Housing in Mexico can vary quite a bit. You can find a place with the locals for about $300 USD per month or a beach front condo for about $350,000 or more.
We first choose a place a few blocks from the beach (about a 10 min walk) that had a pool in the back yard. We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in a little villa (4 apartments) which we paid $500 USD.
We then lived in Los Amores which had 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, 24 hour security and an infinity pool with a view of the ocean. It was about a 4-5 minute walk to the beach! Our rent obviously was more. So, depending on what your needs are, you can find something within your budget. I would say, budget about $800-1000 USD for something that you will enjoy.
Do you enjoy the “Mexican” look? Do you want something more modern? Do you want to live by the water or outside the city?
Many tourist areas have a high season and low season. If you secure a place during low season, you will get a better price. I know some who rent year round at low season rates even if they only are here 5 or 6 months and store their stuff there the rest of the time. For them, it’s cheaper than only renting during High Season.
If you wish to buy, search out a reputable real estate agent. Ask for referrals. If you are looking in the Puerto Vallarta/Bucerias area, email me for a reference of someone I fully trust.
There are some important rules that you should know about before buying real estate here. In the restricted zone (100 km of the border, or 50 km of the coastline), you can’t own it! Well..technically of course. You have to pay a yearly fee to a bank to hold your property in trust. This is called a Fideicomisos.
TIP: Some try to bypass the bank trust by getting a local to buy it for them. Problem is, all your rights are gone, and you might wind up with nothing!
You have to do your research. Some try to sell an apartment as a condo, but in actuality, there are rules for that. The sale might not be a legal one. Do your research, and get help from a local. You need to find out about the title of the property.
TIP: Real estate agents are not legally licensed down here, anyone can do it. Make sure you get recommendations!
The Notary down here is king. Everything has to pass through them, you don’t even need a lawyer! The “Notario Pùblico” is officially appointed by the State Governor. Some are better than others, so again…get recommendations.
One issue is the official appraisal “Avaluo.” Some buy a place with a low appraisal value to save on property taxes, but when selling, you might have a huge capital gains fee.
I will try to post more of the rules and tips as I find them out.