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.
You can read the whole description on the real estate listing at the agency site: Chuburna Beach House for Sale.
I’ll buck conventional sales wisdom and tell you the price first: $69,500. 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. Contact the agent for any info on buying after you visit the listing. You can also see more photos and what we get for rent at our vacation rentals listing. If you’re serious but want the inside scoop, here’s my contact info.
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.