant on Tlaquepaque was my favorite.The Focus Staff was just great. Liz is a stand-out – we all loved her. She took such a good care of me, from scheduling an ophthalmologist to giving me eye drops. Kudos to Catherine, too.I really appreciated working with Catherine and Marvin. They were great in responding to my ‘do my own thing’ approach. And, of course I found the house of my dreams, put in an offer, and hope to have good news about it. The Focus Program is really excellent. I’ve already recommended it to people I met at Estrellitas B&B. It made John and me confident that we are making the right move. I’m also delighted to be working with Marvin Golden I have complete confidence in him.
“We can unequivocally say that the benefits of taking the course exceeded our expectations.”This was, by far, the best ‘educational session’ we’ve ever paid for — business-wise or personal. All of the questions we had in our minds before visiting Lake Chapala were answered. We can unequivocably say that the benefits of taking the course exceeded our expectations. All the restaurants and entertainment venues were excellent! It was absolutely wonderful to experience so many different restaurants. We especially enjoyed Simply Thai (excellent, fresh food) and Manix (the chance to get up and dance was wonderful!). Oh, and the hand-made bratwurst at Johanna’s was out of this world!!! Best we ever tasted. It really was a tremendously well-rounded variety of restaurants that we were able to experience. We will definitely keep the list so that we have them as a reference when we move down there. Each and every one of them was worthy of a return visit – and I’m sure there are many more yet to be discovered! We thought the real estate segments and outings were excellent – really well done! We didn’t feel any pressure to buy, yet had so much incredible expertise at our fingertips! This was a really thorough study on the various communities lakeside, with ample time to visit (and sometimes re-visit!) anything we wanted to see – which gave us a great “feel” for values and communities.As for the Focus staff and Buyer’s Agents, we have only positive things to say about everyone we’ve encountered and worked with. This is an extraordinary team of people, each and every one of whom brings value to the program (Thomas, the realtor included!)
“I would recommend the Focus on Mexico program without reservation.”Your seminars answered more questions than I knew to ask! They were well-organized and professionally presented, and kept me engaged even when the topic was not something I was personally interested in (like driving to Mexico). Plus, they were fun, with lots of humor!The outings were all great and there’s NO WAY I could pick a favorite! We had plenty of time to shop and to take photos. The hot springs were heavenly! Of course, the Day of the Dead celebration in the cemetary was unforgettable…but so were the Orozco murals. You provided a perfect mix of experiences.
The variety and quality of the food was excellent, whether at elegant NumberFOUR or at down-home Mom’s. Once again, I can’t pick a favorite, although the jazz at NumberFOUR was a special treat.Ten minutes into the welcome cocktail party I felt like I’d known you all for years – and our farewell dinner was like taking leave of family. Our small group had some special challenges which were handled with care, concern anddelicacy. Liz Verar is a jewel! I would recommend the Focus on Mexico program without reservation. As a single woman, I felt comfortable and welcomed. As someone with moderate financial means, I was treated no differently than were those who might have more money to spend. The program included something for everyone, and there was no pressure to participate on those who wanted to skip an event. Every care was taken for our comfort and safety. It was, quite simply, an incredible experience!
“The overall program was just what we thought and wanted. Very informative.”We thought the overall program was very informative. We came here to get more info…and that there was!
We were amazed at how the lakeside has changed over the past 4 years. The Chapala pier is so updated and clean! We loved the fact that Ajijic has a pier and walking available along the water!The food is of course amazing! What can we say about Manix? Super fun!!!You are a bunch of very knowledgeable people! Friendly, helpful, fun!The overall program was just what we thought and wanted. Very informative. The speakers were engaging and helpful. The food was amazing! We came home weighing less!!! Hats off to “real” food!! Thank you Liz! The best “keep you on time” director ever! We are so thankful for the new friends we made!
“Well worth the money.”
Overall very useful and informative – gave me enough information to make it easy to look for more in specific areas. The individual session with Ray on the Canadian tax situation was very helpful. Staff were extremely helpful, providing information and advice when asked, but not pushy. Well worth the money.April 16, 2011:
Marie, thank you and Ray for the invitation for tonight, it was a very enjoyable evening and I appreciated being invited.All the FOCUS staff I have worked with, both during this visit and in the time between my tour in October and now have been extremely patient and helpful, I appreciate all the work you all do for us.Thanks again, Keith Coates
“I would encourage anyone who is thinking about moving to Mexico to treat themselves to a Focus on Mexico week”The educational segment of the program was priceless and certainly well worth the cost of the trip. Kristina Morgan’s enthusiasm for the area was contagious and her overview was very helpful. And who wouldn’t be inspired by the volunteering opportunities after seeing what Walt and Nancy have done at Hope House! I felt very reassured by Dr. Garcia’s presentation on the availability and quality of health care in the area. The home tours were excellent, both the behind the walls tour and the new homes tour. I came away with a very good sense of availability for the dollar.Either they all served low calorie food, or the tours were designed to burn precisely the number of calories I ate each day. My weight didn’t change, but I certainly did enjoy the delicious variety of local cuisine. Manix was my favorite, but I’m sure it’s as much the experience as the food. Ajijic Tango was a big hit as well. How can I single out any one of this fabulous array of excellent restaurants?Liz is adorable and get’s the Oscar for her ability to herd cats with only a whistle and a lilting voice. She and Jimmy were most attentive to every detail I was aware of. Once I learned Manuel had been driving on every Focus tour since the beginning, I exhaled. He does, in fact, know the thickness of every coat of paint on every car in Ajijic. He was so gracious and good-natured. I loved the way various members of the team came to different functions and always seemed to enjoy being there. I’m guessing you folks call what you do “jobs,” but considering everyone’s demeanor, it seems there really should be a better word for it.This was the most pleasant educational experience I have ever had. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about moving to Mexico to treat themselves to a Focus on Mexico week. Whether or not you choose to move there, you’ll never have this much fun learning more than you even know you needed to learn just to make the decision.
“It’s easy to say the program was well worth the cost, but that misses the point of one of the unexpected delights of being with all of you”
Excellent in every respect. I chose the Focus program to get answers to exactly the questions these experts addressed. Not only did they all answer my questions, but I now feel connected to a “team” of experts who will be there to help me make my transition into life in Mexico.I enjoyed ALL of the outings and found them a very well balanced break from the educational seminars. Can’t think of anything to improve. I just want to tell you that I’m very impressed at how Focus addresses the various interests and economic capabilities of the participants, particularly in the housing tours. I never felt my time was wasted even when I was seeing housing clearly not suitable for me. You all amaze me!Again, I thought your choice of such a wide variety of restaurants was very well thought through. Dinner at Casa Bullock was a very special personal touch. My gratitude stone is with me right now. Thank you.No, but here’s a funny little joke on me story. When the music started at Manix I was really offended that I had to almost shout to be heard by the person sitting next to me. I was so surprised that Focus could be so insensitive to the guests’ desires to converse. WELL! It didn’t take me too long to get it and I was up dancing, singing AND letting a strange man pour tequila down my throat! A great evening.You are all the greatest! I’d say Liz is worth her weight in gold, but she’s such a tiny little thing, she’s worth TWICE her weight in gold! Everyone was thoughtful, patient and willing to share their own personal stories of how they came to the Lake.
I’m not really sure what a “testimonial type comment” is, but you can use anything I say. It’s easy to say the program was well worth the cost, but that misses the point of one of the unexpected delights of being with all of you – I arrived on 9/11 a total stranger to all of you and the Lake. I left just a week later feeling on my way to a circle of friends and a new home.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated team of folks to take care of us. You guys are the greatest.”I believe the educational segment of the program is excellent-excellent-excellent. Volumes of information, laid out in a way that is easy to follow, and lots of fun to learn. Lots of thought seems to have gone into preparation of this educational “cruise.” Each day I looked forward to it; it was a lot of fun. Just filled my head with information.I loved every single thing we did, and I really can’t single out any one item. You guys kept us going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Our whole group was just a blast!!! From all the excellent restaurants we ate at, to the markets we visited, to the ballet and art museum in Guadalajara, the malls, it was an enormous amount of impressions on one to digest. All I can say is great time, great people, great place.I don’t think I could say anything but that the food every place we went was delicious, and others can attest to the fact I always cleaned my plate. But…You know there’s always room for improvement. Let me see now??? Hmmmmm? Loved it all, and then some!!! Thank you “Focus team” each and everyone of you for your attention to details on taking care of our group. We couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated team of folks to take care of us. You guys are the greatest. Thank you, thank you, thank you!Unbelievable experience. The whole staff are a bunch of up-beat, full of energy, most positive attitude people in one bunch I’ve ever met…all! I don’t want to keep being repetitious but that’s all there is to say about this program is it is genuinely the greatest. This is due to the fact that the whole team seems to really love what they are doing and it surely shows.
“You know how to find excellent staff that not only get the job done but are just plain NICE. Thank you for a wonderful introduction to Mexico.”The educational segment of the program was very complete. The speakers were all engaging and well informed. Being a foodie, I would have to say the food was the highlight for me. Outside of our wine trip to Burgundy, France I have never had such consistently good food. The absolute highlight was at Cafe Bullock – the food the setting the piñata the stones made an experience to always remember!Everyone went out of their way to make our experience the best possible. Bill and I appreciated the effort staff made to let Bill rest and still be able to take part in most of the activities. I couldn’t believe it when a mattress top was brought to our room to make us more comfortable.I signed on for this gig with a little trepidation. My fears ended when we were met at the Guadalahara Airport by Liz’s smiling face. We were in for one superb week! We arrived at the hotel (right on the lake) to find fresh flowers in our room. The first gathering was so warm and friendly we knew it was going to be good. A special thank you to Liz and Jimmy for all their kindnesses and to Catherine for all of the time she spent with us looking at houses. Marie and Ray have to be commended for being the creative force behind this program and having the courage to begin it. It is really a great program. You know how to find excellent staff that not only get the job done but are just plain NICE. Thank you for a wonderful introduction to Mexico.
Judy and Jim Cronin, Aug- 14-21, 2010 You all do a fabulous job. Marie´s genuine caring and spirituality were very moving. The friendshps we developed are priceless and the evening at Marie and Ray’s house was special. Liz is a treasure. Thank you all.
Would highly recommend to anyone interested in the lakeside and have already done so!!The educational segments were excellent and very informative with a variety of Speakers well versed in his or her own field. The outings were very enjoyable and beautiful countryside. We particularly loved the Ballet Folcklórico and Tlaquepaque. Looking forward to visiting the Feria next February. Manuel was wonderful – patient and very accommodating of Jack´s walking problem. Everyone couldn´t have been nicer! Liz, Jimmy and Marie were wonderful, and quickly became friends. What a terrific group of people. Everyone bent backwards to assist with anything we needed to know.
I find it difficult to imagine and even more difficult to understand why the Mexican government has not yet awarded the Focus On Mexico Program. All the educational sessions were informative but some were simply more entertaining at the same time. Such was the case with presentations by; Kristina Morgan, Julie Vargas, Marie & Ray, Dr. Garcia, Nancy & Walt. I love the way you selected restaurants where at any time a person could enjoy vegetable or seafood or meat. It’s already been said a hundred times….and it’s still worth repeating. The food was delicious and the fellowship was unforgettable. The Focus staff was very caring and willing to go the extra step to support our needs. I find it difficult to imagine and even more difficult to understand why the Mexican government has not yet awarded the Focus On Mexico Program. It is responsible for importing many compassionate people to the Lake Chapala community as well as revenue and jobs for the local Mexican community.
Marie and Ray, thank you for putting this wonderful program out there for us. I’m looking forward to coming back. All of the speakers were very good. There was a lot of info, and since I’ve been home, I have been reviewing what pertains to my situation. I’m very grateful for these segments. I enjoyed every place that we went, they were all different. I especially liked the tianguis and the walking tour of Ajijic. I really enjoy just wandering the streets and looking in the shops. Tlaquepaque is quite unique, and the Ballet was wonderful. I was very suprised that were so many different types of restaurants, and they were all excellent. My son asked if we ate at any good Mexican restaurants, and Tony’s came to mind. But I can eat Mexican at home, so I don’t have to come to Mexico for that.. I really liked Ajijic Tango; their Salmon was great. I’m a fish person. Regarding the Focus staff, it was nice to put faces to the voices of the staff I had spoken to on the phone. Everyone was very helpful and answered any question that was put to them. At first I was a little apprehensive about the program, being a single woman, knowing that it would probably be mostly couples in the group. But once I got there and saw there were other singles, it was a relief. We all had so much fun, as if we were friends already. Everywhere we went was a good time with Liz and Jimmy, who I felt so comfortable with. Manuel is the best driver; how he gets that van down some of the narrow streets, amazing. Marie and Ray, thank you for putting this wonderful program out there for us. I’m looking forward to coming back.
The information that we gained has put us at ease about so many questions and doubts that we had. As soon as we get the house sold back home we will be on our way to the Lake Chapala area. It was way better than the cruise!!! The educational classes that were presented to us were excellent. The presenters were very professional, knowledgeable, interesting and gave us all valuable information that we will need when we come to Mexico. We were really impressed with the quality of all the restaurants and the food and service was fabulous. The steak house had the most wonderful baked provolone. Sure wish I could get that recipe. Marie and Ray are wonderful. They KNOW everything and handle it with ease. Liz and Jimmy are so special. Our driver Manuel was such a nice Mexican gentleman. Kristina with her beautiful voice and gorgeous sapphire blue outfit on the last evening was a real gem. Catherine, Paulette and Karen were all very helpful. We weren’t sure what we were getting into when we finally signed up, but we did it in place of a cruise we were going to take. I think my husband thought I was probably nuts but both of us are soooo glad that we did this. We truly loved the whole program, the Focus Staff, the other attendees, who we will always keep as new and special friends. The information that we gained has put us at ease about so many questions and doubts that we had. As soon as we get the house sold back home we will be on our way to the Lake Chapala area. It was way better than the cruise!!!
“Worth every penny and would highly recommend to anyone thinking of moving to Mexico. I would be glad to talk to anyone that is thinking about attending the program. We are so glad we did. The program helped us make the decision to move to Mexico.” Awesome! Great information to learn about living in Mexico. Don’t reinvent the wheel. FOM has put a lot of time and years into putting together the necessary information for living in Mexico from buying, renting, taxes, residence status, investing, moving, etc. Worth every penny and highly recommend to anyone thinking of moving to Mexico. FOM also showed us the culture of the Mexican people. They are friendly and warm to everyone. We felt more safe there than in our home area of Phoenix.The topics that were of more interest to us were cost of living, US Taxes, Immigration, and working in Mexico. We do have the names of the people to contact that will help us with more questions and preparing our move. Over all I think everything was well planned and presented.The outings were much more than we expected. It gave us a chance to observe the people, what is available to us. The restaurants are fabulous as is the entertainment. Very well done to show us a variety of restaurants, shopping, and areas.The quality of the food was wonderful, lots of it, and looking at the menu very reasonable priced. Better prices than in the states for the quality. Loved the live music and being able to dance. And to think you could do it every night if you wanted to. Could not afford that in the states.
The Focus staff was friendly, warm, caring, and loving. Could not do enough to make sure everyone was taken care of. Always making sure we had what we needed. Went above and beyond to get me something better to sleep on for my back.
I would be glad to talk to anyone that is thinking about attending the program. We are so glad we did. The program helped us make the decision to move to Mexico. Our home went on the market a week after we returned. We owe it all to FOM and the fabulous program they gave us and the great education about living in Mexico. The people we met felt like family within a few days. We look forward to being part of the extended FOM family in the near future.
This is a great program. It is run by real professionals. It is worth every dollar and minute that one spends there. The best money and time one can spend if you are planning on living in Mexico. The educational program was exceptional. It gave insights to every aspect of living in Mexico. The outings were great. They gave a good insight into the area and the type of life style one can enjoy. All of the resturants were excellent. First-class food and service. Ajijic Tango was out of this world. Super beef. How can you improve on such great food and atmosphere? The Focus on Mexico staff was great. They always went out of their way to find the answers to our questions and give us good information. This is a great program. It is run by real professionals. It is worth every dollar and minute that one spends there. The best money and time one can spend if you are planning on living in Mexico.
“The Program is a huge value for the money!”Outstanding! Included much if not all of the information we came here to learn in order to make informed decisions re: moving to Mexico. Too much food! I have to pay for another seat on the plane! Great food, great company – 1st rate. The Focus Staff are warm, attentive to every need. Ana is amazing and Liz is going to be great. Often anticipated our needs before we knew we needed! Manuel is a master driver – amazing how he got that huge bus in such narrow places.The Program is a huge value for the money. Information, support system, overview of the area – and new friends! Who could ask for more?
Would highly recommend to anyone interested in the lakeside and have already done so!! The educational segments were excellent and very informative with a variety of Speakers well versed in his or her own field. The outings were very enjoyable and beautiful countryside. We particularly loved the Ballet Folcklórico and Tlaquepaque. Looking forward to visiting the Feria next February. Manuel was wonderful – patient and very accommodating of Jack´s walking problem. Everyone couldn´t have been nicer! Liz, Jimmy and Marie were wonderful, and quickly became friends. What a terrific group of people. Everyone bent backwards to assist with anything we needed to know.
“If anyone is thinking of retiring in Mexico, please consider this program for your own peace of mind. “They supplied everything they promised, everything that we asked for and all kinds of things we didn’t even think to ask you (GREAT). I cannot imagine coming to Mexico to live, without having come on this program. The things you must know are all here. Every question is answered. Everything you may need help with, you will receive. But more than that you do not want to leave this beautiful place, especially the loving new friends be they part of the course or the extremely helpful and friendly waiter at our table who helped me with my Spanish, teased us and loved us because we loved his country and his people. If anyone is thinking of retiring in Mexico, please consider this program for your own peace of mind.
“I would recommend this program and encourage anyone thinking about coming to Mexico to seek it out even if they were not coming to this area.”Everything possible was addressed in the educational segments, and any additional questions (however rhetorical) were also answered. The outing were fantastic. We were shown so much more than we could have found on our own. The food and entertainment was absolutely marvellous. I did not know that such delicious food was available. The music was wonderful as was the dancing. The Focus Staff were very friendly people, each one made you feel welcome and valued. I would recommend this program and encourage anyone thinking about coming to Mexico to seek it out even if they were not coming to this area. The fact that anyone who has taken the course is welcome to come back is a big bonus.
“The program is worth your time, effort and money. When you said I would learn more than I thought, you were correct.”I could not tell you enough about the focus staff, everyone was the best, I could not have asked for a better team of people.The program is worth your time, effort and money. When you said I would learn more than I thought, you were correct. I would do it all over again. I have no regrets going on this trip. I got all the knowledge I need, and if not I know I can contact focus, and the friendships are priceless. I think we had the best group of people (of course). I would like to thank again all the focus team members for the best time and can’t wait till I move there in a couple of months. Yes my mind was made up in two days this is were we are going to retire! So see you then focus friends, we will keep in touch.All staff was well prepared and very helpful. Karen Kean needs a special AT-A-Boy. Without her we would not have accomplished our goal.
“The program covers every aspect of life in Lakeside, immigration, financing, everything you can imagine and MORE.”The seminars were so educational that I can’t imagine anyone thinking of coming to Mexico without taking this seminar – Visas, financing, how real estate works in particular were so informative.I wanted to see what’s out there and it fits the bill! Lakeside is out of this world, Tlaquepaque makes a great outing. Guadalajara being so close to Lakeside it was a must.Each restaurant was different and the food was always excellent – I had a lot of fun everytime, including dancing.The Focus Staff bent over backwards to accommodate any needs I had. For instance, I had oral surgery in Guadalajara with a private driver who waited two hours for me. Another staff member took me to visit several assisted living facilities because it is my business in the U.S., another showed me houses, etc.
The program covers every aspect of life in Lakeside, immigration, financing, everything you can imagine and MORE. You can ALWAYS count on Marie and Ray Bullock and their staff…they will be your friends for life. You are also in contact with a lot of people who have made the move = All will help you.
“This week has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had in all of my travels. Would recommend it to anyone weather or not they were considering a move.”
Excellent! The amount of practical information EXCEEDED my greatest expectations. I can’t think of anything that you overlooked. I came away with a new appreciation for all that Mexico offers. The program was great and the speakers were very knowledgeable and professional in their particular fields. I plan on reviewing all the information again when I get home.With regard to all our outings: Such beauty. I felt like I was in a continuous garden all area town. The Guadalajara plaza was especially interesting as was Tlaquepaque’s plaza. Manuel did a superb job driving us different streets each time, giving us a good view of the tour of Ajijic.The food was absolutely great. I told my wife I didn’t have one bean in those eight days (beans and rice are the norm back home here). I have never tasted such consistently great food over an eight day period as we had at those restaurants. Also liked the atmosphere of them. (I never knew how great were the places “behind the walls.I have never experienced such a loving and caring group of staff members as you have. Ana and Liz were exceptional. The most informative and caring people I have ever met. Some like each of them would get to the ends of the earth to meet our needs. Very professional and knowledgeable.In all of my travels I have never enjoyed eight solid days of fun and information such as you provided for us. Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into Focus on Mexico. This week has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had in all of my travels. Would recommend it to anyone weather or not they were considering a move.
“A A Learning Adventure in Mexico on Mexico! ”
It was like taking a A Learning Adventure in Mexico on Mexico. All that one will ever need to know in a few short days, thank you. And, nowhere in our travels have we been to such a small area with such a variety of outstanding restaurants and dining. Each with its own specialty, the Mexican food and music is another thing all by itself. Meeting the Focus Team was like going back home to family you’d never met. Each one just eager to spoil you. Our purpose on visiting Mexico was either to spend long periods or perhaps to live here, but the question was how to do it – Well!!! – It would take an evening’s Conversation to tell anyone about the small group called “Focus on Mexico” the energy, the enthusiasm, the warmth the help and guidance like no one else will ever to be able to do, was enough to help us decide this is where we want to be.
The Focus Team spent years gathering all of the information that was shared and have taken the fear and guess work out of retiring in Mexico. We highly recommend this program. They have left no stone unturned as far as covering every aspect of the legal and medical questions you might have as well as covering all of the services available here; the real estate tour was very interesting.Very fun outings!! The Ballet Folklorico was amazing! The thermal baths at Monte Coxala were magical, walking along the Malecon and shopping at the Tianguis was priceless; you realize how special the Mexican people are!! very loving and welcoming!We have been on several vacations and done a lot of fun things but this was by far the most fun we have ever had! The Focus group did a great job taking us to a variety of fabulous restaurants. Everything from a wonderful burger to elegant dining and everything in between. We even line danced! It was a first for us.The entire staff is amazing! They went above and beyond making us feel welcome and comfortable; they treated us like family. They are all very professional and thorough as well. Every one at the Focus staff will forever hold a special place in our hearts. They are a large part of why we look forward to making this our home.There is no way short of spending a lot of years in Mexico that you could gather all of the information the Focus Program offers you. It is invaluable as a resource if you are considering retiring in Mexico. If you are listening to all of the negative media about Mexico and wondering why anyone would want to live here, Focus on Mexico will erase your doubts and fears and educate you on the truth about Mexico! It is magical!!
Fred Allen: The information provided was so complete, you could tell that you spent allot of time developing the program to insure every area was covered. There would be no way to be able to collect all the information by ourselves and to be able to have the links to the professionals that know.
The program was everything we expected and more. We never could have obtained all this information if we were there for 6 months. The program supplied the necessary information needed to make an informed decision if Mexico is for you. With all the learning going on, there was still time for fun, seeing the Lakeside area, shopping and did I mention the great food. Thank you Focus for a great time filled with a good mix of knowledge and relaxation.
“The educational portion of the program was very encompassing. Being an old Economics Student I expecially appreciated Erika Torres, who obviously “knew her stuff!!!!”My sole purpose in attending the Focus on Mexico Program, was to obtain information concerning living in Mexico and the possibilities of using the Chapala Area as, either a part time or full time retirement situation. You gave us a well defined variety of information. At this point, I am still thinking. I wished we could have seen more of the area, rather than just Ajijic Town. But I felt overall I received “my money’s worth”…and as I have said being the Irish-Scotch woman I am I would tell you otherwise, if that were not a true situation!!!
Owen & Jackie Oliver, 2009 March 28 to April 4“We can’t believe how Focus on Mexico enriched our lives. It was the best thing we have ever done for ourselves.”
Every presentation was loaded with valuable information delivered by impressive people. We know we can’t retain everything covered, but we understood with clarity the total concept of each presenter. We know now that we have friends who have great connections, and through Focus on Mexico we have the confidence to successfully be a part of the Mexican community. We have made enduring friendships with every member of Focus and also every member of our group. We can’t believe how Focus on Mexico enriched our lives. It was the best thing we have ever done for ourselves. If you are interested in moving to Mexico, please sign up for Focus on Mexico it is a definite must. I can’t say enough good about the program.
Dinner at Casa Bullock, we had great views, great food, a piñata, (I think Ray & Bill had too much fun with the ropes), wonderful food, the home was so inviting we had part of the party on the terrace, part on the upper deck, and moved to the dining room. We had three Focus alumni couples who gate-crashed; they couldn’t resist the chance to meet some future neighbors. It sure did add to the fun. We graduated, we got a grateful stone as we moved to the patio, and then we said our goodbyes. I’m a little teary right now. But with a little luck Espero que pueda verle pronto. The perfect end to a perfect program.
I think that the best testimonial for the FOCUS ON MEXICO program is that no matter where we went in the group or on our own we met alumni from the program and everyone, those who had lived in the area for years, those who had been there one year and even the couple moving next month, over twenty couples, all had nothing to say except FOCUS ON MEXICO is great and with their help we are living our dream in Paradise. All of us had Found our Magic
“Focus on Mexico is the most phenomenal program to anyone interested in Mexico and the Lakeside area in particular.”
The topics covered all the questions I knew I would need answered if I was going to relocate to Mexico. I had so many questions, and, voila, they were answered. The verbal presentations were accompanied by written materials so we could review and relive once we returned to our homes. Healthcare was high on my list of information to glean and I was very pleased with the comfort level I was at when all was said and done. Health care in the lake area seems to be very cutting edge and reasonably priced. Every question any member of our group posed was either answered on the spot or the answer was researched and shared later. Great! This is the type of information you really need even if you are not going to move to Mexico full time. Thanks, Focus!Focus on Mexico is the most phenomenal program to anyone interested in Mexico and the Lakeside area in particular. The daily meetings with the Focus staff and local experts answered all the questions you may have and all those questions you didn’t even know you had. Every detail for my visit was elaborately planned. Nothing was left to chance and I was thoroughly entertained and informed almost every minute of my visit. Marie and Ray and their hand-picked staff guide you through visas, legalities, driving, groceries, real estate, health care, investing, cost of living, and on and on and on. Oh, did I mention the perfect recipe for the perfect margarita!!! Come down to Mexico and join a Focus on Mexico group. You’ll be glad to did.Very, very, very informative. I could never have learned all this info on my own. Outings were great, varied and really fun.The Focus Staff was perfecto! My eight fellow participants were terrific as well!!! I hope to see them again in Ajijic. Just knowing that all of you are an available resource for future questions is a very big plus! Gracias!
“For anyone contemplating this as a possibility [moving to Mexico], this is a “have to have” prerequisite.”
The choice of topics and speakers for the educational segment provided an excellent overview of what one needs to know if considering a move to Mexico. For anyone contemplating this as a possibility, this is a “have to have” prerequisite. Individually, the speakers were extremely knowledgeable and interesting, providing up-to-date information. The Focus on Mexico trip provided an immeasurable amount of mandatory information necessary to fulfill a smooth transition to living in Mexico. We now have a wealth of resource material to refer to and many contacts to assist us in our future plans. Whether considering a complete move in the near future, a rental period for a short duration, or an eventual move to Mexico, the Focus on Mexico week provided a fabulous summary of all you need, and must, know. It answered all our questions and gave us a fabulous taste of Chapala/Ajijic. We had a wonderful time, met many terrific people and new friends while learning to love the area and its people. What more could there be?!
“I feel the outings to look at real estate were most meaningful to get a feel for the true cost of living in Mexico.”
Ray, I wanted to let you and Marie know what a wonderful time we had at the Focus on Mexico program 2/21/2009. The material was fantastic and well balanced with fun. I was greatly impressed with all of the people working with you. Marie was great, Ana was a delight, Kristina was a joy, Karen and Bill kept us laughing, Tere was very pleasant, I really enjoyed Dr Garcia, Meme Thorpe, and Jorge Uriarte the Notario. I could not ask for a better situation with the Real Estate people that work with you. They were very courteous and I never once felt pressured. The restaurants were amazing, the overall atmosphere was stimulating. You told me that some magical things happen by the end of the week. You were right. Ail and I fell in love with Mexico and Ajijic in particular. The entire Chapala area was beautiful, with beautiful people. This was the first vacation I have ever taken where I was not anxious to get back home to Austin, TX. Ajijic really felt like home. I will gladly recommend the program to anyone interested in a better, friendlier and less complicated life. We are planning to get back down there for a couple of months starting around July 15, 2009. I would be pleased if we can get together when we are there. Thanks for everything, If you ever want to have anyone call me about the program, I will give the same glowing report.I feel the outings to look at real estate were most meaningful to get a feel for the true cost of living in Mexico. The shopping around Guadalajara was my wife’s favorite. The restaurants we visited were magnificant.Everyone was wonderful. Ana was a delight, Kristina was extremely helpful, Tere was very pleasant. Ray and Marie were a joy to be around and full of valuable knowledge. Bill and Karen were a hoot. Everyone down to the bus drivers were fantastic. I cannot say enough good things about the staff.The educational portion of the program was excellent. You addressed the questions about a move to Mexico and set me at ease. I really liked the information about the Medical establishment in Mexico. That answered a big question for me. The program was well-balanced with information and fun trips. It was the only trip away from home where I was not anxious to return home. I could have stayed forever and hopefully that will be reality in the near future.
“I was able to interactively learn about all aspects of moving and living in Lake Chapala…”
Your Focus staff was really the best part of all! The people involved with the program is what made it all worthwhile!! When I set out do research on Lake Chapala, I felt that I had struck gold when I discovered the Focus on Mexico web site and their 8-day program offering. I really wanted to find a source of accurate information in one spot that would save me the grief of wasted time and bad information. I still had reservations about getting what I needed from the program up until we arrived in Lake Chapala. However, a few days into the program I realized that I had made a wise choice. I was able to interactively learn about all aspects of moving and living in Lake Chapala from a very reliable and trusted source…..all in one spot (so to speak)! It was a blessing!
“The outings and real estate tours were fun and also allow us to put things into perspective…”
Very informative. Enough info and not being overloaded. Enjoyed all the topics, they were all important. As former alumni I just wanted to commend you for all the positive changes in your program. The Focus Staff is # 1. Fantastic and fun group of people. Everybody looked after us very well. Special thanks to my special friends Manuel and Ana. Ana consistently went above and beyond to assist everyone not only on conference activities but personal as well. The format for the program was perfect. The outings and real estate tours were fun and also allow us to put things into perspective, i.e. resale vs. new development and different price ranges. All the staff are very friendly and helpful and a lot of fun. Special thanks to Ray and Marie for spending extra time with us related to our personal situation. Thanks and congratulations to Ray and Marie for finding their way in life and attempting to help so many others find theirs. I wish you all many years of health, love and success!
Anyone that has any idea of moving to Mexico must take your program.
“The best of Mexico in one lovely package.”
“We can’t say enough about the warm (yes, loving!) attention of the Focus Staff. Kristina smoothed the way into town and here too. Ana is a treasure of warmth, fun, organization. The best of Mexico in one lovely package. Manuel – what a champ…Skill and patience! Bill and Karen make you know that living in Mexico would open doors to wonderful friendships. Tere is a lovely, helpful, open spirit. And Marie and Ray are such visionaries to bring together such an experience, filling the mind with information and knowledge, the spirit with hope and zest for the future. The genius of the program includes bringing people from across the U.S. and Canada to forge friendships in one short week.”
“We…highly recommend the program to any one interested in vacationing or living part time or full time in Mexico.” /uploadedImages/Testimonials/Bill-Brandon,-Alumni-Dec-08.jpgMarie and Ray – Outstanding Program. Connie and I enjoyed the experience we had with the Focus on Mexico program, and highly recommend the program to any one interested in vacationing or living part time or full time in Mexico. The decision to spend time in Mexico part time or full time is a subjective one, and key factors in my opinion are weather and economics. Living in Mexico is certainly much less expensive than living in the the US and Canada. I could donate my pension plan to charity and live on Social Security in Mexico Your entire staff is very professional, and Connie and I were extremely impressed with Ana, who is as you know is as honest and as genuine as a person can be.The classes, tours and restaurants were excellent. We thank you again for your professionalism; you are extremely organized and on the top of your game. Keep up the outstanding work that you are doing in helping people to find their slice of paradise.
(W. ( Bill) Brandon, Jr. Life Member – Million Dollar Round Table, (www.wbrandon.net)
“I feel like I found my heart, soul and true essence in Mexico and in no small measure due to the friendship and intimate sharing with almost each and everyone of you.”Educational Segment: I felt it was all very well presented succinct and amazing. Co-presenters obviously picked with love and attention to the best the area has to offer.
Outings, Lakeside and Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque: Casa Fuerte is by far the best overall meal I have had in my life!!! I thought all of the outings were fun and timing was good.
Food and Entertainment: All restaurants for lunch and dinning were delicious food selections varied and the dancing so much fun. You know I had a strong reason for fun (our waiter in Manix).
Focus Staff: Ana – mi amor, mi amiga is the best!! I miss Tere – she is very unusual and interesting to talk to. Kristina – what a doll and so knowledgeable and such a grande corazón. Manuel – mi amor and amigo, the best, the best, the best and fun to dance with too!! And Ray and Marie – I believe you are the best, most thankful, intelligent and fun hosts one could ask for.
Comments on Overall Program: Absolutely even more than I was expecting – so professional, informative, and fun— quite amazing actually!!!What does one say when they have a truly “life changing experience” — gracias, merci, danke — just doesn’t seem to cover it. I feel like I found my heart, soul and true essence in Mexico and in no small measure due to the friendship and intimate sharing with almost each and everyone of you. I appreciate from the depth of my being the opportunity to discover, once again, my true Goddess nature and “stand up comedian alter ego”. It was fun to interact with each of you from the glorious hugs and sharings with Kristina and Ana, the lewd stories (you heard it right) with Los Amigos (aka Antonio and Roberto), the special afternoon out by the pool with darling Reagan, all the dances with everyone, tramping up and down those damn escaleras on the real estate tours, all the fabulous meals and experiences shared over the eight days, etc.Geez, this is becoming a novel — anyways you all get the idea — I LUV EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU WITH ALL MY HEART…and hope to see you back in Ajijic sooner rather than later.A BIG thank you Karen, and a big, warm THANK YOU to all the Focus on Mexico staff and participants for making the week a very memorable experience!!
“After watching the DVD, it was almost like we were homesick. It is amazing, after spending only 10 days there, what an impact this place has had on us.” Dear Marie and Ray,
“We just wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had in Mexico. In a way it is strange to be back home especially now that we’ve made up our mind that we will retire in Mexico and we have actually purchased a Condo Apartment. Anyway, we are excited about this new adventure.We are so glad we decided to join Focus on Mexico. Not only because of all the information we received but because of all the wonderful people we met. Of course you two and your wonderful staff. Each and everyone went out of their way to make us feel welcome and if we needed help, they were there to give it. But one person stood out from all the rest (I’m sure you’ve heard this many times over) and that is Ana. What a jewel. Nothing was ever too much. When I wasn’t feeling good, she personally came to see me and made sure I was well cared for. She even ordered chicken soup for me and brought some medication. What a sweetheart. Even the speakers are fantastic.Congratulations Marie and Ray, you’re doing a wonderful job! We also wanted to thank you for the lovely evening at your house and for a delicious dinner. Thank you so much! We were watching the CD you gave us the other night and seeing everything all over again, gave us a feeling that is hard to explain. It was almost like we were homesick. It is amazing, after spending only 10 days there, what an impact this place has had on us. For that I want to thank you too.With love,
Wilma and Angelo
“The program certainly lived up to expectations.”
“Ana was tremendous – highly motivated and loved by all. She made everyone feel important and was excellent at meeting everyone’s needs. She was instrumental to your program. Kristina was also excellent; cheery, friendly and full of information – tremendously helpful before our even coming on the program. The program certainly lived up to expectations. We came here to learn and that we did. We learned a great deal in a very short period of time and are grateful to your efforts to make this available to us. See you shortly on a full-time basis once we move down!! Unbelievable how much information Ray and Marie have and how well they conveyed it to the group!”
Note: Walt and Nancy came to Lake Chapala in January 2006 and although it was not their intention, they purchased a home during the few days they were in town, in fact our home. I had the good fortune to meet them while they were here and since they were interested in learning all they could about the area, I directed them to our Focus on Mexico website. Here is what he wrote me after viewing it.
- Note from Walt before he came on the program: “There definitely is an abundance of information and I have found it to be very interesting and entertaining to read. In fact, since we are already homeowners, I read the information thinking that it would give me sufficient information to be able to make the move in confidence. However, as I read, I noticed something significant. We were planning to come down in October and set up appointments with various people to get our ducks in order. The ‘Focus on Mexico’ website made it clear that all the people we would be trying to line up are those that we would meet by attendance on our own. So guess what? We have booked on a Focus on Mexico program in October. That way you will have lined everyone up and we can just get our ducks lined up in one fell swoop. The ‘Focus on Mexico’ website looks great. We are directing people to it as they ask why we are going to live in Mexico. Thanks for giving us that resource, Marie. We look forward to seeing you in October when we come on a Focus program.”
- Note from Walt after he came on the program: “Ray and Marie, first of all thanks for all you did for us over the last two weeks. It was a real highlight in our lives – getting such excellent exposure to the area and meeting so many wonderful new people especially finding new “Mexican” friends in the area. Through your help we were able to close a lot of open items in our minds. Secondly, consider the following as a quote that you are free to use as you see fit. ‘e may be different from the standard Focus on Mexico attendees in that we had completed a significant amount of research and had already purchased a home. We had planned to spend a couple of weeks at Lakeside to make contacts and get information on this move. After seeing the schedule for the Focus on Mexico seminars, we determined that the schedule included all the types of contacts we were looking for so figured this would be the way to have the contacts already made for us. However, having gone through the seminar, we now realize that our expectations were exceeded – we accomplished so much more than we could have on our own. In the ten days of the seminar, we not only received more information than we hoped for but were able to complete a significant portion of the process necessary for this move. In addition to the information we were introduced to a wide variety of local Lakeside people that we know will be our friends when we move. Walt & Nancy Heine”
“Informative and well-organized. I’ll have to go home and read through it all. I don’t know how anyone who comes here without this program could work through the maze of how to do it on their own.”
“Did the program meet our expectations? Yes.”The program was well thought out, organized, and we so appreciated your flexibility in dealing with our physical challenges. We have really gotten almost all of what we expected to learn. We are encouraged about the ongoing support for Focus participants. We have work to do at home before we return, but we now know that we will return.”
“As we gaze out our front window at our snow-laden front lawn, our thoughts are easily persuaded to drift back to those wonderful days we spent on the “Focus On Mexico Program.” We knew instantly upon landing at Guadalajara Airport that this was going to be a wonderful experience.”
“There is not enough space to say all the wonderful things about ‘Focus On Mexico’– the information, the meals and entertainment, the patience and care that we enjoyed, the education we had on living in Mexico, all this and more was far beyond my expectations. I would definitely recommend, that if you are thinking about retiring or part time living in Mexico–you SIMPLY MUST come on this trip with “Focus On Mexico.” They are beautiful people, sincere and so helpful. The whole program was a wonderful experience.”
“We are extremely grateful for the information and experience gained from the ‘Focus On Mexico’ program. Had we come to this area on our own, it would have been impossible to have learned so much. The conferences, University @ the Bar sessions, realtor presentations, bus trips, etc., provided us with an opportunity of a life-time, at an affordable cost. Should we decide to relocate to Mexico, we have already met wonderful people through ‘Focus On Mexico’ and we look forward to being part of the Alumni.”
“I felt as though the Lakeside was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.”
“Surprisingly, we had no intention of buying … but something happened, especially to me, during the latter part of the tour. I felt as though the Lakeside was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. Gordon too, felt my enthusiasm and we actually signed the contract two hours before the airplane was due to leave for Calgary … We would recommend the zero pressure, friendly, informative and well-organized tour to anyone. The itinerary was balanced carefully between cultural exposure and fun, as well as introducing aspects of living in the area. Our goodbye dinner was so emotional. So many friendships, so much to remember. Thank you Focus on Mexico. … we felt pampered, nurtured and guided in more ways than one … the close relationship that had sparked within the group was evident, as it was very hard to say goodbye. However, we didn’t say goodbye to the team but just, ‘see you soon’ as we had signed a contract to purchase a house lot in Los Ciruelos in Chula Vista.”
“We are so thankful that we followed our instincts about the down-to-earth sincerity and integrity of our Focus tour guides!
… It quickly became very obvious that they passionately loved the country and wanted us to feel the same way, and yet they remained honest and candid enough to point out to us some things that might seem negative to our North American way of seeing things … at no time were we subjected to any pressure to buy property … In conversations with other tour members, many of us wondered how so much value for our money was possible. Cost wise, it is excellent value with all the info provided. We could not have expected more in the way of help, guidance, information, leadership and friendship…. I feel I got a lot for my buck. It would be impossible to duplicate this program on one’s own…fantastic value.”
Ross Cheney, Torrance Ontario, now a snowbird in Ajijic “After two previous trips to Ajijic to get an education about investing in Mexico, finally your program provided me with the necessary information. Couldn’t be better. Excellent program from beginning to end.”
“Mexico is truly a magical place and Ajijic is the vortex of a wonderful energy.” “Both Randall and I totally enjoyed our visit to Lake Chapala and would say that it was one of the best times in Mexico. It was different from staying at a resort, as we got to meet more Mexican people. We were totally impressed with the quality of the guest speakers who were so well-educated, articulate and informative. The information gave us guidance as to what we would have to do should we decide to relocate to Mexico or be Snow Birds for a few years.”The contacts we were introduced to make this an easy transition. Also the back-up support of Marie and Ray is a real comfort, and I am sure that we will have more questions for them as time goes on. The Real Estate Tour was very informative and gave us an idea of what is available in the different price ranges. We ended up buying a new home in El Dorado and once again we were very impressed with Omar, the owner/developer, and his staff. They were very accommodating to our needs and did everything to make our buying purchase a pleasurable experience. We very much enjoyed the cultural aspect of the trip from meeting Efren Gonzalez, the artist, and his personal explanation of his mural painting explaining the history and culture of Mexico, to our visit to the Museum in Guadalajara to see the famous 47 murals of the famous Mexican artist Orozco, to the various shops and markets and especially the wide variety of excellent restaurants that we visited.
Mexico is truly a magical place and Ajijic is the vortex of a wonderful energy.”
Pat Clarkin – 2007 8-Day 18 Aug to 25 AugOverall the program was extraordinary, comprehensive, the best staff imaginable, fantastic restaurants, etc., etc., etc…there are really no words to really express my delight in the program!”
“Even if one was to retire to somewhere else in Mexico, I would recommend this program to them…”
“Fantastic program. The contacts gained are invaluable. Even if one was to retire to somewhere else in Mexico, I would recommend this program to them, to get the knowledge it would bring. The Focus team covered all areas of interests or concerns we had. I really could not think of anything not covered. We especially enjoyed the outing at the Monte Coxala Spa, the time spent in Chapala, the city hall tour and the Guadalajara tour. Bill and Ana kept us very informed. All the Focus staff was excellent and very informative. They enjoy what they are doing and it shows. However, we must especially thank Ana. She does a terrific job and is very good at getting things done.”
“…after attending the Focus on Mexico program …I had all my questions answered, and I learned things about the area that would take years to find out otherwise.”“I came to the Lakeside area to find out whether I would like living in Mexico. I fantasized for over 2 years about moving there and felt sure I had built up an image in my mind that reality could not match. I even tried to find something negative about the area, but after attending the Focus on Mexico program I was sold! I had all my questions answered, and I learned things about the area that would take years to find out otherwise.”For anyone who is thinking about retiring in the Lake Chapala area, the Focus program is a MUST. The speakers were excellent. All of my questions were answered. I know now that moving to Mexico can be easier than I thought. I would not have been able to get the information I received from the Focus program on my own. It was very convenient to have the representatives from the various areas of interest/concern come and speak to us and answer our questions. The Focus staff was without a doubt the best part of the trip. Everyone was knowledgeable, helpful, and very patient. Our every need was met, and many times staff went above and beyond the call of duty to provide for us. I feel like I have made new friends in Mexico!”
As Paul Jackson, Associate Editor, Calgary Sun says: “Mexico is the next destination of the Baby Boomer generation. And ‘Focus on Mexico’ is the best way to get there. Whether it’s real estate (buying or renting), immigration advice, health care, legal matters— or just about anything else, the friendly Focus on Mexico group can provide these services with expertise and at a ridiculously low cost. Canadians and Americans couldn’t hope for better.”
“I think probably a lot of us expected to see a pretty lake and to meet fun and interesting people. That comes across loud and clear on the Focus Web site. Perhaps, though, we were all very pleasantly surprised at the DEPTH of beauty we discovered in the land, in the warmth and loving nature of the Mexican people and, it should go without saying, the fun-loving Canadians, EH? So once again we see the whole is greater than the sum of its parts because it was, for me, the coming together of all these elements that made it so special. It is precisely this magical beauty that is calling to us, and that has created heart-to-heart connections with others…”
“We really appreciate the information provided by the Focus staff and guest speakers brought in.”“I want to email you and tell you of something that I find mind-boggling. From when I first started receiving your newsletters, I anxiously awaited their arrival and read each and every article with interest and then couldn’t wait until I received the next issue. Since we arrived home from our Focus event, we have received two newsletters and as I was reading them, I felt a sadness come over me. I could neither understand or explain that feeling.”The light bulb finally went off in my head. This feeling was so alien to me I was initially unable to identify it. I have lived my entire life within a 10 – 15 mile radius of where I live now. Twice Bob and I went on vacations to warm states with the express intent of buying a home and moving. Both times, due to circumstances beyond our control, it was not allowed to happen. Through all that I never experienced what I feel now when I read your newsletters. The feeling is one of home-sickness. I cannot explain in mere words how much we both miss Lake Chapala and all the wonderful people we met while we were there. Hope all is well with you and the wonderful Focus group. You are all great!!! Until we meet again…..
“We really appreciate the information provided by the Focus staff and guest speakers brought in. We have the feeling of belonging there already which could only be made possible by each of you. In one way or another, each of you has gone out of the way to make this possible. It is impossible to list what each of has done, but each of you have been a huge influence in our lives. So to all of you, Ray and Marie, Karen and Bill, Ana, Tere, Kristina, and last, but not least mi amigo, Manuel, muchos gracias!”
“I do want to take the opportunity now to thank all of you for the wonderful time we had Lakeside with all of you from Focus on Mexico. The entire group on the program is a great bunch of people and I look forward to seeing some, if not all of them again soon. Jutta and I had in mind that we would attend the program to see what all the hype was about living Lakeside, and that if we found it met our expectations, we would go back later this year and spend more time looking around for property. We had done extensive searches of property on the internet over several months before going down. As you know, our plans changed very quickly after our arrival Lakeside and we had a chance to look at all aspects. When we looked at Los Sabinos and saw the lot we thought we would like was still available, and seeing the views from it, we decided with very little hesitation that we would make the big step now, rather than wait and miss out. We have no regrets in making the decision we did, and we must thank all of you at Focus on Mexico for making the decision very easy.”
“I can’t say enough about how positive I feel about the program AND especially the people. Every detail has been lovingly and efficiently thought out so that each participant feels like it is the ‘perfect vacation,’ not an exploratory expedition. I got to see what I needed to, to agree with my wife that this will be our home ASAP. The educational segments were excellent including Marie and Ray!! The outings were excellent and well chosen giving us diversity. Monte Coxala is especially fun and uplifting. Efren Gonzalez is talented and passionate. The food and entertainment well chosen, excellent quality and a great testimony to the variety and quality of food available. Seeing and eating a superb lunch at Omar and Carmela’s home was an experience of a lifetime. El Adobe is also excellent. There is no way I can say enough good things about the entire Focus staff. Such a talented, loving, serving, caring, knowledgeable group of professionals is really rare, but you have it. I thought I was just going to a place with excellent weather and affordable living to see if my wife’s plan for eventual retirement there would be agreeable to us both. What I (we) found was an extended family (not business associates and fellow travelers) of open, warm-hearted, life-loving, long-term friends whom we look forward to living close to in the Lake Chapala climate. The Focus staff exceeded our requirements and our expectations. Their love for the area positively influenced all of our opinions and we will forever be indebted to them for this life-changing week!”
Marlene Robertson (full time in Lake Chapala)“Eight years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever, and not for one minute have I ever regretted that change. I knew I was too young to retire. But I was not happy with my job, was ready for some adventure and a real life change. What to do? A few weeks later I saw an ad in the paper offering a free seminar about retiring in Mexico. After listening to Ray and Marie outline the lifestyle they were experiencing in a place called Lake Chapala, Mexico, I immediately signed up to explore further. The minute I stepped off the plane I was smitten. Although it was December, the air was soft, warm and full of the sweet scent of flowers. A half hour later, arriving in Lake Chapala – it was love at first sight. For the next few days Ray and Marie squired the group around the area, took us to Guadalajara for the Ballet Folklorico, fed us at some wonderful restaurants and generally introduced us to paradise. They took the time to give me all the information I needed to make an informed decision on whether or not this was the place for me – financially, emotionally and forever. It turned out it was and by the following October I was living in Mexico, in my very own home.”
Grace Lebel –“Although I was generally familiar with Mexico having traveled there extensively on both business and pleasure, I felt I needed to be more focused on Mexico as a permanent destination for retirement. I had read books and other materials I was able to access but it wasn’t until my participation in the Focus Program that I was able to put it all together. I urge anyone who has been thinking casually about Mexico as a retirement destination to seriously consider making the investment to attend a Focus on Mexico program. Even if the conclusion is that Mexico is not for you, the good times you’ll enjoy and new relationships you’ll be able to build as a result will prove well worth it. The program itself provided an excellent opportunity to learn about specific areas of concern for prospective retirees (health care, investment opportunities, etc.), but more importantly to learn about them in the context of Mexico as a retirement destination. In addition, information specific to living in Mexico, such as real estate ownership, insurance and immigration were all incorporated into the program. The information that was presented and the opportunity to meet experts in those fields would, in and of itself, have been well worth the time and financial investment on this program.”
“There are no good reasons for not moving to the area.” “We came down a day early and were met at the plane by Karen and Bill. What a wonderful way to start a week. They are so upbeat and friendly, even agreeing to take us to supper that first night (before the program started). Saturday, we walked around Ajijic streets trying to get a feel for the area. We were very dubious about this “Moving to Mexico” thing. Well, the next day people started arriving, and we started meeting the most wonderful people we have ever met anywhere in the world. We formed, in one short week, some friendships that I am sure will last for a very long time. We learned more than we could understand or retain. There are no good reasons for not moving to the area. The food was first rate…none better anywhere. The program is well worth the money. We also stayed one day extra and ended up buying our home in paradise. This is where we want to spend the rest of our lives, surrounded by the beauty of the area and by all of our friends, those who live here already (Focus staff) and those who are moving here too (hopefully the whole group).”
“You provide an invaluable service to those who are interested in moving to Mexico. ” “The Focus staff members are the key to the success of this program. Individually you each have an important role to play and as a team you all focus on the same goal. You all create a positive and caring atmosphere, you meet all of our needs through your relentless attention to every detail and your energy and enthusiasm is simply contagious. Now that’s the kind of team that I would like to work for.”We knew the minute we met Ana at the airport that we did not want to leave. The thought that we are coming back home in the fall is what keeps us going. In the short term, we have to keep our eye on the prize at the end. Throughout the entire process there was a feeling of belonging; never having to worry about being parachuted into a situation to fend for ourselves. The attention to every detail was noticed and appreciated. The support network you have in place is amazing.
“Also we feel privileged to have been associated with the group in attendance in mid-April. For reasons unknown to us we all bonded naturally and we look forward to building these new relationships. Whatever brought us together was meant to be. We look forward to seeing the Focus Team again when we come back in October.
“All the presenters at the program were, in our opinion, top notch, well versed, knowledgeable and confident in their area of specialty. Interesting to see all the women in these roles. You provide an invaluable service to those who are interested in moving to Mexico. As a result of these sessions, myths, fears and misunderstandings were dispelled, all questions were answered and valuable connections with experts in numerous fields were made. The content alone of the educational sessions is worth the price of the program and more.
“The outings to Lakeside and Guadalajara were a good break from the educational sessions in the morning. It provided a good opportunity to actually see some of the surroundings and what the area has to offer, meet the local people and just enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
“As to the food and entertainment, oh my gosh!! I had never seen so many great restaurants in such a tiny area. The food was fabulous, the price was right and the company was the best. We haven’t laughed this much in a long time. It felt like we were in a happy zone.
“As a librarian, information business analyst, it is in my nature to notice how any type of content, documentation, websites are organized and how well information is shared. I was tremendously impressed with the information contained on the website, the communication prior to the start of the program, the documentation received during the workshop and the follow-up. I am very interested in your plan to expand the website to include information directed to Focus Alumni, concentrating on topics of interest following a move to Mexico.
“The program exceeded our expectations by a very long shot. We thought like any other workshop it would be OK. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined being so pumped about something. In more ways than one, it has been a life-changing week in our lives. You were not kidding when you say Lake Chapala is magical!!”
“How do you describe a life-changing experience? That is what we had in the Lake Chapala area with the Focus On Mexico program. We arrived in the lakeside area with no preconceptions since we had never visited this area before. We loved the area but our experience wouldn’t have been so meaningful to us without Focus On Mexico. Ray, Marie, Ana, Karen and Bill are incredible people and each of them exposed us to the magic of this area in their own way. We loved the weather, the beauty and the obvious attributes of the area but Focus On Mexico, besides giving us great information and speakers, put us in touch with the feel of this wonderful place which is difficult to describe but wonderful to experience. We would highly recommend Focus On Mexico and its great program and staff to anyone who is considering checking out the Lake Chapala area. Thanks again to Ray and Marie and their wonderful staff, all of whom we consider to be great friends.”
“The educational segment was very well prepared and presented. We enjoyed the speakers and found them very well informed as well as helpful. The food and entertainment was wonderful and the Focus staff were very helpful, understanding and accommodating. Your program surpassed our expectations.”
“We came on a Focus on Mexico program and have lived here for five years. We have gotten to know Ray and Marie well, and are impressed with the number of others who have come here through Focus on Mexico. So many lives have been greatly enriched by them. I wonder if they know how well thought of they are in the community? If you have a chance to come on a Focus on Mexico Program, take it! It is the best way to get to know Lake Chapala and has been a life-changing event for many. Come and find out for yourself how much better your life can be. Ray & Marie, thanks for being a part of our lives.”
Mary & Brooks Wingrave (part time in Lake Chapala) “The Focus on Mexico program lived up to all our expectations and more. We had about 30 people on our tour and about half of us are still friends to this day. We were boarded at a lovely local hotel where the conferences were held – on law, immigration, health, real estate, insurance, plus much more. We couldn’t believe the information we received. It was just fabulous. We also had the opportunity to talk to others that have already settled in the area; this was very informative. There were lots of fun times, we visited great restaurants, learned important facts about the villages and how to operate within a Mexican community. You cannot describe the area to anyone – it is so unique. We can say we recommend whole-heartedly that if you are looking for a place to retire to or to just spend the winters in, that you take a good look and join a Focus on Mexico tour. The program was extremely valuable and I would highly recommend it to anyone remotely interested in Mexico. We are definitely glad we went and you will be too. In 2006 we bought our own home in a gated community which we just love and we are very pleased that we took the initial step and came down with Focus on Mexico.”
Bob & Joe-Anne Easton, Harrisburg, PA (Jan 27th, 2007) (living now in Lake Chapala)“We are very impressed with your Focus program. It is very thorough. So glad to have had the opportunity to participate. It should be mandatory for everyone moving here. We have been researching the Chapala “Lakeside” area for more than two years. Some information on other websites was outdated, some erroneous. The Focus program gave us the correct information and also answered questions regarding our particular circumstances. The program put us in personal touch with professionals from all fields and will be valuable resources when relocating and in the years ahead while living in this beautiful country. To Ray & Marie, Bill & Karen, Ana & Manuel: The program wouldn’t be the great success without you all at the helm. See you again soon. Viva La Mexico!” Fondly, Bob & Joe-Anne|
“Your program exceeded our expectations, Beyond our wildest dreams! Knowledge, like a house, needs a solid foundation from which one can build his/her life. The Focus program not only honestly answered every question but supplied the participants with a host of professional organizations that gave us insight as to the possibility of retiring to Mexico. The key to the success of this probably was in the individuals associated with it. Marie & Ray are two of the warmest and gracious people you will ever meet. Bill & Karen add to the laughter and provide immeasurable insights. And, not enough can be said for Ana and Manuel, who tirelessly gave the program the ‘essence’ of what it means to be part of the Mexican experience. It was their genuine warmth and friendliness to the participants that we believe gave us a window to the culture of the Mexican people.”
Through the Focus staff we gained knowledge and also friendship. Bernie and I feel that we are so much better prepared to make the move to Mexico because of the amount of information that was provided by the Focus staff and the experts. We also know that we have you all as resources for our future as we may need it and that is so very reassuring for us. The staff gave us more than knowledge though. You gave us caring, compassion, wonderful smiles and great hugs! We truly appreciate everything that you all did for us (nothing seemed to be too much) and the fact that it was done with such joy meant a lot. Every one of you is very, very special to us and we are looking forward to seeing you again soon.
“Focus on Mexico met and far exceeded my expectations; I got the information I was looking for to help me make the decision to become a Lakeside resident. I met a large number of wonderful people. Muchas Gracias a todos!”
“I learned a lot. All the information was very useful. I can’t believe how much you pack in and still have time for excursions. Focus Staff: Muy Excellente!!! ‘Nuff said.’ The program was well worth the time and expense to come to the program. You were right, we loved it so much we bought a house!!!”
- Kitt Vincent, June 14-21, 2008
“I had done a lot of research and reading prior to our trip and still learned many new things. I recommend this program to everyone. The weather was perfect. There is color everywhere and smiles on the people wherever you go. The murals are spectacular. And, you cannot even imagine the wonderful food that is provided and the music – magnifique. The staff is awesome. It does become an extended family. You meet their families and feel very welcome. I have met people that I will keep in contact with until we can be together again in this magic place. This is an excellent program! We bought a house in Mexican community and have to return home to settle own affairs. I can’t wait to come back. No words can explain the feelings of peace and calm that you will come away with.”
“Very informative, covered all topics we expected to be covered in depth. Best concentrated introduction to a place we’ve ever experienced in 30 years of traveling.”
“It was good to hear from and meet the experts. We know now that we can make the move and not get lost in the process. Great food/great fun. Wonderful staff. They brought out the best in all of us. Helpful on a personal level. Caring – would do anything for you. Went out of their way with a smile always. We felt like family. The program exceeded our expectations. Well planned, organized and executed. Your network may be your greatest asset.”
“Very enjoyable, covered all topics we needed. We feel so much more informed that we did a week ago. It has been tremendous help to us, whether we rent or buy. The outings were fantastic, we enjoyed each and everyone of them. Gave us a really good idea on to what it is like to live in Lake Chapala. Words cannot really describe how wonderful the Focus staff is. They go above and beyond your expectations every day. If you need anything, they take care of it, even the smallest little details. We are so impressed; you will be our friends forever. Tony and I are so happy with the program. It is even more that we could have ever expected. We can now go home and decide what the next step will be and when. The friendships we have made with everyone will last a lifetime. We hope we can all be together again here someday soon. This has been a great and exciting experience for us and we thank each and every one of you for that.”
Karen Runkin 2007 10-Day 20 Mar to 29 Mar“Excellent! Your information has lifted the curtain, so to speak, in that now I understand how easily we can make this transition with as little difficulty as possible. It would have taken us two years to have learned on our own what the program has explained very clearly.”
Margaret Van Every, 2007 10-Day 20 Mar to 29 Mar“I would definitely recommend your program to anyone considering moving here. It spared us making numerous costly mistakes!