The in’s and out’s of finding a home in Mazatlan
Those that know me even a little know that the last year or more I’ve been traveling with no home base to work from. I implemented this purposely I sold most of my creature comforts and baggage that was hindering me from experiences. I explain my reasons for this in about the author. Jeff and I struggled to decide if we wanted to have a home base at all. Or if we would rather just travel with having the minimal necessities rather than having to worry about maintaining an true home. As our life and love grew we came to the realization that finding a home base was something we both needed.
Why we chose Mazatlan
Next the struggle to find out where we wanted to live was actually easier than anticipated. Both Jeff and I are research people by that I mean we will look, research, browse and check again until we can’t anymore, type of people. We both knew certain parameters needed to be met. Don’t get me wrong living the small simple beach town life was fun and calming but God forbid you needed to get mail or something. Trust me this problem has happened to me and it was a major issue. So it was important that we live in a large enough city to be convenient for daily life necessities. Simple things like getting vision wear, access to healthcare, grocery store and transportation to name just a few. We both knew we didn’t want to be in a super large city like say L.A.. We knew we wanted to stay in Mexico but not in a town where everything was so far away but there was still beaches close by. There were several towns that closely fit the bill for what we needed but one that we came back to over and over Mazatlan. After visiting for a couple of weeks we knew it was the place for us.
There is so much to see and do here, everything is reasonably close, the beaches are clean and swimming is safe, the bike path on the malecon is great and we fell in love with the people here. There’s also a relatively large expat community here, but Mazatlan nevertheless maintains a authentic vibe.This is where many of Mexico’s families come to vacation. There are tons of restaurants and the history here is amazing. But more on that later.
Finding a place of our own
Finding an apartment or home to rent in Mexico is always a sort of adventure. Also, not all rental owners are trustworthy I ran into this issue a time or two in San Pancho so we were a little warry. Many places in Mexico do not rely on the internet so finding listings is to say the least frustrating and a challenge. Most of the rentals available will have a piece of paper out front or taped to a nearby pole stating Se renta departamento with a phone number to call. Not the most efficient way to rent a property but very common practice here.
Mazatlan is a relatively large city and we thought walking around different neighborhoods or barrios would prove to be difficult especially because we didn’t know where to go or know the area’s very well. Mazatlan is basically separated into zones. We had an idea of where we would like to be but still not sure.
I initially tried reaching a few realtors to no avail I might add and then thought of maybe a long term airbnb property but most wanted way to much money. Finally sufficiently frustrated I decided to look on Craigslist. I found a couple of properties that sounded interesting. But again not knowing the areas caused a few issues to understanding where they were located. We scheduled a couple of showings with the individual owners and after a few them we found a lovely place in Old Centro.
Things to be aware of
No matter where you are looking to find a place in Mexico there is inevitably the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Be sure to ask lots of questions. Have a list in your head of absolutes that you can not live without. Ours was two bedrooms, so we could have a separate working area, AC, accessibility to shopping close by in a safe neighborhood since we don’t have a car, Washing machine in the home or on property,internet and HOT water. Yes, I said hot water for some reason many places we had looked at and even lived in didn’t have hot water. Let me tell you when your at a certain age the cold shower routine is a miserable experience. Especially when dealing with medical issues so be sure to not only ask if there is hot water but double check that the hot water actually works.
With a little work and looking around we were able to find our necessary items. After we had met with the property owner, we decided to take a spacious two bedroom in Mazatlan Centro for 6,000 pesos a month. It was important we knew the owner and felt comfortable with them. Since we had already had a few not so nice property owners in SP that ended up being the down right ugly shady sort of people.
Cost of living
We have only lived in our new place for about 2 weeks I will update this post once we get our monthly bills and share with you the actually cost of living here. Below are the amounts I already know. I’ve broken them down by the pesos and US dollar but keep in mind the US amounts could fluctuate a little depending on the current exchange rates.
Rent 6000 pesos 305.00$
Uber 800 pesos 40.00$
Food 5000 pesos 250.00$
Entertainment 2000 pesos 102.00$
Cell phone 200 pesos 10.00$