Expat Advice: Moving to
A newcomer to Merida, Mexico talks about shipping delays, needing a co-signer for a rental property, the low cost of living in Merida and more.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
My husband and I were told by the shipper that once we have a Merida address that our items will be shipped to our door within a few days. We have been here for almost a month and we have found that our items are still in Miami!! We were also told that our items cannot be sent from Miami until my husband gets his Temporary Resident card (which he applied for, but we have been told that it will take approximately a month to get it). Once he has the card, then they will schedule the items to be sent and it takes 10 days to go across the Gulf of Mexico and then a few days to go through Customs. So at this rate, we will be lucky if we have our items for the New Year and we have been in Mexico since October 27th. Please be warned about this and make sure that you get everything in writing. We did and we are still having issues. We wish we would have all our items that we shipped and have not found anything that we had wished we left yet.
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
One thing is very important if you are thinking of renting. When you pay the first and last months rent, they also ask for payment to a lawyer. You will need to meet with a lawyer (our realtor was with us) and the forms that you have to sign are in Spanish. We had been told that most homes that are rented also need a co-signer, a person who will go with you to the lawyer to vouch that if you do not finish paying the year of rent, that they will pay the remainder of what is owed. Luckily for us, the owner of our home waived the need for a co-signer, so it worked out well for us, but it's really hard moving to a new country, not knowing anyone and then finding out that you need to find a co-signer to rent a property!!! Be aware.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
We rented a 3 BR/3 Bath home. It is very modern and has a small front yard and a beautiful back yard with a pool. It is 2 stories. We also have a terrace overlooking the back yard and a sunny roof top overlooking the front of the house. The house has a large wall around it and an electric gate in the front which is very nice for our 2 dogs and 2 cats. They can go in and out as they please.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
Merida is made up of the Centro area (downtown) and then many different neighborhoods which are called colonies and Fracc's. We were told by a realtor that many expats move to the North Merida area, which is nice and very safe with many stores and restaurants. He said anything above Calle 59 is good. We ended up finding a place in a small neighborhood called San Pedro Uxmal. I don't think there are many expats there, but the home had everything we wanted and the price was good. We are very happy there.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
We are paying $12,000 pesos/month, which is about $625 USD which is less than we paid in a mobile home community in Florida.
Our TV/Internet/Home phone is approx. $70/mo. We have not gotten the electric or water bills yet, but we have been told that electric is about the same as the US and water is cheap. Trash pickup is about $3/mo.
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