With its mild, year-round weather and affordable cost of living, many people enjoy coming to Mexico for extended periods of time. There are many things to take into consideration when renting a house in Puerto Vallarta, from the neighborhood to the amenities. Selecting the wrong rental could make your life challenging.
Compare prices online. There are many rental sites that list homes for rent in Puerto Vallarta. Rentalo.com and Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) are two of them. You can also find many homes for rent on Craigslist for the Puerto Vallarta area. Browsing through these listings will give you a good idea of pricing for the more touristy areas and for homes owned by foreigners. Mexicans rarely list properties online.
Buy a local cell phone. You can buy a cell phone with a SIM card for about $35. You pay as you go, adding money from cards that you can purchase almost everywhere. This will give you a way to call on local ads and to receive calls back.
Check the local classifieds. Looking for something more authentic or cheaper than what you can find online? Pick up the "Mano a Mano" classifieds that come out every Thursday. You can purchase it from newsstands or at the local convenience store chain OXXO. Note that almost all of the ads are in Spanish, and you cannot count on the person answering the phone to speak English.
Buy a Blue Map at grocery stores or bookstores in Puerto Vallarta. The Blue Map is the best map of Puerto Vallarta and lists all of the neighborhoods. Every neighborhood has the same street names. So, for example, if you are looking at a house on Lazaro Cardenas Street, find out what neighborhood the house is in. Use the map to locate the areas you want to live in and then search for houses for rent in that neighborhood.
Visit the neighborhood three times before committing. Living in Mexico is very different than living in the United States. You could rent the perfect house and then find out that there is an event salon that plays ear-splitting music every weekend until 4 a.m. Drive by the house on a weekday evening to check out the noise level and parking situation. Drive by again on a Friday or Saturday night after 9 p.m. to check the noise again, and finally drive by on a Sunday afternoon. This should give you a very good idea of what your neighborhood will be like, whether a tranquil oasis or a 24-hour party hot spot.
Know what you get for the money. Unfurnished in Puerto Vallarta usually means no appliances. Even if there are appliances, there is no guarantee that there is a hot water heater. Check to see if phone lines are installed, if cable is available and what kind of Internet service you can get BEFORE renting, if those things are important to you.