Renting vs Buying
07 / 15 / 2018 — Carlos Rousseau
Deciding whether to rent or to buy usually depends on your current income and payment abilities.
Most young people who are just starting out in the professional world don’t have enough money set aside to afford buying a home just yet. Another major issue to consider is how long you plan on living in the area. If you might move again in a few years, it makes more sense to rent rather than going through the processes of buying, selling and buying again.
Deciding what to pay on housing depends on your income. Many nice apartments or houses can be rented and even bought for reasonable prices if your income is on the lower side, at the moment. Don’t stretch yourself too thin trying to pay for housing you can’t afford —it will hurt you more in the long run. Focus on what works for you right now, and evaluate again in a few years.
The cost of living in a city is often slightly higher than average, but Mexico still has reasonable pricing. Where you live also has an impact on the cost, and more popular suburbs will be more expensive.
In Mexico City, suburbs such as Condesa, Roma or Polanco have one-bedroom apartments available for about 10,000 pesos per month, not including bills or maintenance fees. Two or more bedroom apartments are often much cheaper with roommates who help covering the cost.
However, there is a range of pricing anywhere you look, and while you may be able to find a place that costs less, there are also many that cost much more. Apartments or condos in outlying neighborhoods often cost a little less than those in the heart of the city, but they are farther from other amenities and attractions as well.
Utilities are another factor to be aware of when renting or buying. In Mexico, power, water and garbage services run anywhere from 860 pesos to 1,800 pesos, depending on location and usage. Internet services have a range as well, but expect to pay around 390-450 pesos.
One major benefit to renting and living in the heart of the city is the easy access to grocery stores, markets, and bakeries. Prices are low for most food products, and there are options for healthy living even on a tighter budget. For consumers that want to eat out more, dining options are plentiful, and fit any and every budget and lifestyle. Street side food carts are everywhere as are local and chain restaurants and food courts of many ethnicities and styles.
Apartment complexes typically have access to some public transportation system in the city. Public transportation can keep monthly costs down as well, with busses, rail transit systems, and peseros easily available. Taxis and Ubers are readily available as well, giving you many options when you need to go somewhere that is not within walking distance. Living in the city eliminates the need for a car most of the time, and city dwellers can get around quite easily at a low cost.
Ultimately, the decision to rent or to buy comes down to what type of lifestyle you want and what you can afford. There are options for both houses and apartments in all areas of every city, and if you are set on buying but are unable to get a house just yet, condos are a great first choice.