If you spend much time in Mexico, you can’t help but notice that many of the homes in the small towns and rural areas appear to be in a state of mid-construction. It’s not uncommon to see unfinished block walls and rebar sticking up out of the roofs on numerous houses in any given neighborhood.
When my wife and I first moved to Mexico four years ago, we really didn’t give it much thought, but when we started making friends with some of the locals, we learned that many of them were slowly constructing their own homes.
Back in the States when someone says their building their home, they usually mean that they hired a professional or several professionals (subcontractors) to construct it. But in Mexico, when someone tells you that, chances are that they’re doing the work themselves or with the help of family members.
It’s estimated that approximately 70% of Mexicans construct their own homes and that approximately 64% of the homes in the country were constructed without the supervision of an architect or engineer.
That’s certainly something to keep in mind if you’re buying a preexisting home in Mexico. You can’t take for granted that it was built by professionals or even that it was built to code.
In researching this particular topic, I came across several free online courses designed to teach people in Mexico the fundamentals of building their own homes.
The best one, by far, was created by the Fundación Carlos Slim. It consists of 65 videos, 33 PDFs and numerous quizzes. The lesson plan is very impressive. You can check it out here:
Note- You don’t have to create an account to view the course. Just close out the sign-in box when it appears.
Let’s Wrap This Up
In our case, we chose the easy route. We bought a condo in a gated development that was built by a reputable developer, but we do know several expats who chose to buy preexisting houses that were constructed in a more informal manner.
No matter which way you choose to go, the advice is the same — always do your research and never buy sight unseen.