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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Moving at the end of the month. Just need a little 'local' input.

What is the best and least painful way to find a long term rental in Playa Del Carmen.

Recommend a reputable management Company or person?
Recommend a reputable real estate agent?
Check on Andale by myself?
Hit the streets and walk around looking for rental signs.

btw, not fluent in spanish so would also be interested in have a Spanish/English speaking person in helping with the negotiations.

What has worked or not worked for all you expats out there?

Steve
 

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Moving at the end of the month. Just need a little 'local' input.

What is the best and least painful way to find a long term rental in Playa Del Carmen.

Recommend a reputable management Company or person?
Recommend a reputable real estate agent?
Check on Andale by myself?
Hit the streets and walk around looking for rental signs.

btw, not fluent in spanish so would also be interested in have a Spanish/English speaking person in helping with the negotiations.

What has worked or not worked for all you expats out there?

Steve
After we determined that Cuernavaca was going to be our spot - but after not able to reach an agreement on price for the house we wanted to purchase - We took one final trip trying to find a place to rent. We worked with the same realtor who had been trying to help us buy. We ended up taking a year lease on one of his for sale listings. It was good that we rented for a year - because we ended up (coming up in our price range) and buying in a totally different neighborhood. Signing an annual lease we took a 10% discount.
 

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"Reputable" is generally also "expensive", which is not necessarily synonymous with "nice". If you do go with an agency, I'd steer clear of the ones that intentionally cater to expat markets. Their prices will be premium.

Best bet, rent short term, use the time to make friends and get connected, and before you know it you'll find something nice and affordable. In my experience the best rentals appear via word of mouth.

Meanwhile, you can keep your eyes open for the signs, but I would strongly suggest having a Mexican friend do the initial call-ups/pricing inquiries for you.
 

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No matter what country you end up in, there will always be a premium once your "accent" is heard, the price is driven up, however if you end up with the place you want and location is also good, paying that premium may be worth it!
 

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SteveOH, as suggested, one of the best ways to find a rental is to hit the streets. Come stay at a hotel and spend a few days looking around.

If you are on fb there are some very helpful groups such as, expats and locals in playa as well as expats and locals market in playa. For finding rentals, it can be more useful than andale or the local playa info forum.

As to 3dLashes comment, here in Playa the price is not driven up once your "accent" is heard. Often, it is the opposite.
 

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No matter what country you end up in, there will always be a premium once your "accent" is heard, the price is driven up, however if you end up with the place you want and location is also good, paying that premium may be worth it!
Have you spent time in Mexico? Has this happened to you?
 

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Have you spent time in Mexico? Has this happened to you?
(Apologies for this wall of text reply)


Yeah, just to clarify, since it appears your inquiry can be traced back to my...

"Meanwhile, you can keep your eyes open for the signs, but I would strongly suggest having a Mexican friend do the initial call-ups/pricing inquiries for you."

I advised such because the OP clearly states they don't have good Spanish skills. But make no mistake, it does happen here in Oaxaca, especially under certain conditions. Also be aware that the people who are likely to play "screw the extranjero" games are well-versed. They know the prices in the US of goods/services similar to what they're providing, and they are also adept at spotting foreigners that are easily taken advantage of.

The trick is to not be a target...

I am not retired. I have over 4 years living/working in Oaxaca as an independent English teacher, and before that 2 years in Cuernavaca as the owner of a coffee house/restaurant. Haven't racked up nearly as many years as many of you, but it is what is is. My Spanish is not great, (what can I say? I get paid to speak English.) but it's good enough to get me through life here. Actually, it's probably much better than I think.

Anyway, I've bought and sold vehicles, furniture, appliances, computers, dealt with employees, accountants, landlords, maids, gardeners, tree trimmers, carpenters, builders, plumbers, dog walkers, mechanics, fumigators, etc. etc. etc. etc. I've rented both commercial and residential properties. I know what going rates are for everything, and I make that blatantly clear in my dealings with people. When I'm not sure about fair market value, I make inquiries until I'm satisfied I'm armed with enough knowledge to at least give the impression that I can't be taken advantage of.

People I deal with know this...I go out of my way to make it known. I've learned...

But it wasn't always so...

The idea of "The price is higher for foreign accents", tends to imply that foreigners need to pay 40 pesos for the same comida corrida that the Mexicans buy for 35. That simply isn't true, and I've never experienced anything like that during my time in MX.

But there are also valid reasons why that idea exists. Perhaps the most valid reason lies with independent contractors; plumber, maid, gardener, tree trimmer, etc. There are always "going rates" for these services, but the contractors themselves can set whatever prices they want.

I had a bad experience with a plumber early on in Oaxaca. The toilet in one of the bathrooms of our newly-rented house started leaking. At the time we didn't know anybody here and had no connections, so I really had no choice but to walk over to the "plomeria". Told the guy what the problem was, he was very nice and came right away, left again on his motorcycle to go get the needed parts from the nearest "Duende", returned and fixed it, all in under an hour. Even presented me with the receipt for the parts; an outlandish 80 pesos.

So, proceeded to thank him profusely for his help, then asked "Cuanto te debo?"

This is hardly the first Mexican toilet I've had to fix, so the numbers were already swimming in my head...$400 if the guy's on the up and up, $500 if he's gonna screw me.

Heh...wrong! "That'll be 2000 pesos please".

Uh...WHAT? He then went into the standard barrage of excuses about it being late (it was 7pm), how he had to drive down to Duende, blah blah. I cut him off. "Yeah sure, I understand. Here you go, thanks for the help."

I don't excuse thievery, and I don't think of the guy as anything better than a crook with a toolbox, but I made mistakes that allowed myself to be set up...

1. Went to the nearest, most convenient stranger (that's actually 2 mistakes, but whatever). 2. Expressed a sense of dire emergency. 3. Didn't make any inquiry as to cost...just assumed the guy would treat me fairly. 4. Didn't put up any resistance after the fact.

Of course, a week later when I described the event to our new-found friend/neighbor, she gave me the number of her plumber, and we've been using him ever since. Best contact I've ever made...this guy is so efficient and trustworthy that when we decided to convert our patio to a bungalow, we put it all in his hands. Every "cuenta" he's ever presented to me has been below the numbers swimming in my head. And this is a guy we would never have known if it hadn't been for our neighbor.

Seasonal expat friends had a similar experience a few months back. They contracted a tree cutter found in the phone book (Phone book? Mexico??...NOOOOOOO!!) who charged them 7,000 pesos to trim a tree on their rented property. The original quote had been 4,000 (still way too high, my trusted plumber/multi usos said it was a 1,500 peso job), but apparently there were "complications" that drove the price up. As in my case, they knew they were being screwed, but when they questioned the extreme price, the contractor simply said, "But you can afford it." and refused to leave until he was paid "what he was owed". That's the attitude..."You can afford it, so we're allowed to screw you."

It's avoidable once you're reasonably familiar with the local economy and have some connections, but it does happen. If you absolutely, positively must contract with strangers, particularly those mentioned above, and you don't feel confident that you can at least present the illusion of being familiar with the local going rates, and on top of it your Spanish is sub-par, then please, PLEASE, put everything else aside until you've at least got yourself a trusted Mexican friend who's willing to help you out/educate you.

Alternate route: Go with the most reputable RE agent, hope for the best, and live in a bubble.
 

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(Apologies for this wall of text reply)


Yeah, just to clarify, since it appears your inquiry can be traced back to my...

"Meanwhile, you can keep your eyes open for the signs, but I would strongly suggest having a Mexican friend do the initial call-ups/pricing inquiries for you."

I advised such because the OP clearly states they don't have good Spanish skills. But make no mistake, it does happen here in Oaxaca, especially under certain conditions. Also be aware that the people who are likely to play "screw the extranjero" games are well-versed. They know the prices in the US of goods/services similar to what they're providing, and they are also adept at spotting foreigners that are easily taken advantage of.

The trick is to not be a target...

I am not retired. I have over 4 years living/working in Oaxaca as an independent English teacher, and before that 2 years in Cuernavaca as the owner of a coffee house/restaurant. Haven't racked up nearly as many years as many of you, but it is what is is. My Spanish is not great, (what can I say? I get paid to speak English.) but it's good enough to get me through life here. Actually, it's probably much better than I think.

Anyway, I've bought and sold vehicles, furniture, appliances, computers, dealt with employees, accountants, landlords, maids, gardeners, tree trimmers, carpenters, builders, plumbers, dog walkers, mechanics, fumigators, etc. etc. etc. etc. I've rented both commercial and residential properties. I know what going rates are for everything, and I make that blatantly clear in my dealings with people. When I'm not sure about fair market value, I make inquiries until I'm satisfied I'm armed with enough knowledge to at least give the impression that I can't be taken advantage of.

People I deal with know this...I go out of my way to make it known. I've learned...

But it wasn't always so...

The idea of "The price is higher for foreign accents", tends to imply that foreigners need to pay 40 pesos for the same comida corrida that the Mexicans buy for 35. That simply isn't true, and I've never experienced anything like that during my time in MX.

But there are also valid reasons why that idea exists. Perhaps the most valid reason lies with independent contractors; plumber, maid, gardener, tree trimmer, etc. There are always "going rates" for these services, but the contractors themselves can set whatever prices they want.

I had a bad experience with a plumber early on in Oaxaca. The toilet in one of the bathrooms of our newly-rented house started leaking. At the time we didn't know anybody here and had no connections, so I really had no choice but to walk over to the "plomeria". Told the guy what the problem was, he was very nice and came right away, left again on his motorcycle to go get the needed parts from the nearest "Duende", returned and fixed it, all in under an hour. Even presented me with the receipt for the parts; an outlandish 80 pesos.

So, proceeded to thank him profusely for his help, then asked "Cuanto te debo?"

This is hardly the first Mexican toilet I've had to fix, so the numbers were already swimming in my head...$400 if the guy's on the up and up, $500 if he's gonna screw me.

Heh...wrong! "That'll be 2000 pesos please".

Uh...WHAT? He then went into the standard barrage of excuses about it being late (it was 7pm), how he had to drive down to Duende, blah blah. I cut him off. "Yeah sure, I understand. Here you go, thanks for the help."

I don't excuse thievery, and I don't think of the guy as anything better than a crook with a toolbox, but I made mistakes that allowed myself to be set up...

1. Went to the nearest, most convenient stranger (that's actually 2 mistakes, but whatever). 2. Expressed a sense of dire emergency. 3. Didn't make any inquiry as to cost...just assumed the guy would treat me fairly. 4. Didn't put up any resistance after the fact.

Of course, a week later when I described the event to our new-found friend/neighbor, she gave me the number of her plumber, and we've been using him ever since. Best contact I've ever made...this guy is so efficient and trustworthy that when we decided to convert our patio to a bungalow, we put it all in his hands. Every "cuenta" he's ever presented to me has been below the numbers swimming in my head. And this is a guy we would never have known if it hadn't been for our neighbor.

Seasonal expat friends had a similar experience a few months back. They contracted a tree cutter found in the phone book (Phone book? Mexico??...NOOOOOOO!!) who charged them 7,000 pesos to trim a tree on their rented property. The original quote had been 4,000 (still way too high, my trusted plumber/multi usos said it was a 1,500 peso job), but apparently there were "complications" that drove the price up. As in my case, they knew they were being screwed, but when they questioned the extreme price, the contractor simply said, "But you can afford it." and refused to leave until he was paid "what he was owed". That's the attitude..."You can afford it, so we're allowed to screw you."

It's avoidable once you're reasonably familiar with the local economy and have some connections, but it does happen. If you absolutely, positively must contract with strangers, particularly those mentioned above, and you don't feel confident that you can at least present the illusion of being familiar with the local going rates, and on top of it your Spanish is sub-par, then please, PLEASE, put everything else aside until you've at least got yourself a trusted Mexican friend who's willing to help you out/educate you.

Alternate route: Go with the most reputable RE agent, hope for the best, and live in a bubble.
Three things come to mind when reading your post.

1. I don´t relate to it. I have never seen it happen to me as far as I have found out and I do check things out all of the time. It appears good business sense prevails here and other places I know well.

2. I believe macho working class men do take advantage of women.

3. Being too offensive and too defensive is noticable and some get put off by this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
SteveOH, as suggested, one of the best ways to find a rental is to hit the streets. Come stay at a hotel and spend a few days looking around.

If you are on fb there are some very helpful groups such as, expats and locals in playa as well as expats and locals market in playa. For finding rentals, it can be more useful than andale or the local playa info forum.

As to 3dLashes comment, here in Playa the price is not driven up once your "accent" is heard. Often, it is the opposite.
thanks for the advice. Yes I am on fbook. can you suggest contacts I should be looking at, or friends of friends or other resource?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Accent?

Have you spent time in Mexico? Has this happened to you?
I have traveled Mexico extensively since 1980. I've heard both sides. Obviously it would be better to have a 'local spanish speaking friend' to assist with the process. My lack of spanish (or solo tourista espanol) is a dead giveaway but I am trying.

My plan now is to get into a hotel for a week or two and just scout around.
 

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thanks for the advice. Yes I am on fbook. can you suggest contacts I should be looking at, or friends of friends or other resource?
If you join the pages I mentioned, you will find a lot of helpful people with information on rentals.

If you are going to stay at a hotel initially, I would recommend that you stay at Mom's Hotel. You will find people there that will be helpful within the hotel as well as at the restaurant that is on the 2nd floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you join the pages I mentioned, you will find a lot of helpful people with information on rentals.

If you are going to stay at a hotel initially, I would recommend that you stay at Mom's Hotel. You will find people there that will be helpful within the hotel as well as at the restaurant that is on the 2nd floor.
Thanks,

The links have helped.
Funny you should mention Mom's. I've been trying to get in touch with them all this week to no avail.

On the website they don't show room rates, so I sent a request for two weeks in June and havent heard a word.

I also sent them emails and tried other sites with no luck.

I dont know how to get room rates and availability.

Weird, unless they shut down at the end of the high season.
 

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Thanks,

The links have helped.
Funny you should mention Mom's. I've been trying to get in touch with them all this week to no avail.

On the website they don't show room rates, so I sent a request for two weeks in June and havent heard a word.

I also sent them emails and tried other sites with no luck.

I dont know how to get room rates and availability.

Weird, unless they shut down at the end of the high season.
As a general rule, businesses in Mexico are not very used to using email for communication, some that deal with foreigners maybe, but otherwise not so much. You might have better luck phoning them or even better walk in and talk to them in person.
 

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As a general rule, businesses in Mexico are not very used to using email for communication, some that deal with foreigners maybe, but otherwise not so much. You might have better luck phoning them or even better walk in and talk to them in person.
The Smart phone Whatsapp is being used now as a way to instant message each other in San Luis Potosi. Almost everyone and almost every business uses it. I didn´t find anyone in California using it last winter when I was there.
 

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The Smart phone Whatsapp is being used now as a way to instant message each other in San Luis Potosi. Almost everyone and almost every business uses it. I didn´t find anyone in California using it last winter when I was there.
I started using WhatsApp because a close Mexican friend in Toronto was using it to stay in touch with her family in Mexico. I quickly found out that most of my husband's family and many of our friends in Mexico use it - we can send text, photos, voice messages, etc for free, even internationally. You can set up groups so all members of the group get the messages - this has been a great feature for the extended family, to send news, photos etc. to the whole family with one message. I know it's used by many people in Toronto, but I think it's especially popular with those who have family overseas. I've noted many cell phone offers in Mexico include free access to WhatsApp and Facebook.
 

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Thanks,

The links have helped.
Funny you should mention Mom's. I've been trying to get in touch with them all this week to no avail.

On the website they don't show room rates, so I sent a request for two weeks in June and havent heard a word.

I also sent them emails and tried other sites with no luck.

I dont know how to get room rates and availability.

Weird, unless they shut down at the end of the high season.

I would recommend calling as well, although you may have to try multiple times as there is not always someone in the office. The last number I have is, 984 873 0315.

I plan on going to Mom's tomorrow and will try to remember to ask if there is a new contact number or email.

Being that it will be low season when you plan on arriving, if you are not able to reach anyone at Mom's before your arrival, you should have no problems getting a room if you just show up.

The rates depend on the room and what they come equipped with. Some friends stayed there during the winter and their fully equipped big room was about $90 US/night. If, I recall correctly a basic room is $60 US/night. It has been years since I have stayed there and I may very well be wrong regarding the price of rooms, but I am in the ballpark.
 

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Thanks,

The links have helped.
Funny you should mention Mom's. I've been trying to get in touch with them all this week to no avail.

On the website they don't show room rates, so I sent a request for two weeks in June and havent heard a word.

I also sent them emails and tried other sites with no luck.

I dont know how to get room rates and availability.

Weird, unless they shut down at the end of the high season.
I went to Mom's tonight and spoke to the gentleman who was at the front desk. He said that people often put the apostrophe in the Mom's and because of that they do not receive email requests.

At any rate, here is an additional phone number from the business card that was given to me:

011 52 984 873 1269
 
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