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Real Estate in Mexico | Expat Exchange
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Playa las Animas near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Real Estate in Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Mar 03, 2024

Summary: An expat should begin their search for a home to buy in Mexico by researching the different areas of the country and determining which one best suits their needs. They should also consider their budget and the type of property they are looking for. It is also important to research the local real estate market and the availability of properties in the area. Foreigners are allowed to purchase property in Mexico, however, there are restrictions on the type of property they can purchase. Foreigners are not allowed to purchase property within the restricted zone, which is a 50-kilometer zone along the coast and a 100-kilometer zone along the borders. Houses in Mexico typically include amenities such as air conditioning, a kitchen, a living room, and a bathroom. Some houses may also include a pool, a garden, and a terrace.

Welcome Home Mexico
Welcome Home Mexico
Welcome Home Mexico
Welcome Home Mexico

How do I find a place to live in Mexico?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We had a company help us find housing. Only to find out that every place she took us was either her's or a friend. We moved 1 year later. We now live in an Apartment that is about 2500 sq foot. Great view, close to the shopping mal l, etc," said one person in Mexico City.

"Versalles, Aralias & Fluvial just to name a few. Rentals are found easy with boots on ground. You need to view in person and no deposits until you arrive. Otherwise, most likely, you will have a problem with your deposit and may never see it. In Zona Romantica (my opinion is that it’s for visitors/tourist) you will have fireworks almost every night, many tourist, road blocks for celebrations/water repairs, spring/winter breaks, flooding during the rainy season, and parties non-stop," said one expat who made the move to Puerto Vallarta.

"When we started looking at the money we would have to live on after retirement, I realized that I would never be able to quit work and live comfortably. We started looking at places we could live. We wanted to be close enough to hop up to the states to see family but be able to afford to retire. Mexico was the obvious answer. After much internet research, I stumbled on Lake Chapala. My husband and I knew nothing about Mexico. His vision was from the old westerns. There is a group that provides a week long seminar that will answer all of your questions and also show you the fun side of the area. We booked a trip 3 months away. I used the time to look at real estate offerings. I had limited funds. This is a cash economy so it had to be a house I could afford. They have an MLS listings here so I could check out everything. I contacted a realtor and he helped weed out houses that had issues or less than savory neighborhoods. I wanted city water, a pressurized/filtration water system and city sewer. Many houses are on septic so I knew that I might have to make a compromise there. We had 14 houses on the final list. We bought the second one we had looked at and we paid cash. And it is on city sewer," explained one foreigner living in Lake Chapala, Mexico.

"Finding a place to live in Mexico can be done in a few different ways. The first option is to look for rentals online. Sites like Airbnb or Vrbo offer many vacation rentals in Mexico, which may be suitable for long-term stays. You could also look for rental listings on local listings sites, such as Craigslist, OLX, or Inmuebles24. Another option is to search out real estate agents in Mexico and ask them to help you find a place to live. Additionally, if you know people in Mexico, they may be able to help you find a rental and show you around the area. Word of mouth is another great way to find a place to live in a new country. Finally, if you're looking for something more permanent, you could consider buying property in Mexico. Purchasing a home or condo in Mexico requires researching both regulations and the market. It's important to speak with a real estate professional in the area who can guide you through the process," said one in Mexico.

"I am currently happily settled in Puerto Vallarta, where I find there are more activities that I am comfortable joining than I found in Mazatlán. Though Vallarta is more "verticle" than Mazatlán (which is one of the features that appeals to former Vancouverites), there are also plenty of flat areas with nice homes and amenities and, personally, I rent 4 blocks from the beach (the last block before the hill)," explained one expat in Puerto Vallarta.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Mexico?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Playa las Animas near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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