Moving to Mexico Checklist

Are you moving to Mexico for retirement, or to start a new lifestyle? Or are you still considering and weighing out the pros and cons of moving to Mexico? We have put together a few things to consider if you are planning on moving to Mexico. There are obviously lots of details involved when moving to a new country, but this checklist should help point out the most important factors to consider if you are moving to Mexico.

Travel Arrangements and Documentation

To begin with, make sure that you and all members of your family have the proper travel documentation needed to enter Mexico. All family members moving to Mexico must have a valid Passport at time of travel, and if you plan to live and work in Mexico you will also need to apply for the appropriate Visa. All foreign travelers that enter Mexico are granted a 6 month tourist Visa, but it is recommended you begin the application process for a resident Visa like a FM-2 or FM-3 Visa if you are moving to Mexico. It may make sense to enlist the services of a immigration lawyer who can help guide you through the immigration process for a fee. Also, if you plan to fly, make sure all flights and travel arrangements are booked ahead of time so that your move can be as smooth as possible.

Valid Passport and Driver’s License

Be aware that your native country Passport must be valid for at least one year when you apply for a resident Visa when moving to Mexico. If your Passport is about to expire, it is recommended you first renew the Passport for another term before you submit your resident Visa application to the Mexican consulate. Is your Driver’s License from your home country still valid? If not, it may also make sense to renew your Driver’s License before you leave as well. Although Mexico does not require you to have a Mexican Driver’s License to legally drive when moving to Mexico, it will help if you have a valid driver’s license from your home country, at least at first. Down the road, you can apply for a Mexican driver’s license as well. Some cities require that you pass a written test only, and others require that you pass a driving test in addition to pay the applicable fees.

Are You Bringing Pets?

Are you planning on Fido the dog and Fluffy the cat moving to Mexico with you? The good news is, cats and dogs can be brought into Mexico. However, you do have to ensure your pet has the required vaccinations and their health papers in order. A valid Health Certificate issued by an licensed veterinarian and proof of vaccines against rabies and distemper are required to be administered at least 15 days before you attempt to bring your pet to Mexico. Currently, only cats and dogs can be brought into Mexico under these terms. If you have other animals such as rabbits, snakes, birds, etc, you are required to apply for special import permits and pay additional fees.

Make a Checklist: What to Bring and What to Leave

Be prepared and make a checklist of what items you definitely want to take with you when you are moving to Mexico, and also make a checklist of what you can leave behind. It may make sense to have a garage sale or donate items that you truly don’t need. Take advantage of the opportunity to declutter and focus on what essentials you want to bring with you when moving to Mexico. Depending on what city in Mexico you plan to live in, most items are available in Mexico. Some food items or clothing may have harder to find, but in general, you can find everything you need when moving to Mexico. Look at it as a good chance to minimize material possessions and focus on what truly matters…quality time with your loved ones.

Arrange Temporary Housing in Mexico

Do you already have a home or apartment rental secured for your move? Regardless of what time of year you are moving, make sure to make accommodation arrangements well in advance. High season can mean higher prices and less availability so make sure to plan ahead. Whether you choose a temporary hotel or AirBnb at first, don’t wait until the last minute or you could end up spending a lot of extra money on temporary housing when moving to Mexico. It is a good idea to try to arrange a month by month rental if possible so you can decide how you like the area and town you live in before you commit to a long term lease or real estate purchase. Speaking of Mexican real estate, there are lots of high quality properties available in Mexico at a fraction of the price you would pay in the States or Canada. Once you have settled in Mexico, purchasing full ownership or fractional ownership Mexican real estate property could be a smart move. Quality Mexican real estate at a great price is one of the top reasons why expats end up moving to Mexico.

When moving to Mexico, make sure to plan ahead and make sure all your Passport documents are in order before you move. Taking your pets when moving to Mexico? Make sure their vaccinations are up to date, and that you have the appropriate health certificate to avoid delays on your pet being allowed to enter Mexico. Lastly, make sure all your travel arrangements and accommodations are in order so that moving to Mexico is an enjoyable and exciting time for everyone.

You should read:

Why Mexico Tops the List for Happiness 

Travel Tips for Expats in Mexico


Why Hire an Interior Designer to Decorate Second Homes?

If you want to do a design project for your second home, then an interior designer is often the way to go. So don’t worry about what you think the cost will be to hire a professional. If you have a second home in Mexico or some other foreign country, then you will benefit from the knowledge and resources a local interior designer can add to your project.

A sound decision for your second home

Hiring an interior designer to decorate your second home could be one of the best decisions you ever make in order to get the most out of your purchase. Even if you have no concept of where to begin when it comes to interior decorating, you at least have some idea of what you would like to see. You just don’t have the hours in the day in your schedule to make those things come to pass. That’s where your interior designer comes in: the designer has the time to make your ideas come to life in your second home.

Budget for an interior designer

Interior designers are unparalleled when it comes to sticking with a given budget to decorate your second home. They are already highly knowledgeable about brand comparisons when it comes to home products, so they cut out the unnecessary time it takes trying to find the best bargain. The planning an interior designer does will allow you to carry out plans that will eliminate wasted money. So the cost of hiring an interior designer is well worth the while because they increase the property value of your second home investment.

Define Your Style

Efficient interior designers will analyze your proposed ideas and turn them into an action plan that they will carry out to completion. It’s the designer’s job to decide the order of the steps in carrying out the decorating plans, and they will provide sound advice on which parts of your concept need revising if needed. The artistic talent of interior designers allows them to orchestrate a strategy that will allow each space to be utilized to its greatest potential while sticking within our budget.

Be creative

Second homes are your opportunity to be creative. In contrast to your permanent home where you may have other needs and purposes, a second home can be much more riské. An interior designer can help you step outside the box.

Backstage Access

You will definitely have a style that will be unique to your tastes when hiring an interior designer. That’s because interior designers are known for having insider information about resources not made accessible to the public. So your design will have items that many have yet to see in the retail outlets. If you get one of those highly experienced interior designers, you will benefit from their network of trusted distributors they have worked with over the years. So you can rest assured that you will have authentic electricians, plumbers, other general contractors handy that you want have to go find yourself. Therefore, your interior designer will be your best consultant when it comes to saving time and money on your second home project.

Tell a Visual Story

Your home is sure to have a unique visual design because a lot of interior designers think creatively in ways most people don’t realize. Interior designers have that knack for seeing all the potential a particular space can have, and they are able to conceive these ways and bring them to fruition in ways you never thought possible. Your home will have that “awe” essence if you hire a professional designer.

Recommended article: Law of Attraction and Second Home Hunting

Law of Attraction and Second Home Hunting

Law of Attraction and Second Home Hunting

Why not use the law of attraction and positive thinking to help you find the best second home for you and your family. Here are some tips to help you with your second home hunting using the power of the laws of the universe to guide you.

Like Attracts Like

According to the popular law of attraction, like attracts like. What this means is that you attract what you are thinking about, and attract experiences that make you feel similar to how you usually feel. Therefore, the first step in successful second home hunting is to start imagining and thinking about your dream home rather than focussing on what you don’t like about your current place of residence or lifestyle.

Make a vision or mood board

Collect pictures and images from magazines that represent how you would like your second home to be. Make a detailed collage with these images and imagine yourself enjoying all of the benefits of your second home. For example, add a picture of the view from your bedroom, the type of bathroom you would like to have and the amenities you wish to enjoy like a pool or spa. Be sure to put a picture of you and your family smiling in the center of the vision board.


Choose a few of mantras that keep you on track when searching for your second home: “My dream home is waiting for me;” or “When I am happy, my dream home will manifest.” The idea is that when you are happy and vibrating on a higher frequency, you can allow the things you want to manifest into your reality.

Celebrate even the smallest signs

Remember to celebrate each step you make towards finding your dream second home. Even if the residence you find is out of your budget, celebrate the fact that you have manifested it into your reality and work on manifesting the resources to pay for it.

Follow your hunches

The law of attraction can work in mysterious ways, so it is always worthwhile following up on your hunches even when you think that the property is too expensive or too far away etc. You never know who you might meet or what piece of information you might receive to help you find the perfect second home for you and your family.

Property Ownership in Mexico

Costs Involved with Property Ownership in Mexico

Besides a sunny climate, great food and a fun-loving lifestyle, one of the main attractions of property ownership in Mexico is the lower costs involved when compared to the USA, Canada and Europe. Not only will you find that luxury properties with pools and other great amenities are more affordable, you will also find that taxes, housekeeping services, and maintaining your property is much cheaper.

Here are some of the direct and indirect costs involved with property ownership in Mexico that you should consider when purchasing real estate.

Real estate

The most significant and direct cost involved in property ownership in Mexico is the actual cost of the property you are purchasing, which will vary according to location, size and amenities, just like real estate in any country.

Closing fees

When calculating your overall investment when buying real estate in Mexico, you should take into consideration the cost of lawyers, in particular, notary fees, sales taxes and agency fees.

Mexican Property Taxes

All Mexican property ownership is subject to annual fees called “predial” which you pay at your local mayor’s office. The rates for these property taxes in Mexico differ from state to state but are usually only a few hundred dollar depending on the size and location of your home. Be sure to keep on top of these taxes as in some areas you will not receive a bill.

Fideicomiso – Land Trust

Foreign residents need a special land trust known as Fideicomiso from a bank in order to purchase land that is located within 50 km (30 miles) from the Mexican coast or 100 km (60 miles) from a border. You will be expected to pay an upfront fee and then a yearly payment which can range upwards from around $500 USD depending on your property.

Homeowners Associations

For those opting for property ownership in Mexico within a gated community, as when purchasing a condo, apartment or within a golf or country club, you will need to include the costs of your maintenance fees and HOA’s dues when calculating your yearly costs.


Relative to what people earn on average in Mexico, the cost of services like gas and electricity are high in Mexico although still lower than north of the border. When it comes to electricity, what you should take into consideration is that the more you use, the more expensive each unit of energy becomes, and if you go over your “allowance” then the government subsidy per household is removed and you have to pay the full cost of your electric bill.

Insuring your home

Home insurance is another cost involved in property ownership in Mexico which can cover both the property itself as well as contents. When living by the coast, you should makes sure that your plan covers storms and other phenomenon like flooding.

Have we missed any costs involved in property ownership in Mexico? Add your comments.