Tips for Finding a Reasonably Priced Rental Property in Mexico for 1-6 Months

We receive numerous requests from readers who tell us that they would like to stay in Mexico for a few months; however, they are having trouble finding a reasonably priced rental. The majority of the readers are looking for something in well-known tourist areas like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta.

It’s not that there aren’t properties available to rent short term, there are tons of them. The problem is that they are short-term vacation rentals that charge a rate similar to that of a hotel room. That’s okay for a week or two, but not for a few months.

So, the question then becomes: Is it possible to rent a fully furnished property for less than six months without paying vacation rental prices? The answer is yes, but it isn’t easy.

Here are some tips to follow to increase your chances of success:

1. Come in the Low Season

If you hope to have any chance of success at all, you need to plan your rental period for the low season. I really can’t emphasize this one enough.

We live in the Riviera Maya and the slowest time of the year is late August through late November — just before Thanksgiving. This is the time when you will have the best chance of finding a property owner willing to give you a great rate for a longer stay.

It’s important to understand that the property owners make almost all of their money in the high season and that many of the properties sit empty during the low season. For that reason, it is extremely unlikely that a property owner would give up vacation rental income of $300 USD a night to rent to you for the month for only $800 – $1000 USD.

2. Contact Property Management Companies Directly

Your only hope of obtaining a lower price is to negotiate with the owner. The challenge can be contacting him or her because many popular vacation booking sites don’t allow you to do that until you’ve already booked the property.

A way around this is to contact property management companies that handle vacation rentals in your target area. These companies handle numerous properties and they already know which of their clients may be open to renting at a lower price for a longer stay. This can drastically speed up your search process and may even provide you with a few options to choose from.

You can locate property management companies by performing an Internet search or asking for recommendations from locals on social media sites.

If your looking for something around Akumal, we might be able to help. Just send us a request via our contact form and tell us what you’re looking for.

3. Watch Out for Fraud

Be wary of individuals who contact you through sites like Facebook claiming to be property owners. There are a lot of fraudsters out there who will be happy to take your deposit on a property that they don’t even own.

Remember the old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Let’s Wrap This Up

I know that this article will be disappointing for those readers who were hoping to find an inexpensive, furnished rental for a few months around the holidays. I’m not saying that you won’t find one — but if you do, it would truly be a Christmas miracle.

Look at the bright side. If you come to Mexico during the low season, you can enjoy all of the beauty and wonder without dealing with the crowds. Personally, we love the low season.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul

Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years and retired at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He moved to Mexico with his wife six days later to enjoy a laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle on a tight budget.

In 2016, Paul started a blog to share information with other people who may be thinking of making the move to Mexico. The blog, Two Expats Living in Mexico (qroo.us), has been viewed over a million times and Paul’s articles appear in periodicals across Mexico.

28 Comments on "Tips for Finding a Reasonably Priced Rental Property in Mexico for 1-6 Months"

  1. You are a wealth of information. Thank you.

  2. Donna Grobell Cranbrook Canada | October 14, 2017 at 9:12 am | Reply

    I have the opposite problem. We have a 2 bedroom 1 bath oceanfront property in Mazatlan in a newer building but have a hard time finding long term renters. We prefer long term because we don’t want the hassle of people coming and going during the high season. We would be happy to rent long term in high season for 1500. USD a month if the people wanted 6 months.

  3. Hi, Paul! You didn’t mention one of your own tips: being a HOUSE SITTER in Mexico! Here’s what you wrote about HouseSitMexico.com in your Useful Apps and Websites section: http://qroo.us/2017/01/09/great-housepet-sitting-site-just-for-mexico/ ! Right now HouseSitMexico.com has house sits available right at the height of the winter season. The 20% discount offered readers of the Two Expats blog is still in effect! Use coupon code TwoExpats20.

  4. Patricia Armstrong | October 14, 2017 at 10:23 am | Reply

    Good article Paul and Linda, One thing I didn’t realize is I’m planning to move in May and thought that was low season so guess I might have a hard time getting a 6 month rent at the lower prices..Thanks for you’re articles, very informative..

  5. Same advice applies toOaxaca, coty and coast.

  6. Marjorie Ratcliffe | October 14, 2017 at 10:58 am | Reply

    One way is to contact owners and negotiate a long term rent.

    • Yes, the challenge is getting the contact information. That’s where the property management companies come in handy.

  7. Good article…
    But this is also hurricane season very rainy

    • We haven’t had much rain at all. Sometimes it rains for about 30 minutes and that’s it 🙂

    • My wife and I just returned from a stay in Akumal. It rained a bit but it was refreshing. There was only one day where we stayed in the condo and but it was really pleasant to catch up on our reading. And with an umbrella you’re good to go.

  8. Your site has been instrumental in my decision to retire to Mexico. My plan is to begin in Mazamitlan, south of Lake Chapala, and hopefully bop around the country to targeted areas until I find one I feel is a good fit, then eventually buy a property there. How long that will take is totally unknown, but I’m going to try to keep the process to a year at most.

    Would you say it would be better to find a long-term rental as a base of operations and wander from there, or should I consider short-term rentals in whichever areas I decide to visit? I think the property management angle makes perfect sense, but I think I need to know my long-term strategy first.

    Also, I can’t leave the States until after Christmas, so the low season option may not be available for me. I’m also not really sure how to go about selecting areas I want to check out. Tour guides tend to be focused on tourists and their needs and expectations. I fully intend to be a resident, and prefer it to be in an authentic Mexican town where I’m likely to stick out like a sore thumb–not the kind of place tour guides cover. I guess I’m wondering if there is some kind of national resource less focused on tourists and more on citizens who want to live somewhere in Mexico other than where they already do. Any thoughts?

    • If your plan is to stay outside of tourist areas, then the best option is to find a long term rental. Your idea of using it as a base of operations is a great one. That’s exactly what we do with our condo in Akumal.

      Mexico is a large country with lots of great places to call home. You could spend years exploring the country and still not see it all. Many expats choose their destination using a few criteria that include the following:

      1) safety
      2) climate
      3) infrastructure
      4) proximity to an international airport

      Perhaps you can narrow your search a bit by using the same criteria.

      To answer your question, I’m not aware of a national resource that provides information to citizens about moving to other areas of the country. If you happen to stumble across something like that on your quest to find the perfect place to go, please send me the link.

      Good luck on your search and thanks for following the blog.

  9. I just published a book on exactly this subject which includes a listing of rental concierges that I recruited from the top dozen or so of the most popular expat destinations, people I recruited and interviewed. Most of them have an online presence of some sort. All are bilingual

    The book is on Amazon, released only a few months ago, called “if I Only Had a Place.,” If you don’t mind a few typo’s (I think my editor was in between naps) ] buy it now, but in the new few weeks, I’m going to clean up a few errors and add a letter “una petición” in both Spanish and English for potential owners from whom you may want to rent.
    I estimate that 50% of the great places to rent are not advertised, rented by word of mouth only. The book is not just from my experience – my business partner has been a property manager here in Mexico for 12 years. The rental concierges also provided confirmation and insights before the book was published. My website will provide support for the book in terms of changes in the rental concierge listings and their profiles (I’ll have some people in Guadalajara soon) and new info if I uncover it.

    Paul already reviewed my Spanish book (Thank you,Paul!) I just didn’t want to go the the well too often.

  10. I suggest Melaque. It’s a few hours bus from Vallarta. Many many bungalows and private homes to rent. San Patricio is the town itself and it’s a quick cab ride to Barra de Navidad. Sort of Puerto Vallarta lite. Many many snowbirds staying there long term. It’s close to a great little town called La Manzanilla

  11. Good stuff Paul. I noticed that there aren’t many good online options for finding rentals in the Mayan Riviera. I’ve been using andale.mx which is ok but do you know of any other sites?

    Thanks!

  12. Gerald Bourhis | October 15, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Reply

    Very good article and information as always Paul. I’ll definitely keep this in mind and hopefully be able to put to use one day.

  13. You can contact owners directly on VRBO and ask for a lower rate….. but this probably only works during low season, like you said.

  14. Marien Kaifesh | October 16, 2017 at 9:13 am | Reply

    I own a condo in the Nizuc area of Cancun, and am on VRBO. This exact question came up on our VRBO owners site recently. I have no problem getting renters in low season. I am not desperate. I get a few who want long term rental for DIRT cheap (I am beachfront), and frankly, feel insulted when asked to give them a rate that is almost free (after utilities & fees). So, if you are asking for a lower rent, please be respectful in your offer and don’t try to low-ball us. Many owners would rather it sit empty than give it away for nothing. I do find that Mexican owners (versus US/Canadian) are more apt to rent for peanuts (they’d rather get a few pesos rather than let it sit empty), but be careful what kind of place you’ll get for peanuts! There may be a reason it is available long term!

  15. Great Stuff! Your blog fills a space that was empty! We have been to Mexico 28 times. (I counted my albums.) and have decided on the place we love near Lake Chapala, and it is called Ajijic! I do attend the Lake Chapala Writers Conference each year in March. (and need to rent) Carolena Torres
    Author of “Dust on Their Hearts” and the sequel “Castles by the Lake”

  16. My wife and I are coming to Mexico I late January 2018 & early February. We are spending a week in San Miguel de Allende and the to Puerto Vallarta for a week. I am hoping I can get a feel of both areas because I want to move to Mexico for a period of 6 months to a year. I just turned 66 and will be starting one more contract job to prepare us to make the move to Mexico for that extended period of time. I would appreciate any feedback that can help me with this passion to move to Mexico
    Shalom

  17. We have a large 1 bedroom, plus full kitchen We live in Bucerias. Where can I go to advertise my rental?

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