Find a Rental Home in SMA


I offer a fee-based service for people who are willing to sign at least a 12-month lease. Once I know your budget and needs/wants, I can find you a home that is furnished or unfurnished, as well as negotiate the best lease deal (100% commission rental agents won’t do that, as it reduces their income), and get the place ready for move-in (adding, fixing, cleaning, etc.—for example one recent client wanted her rental place “cat-proofed” and she had me find a good deal on a refrigerator and have it installed, plus I had lightbulbs put into empty sockets, stocked up on gas, and put snacks in the fridge!).

My process is to provide up to 100 photos of each home I visit on your behalf, and I visit only those homes that meet ALL of your “must have” criteria and as many as possible of your “nice to haves.” For this I charge $500 USD up front. There is also a $50-per-home option (min. three pre-paid) if you have already narrowed down a list of homes you want to check out but cannot (or would rather not) tour them all on your own. In addition to the fee, you would cover any desired purchases, cleaning service, or what-have-you. That’s an easy PayPal transfer. Sometimes people sign up on all the various rental lists, bulletin boards, vacation rental sites, etc., and send me the ones that interest them. Either way is fine with me. In addition to the fee and expenses, I retain any commission offered by the landlord.

I can help with other things you might need, too, before you move: getting you a local P.O. box with a U.S. address … finding a moving company if you need one … getting you registered for IMSS or Seguro Popular health insurance (only $200-$400 a year based on age, and no pre-qualifying!!!) … facilitating your Temporary Resident or Permanent Resident card application, etc. Each of those services has its own fee.

Questions or want to get started? Contact me!


My personal rental history in San Miguel:

  • 2008: Paid $850 USD + utilities for a furnished two-bedroom, two-bathroom casita on the grounds of a large home in Colonia Guadiana, separated from the main house by a lovely garden with palm trees and other tall plants for privacy. Street parking was a bit tricky but I managed. I left (and sued) when I discovered that the expat landlady had been billing me for her water and electricity, but I was new in town and didn’t realize I’d been paying 5x-10x the actual rate every month. Still, the casita was safe and comfortable while it lasted.
  • 2009: Paid $650 USD + utilities for a furnished two-bedroom, two-bath apartment on the ground floor of a security building in Colonia Independencia. Clean and bright, with weekly housekeeping service, but the expat landlady was an alcoholic prone to screaming tantrums (she no longer lives in SMA). Left when my partner Aarón and I decided to live together and we needed more space for our two dogs and Aarón’s two teenage kids.
  • 2010 – 2012: Paid $9,000 MXN pesos (about $450 USD) + utilities for an unfurnished three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with enclosed parking, small lawn and soaking pool, in Colonia San Felipe Neri, next to Colonia Independencia. Bought furniture at estate sales and consignment shops, spending around US $1,500 total, and supplemented with occasional furniture brought from the U.S. on our annual trips. Lovely Mexican landlady. We left when the kids left for school in another city, and the landlady’s family wanted to live in the house.
  • 2013 – 2020: Paid $5,000 MXN pesos (about $250 USD) for an unfurnished two-bedroom, three-bathroom house with enclosed parking, boveda ceilings and fabulous rooftop terrace in Colonia Independencia. Mexican landlord (a retired school superintendent) who was the best! For the first five years he didn’t raise the rent, so we agreed to start paying $10,000 MXN pesos (about $500 USD) in 2017, and then went back to $5,000 pesos a month when Covid hit in 2020 and we lost most of our income. Left in November 2020 when the landlord and his wife gifted their Colonia San Antonio house to their kids and moved into “our” house.
  • 2021: Now we pay $8,000 MXN pesos (about $400 USD) for an unfurnished, unfinished (new construction!) four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom house with enclosed garage in Colonia Palmita de Landeta, in “la parte alta de San Miguel” near Hospital General and the Presidencia (city hall). Only 2.5 bathrooms are finished and there are no cabinets in the kitchen or closets in the bedroom, thus the huge discount on rent—and we use the bedroom next to the master as our walk-in closet, while the largest bedroom is Aarón’s office and studio, and there’s a guest room with en-suite bathroom on the ground floor. The house is super-secure and it’s a quiet, purely Mexican neighborhood. The only down-side is that we’ve never met our landlord—he lives in Texas—so we interact with family members here if there’s a problem. They’ve been accommodating, though, so we’re happy.