If you have never lived in Mexico before, you should rent for at least 6 months to a year first. Especially before even thinking about buying a house or condo.
Many of you will be tempted to buy a condo or house when you move to Mexico. It’s particularly tempting when it is so cheap, and the location is so perfect that you want to snatch it up before you miss out on that deal.
In some cases, buying a house or property in Mexico might be the best-case scenario for you. But before you consider that purchase, here are six important reasons to rent before buying a house in Mexico.
1. Renting in Mexico Is Less Complicated Than Buying
Buying a property in Mexico can be a complicated legal process, and unless you have a trusty real estate lawyer, you could end up buying real estate in Mexico the wrong way and lose your home. So you might want to reconsider.
That’s because foreigners do not have the same rights when buying certain land or property in Mexico as Mexican citizens do. This is especially true in coastal areas and border zones. And unless you know how to properly do this research or write this into a legal contract, you could lose. This is why it’s essential to verify the property’s legal status before purchasing.
Recently, I watched a YouTube video about reasons ex-pats leave Mexico, and this critical reason came up that I have heard happen to others. People from other countries come to Mexico; they buy a cheap and what seems to be an excellent deal for a dream property. But then, years later, another “official” owner of that property comes back to reclaim it. This could have been avoided by doing some due diligence, but a lot of newcomers don’t know the ins and outs of real estate problems in Mexico.
What happens then? One of 3 things.
1. A lot of money is spent in a legal battle to try and take back the property you bought, and you might win. However, with all the money spent fighting the legal action in court and with different government parties, you might have spent a fortune on this once “cheap property.”
2. A lot of money is spent in a legal battle, fighting for the ownership of this property, and in the end, you lose everything because the court has granted the rights to someone else.
3. You decide it’s not worth the legal battle, and you lose the property.
Any of these scenarios is probably not a situation you’ll be used to and comfortable handling, which is why it’s essential to have a reliable and trustworthy real estate attorney and Notario help you purchase your home BEFORE actually buying it.
2. Renting In Mexico Gives You Flexibility
If you’re like most people, one of your reasons for moving to Mexico is searching for a new adventure!
Being tied down with real estate in a specific city or place might not give you the flexibility to explore different parts of the country. I know people living in Mexico in a specific city they thought they would love, only to realize they hated it when they spent an extended time there.
You should also remember there are many things you might not know about a place by visiting a few times. And these things include the weather year-round, the noise year-round, seasonal tourism year-round, and in some cases, even the lack of basic services sometimes or year-round.
For that reason alone, renting in Mexico will give you another level of flexibility before jumping into buying real estate.
Plus, rent is so affordable in most parts of Mexico compared to what you’re probably used to that it can make more sense financially. So you might ask yourself: Why buy when I can rent?
Check Out My Rentals Page for rental examples across Mexico. I update this page once a year to give you an idea of the cost of living.
3. Renting Requires Less Investment Upfront.
When you buy a house in Mexico, whether you decide to pay cash or finance it, your initial investment will be pretty large. Even if you decide to finance it, you’ll still have to give up some cash in a down payment or put the money in an escrow account.
Then there are other costs, such as a real estate attorney, your real estate agent, a whole house inspection, and perhaps some repairs — all of which you must pay yourself.
But when you rent a home, most likely, you will only be required to pay the first and last month and a security deposit in rent upfront. Some landlords don’t even require these. In some instances, depending on your landlord, you might have to pay a deposit for your telephone line.
And many rentals come furnished, so you don’t even have to worry about the additional expense of buying furniture.
Rent In Mexico Varies By Month
If you want to minimize your initial investment risk further, you should also know that rentals tend to have two high seasons:
- November through March
- July through August
To get the best deals in many locations, find your rental outside of these months to negotiate the best price.
4. Renting Can Help You Get Out Of Debt
One of the reasons you might be moving to Mexico is for financial reasons. After all, even though the cost of living in Mexico is rising, it is still much cheaper than in Canada or the U.S.
You might have student debt or credit card debt that you are paying off. Those high payments might not give you the cash flow you need to buy a house. So you might have to rent in Mexico for a while before you buy.
This will allow you to put money aside and not only get out of debt but also give you the power to purchase a home in the future if you decide to do so. And again, some rents are cheaper than a mortgage in Mexico. So you might be able to have a nicer place that costs you less each month.
5. You Don’t Have To Deal With Repairs Yourself
I remember booking a trip to the beach one summer and looking forward to it for many weeks!
Then the unthinkable happened.
We had a water leak that same weekend! I could cry. Not only was it on the weekend, but not taking care of the problem right then, and there wasn’t an option. We couldn’t put it off.
So, we canceled our plans and dealt with the issue.
But if you rent in Mexico, you don’t have to deal with any repairs yourself. Your landlord is responsible for getting repairs done and in a timely fashion, whether you are there or not. It’s important to have clear terms in the lease agreement regarding maintenance responsibilities.
When our leak occurred, we didn’t even have a network of plumbers or any service people, so we just had to pick someone and hope for the best. It took what seemed like an eternity to get things fixed because, again, I was picking someone I didn’t know. Luckily, he did excellent work.
But do keep in mind that home repair services in Mexico can often take forever. That’s why a landlord usually deals with service repair people they know work fast.
So, if patience isn’t in your blood and you don’t know anyone in your local community yet, owning a home in Mexico might not be for you.
6. You Can Leave Faster Than Selling A House
Sometimes, the unexpected happens, and you might be unable to sell your house fast enough to wait around. I know many people in Mexico who have been selling their houses for years. YES YEARS!
But what if someone back home, a son or daughter, gets ill, and you have to move back to your home country? Or what if you decide you want to leave but can’t because you need the money from the house to afford your move? The time to sell a house depends on many complex factors, including market conditions, location, and property price, but it is seldom a quick process.
If you rent in Mexico, you can leave so much faster than trying to sell a house. It’s not unusual for houses in Mexico to sit on the market for a really long time. So, unless you can weather waiting for the sale of your house in Mexico, you should rent instead.
If You Do Decide To Buy A House in Mexico…
There will be cases when you can’t pass up a great deal. Or you might have a personal decision about wanting to buy a place in Mexico.
It might be the perfect place for you in the ideal location. So when you do find the perfect new home, and you are ready to buy a house in Mexico, I can strongly advise you to hire:
- A real estate attorney in Mexico who has dealt with foreigners buying a property in Mexico.
- A trustworthy notary in Mexico who has also dealt with foreigners who want to purchase a property.
- A notable real estate insurance agency.
- Only 7% of Mexican municipalities have construction and building regulations, so make sure you hire a good independent surveyor, and who will do a thorough inspection of the property. Do NOT hire a surveyor recommended by your real estate agent or the property owner.
Have you bought a house in Mexico? I’d love to know your experience! Or do you want to say hello? Either way, comment down below. I’d love to hear from YOU!