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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I just got a job teaching at El Colegio de Mexico (COLMEX) beginning in January. I won't have a car initially, and am looking for an apartment in a location that is safe, interesting, and would make sense for my commute to COLEMEX. Unfortunately, the school is not close to a metro, but I'm thinking that I might take the metro anyway, then taxi from the nearest metro station (which I think is Universidad at the end of Linea 3). While it would be nice to live close to work, when I visited COLMEX the surrounding neighborhoods didn't seem like very interesting places to live--a bit boring and suburban looking.

So, any advice for a place to live, where I might be able to find an apartment for under 7,000 Pesos, in a vibrant but safe part of the city, and fairly close to a metro station?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Jason
 

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:welcome: to the Mexico Forum!

Congratulations! on your appointment/hiring at this prestigious school. Quite the fete! And, lucky you ... for having the opportunity to live/work in Mexico City.

The school is not too far from UNAM's main campus and I have no doubt that there is a bus/combi from one or more Metro stations ... because many people either studying/working at the school will get to/from there using public transportation. There is a 'Metro Bus' which operates on Avenida Insurgentes which somewhat speeds the journey. These and other busses are very crowded during rugh hours, particularly so in the direction of UNAM.

Where to look for an apartment? There are many very nice, middle and upper middle class colonias which Avenida Insurgentes (one of the D.F.'s principal thoroughfares, slicing through the city from north to south) passes through. Starting with Colonias Condesa and Roma on the North, Del Valle, Napoles, Insurgentes Mixcoac, San Jose Insurgentes, Florida, Guadalupe Inn and San Angel on the south end of Insurgentes.

There are at least several upscale "Pedregal" colonias not far from the school and when you have a car, if you really want to have a car in the D.F., getting to/from these colonias will be easier and you will be very close to where you work.

Between now and January you will have the opportunity to make one or more familiarization trips to the D.F. It's unlikely a landlord will be willing to rent to you until after having met you. And when you're in the D.F. take a taxi to the school on a weekday, stand at the closest corner and watch and record the information on which bus or other transport stops there. The school may also have a designated bus traveling from there to the nearest Metro station for the convenience of employees, and that's something you can ask about with the human resources department via email beforehand.

Anyhow, that's all I can think of at the moment.

Once again, congratulations on this wonderful opportunity!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply and the kind sentiments, Longford. Unfortunately, I won't have a chance to visit Mexico before moving there. I will have references from work--do you really think a landlord won't rent to me without meeting in person? Not even if we chat on Skype or something. Of course, I guess, the corollary of that is whether there's any safe way to rent from someone that I haven't met or seen the apartment.

One other question. I've been on the website "vivanuncios" to get a sense of what's available and at what price. Are there any other places you'd recommend I check out for apartment listings?

Thanks again!
Jason
 

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Thanks for the reply and the kind sentiments, Longford. Unfortunately, I won't have a chance to visit Mexico before moving there. I will have references from work--do you really think a landlord won't rent to me without meeting in person? Not even if we chat on Skype or something. Of course, I guess, the corollary of that is whether there's any safe way to rent from someone that I haven't met or seen the apartment.

One other question. I've been on the website "vivanuncios" to get a sense of what's available and at what price. Are there any other places you'd recommend I check out for apartment listings?

Thanks again!
Jason
I don't know anyone with an apartment to rent here who would agree to take you on as a tenant without meeting you in person. And don't count on most landlords using Skype to screen potential tenants.

Other than vivaanuncios, you could check out segundamano.mx and adoos.com. Good luck and congratulations with your new job. Landing a teaching position at the Colegio de México is quite a coup!
 

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Jason, most landlords in the D.F. require a fiador, someone to co-sign your lease. This is almost someone who owns property in the D.F. who vouches for your financial integrity, or they'll have to step in and pay your debt if you get behind in your rent. It's something done almost exclusively in the D.F. I won't say it's impossible to rent without a guarantor, or without standing in front of the landlord ... but it's the exception rather than the rule. Also, unless you rent a furnished apartment, which will obviously cost more, an unfurnished apartment means there may not be appliances, light fixtures (except for a hanging blub), etc. Certainly, the more expensive the rent and in the nicest colonias ... the unfurnished apartments may be a bit better. But it takes a bit of legwork to find a place to live. There is also the risk when renting a place without seeing it is that it's in a building or portion of a colonia which you don't like. A neighborhood/building might be fine during daylight hours, only to be situated close to a nightspot which plays loud music throughout the overnight hours. Such things aren't uncommon in the D.F. And, not all landlords are honest. You really need to find time to get to the D.F., even if for just several days such as a long holiday weekend. Segundamano is a good source which I've used and recommend to others. The classified section of El Universal newspaper is another good source. I'm assuming you have a command of the Spanish language. If not, then the process will be a bit more difficult. There are expats living in each of the colonias I've mentioned in my earlier response. Consider situating yourself in one of the many inexpensive, clean and safe hotels when you arrive in the D.F. until you have a chance to wander about looking at apartments. Many people do just that. Best of luck.
 

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Hi Jason,

I can't offer a lot of sage advice, having just moved to the D.F. myself less than a week ago. I'm living in the borough (delegacion) of Coyoacan, which is safe and hip without being overly pretentious or upscale. There are plenty of good local restaurants and bars, as well as some major retailers (Walmart, Office Depot, etc.) for convenience.

Coyoacan would also place you strategically between the Colegio de Mexico and the center of the city. You would be close to all the fun stuff without having a grueling commute. Tialpan, where COLMEX is located, might be a little too suburban and bucolic for your tastes. Any of the colonias in the general vicinity of the Viveros de Coyoacan might suit your taste and price range.

I strongly advise against trying to rent an apartment without being here first, unless it's through someone you know and trust. I recommend using Airbnb to find an affordable short-term rental while you look for more permanent accommodation. Also, in addition to the resources mentioned by others, Craigslist is always a good source of rental properties in the city. As always, exercise caution.

As others mentioned, you will need a guarantor to rent here. My roommate secured our apartment months before I came down here, and her employer (or someone at her company) acted as her guarantor. Perhaps COLMEX can help you with this.

I haven't been here long enough to have figured out the transit system, so I can't offer much advice there. Plus, I drove my car down from the states. I know the buses and trains are usually packed, but driving is no picnic here either.

It's a fantastic city, though, and I'm looking forward to my time here, as I'm sure you are. Cheers.
 

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Sounds like quite the adventure (moving to DF without spending a vast amount of time here). I had been traveling to DF for 6-7 years regularly before I moved here last year (from Monterrey), and I still had a heck of a time fine tuning where I wanted to live.

If you need any help, please PM me. I can possibly give you a hand.

I would for sure plan to come down for at least a long weekend. I think that would do wonders.
 

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Chiming in with what everyone has said, I suggest you budget for a month’s stay in a hostel, suite or an apartment hotel in Coyoacán where you can stay while looking around and networking for an apartment.
 

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I agree with what the others have said. Coyoacán is a very nice neighbourhood and so you can expect to pay a premium (but with your flashy new job, hopefully that won't be a problem). As others have said, getting a place to rent without someone to sign for you will be a problem, especially in nicer areas like Coyoacán. The advice I can give is that Mexico City is huge, even with the Metro, travelling in the morning rush hour is a joke, so try to get a place close to a Metro but without many connections, you will appreciate that a lot more in the morning rush than living in "interesting" place, besides if you live near a metro and want to go out to cool places in the evening, it will be a breeze to get there and back.
 

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Agree with what you said, but I would temper it by noting that like Mexico City’s other boroughs, Coyoacán is very large, and contains a wide variety of neighbourhoods, some high-toned and expensive, and others not so much.
 
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