Live In San Miguel de Allende: Who are we?

I was just about to start writing something entirely different about moving to San Miguel de Allende and list some of our favorite lesser-known restaurants in town. Then it suddenly occurred to me that we’d never fully introduced ourselves at Live In San Miguel. So, if you’re interested in who we are, how we started Live In San Miguel, and our future plans for our small, family company, please keep reading. If not, feel free to jump to one of our other blogs, and I still promise to make a list of our favorite hidden gem eateries in town after this one!

The Birth of Live in San Miguel

I remember when Live In San Miguel was just a tiny spark of an idea. Something that we started talking about during those long COVID quarantine evenings with a stiff drink in hand, trying to imagine what the world would be like once the pandemic was finally over—that is, if it ever ended! We kept asking ourselves how we could create something new by combining our diverse skills from many years of taking on a multitude of different jobs.

It was a difficult time for everyone. For us, we had two young, active boys (5 and 1 years old); regular work had dried up, and we were left thinking that if we didn’t try something new now, would we ever? So, basically, that was when the seed was planted for Live In San Miguel. It didn’t happen overnight—far from it. During the pandemic, the kids needed us 24/7, and we had to take on little jobs here and there just to make ends meet. Looking back, the struggle was such a gift (although it didn’t feel like it at the time!). It really highlighted our entrepreneurial abilities and confirmed our instincts about how well we work as a team.

Erick already had a background in real estate as a successful property developer in Queretaro, Celaya, and San Miguel de Allende. He’d also run the commercial, marketing, and sales sides of the business, so it was a no-brainer that real estate would be at the core of our new venture. However, we didn’t just want to create another real estate agency. We wanted to help anyone and everyone who was considering moving to San Miguel de Allende, buying a second home here, or already living in SMA and wanting to learn more about its culture and local insights. That’s where I came in.

I’d been fortunate enough to be offered a writing job during the pandemic, and I fell in love with it. I was passionate about offering free, honest, and transparent advice, tips, and resources to people thinking about relocating to San Miguel de Allende. 

As an expat myself, living in Mexico for 20 years, I know how it feels to make that move and felt that I could offer some of my experiences and knowledge about relocating to another country. It was also important for me to share the beauty of our town, talk about its pros and cons, and change the unfortunate common opinion of “Why do you live in Mexico when it’s so dangerous?” Often a question I’m asked by people who have never even visited Mexico!

So, here we are. Live In San Miguel was born out of a desire to help people find their dream Mexican property, as well as provide them with essential information about buying and selling properties, insights into the San Miguel de Allende real estate market, local tips about low-key delicious and affordable eating, useful resources like opening a Mexican bank account, living like a SanMiguelense, and relocation advice.

Meet the Team

Let’s introduce you to the faces behind Live in San Miguel.

Erick Sakal

Real Estate Agent, CDR | Forbes Global Properties San Miguel de Allende, Commercial Director, Dad, and Husband

Born in Cannes, France, and raised in Mexico City, Erick’s devoted the last 20 years to developing a deep and nuanced understanding of the real estate industry. He studied industrial design in Mexico City and got his first opportunity working in real estate when he was commissioned to create 3D renders for large property developments in CDMX. This sparked his interest, and he wanted to get more involved in other areas of the business. In 2010, he co-founded a real estate development company in Queretaro, where he served as the commercial director. Since starting in this industry, he’s managed the sale of more than 200 homes. 

Now his focus is on San Miguel de Allende with wife Sarah, their two boys, and rescued cocker Spaniel, Lola. His multicultural background and proficiency in Spanish, English, and French are great assets in helping a diverse range of clients find their ideal homes in our beautiful town.

Sarah Bender

Content Creator, Mum, Wife, and Multitasker (or trying to be!)

I’m originally from the south of England but always had the bug for living abroad after extended trips and studies in France and Spain. Nearly 20 years ago, I visited Mexico on what was meant to be a short trip, and unexpectedly, I found a place that felt more like home than anywhere else. The vibrant culture, rich colors, sounds, and mouth-watering food captivated my senses, turning a two-week journey into a lifelong connection with this beautiful country.

I met my now husband, Erick, a few years later, and in 2010, we decided to move to San Miguel de Allende. I love sharing the beauty and charm of San Miguel through my writing and social media posts. Whether you’re looking for a new home, a holiday destination, or a great place to start a family, like we did, San Miguel definitely ticks all those boxes.

Our Little Haven: San Miguel de Allende

If you’re asking yourselves what a French chilango and his British wife are doing in San Miguel, it’s really quite simple. We were both living and working in Mexico City, and shortly after we got married in 2009, Erick was offered the opportunity to work with a lifelong architect friend of his on a property development project in Queretaro.

At that time, we were young, free, and childless, and our decision was also impacted by the number of terrifying earthquakes we were experiencing at that time in our area. If we were going to move to a new city in Mexico, it had to be somewhere where we wouldn’t feel tremors or quakes. So, we opted for a new adventure in San Miguel de Allende, planning to stay for 6 months with the premise of visiting our beloved Mexico City once a month. Well, after the first day of arriving, we knew that 6 months would be extended, and as far as popping back to CDMX once a month, that was quickly forgotten about! The rest is history. We fell in love with this vibrant city, as so many others do. Soon after, we started a family, moved out to the countryside, and never looked back!

Voices of Our Community

Another significant mission for Live In San Miguel is to hear from local residents with advice and tips about their favorite spots in town. In our opinion this is the best way to give newcomers and long-term San Miguel residents a true glimpse into authentic Mexican culture and living. As we know, San Miguel de Allende is a huge tourist attraction. This has its pluses but can also be hard on local residents due to elevated prices, increasing traffic, and a strain on local resources and infrastructure. 

For us, it’s a top priority to find a balance between an incredible city that’s brimming with great new services, world-class gastronomy, NGOs, and work opportunities while also supporting generational local businesses, respecting cultural traditions, and integrating as much as possible, rather than limiting yourselves exclusively to the expat community.   

Check out our blog on the benefits of learning Spanish when relocating to Mexico.

Our Toolbox for Your Success

Ok, let’s talk shop for a quick second. Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling your home, we’re all about using innovative tools and local know-how to show off these properties in the best light possible. Here’s the rundown on the services we provide at Live In San Miguel:

  • Access to the Complete San Miguel de Allende Real Estate Market: We hold the keys to the most desirable properties in San Miguel, and we’re excited to share them with you.
  • Eye-Catching Professional Photography: We capture the soul of each property with some top-notch photos. It’s all about making people go, ‘Wow, I want to live there!’ from the get-go!
  • Virtual 360 Tours: With incredible Matterport tours, people can explore every nook and cranny of a place, no matter where they are in the world. It’s like stepping into a new dimension of house hunting! Check out this example: Casa Lavanda 360 Tour
  • A Team of Experienced Professionals: We have an expert and extensive team of professionals, including notaries, lawyers, architects, inspectors, and engineers, who stand by your side, providing you peace of mind in every transaction.
  • Storytelling Descriptions: We don’t just list the details; we tell the story of a home. It’s about painting a picture that makes people feel like they’re already there, lounging in the living room, sipping coffee in the kitchen, or socializing with friends on a roof terrace.
  • Social Media Hype: We amp up your property on all the social platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn—you name it. It’s all about creating a buzz and making sure your home gets the visibility it deserves!
  • Local Wisdom: We’ve been around the San Miguel block for over 10 years. With Erick’s French/Mexican upbringing and my expat insights, we know this colorful city inside out. Whether it’s legal advice or the best local taco stand, we’ve got you covered.

The Future of Live In San Miguel

If you’re wondering what’s next for Live in San Miguel, we’re exploring many options at the moment. In a nutshell, our mission is to be San Miguel de Allende’s number one go-to resource for honest and trusted information on buying and selling property. As well as providing the best local insights for newcomers and residents alike. 

Now you’ve had a little sneak peek into our world at Live in San Miguel. We are excited to continue sharing our journey, our town, and our passion with all of you. 

Don’t be a stranger; drop us a message, leave a comment, or just pop by to say hi. You can often find us at the CDR | Forbes Global Properties office on Aldama, next to Parque Juarez. We’re always there with a warm welcome and maybe a few local secrets to share!

Hope to see you soon,

Sarah and Erick