The basic cost of living in Mexico is lower than that of the US, Canada and Europe, particularly for items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, baked goods, and other miscellaneous grocery items. Local and national pubic transportation is generally lower in cost than the US or Canada and continental Europe, and much lower than in the UK. Competition has been introduced in the domestic airline market and low-cost airlines are beginning to make a significant difference to domestic air-travel fares in Mexico. However, some other items, like utilities, computers and cars are frequently more expensive then in the neighboring USA. Mexico City prices or Mexico Experience Price Index provide an estimated idea of costs for basic items.
Rents in México City can be higher than in equivalent-sized US cities depending on the quality and location of the accommodation. Mexico has a centralized economy, which means that the country's economic activity revolves around México City and makes the capital a relatively expensive place to live compared with most of Mexico. On the other hand, wages and salaries in México City are higher than those in more remote areas. on average, a 2-3 bedroom unfurnished apartment or house located in a good area should cost around 14000 to 22000 pesos per month (plus utility bills and maintenance). Solutionsabroad gives an excellent break-down of prices for renters.
To get the area you want for a price you can live with a simple formula may be employed. Divide your monthly income (after tax) income by three. Not much more then a third of your income should go to rent to insure that you can pay for the cost of living. If this figure doesn't net you the desired lifestyle you still have options. Make more money, consider a different neighborhood, or consider a different living arrangement by taking a roommate.
There are many different types of housing available and many different ways to search and rent one. Here are a few different options:
BROKER: If you are arranging a rental from out-of-town or have more money then time, using a real estate broker can be a pain-free way of getting the job done. A broker is responsible for finding apartments that fit your criteria and making appointments to fit your schedule. This convenience has a price, usually one can expect to pay about a half month's rent as a fee, but this varies and it is recommended to shop around before selecting a broker. Be sure to go to several estate agents in the area, as they may all list the same property - possibly at different rates. Estate agents will know the area and be able to point you away from areas you wouldn't want to live in and especially useful if your Spanish language skills are limited or you want a professionally managed service. If you are visiting Mexico, an ideal way to find a good Estate Agent locally is by word of mouth: ask at your hotel, in local restaurants or, if you've hired a lawyer, ask him or her if he has a list of agents he/she has worked with in the recent past and knows to be of good caliber. If you are employed with a company, they may have a broker they work with and you may be able to use them by contacting your human resources department. Friends in the area are also an excellent resource. Some of the bigger agencies are:
For a complete guide on agents and how to work with the system, go to Property Agents.
ON-LINE LISTING: There are a variety of on-line forums and community listings in which people will list their places or larger companies offer their apartments. There is also the option to sublet on several sites. Some examples are :
INTERNET CAFE BILLBOARDS: Many people frequent internet cafes and there are often signs announcing properties and rooms for rent locally.
WORD OF MOUTH: Mexican people tend to be friendly and helpful and net-working is very common. By asking around, you can probably find someone or somewhere who can refer you to a person with a place for rent. You may also see signs on some buildings or houses that read "Se Renta" (for rent) - with a phone number. This may be the agent if the sign is very posh or labeled with a logo, or most probably the landlord if it's handwritten.
Flatsharing is an excellent way to cut costs and retain the qualities you require in a housing situation. Remembering to have clear boundaries and an understanding of what each roommate requires helps avoid awkward situations. To protect yourself against potential economic problems, try to arrange it so that your roommates co-sign the lease. This makes all the roommates responsible for whatever happens to the property. If the worst was to happen, such as your roommate losing their job and not being able to pay rent, they will be held jointly responsible for rent- not just you.
Here are some other websites to find a roommate:
Looking for cheap accommodation in Mexico City isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.
The booking system is very simple and doesn’t require any visit: all can be done in advance thanks to the detailed descriptions and photos of the rooms and you can secure your room before even getting there. Moreover the Uniplaces team will be available for any questions and help.
Uniplaces is an online marketplace for booking mid-long term accommodation with thousands of verified properties.