You are probably wondering where you are going to stay after moving to Mexico. The country has a wide range of accommodation options from which you can choose.
Whether you are moving to Mexico for a short or long stay, you will definitely have to find accommodation. Tourists may stay in hotels or holiday accommodation. Those who plan to stay longer will have to search for long term accommodation options. Thus, you can choose among house and apartment rental, flat sharing, or B&B's, etc. Foreigners are even authorized to purchase a real estate property in Mexico provided they fill in related administrative formalities.
Note that it is better to opt for accommodation which is not very far from your work place. This will avoid you covering long distances daily to go to work. Also make sure to compare accommodation prices before choosing as rent can be quite expensive in major cities, even higher than those applied in some US cities. You should as well consider the cost of living in some tourist zones and in less economically active regions.
Rental and flat sharing
In general, you will need an average of 14,000 to 22,000 pesos to rent a two to three bedroom unfurnished apartment in Mexico. Note that electricity and water bills, as well as other fees and taxes are excluded. Thus, rent may cost about one third of your monthly salary. Hence, it may be wise to opt for flat sharing if you have moved to Mexico alone, or if you are a student. Nowadays, more and more expats, including young professionals and the elderly, prefer flat sharing to high rent.
Moreover, flat sharing also applies to villas and houses with garden and terrace. You may have to pay some 3,700 pesos monthly. But prices will vary according to the neighborhood and the accommodation's comfort level.
Good to know:
Lease generally has a one-year duration. You will have to pay a guarantee deposit equal to a month's rent to the owner. The guarantee will be refunded at the end of the lease term. But you are not allowed to check out until the lease has expired. Otherwise, you will have to pay the rest of the rent. Note also that rent prices in Mexico are revised each year according to the cost of living index.
Expatriates wishing to purchase a real estate property in Mexico are advised to hire a recognized lawyer to assist them with related procedures. Documents will have to be signed before a public notary. Fees will be your responsibility. You will also have to pay a property tax. All these fees amount to at least 5% of the total property value.
Foreigners are not authorized to purchase real estate property along coastal regions and near Mexican borders. But they can buy property in other zones by setting up company or by using the Fideicomiso system.
The Fideicomiso has been set up by Mexican authorities in order to allow foreigners to buy real estate property within the restricted region. A maximum of 2,000 m2 is authorized. Thus, you will enjoy the same rights as Mexican citizens in terms of buying, selling and renting during 50 years. This term can be renewed upon request.
The Fideicomiso generally costs some US$ 2,500, but fees may vary from one bank to another. Moreover, you will have to pay yearly management fees of some US$ 600 to the bank. Nevertheless, a minimum investment of US$ 250,000 over two years is required for a property measuring 2,000 m2.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to find accommodation in Mexico is to tour the different neighborhoods to spot ''Se renta'', that is ''To let'' signs. You can thus request the owners or security guards to allow you visit the vacant apartments. You can as well check out accommodation and real estate websites, some of which are specialized for students, as well as classified ads in local newspapers.
Last but not the least, registering with a local real estate agency may help you find accommodation according to your preferences and budget more rapidly.
Good to know:
You are advised to visit the premises before signing the lease documents. You will be better acquainted with the locality and have a clear idea on rent prices. Living near crossroads and roundabouts can be inconvenient due to noise pollution.