New House Rental Experience in Merida
One of the most popular topics for expat consumption is the cost of living in their destination of interest. The housing cost is often the most expensive on the list, especially if you’re renting. If you are sure enough of the area and have the cash to buy a house or condo, then of course you can minimize that cost down to utilities and taxes, which in most cases is going to be extremely reasonable compared to US or Canadian standards. Keep in mind that if you pay cash for a house, then you are giving up the yield on that money, and you are locking yourself into a foreign real estate market. That’s why I recommend renting for at least a year in the area you are thinking of buying. There are a lot of things that could change your mind in a year of living. Or you can find out that you love the area, and then have time toward the end of your rental year to scout for the best real estate deal.
In our case, the short story is we outgrew our house that we own in a small suburb town north of Merida, and we decided to look for a rental house more centrally located in the northern part of Merida. Within a day or two of looking at rentals online we found a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath house in a nice area of Merida, and the rent was so reasonable that we quickly decided to rent it. Rentals in Mexico are a bit more formal than in the US, and generally you rent for at least a year at a time. You have to pay an attorney fee usually in the amount of one month’s rent to handle all the paperwork. You are then signing 11 promissory notes securing the rent for the landlord for the rest of that year. Each month you pay the rent, you get back that month’s note to prove you paid the rent.
So anyway, the monthly rent on this house was 8700 Mx, which at the time (20 to 1) equated to about 435 USD. Most of the other houses in this size range cost 10K to 14K Mx per month or more so we were thrilled with 8700. The house has secure parking with a metal gate that opens with a garage door opener, ample space for two cars, maybe 3 small cars in a pinch. The house has 3 medium size bedrooms, each with a full bath, and a half bath off the living area. I would estimate the size of the house to be about 1600 square feet. Most of my family and friends back home can’t believe that we were able to rent a house like this for 435 USD a month. But these deals are here if you look for them. Since my wife is Mexican and bilingual, I am fortunate to have my own interpreter and negotiator. It all worked out very well and we are thrilled with our new rental home.
Merida is not the cheapest place in Mexico to live, but it is quite reasonable compared to some of the other most popular areas expats settle in. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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