Reader Question: Hi! My husband and I are thinking of buying in Playa Del Carmen. We'd like to spend time there first, but I was wondering, as it seems you lived there a while, is there an area that is ejido and should be avoided? If we don't have a lot of money, what area of the town do you recommend? Do you know if it is easy(ish) to rent to others if we were not there a few months a year? I appreciate any advice you might have. We lived in Cuernavaca many years and my husband and two sons have dual Mexican/US citizenship. (I don't.) Thank you so much for any information you can share!
Response: Our suggestion is to rent temporarily, at least at first. When we arrive to a new area, we usually use Airbnb, and rent a condo for about a month or so. We also rent a car and spend a lot of time researching an area with our own eyes--that will tell you more than anything else. If you see a lot of graffiti, that's a sure sign that an area has at least some crime.
That being said, Playa Del Carmen is extremely safe for tourists, children and families, more so than any US city. The only crime we ever saw there was petty theft.
Anything on or near the beach or 5th Ave is going to be very nice, but be aware that there is always the potential for loud noise if a club or bar moves in close by. For that reason, we usually choose to rent, rather than buy. And you should get your Mexican Residency, it's very easy to do. My wife just completed the process and it was pretty painless (read about our Visa application journey here) and only took about a month.
Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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