Homes for Sale in Centro San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Welcome to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – the best small city in the world!
Your new home in the heart of Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is located in the state of Guanajuato in the central highlands of Mexico. A consistent Readers’ Choice awardee of the World’s Best Small City citation by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, this vibrant 500-year-old Spanish Colonial city possesses a unique charm and is iconic for its stone streets, mirador vistas, and well-preserved historic structures and Baroque architecture. It’s also a preferred destination among educated ex-pats, retirees, tourists, and active adults looking for a luxurious second home in a place where friendly locals, music, good food, diversity, and art and history thrive.
At the city's heart is Centro (or Zona Centro), a neighborhood with cobbled streets built around a bustling central town square (El Jardin) where a towering neo-Gothic cathedral (La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel) is situated. The pink-spired Parroquia is San Miguel de Allende’s version of Paris’ Eiffel Tower, both iconic landmarks leaving viewers with no question where they are. Near the square is the Museo Historico Casa de Allende with its Mexican Independent Movement exhibits and Casa del Mayorazgo de la Canal’s displays of fine art. You can also find refined Mexican and international cuisine and independent galleries here.
Just as awe-inspiring as its amenities and attractions is San Miguel’s amazing roster of real estate options. If you are looking for homes for sale in San Miguel de Allende, you’ll be delighted to know that the perfect venue for your new home or investment could be right here in this colorful city, especially in Centro. Read on to learn more about this charismatic colonial city.
Table of Contents
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE LOOKING FOR HOMES FOR SALE IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
San Miguel de Allende is a melting pot of cultures, colors, and vibrant energy. This city with a population of approximately 175,000 is home to more than 25,000 ex-pats, with more than 60 nationalities living in San Miguel de Allende. This makes for an exciting and charismatic diversity that makes up the unique charm of San Miguel de Allende.
This Mexican city is located 170 miles from Mexico City and spans 600 square miles. It is named after two people – 16th-century monk Juan de San Miguel and local hero Ignacio Allende who took part in the fight for Mexican independence. The area was also a critical epicenter during the Chichimeca War between 1540 and 1590 when the Chichimeca Confederation resisted the encroachment of Spanish colonizers into their territory. Today, a part of the city has been proclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – the area of designation being the core zone in the city's well-preserved historic center with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
A brief history
At one point, San Miguel de Allende almost became a ghost town after it was struck by an influenza pandemic at the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, it was that temporary abandonment that preserved the city’s architectural history. Later on, though, the city’s Baroque and Neoclassical Colonial structures were gradually discovered by foreign artists who began art and cultural movements and institutes in the city, such as the Instituto Allende and the Escuela de Bellas Artes.
San Miguel de Allende soon earned a reputation that enticed artists to live in the city, including famed social realist painter David Alfaro Siqueiros. After the city was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008, it was transformed into a cultural hub with 64 blocks showcasing its colonial heritage. This attracted even more foreign art students, a movement that first began shortly after World War 2 when US soldiers came to San Miguel on their GI Bill to study art and live generously here on that government stipend. Now, the city has a significant number of immigrants from the US and Canada, many of whom are artists, writers, retirees, and vacationers-turned-homeowners.
Notable personalities in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is only a ten-hour drive from the US border and continues to attract people from neighbors like the US and Canada, as well as Europe, due to the city’s mild climate, cultural opportunities, and low crime rate. Here are some of the notable individuals who have lived in San Miguel de Allende throughout the years.
This American artist and writer came to San Miguel de Allende in 1937 and was believed to have brought in the first wave of artist-settlers after promoting San Miguel.
Felipe Cossio del Pomar
Dickinson met this Peruvian author and painter who then established an art colony in the heart of Mexico with the first art school, Bellas Artes, in 1938. Bellas Artes still exists today and is also known as Centro Cultural El Nigromante.
Jose Chavez Morado and David Alfaro Siqueiros
These two were among the most influential artists who taught at Bellas Artes and Instituto Allende, essentially ushering in the rebirth of the city as an artist’s learning and mentoring destination.
Best known for her works, The House on Mango Street and the Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories short story collection, this celebrated American author currently resides in San Miguel de Allende.
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo
Rivera’s childhood home in San Miguel de Allende is now a city center museum that features his and his wife’s (Kahlo) works, along with other contemporary exhibitions. Some of Kahlo’s famous salons could also be found in the city.
60s film stars and celebrities
Some of San Miguel de Allende’s most prominent locals had their heyday during this milestone in Mexican cinema. One of them was singer and actor Pedro Vargas, who was known as the Nightingale of the Americas. Tenor, actor, and Franciscan friar Fray Jose de Guadalupe Mojica was also from San Miguel de Allende. Prior to entering his religious vocation, he was known in the American film industry as Jose Mojica.
San Miguel de Allende writing community
Some of San Miguel de Allende’s residents were prolific writers like Vance Packard, author of a groundbreaking expose on the advertising community; Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner WD Snodgrass; author Beverly Donofrio; and Beat Generation poet Neal Cassady, who spent much time here with buddy Jack Kerouac.
The current roster of famous businessmen and Hollywood industry leaders who reside part time in San Miguel de Allende range from media executive Bob Pittman, cofounder of MTV; Hollywood executives like producer Thom Beers, cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt, film producer Rae Sanchini, Steely Dan producer Donald Fagen, and Mad Money media personality Jim Cramer; and internationally recognized interior designers who populate Architectural Digest regularly like Andrew Fisher and Jeffry Weisman, Dallas designer Michelle Nussbaumer, Casamidy’s Anne-Marie Midy, San Miguel-based Rachel Horn, and Rela Gleason.
POPULAR NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE YOU CAN FIND HOMES FOR SALE IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
San Miguel de Allende has a well-preserved historic center with homes and buildings from the 1700s to 1800s. Its iconic colonial architecture and its critical role in the Mexican War of Independence were instrumental in its declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage site. That’s why it’s not surprising to find the city’s neighborhoods teeming with a unique cultural flavor and fantastic real estate options.
Architecture and culture
San Miguel de Allende is a melting pot of different cultures due to the number of ex-pats, immigrants, and foreign tourists who migrated to the city for the excellent quality of life that the city provides. Many international students are also enrolled in the city’s art institute for its high quality of education, especially in the arts. The cultural diversity of its locals complements the historical appeal of the city and also influences the presence of dining spots that represent each culture in the area. This makes for an exciting blend of tastes to savor and something new to be discovered every day when living in San Miguel de Allende.
Much of San Miguel de Allende's charm lies in its Old World architecture that evokes its Iberian heritage. That's why most of the structures in the area like the Parroquia and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco are done in Baroque and Gothic styles. You will find a good number of colonial houses for sale in San Miguel de Allende.
Where to buy real estate in San Miguel de Allende
When looking for homes for sale in San Miguel de Allende, Centro is one of the most popular spots. That’s because values and popularity of homes for sale in San Miguel de Allende are based on their walking distance and sightline to the Parroquia which is located at its center. This neighborhood also serves as the city’s commercial district as this is where you’ll find the majority of the city's restaurants and shops, art galleries, opera houses, and many other amenities and activities.
If you plan to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, a more serene alternative to Centro would be this cozy community. This fully gentrified neighborhood is anchored by San Miguel de Allende's second most popular park and where beautiful luxury homes ranging from about $500,000 to $2 million abound. The homes along the hillside to the east offer better values for only a slightly longer walk to the Jardin. The west edge offers fewer shops but is near the Organic Market which hosts a weekly block party event every Saturday.
This is one of the city’s older neighborhoods and the largest in San Miguel de Allende. New shops, gyms, spas, bakeries, and vendors selling fresh produce are on its south end. To the north are more popular and affordable housing options, and these are the homes closest to the Instituto Allende. Home values here can go as high as $1 million.
A relatively new neighborhood, Ojo de Agua is known as the Beverly Hills of San Miguel de Allende. Hillside luxury homes have prices of around $750,000 up to $5 million. If you want exclusivity and privacy amid luxury, then this is the place for you.
This new neighborhood is named as such because it is situated above the city, offering picturesque views as if looking at the landscape from a balcony. Balcones is considered a more affordable option to Ojo de Agua but offers luxury homes that are just as breathtaking, with values ranging from $300,000 to about $1.5 million.
Atascadero to the east of San Miguel de Allende was once a horse ranch and is popular among wealthy Mexicans and ex-pats. With home prices similar to Balcones, Atascadero is a quiet, sprawling fully residential neighborhood that offers more land and square footage per property.
Known as the city’s art district for its colorful murals found throughout the neighborhood, this community is home to small shops and restaurants, with a mix of newer homes and older raw-brick Mexican houses. Move-in ready homes start at $450,000, and more affordable options like condos are also available. Expect home values in Guadalupe to consistently increase due to neighborhood improvements like the Riverwalk trail along the northern boundary.
This up-and-coming neighborhood has become popular with ex-pats with school-age children as this is where the city’s largest bilingual school is located. It is also near the new upscale hotel in San Miguel de Allende, the Live Aqua and the soon-to-be-completed Pueblo Bonito Hotel. New Mexican contemporary-style homes are found here, with values ranging from $550,000 to about $900,000. Home values in Obraje are also expected to increase with the improvement of access roads to the neighborhood.
Like Balcones, Rinconada de Los Balcones is perched high above the city. It is a recently opened and purely residential neighborhood with new construction homes, some of which are still undergoing planning and building. If you want a home with more square footage, roof terraces, and sweeping views of the city, then you can find one that fits your requirements in Rinconada de Los Balcones. The neighborhood is also close to a 440-acre botanical garden where you can explore and appreciate nature or go hiking. Home values start at around $400,000 then go up to $1 million.
Find your own parcel of Paradise in this new gated neighborhood with hillside homes in a variety of unique architectural styles that provide spectacular vistas. With prices starting from $300,000 to roughly $600,000, homes in El Paraiso are close to a variety of shopping options and the city exit to Mexico City.
Another real estate newcomer in San Miguel de Allende, Paseo Real boasts new construction homes in a clean, well-designed neighborhood. Homeowners are attracted to the more uniform aesthetic of the homes here, as well as the neighborhood's grand landscaped boulevard. This growing neighborhood offers single-family homes and condos at a price range of $300,000 to $500,000.
Golf enthusiasts who want to enjoy the privacy of a gated community will find Club de Golf Malanquin appealing. The community—first built in the 1960’s—is home to a full 18-hole golf course and a new clubhouse that has amenities like a tennis court, pool, and restaurant, and plays host to seasonal events. The original Malanquin fairway-view community has homes of around $500,000 to more than $1 million, with at least one home featuring a private helipad. There are also more affordable housing options in Malanquin’s newer annex located by the lakeside. Its newest adjacent annex, Hoyo Trece, offers beautiful hillside houses with canyon, lake, or fairway views.
The city’s newest golf course community, Las Ventanas is home to Nick Faldo's par-70 golf course. Built on a sloping site with long-distance views of San Miguel de Allende, Las Ventanas has a tiny cluster of smaller homes selling at a resale price of around $400,000. Many other homes here have a starting price of $600,000 and feature fairway frontage, magnificent views, and private amenities.
LIVING IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MEXICO
The fantastic real estate options of San Miguel de Allende may take your breath away; even more when you realize what’s waiting for you when you decide to settle in this lovely Mexican city. Below, we’ll give you a better idea of what to expect when you move to San Miguel de Allende so that you can make an informed decision before diving right into a purchase.
Cost of living
Looking for a luxurious yet more affordable cost of living? You can find stunning luxury houses in San Miguel de Allende sometimes starting at $500,000 and seldom topping $2MM, depending on the location and their distance to the city’s center. An article from an international media company notes that the closer a property is to the center, the higher its price (starting around $2,600 per square meter). However, going a little farther away, you can find properties priced more reasonably. And while prices have increased due to the city’s increasing popularity among foreign buyers, the cost of living in San Miguel de Allende still remains exponentially more affordable than in the U.S. or Canada.
Long-term healthcare in San Miguel de Allende is affordable. Healthcare services are comparable with US standards but only cost about half to a third of US costs. This is one of the reasons many American retirees favor moving to San Miguel de Allende, as this allows them to enjoy affordable healthcare in their twilight years.
Several assisted living facilities in the cities offer affordable long-term healthcare for senior ex-pats. If you require assistance but want to live independently, you could also hire reliable help around the home for only about $6 to $7 per hour.
San Miguel de Allende has one public hospital and three private hospitals, while the larger hospitals are located about an hour away in Queretaro.
LET US HELP YOU FIND THE PERFECT HOMES FOR SALE IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
San Miguel de Allende offers many things from the opportunity to live in a UNESCO World Heritage site to reaching your lifestyle goals amid breathtaking vistas and that Old World charm. To make your home-buying endeavor in San Miguel de Allende a success, share your plans with our team at BHHS Colonial Homes San Miguel.
A luxury real estate boutique under the esteemed Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand and the flagship office for the brand in Mexico, Colonial Homes San Miguel—co-owned by an American owner and a Mexican owner—offers clients white-glove service in their respective transactions. Apart from our years of experience in the industry, we are also proud locals of the city. This is why we can provide you with in-depth knowledge that can help you in navigating the home-buying process in San Miguel de Allende.
Let our team be your guide in finding your dream home in this captivating ciudad! Call us via our international toll-free number, 877.217.5959, or email our team to start.