You may be wondering if you can actually afford to live in Mexico because you see the rising cost of rents or houses for sale in very touristic cities.
Living in Mexico, your biggest expense will likely be housing. Whether you rent or buy will depend on your budget, your plans for the future, how long you plan to stay in Mexico, and how long you’ve been in Mexico already.
But it doesn’t matter where in Mexico you live. There will always be low-end and high-end rentals. In EVERY city in Mexico, some people have a lot of money, and some don’t. It’s all about your budget, your lifestyle, your needs, and how flexible you are.
Even in San Miguel de Allende (considered one of the more expensive cities in Mexico), you can find affordable housing if you’re willing to do some homework. Or at least after your first year of living in Mexico and feeling confident about searching on local websites vs. only English-speaking ones.
For example, this rental example in San Miguel de Allende costs $9,000 Pesos a Month. (about $500 USD/ $700 CAD) Fully furnished, including all appliances. Has a garage for 1 car. Accepts pets. And has a lovely little patio where you can soak up the sun.
It’s a very simple house.. not flashy… but perfect for someone with a fixed income or who would rather spend their money on entertainment instead of a nicer house.
The downside is it’s in a neighborhood outside of centro. This means you’d have to either taxi to centro, take the bus, or drive. Please keep in mind that it matters where you look. And how much do you know about the local market, the going rate for rentals, and what you can expect to get for x amount of $$.
These types of rentals can be found pretty much anywhere in Mexico. It just depends on how flexible you are about the location. Sometimes it pays to be closer to town because your public transportation expense will be much less. Or because you’ll have more enjoyment outside your doorstep.
You CANNOT Live Like A King On Pennies
You cannot live in Mexico like a king on pennies. Whoever started that rumor is wrong. But you CAN live a very modest and comfortable life on A LOT less than north of the border.
For example, if you want to live near centro in a touristic city such as San Miguel de Allende, you can expect rentals to start at $18,000 pesos and up. Because you’ll live in a desirable location where you can walk everywhere, and the rental will likely be more charming and with higher-end finishes.
This rental example is $22,000 pesos a month (about $1300 USD/$1700 CAD). Near centro in San Miguel de Allende- which means you can walk everywhere and spare the expense of having a car. It is fully furnished, water, gas, electricity, and internet are included. It’s a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo with a dedicated parking space, small patio, and very modern finishes in a gated community with 24/7 security.
So, it matters where you look. How much do you know about the market? And it matters what your lifestyle can afford.
Being near a city center or in a desirable neighborhood comes with a cost. But usually, that cost comes with a few perks too. For example, you have more dining options, shopping, events, or community markets (tianguis). However, because these things are closer to you, you could quickly end up spending more money since you’re close to all the retail shops.
Something to consider.
But I’d like to hear from you! Let me know in the comments what YOUR rentals cost and where in Mexico YOU live.