Renting or buying in Mexico: Which is best for a foreigner?

Yesterday there was a cruise ship in town, and I was talking to a couple of guys who were retired from Georgia.  They loved Mahahual and are thinking of selling their condos in Florida, and moving here.  They were asking me all the usual questions I get about living here, like health care, how to get here, shopping, the women situation, things like that.

We got to talking about renting or buying here.  I told them I usually tell people to come to  Mahahual, rent something for a couple of months to see if you like it, and then look for something to buy.  We have a lot of people coming here just trying to do that now, but the only problem is, there are not any rentals in Mahahual at the moment to handle the demand.  So I told them that option was out here for the near future.

So that got me to thinking, what are the advantages of renting versus buying in Mahahual now because of the housing shortage here now.  I do know that now at the there are plenty of lots available in New Mahahual, and that is the best buy in town at the moment.  These are still in the $23,000-$36,000 usd range, but I was told the other day that these will be going up in price at the beginning of the year.  So I am sure these are going to be selling fast over this winter.

So I came across this article this morning in the Yucatan Times written by a real estate expert here, (which I am not), about the options of renting versus buying here in Mahahual and Mexico.  It may help you make up your mind which is best for you.


Renting or buying? This is a common question among foreigners moving to Mexico. Experts in relocation and expat websites always suggest renting for a certain period of time; this will allow you to have a sense of the city or neighborhood before jumping into buying a property.

Renting or Buying in Mexico: 5 Advantages of renting

  1. Forget about expenses and taxes. It is your responsibility to look after the place, but serious problems like changing the water heater, wiring or plumbing problems, are the owner’s business. As well as paying the yearly taxes.
  1. Rents are cheaper than a mortgage, you can have a better house for the same monthly payment.
  1. Your rental most probably will have a better location, since new houses tend to be in the outskirts of the city.
  1. Gives you mobility: If you do not like something, you can leave when your contract expires. Either it’s a neighbor or the area, or maybe your building or unit may have hidden defects, in such case you just need to find a new place and move out.
  1. You can save a lot of headaches. Sometimes even easy repairs can take forever, but if you rent, it is your landlord who has to deal with all the hassle.
(PHOTO: courtesy Top Mexico Real Estate)

(PHOTO: courtesy Top Mexico Real Estate)

Renting or Buying in Mexico: 5 Advantages of buying

  1. You will feel that you have a roof for you and your family. Also the prices of property in touristic areas are always on the rise, so you are building equity faster than back home.
  1. It gives you stability. Having a permanent residence will make your life easy when getting services and contracting services. Forget about having to change your address in every single piece of paperwork, do it once and for all!
  1. Could represent tax savings. In some countries if you are a permanent resident in a foreign country you get a tax cut. If you own a property, the income you need in order to get your permanent resident visa is dramatically reduced, and also if you are over 65 years of age you can get a discount on your property taxes.
  1. As an owner you can own the house of your dreams and decide on the color of the walls, modify the distribution or even plant your own garden. Every detail in your home can express your personality, taste and interests.
  1. Building a better credit history, if you get a mortgage to pay for your home, this will benefit your credit history in the new country. Even if you pay in cash, owning a property always gives financial institutions a feeling of stability.

If you’re trying to decide between renting and buying, I recommend you to evaluate your plans, your financial goals and the options you have available to acquire property. You can refer to one of our articleswhere we analyze both options so you get a better idea of how renting or buying will affect your finances.

Whatever you choose, visit our website to browse gorgeous properties in the Riviera Maya and other parts of Mexico. Our Top Mexico Real Estate agents can help you find the house of your dreams, we make it happen.

By Thomas Lloyd for TYT

Thomas Lloyd

Thomas, from Indiana, is a graduate from the prestigious Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, where he obtained a degree in Administration with the Financial Management option. He has been working professionally in Mexico since 1995, and in 2011 he was the first person to ever attain a new nationally regulated Real Estate degree and professional identification number for the Country of Mexico. In 2009 he was voted Realtor of the year, because of his professionalism, attention to customers and knowledge of procedures and the market. Also, he has been active in the real estate community serving on the real estate association’s Honor and Justice Committee. Thomas founded TOP Mexico Real Estate to help non-Mexicans have an enjoyable and safe experience as they purchase and invest in real estate in Mexico.


Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

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