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If Only I Had a Place: The Aspiring Expat's Guide to Renting Luxuriously in Mexico for Less Kindle Edition
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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.
The first half of the book is a journey through fourteen of the best “ex pat” destinations in Mexico complete with illustrated maps. The descriptions of each feels more like a conversation with a friend than a travel guide. At one point the author encourages new residents to invite the neighbors to dinner or drinks. That’s how this book reads.
One of the uniqueness’s of this book is the referral to local “Rental Concierges” in each location presented. In many cases, there are several listed and the author has taken time to create a brief character sketch of each to give the reader some additional insight.
The second half of the book is where the author’s enthusiasm and knowledge really shines.
A veritable cornucopia of street level advice, it is applicable no matter what country you might be thinking about moving to.
It’s clear that much of the advice was earned first-hand by the author making it that much more practical for the reader. “Creating a Master Plan”, “Go in Big”, “Reconnoitering” and “Go Home Not Crazy” are a few of my favorite chapters.
To recap…if you want the best book out to help you prepare to live in Mexico (or anywhere in Central America) with real insight to the process in a book that reads like a conversation…this is the book for you.