When we decided it would be fun to rent an apartment for a month ( and catch up with our work stuff and home schooling in between hanging out on the Malecon and eating grape paletas, popsicles), we didn’t think too hard about it.
We asked around
We just started asking around. I asked a cool lady that I liked at the graffiti art gallery, she told us the range of prices to expect which was really helpful.
Then we asked the guy who washes cars by a taco stand we were eating at. He wanted to hang out a bit with us, pet Pugsley (and bemoan his lack of balls and how we’d never make any money from him as a stud pug) and test Micah’s Spanish. We just asked him where places to rent around there were, where was a good place.
He pointed up the street to an orange building with dolphins on it, said that was a good spot but would be expensive.
We went over, rang the bell and he was right, it was expensive: $300/month for a spacious furnished one-bedroom with balcony, wifi and cable tv included.
But we didn’t feel like grabbing the newspaper and going on a serious hunt for better deal (- which can easily be had further from the city centre – $300/month for a furnished 2 bedroom with a pool is not unheard of). After checking in with the hostel owner (whom we really like), we just grabbed our wallet and with no contract – just a handshake – we sealed the deal of rent for a month by paying upfront with a deposit for gas and electricity.
We were happy
Our place was great. We loved it. It was easy walking distance everywhere, easy biking distance to El Caimancito, the best little beach around. We had a Mexican family with 2 kids living below us (- who made absolutely no noise whatsoever, please see my post on the Well Mannered Mexican Child), and upstairs was an Italian guy who just started a coffee shop on the Malecon (- check it out! It’s right by La Fuente Ice Cream!).
Even further upstairs were extended family of the landlord – and there was a nephew coming by with Down syndrome – we all hit it off. The landlords lived right next door, these rich, smiling, laid back, chillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll people who drove a Hummer and a tricked out adventure van.
Anyway, yeah. We loved our place.
We had hot water like twice, sometimes we ran out of water altogether, the tv remote never did work (despite trying 3 different remotes), the tv would turn on and off by itself (so we just unplugged it) and the wifi was only available from the balcony, but seriously: not a big deal.
The big deal part – having space, feeling safe, convenient walking everywhere and friendly neighbours, we had in spades.
Renting an apartment in Mexico:
We’ve only done it once and we are pretty sure it’s not always this casual (or is it?), but the one thing we do advise is, like pretty much anything, talk to locals. See what they have to say about it and where they say the good places are and what to expect, price-wise.