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As a seasoned expat, the author delivers firsthand advice on how to navigate the decidedly confusing, as well as rather mysterious, route to locating, procuring, and negotiating viable and affordable luxury living spaces in a foreign country.
It is abundantly evident that Kerry Baker possesses insider intelligence on this subject, information that simply cannot be gleaned on Google, or by exploring apartments on VRBO. And these aren’t just fun facts on renting property in Mexico – this is critical data required to avoid grossly overpaying, getting scammed, or renting on impulse.
Baker breaks down, in a clear and concise step-by-step manner, the process to landing one’s dream rental in Mexico. She explains how to research, what to research, and when to research what. She spells out a very detailed timeline (and it does, indeed, take time) that entails several dedicated, focused trips to Mexico before closing a deal on a rental space.
She describes, in depth, which seasons are the best to search for a property, and which seasons are best to attain a short term (6-8 month) lease to maximize value. Moreover, she explains the importance of factoring in both American/Canadian holidays and Mexican holidays when seeking a residence. It was exceedingly helpful that she discusses actual rent amounts in today’s marketplace and what one should expect to pay.
Several explanations of the visa attainment process (and WHEN to execute it) were invaluable.
What’s fascinating is that in describing the process, she interweaves the Mexican cultural influences that impact where to rent, what type of place to rent, and how long to rent. She talks at length about how to be a good renter, how to curry favor in a diplomatic manner, and how to build a strong network of Mexican and expat friends who can assist when seeking out the next rental property. This is not a book about how to be a respectable expat; nonetheless, there are gems between the lines that allude to just that.
There is some very interesting discussion throughout the book that an expat should consider the rental process to be an on-going, long-term, fluid one. In other words, the longer an expat resides in their chosen city, the greater the opportunities to locate better and cheaper housing. Baker provides the reader precise advice on just how to accomplish this.
And finally, any author who uses the adjective “fungible” gets bonus points!
This book comes highly recommended.
With each chapter, the author takes you through a journey of every aspect of living in Mexico. Her tone and writing style make you feel like you're speaking to your best friend that always has the exclusive, insider information. And she does have the insider information. The author provides details on how to find trustworthy, on-the-ground resources for renting, insider tips on getting leads on ideal locations, how to negotiate your best deal, and so much more. She even reviews highly desirable locations for relocating all throughout Mexico, and gives the reader contact information for rental concierges in each location! To add to it, she even includes a personal blurb about each contact, allowing the reader to already feel that they know the concierges that they'll be working with, which immediately provides an added level of comfort.
One chapter that stood out to me was Chapter Nineteen: Checklists for Renting. I mean, ok it's a checklist, but the detail in it had me in awe. The detailed questions an expat should (and needs to!) ask along the way before signing a rental agreement are priceless.
The information provided in this book is at a level that cannot be obtain by simply Googling and researching all over the web.
Though living internationally isn't the highest priority on my list, it has popped into my mind on occasion. Reading this book ignited my idea of doing so, and has given me an extra dose of confidence at the thought of making it a reality. I'm so happy to have come across this invaluable resource!