Here are two of my friends, that lived in Puerto Vallarta, for six years... they enjoyed the living overseas experience but reinforce the importance of renting first before you buy property in a foreign country.
The first reason to rent before you buy is obvious, make sure you like the place as a place to live... visiting a location that seems like Shangri-La on vacation may be totally different after you've really got to know your neighbors, set up house, and so forth.
This is not to discourage anyone from moving overseas as a frugal retirement living lifestyle... renting first is just prudent.
My buddies rented an apartment for a year before they bought a condo right next door to where they rented.
They knew the neighborhood well, had made many good friends, and were very pleased with their decision.
They encountered some situations however that you should watch out for if you decide that living overseas is something you'd like to do.
Make sure that you read the fine print... especially in a condo or any type of shared ownership situation... a local attorney is a must before plunking down your hard-earned cash.
Remember it is very difficult for a foreigner to finance a real estate purchase... most are done in cash... and in some countries, not Mexico, cash means cash... and that makes for a very interesting situation that would invite paranoia for most folks.
What they encountered was that six of the 26 units in their condo building has stopped paying their homeowners Association dues... so kick the deadbeats out, right...wrong.
It seems that to make any change in the bylaws of the homeowners association... it required a 100% vote of all residents to change any bylaw... and the original bylaws did not have recourse for owners that paid their homeowners Association dues against those that did not pay their dues.
Puerto Vallarta, a bustling city of 250,000, is used as a vacation getaway for many well-to-do residents of Mexico City... and as such certain holiday seasons that condo became party central until dawn.
That may be fine if you are also so inclined to party all night... but it got tiring at times for my friends.
This story has a happy ending... my friends enjoyed their living overseas experience and also sold their condo for almost double what they paid for it in a period of 3 plus years.
No matter how enamored you are at any location, the conservative approach is to rent before buying when you are buying real estate overseas.
You will always be a foreigner, and you must be comfortable with that fact before deciding to retire overseas.
For more information on Puerto Vallarta, we have visited several times on cruise ships and always enjoyed our stay.
Thanks for reading living overseas rent first.