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How to find a place to stay in Mexico long term.

I would say long term could be 1 month to 1 year. It was fairly more expensive to rent daily/weekly than to rent a month at a time. Many places give you a price break once you enter the 4 week range. I found if you didn’t use Airbnb or similar, you could save a lot of money. You have to watch Airbnb’s because they have hidden fees. The rental itself is around $35 a night. But then you tack on cleaning fees, taxes, and service fees.

In case you have never used this app, here is an example.

I just looked up a place in the USA at Myrtle Beach. The price seems great at $79 a night. But this is the total: $193.31. Many people use Airbnb’s and I was one of them for several nights. But with boots on the ground, you can find amazing places and much less cost.

79.00 One night

75.00 Cleaning Fee 21.74 Service Fee

17.57 Taxes and Fees 193.31

When I first arrived in Mexico, I knew nothing of the area. I arrived in Puerto Vallarta at the end of September. It was so hot and humid during that time that it was misery for me. Especially, just leaving the cold weather in Alaska. I still had on winter clothing. I’m horrible in the heat, but I believe the circumstances made it more difficult to adjust. I stayed in the air conditioning except in the mornings and near dark. It was still raining quite a bit there, as it was ending the “rain season”. You could tell by your perspiration it was getting ready to rain. The best times to visit Mexico are in the winter months. It is perfect weather around October-February. With that said, everything it comes at a price and during this time, “high season". Snowbirds from the colder states in the US come down to avoid the heavy winters. There are a lot of people during this time.

One good situation for me, but not as good for the economy, my stay was during Covid. They had many lower prices as most places were booked at about 20%, as many travelers had canceled their plans. Many places try to lock you into a year contract in order to reduce your monthly rent. That is great, however when you are only there for a few months comfortably, it isn’t that great of a deal if you are miserable and or leave due to the massive humidity.

To my surprise, there weren’t any credit checks, proof of income, or even a lengthy detailed contract. I didn’t receive a contract. Word of mouth and a shake of the hand would suffice. Hince reminding me of the good ol 70's. Many times, they do not even ask for an ID. I wasn’t asked what my income was and for the places I rented from, they didn't try to get me tied into a timeshare or buy adventure packages.

They will work with you if you are late. For instance, when I added the dates, it was the day I would get paid, but it fluctuates sometimes. You are also requested to pay in cash. When you take money out of the ATM’s there are limits to what you can get out. So I would have to make two trips, downside, getting a ride to the bank 2x's. You also have to pay for the fees from the teller machine and it doubles when you have to go two times. But my landlords never seemed to be upset about that.

Once I arrived, I had bounced around hotel to hotel every so many days. I started to learn the area better. I decided to go then go with an Airbnb. There are good points to this and bad. So many places look better online than in person. This is why I recommend staying in a few hotels and get a feel of where you like the most. I highly suggest when you are visiting for longer term to shop around on foot or vehicle and look for rental signs.

I like Airbnb because it isn’t too difficult to get your money back when they do not represent their stays as they state online. I had a horrible experience on my third Airbnb. I was there for 5 minutes standing outside waiting for a person to show me the rental. There were three drug deals across the street right in public view on the corner. There were also a main bus hub across the street, which was a constant roar of engines, brakes, and the dust was forever flying and glistening in the air. There was a park across the street, which to me when they mentioned that, you think of a safer, quieter space. but, this IS Mexico and selling of drugs near parks or schools, there isn't a heftier charge and enforcing the "law" there.

The curtains were sheer and you could easily see every activity out your window. I am a very private person and having a police background to boot. This makes me real worrisome as far as safety was concerned. There was a slidable bared metal gate that you had to physically slide, and it was very heavy. You had to move it to get to the entry door. There were two apartments at this location. One upstairs and one downstairs. I was downstairs. The entry door to my bedroom was just an air filled piece of thin plywood. I could’ve kicked that door in with little energy. They had sprayed chemicals (claimed it was the pet store next door) and it made me very sick for 3 months. That is for another post...just be careful. complain and do not allow renters take advantage of you.

1st Airbnb: This was in the Cinco de Diciembre. I really liked this area and this gorgeous apartment. The only issue I had was no elevator, which is common. I rented the top floor and had to maneuver up many stairs with my suitcase by myself and it destroyed my back. Had I known, the driver I'm sure would've done this for me with a nice tip. With all the windows, it was a bit hot, but all in all, I loved it. I had great views throughout the apartment and I loved opening it up on cooler days. It was further away from the beach and up some huge hills. The Uber’s even had a difficult time with the large cobblestone streets as it really needed some work.

2nd Airbnb: This was my favorite Airbnb. I was staying in a one bedroom which was owned by a family, mostly women, who owned a store with rooms to rent out. Most of the studios do not have a full out kitchen. You get a counter top range, sometimes a large refrigerator, but most of the time it was only a small cube refrigerator. Everything you need as far as utensils etc. are available. If they are not, you may request something and they may buy or supply. I loved this Airbnb because the people were so nice, even though there was a language barrier, I actually learned a lot by being there. I was very sick still during this stay and they were great checking on me.

Then I found a gorgeous condo to stay...or did I? More to come about that in part two...

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