Buy My Cheap Beach House in Mexico

Your turn to host the party!

Sorry punters, but you are out of luck if you want to buy this cheap beach house. It’s sold! I’ve left this up for posterity so you can see what $60K or so will get you in this part of the world. Go poke around the Yucatan Peninsula and you’ll find plenty more deals like this.

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with my Mexican beach house on the Gulf coast of the Yucatan. I still like the house a lot and I’m not in dire straits financially. But for two reasons it’s up for sale:

1) For family reasons we moved to Tampa Bay in July, near a string of some of the best beaches in the U.S., so having a beach house that requires a plane ride to get to is kind of silly now.

2) I’m buying a different Mexican house where we just spent a year, in Guanajuato. So some cash from here is going there.

I’ll buck conventional sales wisdom and tell you the price first: $67,500. (Update – reduced to $64,500) Yes indeed, just one house back from the beach, furnished, ready to move in, for less than 70 grand U.S. (Take that, House Hunters International!) Just bring a bathing suit, a t-shirt, and a toothbrush and you’re ready to go. It even comes with a hammock for your first siesta. We’ll hook you up with our caretaker/ house cleaner couple so you can rent it out remotely as well.

The house has two bedrooms (one with a double, one with two twins) a large living/kitchen area, a big covered terrace, and a bathroom. There’s a covered carport for one car.

Unlike many locations on this coast, this one is just three blocks from the town square in Chuburna. You can walk there in a few minutes and you don’t even have to get in a car to hit a restaurant or go to a convenience store. All the carrying costs are cheap: utilities have never topped $80 even when in full use all month and annual taxes are about as much as a few bottles of tequila.

You do have to pay about $600 a year for the stupid fideicomiso though, which is like a land trust tax for foreigners buying near the coast. (It doesn’t apply in the interior). There’s also not much chance of getting financing in Mexico. Most people pay cash, get a home equity loan on their main residence, or find another way to borrow some cash stateside.

The closest city is lovely Merida, with an international airport. It’s sometimes cheaper to fly to Cancun four hours away and drive or bus it. But you do have a real milllion-plus population city 40 minutes away and lots to do nearby in this land of Mayan ruins and cenotes. The town itself is usually a sleepy fishing village though, with houses not hotels. It only gets hopping on holiday weekends and part of the summer.

There are a good number of gringos in this area now if you don’t relish the idea of being stuck speaking Spanish all the time, especially in the winter when the Canadian snowbirds come down. With a homicide rate lower than 2 per 100,000, Yucatan State has a lower crime rate than nearly all of the United States and a chunk of Canada as well.

You can see video tours of the inside below and the outside here.

My wife and I have enjoyed this house, I did a lot of book writing there, and my daughter has been going to it since she was 4. She’s now 11, so obviously we liked it. It’s just not right for our future: when we return to Mexico we’re going to live there for two years, so we want to be in a city again.

  1. Lanora

    Tim, I want this house sooo bad. How good is public transport to Merida?

    • tim

      It’s decent, but it takes a while. Bus from the Merida bus station to Progreso, then switch to a combi van the locals use from Progreso to Chuburna. It’s a major 6-lane highway for that first leg though. By rental car it’s 40 minutes from the airport or the city center.

  2. Neil

    I love to buy it can you mail me the details and also i want to talk with you .

    • tim

      Follow the links provided in the post Neil if you’re serious.

  3. Jennifer

    So you have any links where a person can RENT a house long term, 6months plus? I would even pre-pay. Somewhere safe for kids, with pets okay. Thanks

    • tim

      Jennifer, Craigslist is just about everywhere these days, including Merida. Also, if it’s not high season you can negotiate a discount on rental properties that are just sitting empty otherwise.

  4. Jim

    Too hot, too humid, too many mosquitos. And too noisy, unless you have incredible luck with Mexican neighbors, who excel in lack of consideration or in lack of awareness of the existence of noise pollution.

    • tim

      It gets noisy Semana Santa week. Otherwise, this is quite the sleepy village. Never had any issue with mosquitoes, actually. They’re worse in the U.S. places I’ve been living: Nashville and Tampa. The sea breeze usually keeps them at bay where this house is.

  5. Jim

    Thanks for the kind reply, Tim.

    Are you planning to settle in Guanajuato? Nice weather, but again, I just don’t trust Mexico living owing to the absence of zoning and the generally noisy surroundings–not to mention the general littering. I’ve had friends buy property, only to have a bar or a billiards hall or a metal shop move in next door or close by, or they burn trash, and just make it impossible to live in peace. Buying there is like throwing dice. Also, Latin culture is noisy–these are what one wag termed “barking dog cultures–and people have an amazing tolerance–even a love–for noise and loud music, and are generally indifferent regarding the space of others in this respect. If you ask them to turn the music down, they most often take it personally, and sometimes are aggressive in their response. I’ve had many Mexicans tell me that they can’t stand silence, that it is “sad!” You almost need a gated community in which foreigners reside, but of course, that drives the prices up to ridiculous heights–witness places like Cabo, Vallarta, Cancun-Playa del Carmen-Cozumel, San Miguel, etc. The crash of 2008 calmed the euphoria somewhat, but people here have a bit of the New Guinea cargo cult mentality–someday the Gringos will return and we’ll be flush again.

    Best wishes,


    • tim

      I’d rather live with noise than the intrusions on privacy, women’s rights, and affordable access to health care we’re dealing with in the U.S. Not to mention the gun-crazy government we’ve got where the NRA has most of congress and the state legislatures in their pockets. Give me a fiesta any day.

      I own two houses (for the moment) in Mexico and none in the U.S. anymore, so I guess that shows how confident I am about their future growth compared to ours. I’m in Florida now and it could easily be 10 years before these underwater mortgages are above again and people break even on their investments. That’s very unlikely to happen in most of Mexico because most Mexicans own their house outright. As do I…

  6. Jim

    I agree, but I rent. I greatly value my mobility :-) I’ve spent most of my adult life in Latin America. So my criticisms are, I hope, simply objective and not made with rancor or bitterness. Every place has its pros and cons. To live well in them, one has to navigate with this knowledge. As I said in another post, I pretty much agree with your smart daughter.

  7. Strobel

    Hi, just wanted to tell you, I liked this post. It was
    practical. Keep on posting!

  8. David McMullin

    Nice little Mexico house, is it sold yet? we are looking!

  9. David McMullin

    Are you open to offers?

  10. lee schinkel

    interested in SAFE, ECONOMICAl home in Mexico

  11. Andrea Cunningham

    Im looking for a cheap little home on the beach.or a place where i can have a couple of horses for my husband and me i love the town of progressa i think that is how it spelled or the town that is across the border from roma tx. I was there for 4 months all i can say is that the people in Mexico are good people i had and wreak in Mexico right before going into belize i hit a bus an the bus was supposed too have his flashers on but didn’t the owners of the bus seen my leg was swollen they offer to let me stay at there house for 8 days why i healed you could not get people like that in the United states.there is good people there.I’m 50 yrs old and Mexico is where i want to live so i need a place there need someone to help me find a. Place i make 1200.00 a month even if i have to rent a place just want a place in gmail is

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