The People's Guide To Mexico

The Best of Mexico
Move to Mexico
Puerta Vallarta
PV Letters

Puerto Vallarta:
Renting a House - Finding Work? Part I

Answered by Robert & Deborah Foster


Our names are Lisa & Rick Resnick. We are an active married couple ages 47 & 51. Our son is grown & on his own living in San Diego. We now live in New Jersey USA. Getting tired of the rat race & question what's it all about? We want to make a change & enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.

We fell in love w/ PV the first time we vacationed there. Have gone other places but, always loved returning to PV. 10 days at a time, however, is not enough to experience a lifestyle. We would like to try relocating to PV & see if we can call it home.

Any hints on how to get started & where to find a rental on a month to month basis for 3 month to 1 year would be welcomed. Since we cannot generate an income in Mexico, we will need to stay on a budget. Is renting for $600 to $800 reasonable. I like the idea of being close to activities yet not on top of them.

We will also need to be close to transportation since, I understand there is a waiting period to purchase a car.

Looking forward from hearing from you.

Lisa & Rick

Lorena's Note: I forwarded Lisa and Rick's email to Robert & Deborah Foster, who have written extensively about their experiences living in Puerto Vallarta. Here is Robert's reply:

Hi Lisa...

My wife and I are almost exactly the same ages as you and Rick. We have lived in PV as full-timers for almost 2 1/2 years.

Carl and Lorena interviewed us in some depth a few months back. The multipart interview is still accessible on their People's Guide web site. The interview will answer many of your questions about day to day life and expenses here I think. The interview is headlined "Budget Living In PV".

As far as renting goes, you will have a wide range of properties to choose from in the $600 to 800 per month range. Obviously, if you sign a year's lease, you may have more negotiating clout. Be wary of month to month deals. They'll shoot up dramatically when the high season hits, and you either fork it over, or you're out.

Especially in low season, you can actually rent something fairly nice and spacious for that amount, IF you rent in one of the slightly outlying working class suburbs, such as Pitillal or Coapinole. These are serviced by the local bus system, and rides cost just 3 pesos (currently about 35 cents US).

There is NO waiting period on purchasing a car. (There is a lot of curious misinformation such as this floating around about Mexico.)

Depending on your net worth and financial status, you'll most likely apply for FM-3 status as soon as you get settled in here. That will enable you to stay indefinitely, although you must check in with immigration and renew your FM-3 each year. (The main advantage is you won't have to leave the country every 180 days, as you must do under the standard tourist card). There is a fee for the FM-3s, but it's worth it. I can give you more detail on any of this as you request it.

It is increasingly easy to get permission to run a small business here, should you want to try it. There is amazing opportunity in PV, which is experiencing explosive growth. Many, many gringos are in business here, legally, with the proper permission from Immigracion. (Don't ever try to work or run a business without proper clearance. You can get into big trouble, and it isn't worth it.)

Of course, any new business is a risk. If you can live cheaply, and not have to generate income here, that's clearly better. That's what Deborah and I do. We're terrace bums.

Let me know if I can help further. I encourage you to pursue this.

Robert and Deborah Foster

Continued with Part II: Robert discusses Working in Puerto Vallarta and more.

Budget Living in Puerto Vallarta
An Interview with Robert & Deborah Foster
Buying Coastal Property

©1972-2002 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens