start by saying, no worries, there are an abundant of rental properties in all
price ranges in the Lake
Chapala area. That being
said, ‘you get what you pay for’ is just as true here as in other locations.
prices by the month range from $400 usd a to $2,500 usd, depending on size,
condition, location and time of year, and whether short term or long term. If I
had to zero in on what you would have to pay, I’d say that most of our clients
find that they need to pay somewhere between $850 and $1200 to get the
amenities they are used to north of the border when they rent for several
months at a time, just to give you some ballpark to work with.
Seasonal Rentals in Lake Chapala
shorter the term in high season especially (Oct till April), the higher the
price. Some people manage their own rental and charge by the week. These are by
far the most expensive. However, if you rent by the year (or half year), you will pay much less. It is most common for people
to rent for several months in high season.
season is from October till April and since there are usually more people north
of the border trying to escape the cold, we have more visitors during these
winter months than the summer months, hence the prices will be the highest in
high season. The peak of the high season is January, February and March.
Property managers prefer to rent for the whole high season, so it is quite
normal for them not to want to rent for short periods well in advance of the
high season commencing. Therefore if you contact some to rent say for the month
of February in July of the previous year, you may have difficulty getting a
confirmation that far in advance.
likely, if you are looking to rent in the peak of high season, the rental
agency will advise you to just come a few days before you want the rental, stay
in a B & B or hotel and then see what is available at that time. Mostly
there is no shortage of rentals, so you should have a reasonable selection to
choose from. Many people don’t like the idea of renting a property sight unseen
anyway, especially if they have to pay a hefty sum up front to secure it. What
if the location requires a vehicle and you are flying in, and won’t have a car?
What if the house is poorly equipped or in poor condition or you don’t like the
location? Especially if you have not visited the area prior and don’t know what
to expect, you are more likely to have a good experience if you are able to see
the property in person and decide on the spot.
You may get lucky and secure a rental early
but odds are that most people will not commit until just before the season
somewhat biased advice is: Come first on a Focus
on Mexico Program. Then you will have a chance to see for yourself if this is the
place for you. Then when you are ready to come back for an extended stay, you
will have a much better understanding and an idea of rentals and values and
locations, plus you will have made a number of contacts. We also give you a
list of our recommended Property Managers so you will be well looked after.
Furnishings and Amenities:
In the Lake Chapala
area, we don’t have rental apartment buildings per sé; mostly you are renting
individual homes or condo townhomes. The difference in condition and
furnishings can be from one end of the scale to the other (not unlike north of the border). Some people buy an investment
property and promptly furnish it with very few basic supplies and cheap rustico
(uncomfortable) furniture and limited
accessories, almost to the point it feels like camping out.
furnish the home like a show home, and full of creature comforts. The
difference in the experience is night vs day. Obviously the luxuriously
decorated home will rent for more, but more often than not, it is well worth
you will be renting someone’s home who is renting it out part time when not
here, so you have the benefit of the full amenities they put in for themselves.
Sometimes people have bought their dream home but aren’t able to move for a
year or two, but furnish it nicely for when they will live there themselves,
and rent it out until that time.
are coming for just a month or so, the condition of the home may not be as
important as if you are renting long term. You tend to spend very little time
at home if renting short time and most people eat out often at our abundant
supply of great restaurants. If you are here longer term, the condition and set
up takes on greater importance, as do the kitchen supplies, if you are planning
on regular cooking and entertaining at home.
Things you should know about renting a home in Lake Chapala
- Rental rates vary by season
but you’ll find the range is between $400 and $2500 U.S.,
depending on duration of rental, season, age, condition and
- Most rentals, like most
properties for sale, are priced in U.S. Dollars.
- You need to be very clear on
what is included and what is ‘additional.' Quite often a property comes
with a gardener. Are his services included in the rate or additional, but
required? (The same for the maid.)
- For instance, in the summer
of 2004 we took our dogs and our motor home and went traveling for four
months. We decided to rent out our house while we were gone. We charged
$1,000 U.S. per month rent plus the tenant paid our full-time maid ($400
pesos per week) and gardener ($500 pesos per week), which brought the
monthly cost to rent in U.S. dollars up to about $1350 a month. So you can
see how you might get a surprise if you are not precise.
- Sign a lease, preferably in
English. Also, be careful to read the lease. It is quite common here that
when you rent a property, you take it ‘as is.’ If something breaks (Fridge,
Water Heater, electrical problems, etc.), you are responsible for
fixing it. Make sure the lease is very clear on what is included and what
you are responsible for. This is one of the reasons many people prefer to
deal with a Professional Agency and not rent from an individual, unless
they know them.
- It is also normal to pay the
first and last months' rent in advance, plus one extra month to cover
utilities (especially the phone – many renters in the past have run up
huge long distance phone bills and left the owner ‘holding the bag’).
When you leave, the Agent or Owner will pay the last month's utility bills
and send you what is left over, usually about four to six weeks later, as
the phone company here (TELMEX) may take a couple of months to capture all
the previous calls.
- DO NOT give post-dated
checks. They can be deposited immediately.
- DO NOT cancel a check.
Cancelling a check is considered fraud and is a serious offence.
- A number of Rental
properties may also be For Sale. This is not normally a problem for
short-term rentals (2 to 3 months), because if it does sell, closing can
be timed for after the rental period. It can be inconvenient if the
sales market is very active with lots of showings, however. For a
longer term rental, in addition to perhaps being interrupted with a number
of showings, the risk is the home could sell and they might ask you to
leave. So, if the house is up for sale when you sign the lease, make sure
there is a clause in there that the terms of your lease are passed on to the
new owner and you are protected for the duration of your lease.
May 13, 2013