Moving to Mexico: Why We Decided to Buy Instead of Rent

Source: Q-Roo Paul

Readers of the blog often ask me why we chose to buy property in Mexico instead of simply renting a place.

I considered writing an article about the pros and cons of doing both – but that topic has been beaten to death. If you Google it, you will receive over 27,000,000 responses – I know, I did it.

Besides, an article like that still wouldn’t answer the question why “we” decided to buy a place in Mexico.

I can tell you that the decision was made only after carefully analyzing data and information from a wide range of sources and then scouting the area. My wife and I are fiscal conservatives and we only invest in something if the probability of a successful return is very high.

Just in case you’re curious what type of data and information I reviewed, here is a quick rundown (feel free to skip this part):

Historical data and projections related to population and economic growth; crime statistics; government investment and projected investment in infrastructure; real estate law; currency exchange rates and projections; environmental protection laws and possible impact on future construction in the area; medical services and facilities; price comparisons; probability of future rental income; and tax law (capital gains and property).

This amount of research might sound excessive to some people but it was necessary to give us both peace of mind.

Summary of Analysis

Although the data overwhelmingly supported the decision to buy a property as opposed to renting, we still planned to rent unless we could find the perfect place that checked some additional boxes on our combined wish list.

Through a combination of great luck and even better timing, we stumbled across the perfect place for us near Akumal. To read more about why we chose this part of the Riviera Maya, click HERE.

Paul, What About Conditions Today?

If I stopped the article here, at least one reader would inevitably ask me the question above, so here is my answer:

Although I don’t dedicate as much time to researching real estate conditions as I did before we bought, I still keep up with current events that would affect our investment. Saying that, the conditions are still favorable to invest in real estate in certain areas of the Riviera Maya – especially the coastal area south of Playa del Carmen. This area actually reminds me a lot of south Florida in the early 1980’s before the price of real estate shot up.

Let’s Wrap This Up

The purpose of this article was not to convince anyone to buy a property in Mexico; rather, it was to explain why two highly fiscally conservative people would invest in a property located in another country.

So far, I think the investment was a sound one. We have lived here over a year and we have had two offers to buy the condo at a price above what we paid. The condo isn’t for sale but that doesn’t stop people from asking to buy it.

We know that we could sell it now and make a profit but we love the place too much to leave. We found a lot more than an investment property – we found a tight community of amazing people.

I pondered making a comment about how “priceless” that is but I resisted because it seemed a bit cliché.

It is nice to know that when we are ready to sell it, we should have significantly more return on our investment than we would have had if we had invested in bonds or left it in a savings account.

Of course nothing in this world is certain except for death and taxes. We are hopeful that people won’t get tired of the warm, turquoise waters of the Caribbean anytime soon. But if they do, the worst case scenario is that we have to keep living in this beach paradise forever. I think we could handle that option.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. In 2016, they started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( sharing their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border. The blog has been viewed over two million times and the articles have been republished in numerous periodicals across Mexico.

12 Comments on "Moving to Mexico: Why We Decided to Buy Instead of Rent"

  1. Michael Odle | December 4, 2016 at 2:20 pm |

    56 days and I’ll be a short ferry ride away. Will be on Isla Czm for at least a year. Can’t wait!

  2. Great topic Paul. Thanks for the information.

  3. Carolyn Richardson | December 4, 2016 at 4:17 pm |

    Purchased a 2 bedroom 2 bath, fully furnished home in San Felipe, Baja Norte, 3 years ago, and havent regretted a moment of that decision! Have lived here full time for 2 years ( with sev trips to northern Calif a year to visit fam and friends), have made many nrw friendships in my new community, and have settled into my new lifestyle easily. Prices have remained stable, new growth has been happening albeit slow, with the new peso to dollar ratio higher, even more affordable. I never purchased with the idea of selling at a profit, i did purchase with an eye of getting back what i paid, and i believe solidly when i decide to sell, i wont lose in my initial investment. Love the Sea of Cortez views and white beaches, awesome sunrises over the Sea with just as awesome sunsets over the mountains. What is not to like?!!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love to hear positive stories from other expats. I will have to check out that side of the country this year. I keep hearing such great things about it.

  4. Doug and Leslie | December 4, 2016 at 5:22 pm |

    Great story Paul
    My wife and I are here right now pondering that question a few miles north of you.

  5. We started our travels in Mexico in 2003. After six weeks of exploring we found San Miguel de Allende. We traveled there annually until 2009 when we spent a three month period looking for a neighborhood to rent in. We had explored the city with the same real estate agent since that first trip in 2003. We ended up finding a great neighborhood in the building stage. Before we left we had broken ground and to this day have no regrets. We moved into the new house in October 2010. Our growing neighborhood is 70% Mexican, so learning Spanish is essential. This is the best decision we ever made.

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I have heard San Miguel de Allende is beautiful and it is on our list of places to visit in Mexico.

  6. Julie LeBlanc | December 6, 2016 at 10:28 am |

    Thanks again for sharing such an informative blog Paul. On a few occasions, you have mentioned favoring real estate conditions south of Playa Del Carmen. I wonder, is this simply because you feel Cancun/Playa has already reached a peak so to speak? Certainly Playa would be more “busy” which could be a deterrent from a retirement standpoint but if looking simply at a return on investment standpoint… The Fives in Playa is one of the real estate we are considering where they currently have an interesting guaranteed RoI for the first 5 years program. Also considering Akumal, Tulum and everywhere in between!

    • From a retirement and investment standpoint, I prefer the area south of Akumal. Cancun and Playa are becoming pretty densely populated and the traffic is a turnoff for a lot of people.

      We have met more than a few expats that bought there first and then relocated later south of Playa (Akumal or Tulum). That might mean you can find some good deals up there if you keep your eyes open. That could be a very sound investment then.

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