Guide to Finding Housing In Mexico
Many people struggle to find a place to live when they move to Mexico. They see Airbnb prices being inflated every couple of months, either due to a general lack of options or simply not understanding the basics. Here is a quick guide that might help you out.
Airbnb - Yes, Airbnb hosts want to make the most money possible, so they raise prices as far as the market will allow. I am both an Airbnb host and a landlord, so I understand both sides. What I will say is... don't put the blame purely on the host. Airbnb is nickel and diming everyone. Part of the reason Airbnb is becoming more expensive is because they charge more and more taxes on the host. In order to make a profit after Airbnb fees and taxes, hosts are forced to raise their prices.
Here is a tip I have used in multiple countries:
1. Find a location that has a lot of availability, with a month or more open, and book for a week. This gives you enough time to decide if you like the place and the area.
2. After a couple of days, message the host and say that you want to book for a longer term and are willing to pay in cash. *Airbnb frowns on this, but most Airbnb hosts have no problem skirting the system. Look through the Airbnb cost and see how much it would be without the fees. Then deduct an extra 10 percent (which are likely the taxes the host pays as income) and offer to pay in cash, which would save both of you the fees. *This helps a lot if you have an active profile with lots of good reviews.
First, look for rent/housing groups in "xxCityxx" and join them. You can often find some decent deals, but don't forget that you are in a foreign country with a different language. Search for groups in your target language, use a translator app, find a friend who speaks the local language, or even a local realtor (they also help with rentals). Searching in the country's language opens up a whole new world of options where people aren't jacking up the prices. *You may get shot down more often if you are looking for short-term rentals, but you can often make deals.
This website has WhatsApp groups for multiple countries and cities, including groups for people looking for short-term and long-term deals, furniture, and everything under the sun. You can likely find a realtor who has multiple clients as well.
MexNomads - This website list whatsapps groups for countries all around latin nomad
*Unethical hack: Many people want to find a deal for six months, the duration of a tourist visa. However, many landlords don't want to rent short term. If you find a really good deal, agree to a year lease. If you can fulfill the lease, just leave. You likely won't get your deposit back, but if you found a deal that couldn't be passed up, losing the deposit is probably cheaper than months' rent wherever you came from.
Local versions of apartment finders:
Inmuebles24 is what I used. There are even filters to find fully furnished places. Again, this website is in Spanish, so you'll either need to translate the page or ask a friend to help you out.
Hit the Streets:
Find a neighborhood you like and take a walk. You'll come across numerous signs saying "renta" (for rent) around the city with WhatsApp numbers. I usually turn on the photo setting that adds GPS data to the photos and capture pictures of the signs, buildings, and the surrounding area.
Go Back Home and Start Contacting:
Once you're back home, start reaching out to all these people, asking them for more pictures and information. Keep in mind that most of these places will be unfurnished. If you decide to go that route, there are multiple Facebook and WhatsApp groups for people looking for furniture. Additionally, there are services available that can furnish entire places.
Things to watch out for:
The expat groups are typically a joke, as they love to jack up the prices. Personally, I would not rent from another expat because they typically take advantage of new people who don't know the common prices. This is why it's good to search in the language of the country to get a gauge of what the prices should be.
Learn to negotiate:
In the Western world, people often don't negotiate, but everything in Latin America is up for negotiation. I negotiated my rent to be dropped almost 25 percent on good faith because I met the landlord multiple times in person, brought a Spanish-speaking friend, and agreed to pay in a way that allowed him to report less taxes. No one in the world wants to pay extra taxes.
If you have a strong interest in making the jump but want something more personal, I also offer 1:1 consulting calls
1. Career Moves and Remote Work: How to work(W2) or build while in Mexico
Tips for finding remote jobs in your field
Understanding an avenue to start your own business or side hustle
2. Recommendations of Cities in Mexico to Go To:
Overview of popular locations and what city is right for you.
3. Things to Know Before You Leave: How to Get Your Stuff Together Back Home:
Overview of the logistics of moving
What to bring and what not to bring
4. Visa&Residency Requirements:
Tourist Visa Vs. Residency: Which one is right for you
Residency Process Walkthrough
5. Housing & Accommodation:
Where to stay & and avenues for finding a place to live
Safety & How not to get scammed
6. Language & Culture:
What you need to know about the language and culture
How to find language teachers
7. Legal and Financial Considerations:
Tax Benefits and Disadvantages
Explanation of tax requirements and regulations for expats in Mexico
Overview of banking and investment options in Mexico
Advice on working with legal and financial professionals in Mexico
8. Safety and Security:
Tips for staying safe and avoiding crime in Mexico
Overview of a couple of local laws that you should know
How will you get around in Mexico public transit, taxis, and ridesharing services
10. Networking & Social Circle Building
When you hit the ground, you're gonna want to network. Whether it's friends or business.
Calls are based on your needs, but it's important that we go over these points so I can customize your call.
Budget Analysis - This will help me customize your call.
Overview of Career Plan - This helps understand your options.