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Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
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jbkunt2 Offline
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Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Hi all,

Has anyone been Tulum?

It looks gorgeous, and is growing a lot.

Seems like it could be a good investment. You can get a nice little condo for about $200k.

Cost of living is good, of course.

I live in Chicago and somewhere to go for a few months a year has a lot of appeal. It's easy to get there also via Cancun direct from O'Hare.

I'd look to rent it out on AirBnB.

Would love to get people's thoughts/experiences.

Cheers.
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2018 12:08 AM by jbkunt2.)
01-08-2018 12:06 AM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
I will rent it when you are not around.....

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01-08-2018 09:40 AM
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natas305 Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
I looked into this a lot. I was debating between Miami, Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Medellin for a long time. Ultimately ended up going with Colombia but Mexico is still interesting. Tulum is coming up very quickly. The problem with Mexico that I found, was that they price everything in USD so you don’t get any currency advantages like you do in Colombia. The dollar had risen like 30% against the peso but the prices were still like $150-200k in Mexico. Kinda sucked. The peso rose the same or more in Colombia and I ended up getting places at what felt like even better deals, due to this. Also they were cheaper than that $200k price to begin with.

I think Tulum and Playa are a little too seasonal as well, where it is almost too hot to be there for maybe 8 months out of the year, but that’s just me.

Curious to hear more about this process and how it goes if you do decide to buy there.
01-08-2018 01:49 PM
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jcardial Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-08-2018 12:06 AM)jbkunt2 Wrote:  Hi all,

Has anyone been Tulum?

It looks gorgeous, and is growing a lot.

Seems like it could be a good investment. You can get a nice little condo for about $200k.

Cost of living is good, of course.

I live in Chicago and somewhere to go for a few months a year has a lot of appeal. It's easy to get there also via Cancun direct from O'Hare.

I'd look to rent it out on AirBnB.

Would love to get people's thoughts/experiences.

Cheers.

I lived in Play del Carmen for a year and a half in 2016-2017 and I've been to Tulum. When you're down there you realize there is an element of lawlessness that can escalate at anytime. One day it's calm and peaceful, and the next a new cartel moves in and decides to extort businesses or even seize ownership of businesses and real estate (e.g. 2017 following the Blue Parrot shooting). The instability is a very big factor if this is a reasonable percentage of your net worth. If it becomes Acapulco 2.0 upside could suffer pretty badly.

I've heard from owners that apartment robberies are quite common as well, so another thing to consider, especially if security in the complex isn't great. I lived in a luxury complex with a night guard and daytime maintenance guys and within a year two units were robbed, one even by gun point and kidnapping. Also keep in mind the place will probably get somewhat roughed up by occupants as Playa and Tulum are party towns.

Another factor that can really cut into your bottom line is electricity cost. The bill on a two bedroom can easily get up to 200-400 dollars/month depending on the season. Once you factor all of the downsides I wouldn't recommend buying there as an investment unless you're going to be spending several months out of the year there.
01-08-2018 02:21 PM
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jamaicabound Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Hey JB, I'm also in Chicago, origionally from the south side Beverly area, however more recently was living in Ukranian Village and Pilsen, moved out to the burbs about a year ago but still in the area.

I've done a lot of traveling to Playa and day trips to Tulum. I think Playa has more going on, Tulum has more upside in terms of potential appreciation of the property as it's much less developed. I don't think it will ever turn into a play but I think that's the allure to it. One thing to mention Tulum is very much so into eco stuff so many resorts don't have power, even places that do have power I hear have lots of outages, basically just more rustic.

One place I looked at a couple years back was Playa Palms, nice place, well managed right in the club zone. Only downside thats were all the fishing boats dock so beach immediately in front of you is all full of seaweed and boats but walk 50 yards down the beach and its fine.
01-08-2018 04:58 PM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-08-2018 02:21 PM)jcardial Wrote:  
(01-08-2018 12:06 AM)jbkunt2 Wrote:  Hi all,

Has anyone been Tulum?

It looks gorgeous, and is growing a lot.

Seems like it could be a good investment. You can get a nice little condo for about $200k.

Cost of living is good, of course.

I live in Chicago and somewhere to go for a few months a year has a lot of appeal. It's easy to get there also via Cancun direct from O'Hare.

I'd look to rent it out on AirBnB.

Would love to get people's thoughts/experiences.

Cheers.

I lived in Play del Carmen for a year and a half in 2016-2017 and I've been to Tulum. When you're down there you realize there is an element of lawlessness that can escalate at anytime. One day it's calm and peaceful, and the next a new cartel moves in and decides to extort businesses or even seize ownership of businesses and real estate (e.g. 2017 following the Blue Parrot shooting). The instability is a very big factor if this is a reasonable percentage of your net worth. If it becomes Acapulco 2.0 upside could suffer pretty badly.

I've heard from owners that apartment robberies are quite common as well, so another thing to consider, especially if security in the complex isn't great. I lived in a luxury complex with a night guard and daytime maintenance guys and within a year two units were robbed, one even by gun point and kidnapping. Also keep in mind the place will probably get somewhat roughed up by occupants as Playa and Tulum are party towns.

Another factor that can really cut into your bottom line is electricity cost. The bill on a two bedroom can easily get up to 200-400 dollars/month depending on the season. Once you factor all of the downsides I wouldn't recommend buying there as an investment unless you're going to be spending several months out of the year there.

I've always been curious about living in Playa. At one point really wanted to move there, then I kind of wondered whether it would get old after a while. Don't get me wrong love the beach, some great food but even after a week if your hanging out inthe tourist areas it's kind of like same shops, same hustlers, etc. I'd normall take the bus up and down the coast and checkout Puerto Morelos and some other towns. Curious if you lived in the midst of everything in the tourist areas where the robberies were or if it was way up north of the hubbub or further towards the highway?

Also when you say cartels move in would that affect your average person living in the town or moreso people who own businesses and bars?
01-08-2018 05:02 PM
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jbkunt2 Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Thanks for the replies all.

I keep coming across discouraging factors from feedback on forums, etc. It seems it’s best to just rent a place on BnB and pay the premium over owning a place and the potential headaches that can come with it.

If only Thailand was closer!
01-08-2018 08:49 PM
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Super_Fire Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
If I were to buy a home down that ways, I'd choose one in Merida, like the old gringo retirees do. It's much safer, there's more to see and do, and you're not that far from Cancun for weekend trips.
01-08-2018 09:50 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
^I liked Merida but what is there to do and see there that’s not available in places like Cancun or Playa?

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01-08-2018 09:56 PM
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Sidney Crosby Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Don't discount the idea of getting two places, you could always get a cheaper place and a more expensive place in Mexico. If you had two places in Mexico you could be living in one and renting the other one out at the same time. When you weren't there and assuming they were both rented you might be able to net more money as well, depending on the properties of course.
01-08-2018 09:58 PM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Look into Puerto Vallarta as well
01-08-2018 09:59 PM
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Super_Fire Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-08-2018 09:56 PM)scotian Wrote:  ^I liked Merida but what is there to do and see there that’s not available in places like Cancun or Playa?

Merida is real Mexico, whereas Cancun and Playa are closer to tourist traps (not that Merida doesn't have tourists). Obviously better for pulling ONS stand, but they're missing history, culture, and the real Yucatec lifestyle of everyday people.
(This post was last modified: 01-09-2018 12:29 AM by Super_Fire.)
01-09-2018 12:29 AM
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3extra Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Worth reading:

"How rich hippies and developers went to war over Instagram's favourite beach"

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/ap...rite-beach
(This post was last modified: 01-09-2018 06:07 AM by 3extra.)
01-09-2018 06:06 AM
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oldude Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Its also Hurricane territory.
Friends of mine have owned property in PDC/Playacar,Cozumel and further down the cost around Xcalak. All have sold off over the years (for various reasons) except for a friend still has a house in Cozumel which was damaged (and fixed) in the last hurricane, several years ago. Mahuahal was severely damaged and rebuilt. It something to see a concrete pier that cruise ships used to park at, gone after a hurricane.
You can rent for a couple of months and have no headaches. Been in and out of the 'Tulum corridor' since the late 80's. Merida is worth a visit.
01-09-2018 11:27 AM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-08-2018 05:02 PM)jamaicabound Wrote:  
(01-08-2018 02:21 PM)jcardial Wrote:  
(01-08-2018 12:06 AM)jbkunt2 Wrote:  Hi all,

Has anyone been Tulum?

It looks gorgeous, and is growing a lot.

Seems like it could be a good investment. You can get a nice little condo for about $200k.

Cost of living is good, of course.

I live in Chicago and somewhere to go for a few months a year has a lot of appeal. It's easy to get there also via Cancun direct from O'Hare.

I'd look to rent it out on AirBnB.

Would love to get people's thoughts/experiences.

Cheers.

I lived in Play del Carmen for a year and a half in 2016-2017 and I've been to Tulum. When you're down there you realize there is an element of lawlessness that can escalate at anytime. One day it's calm and peaceful, and the next a new cartel moves in and decides to extort businesses or even seize ownership of businesses and real estate (e.g. 2017 following the Blue Parrot shooting). The instability is a very big factor if this is a reasonable percentage of your net worth. If it becomes Acapulco 2.0 upside could suffer pretty badly.

I've heard from owners that apartment robberies are quite common as well, so another thing to consider, especially if security in the complex isn't great. I lived in a luxury complex with a night guard and daytime maintenance guys and within a year two units were robbed, one even by gun point and kidnapping. Also keep in mind the place will probably get somewhat roughed up by occupants as Playa and Tulum are party towns.

Another factor that can really cut into your bottom line is electricity cost. The bill on a two bedroom can easily get up to 200-400 dollars/month depending on the season. Once you factor all of the downsides I wouldn't recommend buying there as an investment unless you're going to be spending several months out of the year there.

I've always been curious about living in Playa. At one point really wanted to move there, then I kind of wondered whether it would get old after a while. Don't get me wrong love the beach, some great food but even after a week if your hanging out inthe tourist areas it's kind of like same shops, same hustlers, etc. I'd normall take the bus up and down the coast and checkout Puerto Morelos and some other towns. Curious if you lived in the midst of everything in the tourist areas where the robberies were or if it was way up north of the hubbub or further towards the highway?

Also when you say cartels move in would that affect your average person living in the town or moreso people who own businesses and bars?

It of course gets boring to some degree. The heat is also brutal for months in the summer and the regular rainy afternoons get annoying. I would sweat so much on the tennis court that it would be coming out of my shoes onto the court. There are digital nomads living down there so you can find a crew to hang with, but for even most of them it's a revolving door.

I found the women to be very uninspiring. Even as a blonde guy who speaks Spanish and is popular with Mexican women, I just don't find them that attractive or interesting to talk to. For the short term it's not a huge deal, but it wears on you after a while. There is quite a "hot chick illusion" down there to some degree because an overwhelming majority of the best quality walking around is with their boyfriends on vacation or difficult Mexican girls who are there a few nights with a big cockblocky hen party. The types of girls willing to risk traveling there single or with a friend or two tend to be very mehhh.

I was living at Av. 25 and Calle 26, so just a few blocks from Quinta/the touristy area. The apartment robberies happen everywhere in Playa. It doesn't feel super dangerous, but even for walking home at night in the nice/touristy areas I had a couple friends who got roughed up and had their iphones jacked. It was also fairly common to hear stories of the police extorting money from tourists in a wide range of scenarios.

Cliff notes: petty crime is fairly common everywhere in Playa, sometimes even with police as the perpetrators. Quality women are hard to come by (mostly sub 7). Overall can be a fun place to hang for a few weeks to months, but probably not ideal as a long term investment in terms of risk/reward.
(This post was last modified: 01-09-2018 01:37 PM by jcardial.)
01-09-2018 01:36 PM
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Pointer Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
200k for a "little condo" sounds mighty expensive to me. You can probably find cheaper in places like Spain or Portugal.
01-09-2018 05:06 PM
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Gorgonzola Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Based on the relative instability of the region, renting longer term apt would make more sense. Also when you get bored you can uproot and go elsewhere. Think minimalism. Just my $.02.

Condos were hella cheap in Miami not too long ago but the recent pop in prices has discouraged me. Wish I pulled the trigger 8 years ago. Oh well.
01-09-2018 06:25 PM
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jcardial Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-09-2018 05:06 PM)Pointer Wrote:  200k for a "little condo" sounds mighty expensive to me. You can probably find cheaper in places like Spain or Portugal.

Agreed, even Tulum is almost as expensive as Playa now so it's no longer an undiscovered gem with a lot of upside.

When I left Playa in 2017 cartel members were whacking other cartel members in broad daylight right in the touristy pedestrian areas of town. These types of events usually don't make headlines until tourists are caught in the crossfire, and when they are, the reputation can suffer badly.
01-09-2018 06:28 PM
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PainPositive Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Mexico is the most corrupt ass backwards place I've ever done business. Avoid it and the people who live there at all costs.
01-09-2018 08:16 PM
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lavidaloca Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-09-2018 05:06 PM)Pointer Wrote:  200k for a "little condo" sounds mighty expensive to me. You can probably find cheaper in places like Spain or Portugal.

Agreed. This sounds like a great way to lose a lot of money.
01-12-2018 05:19 PM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-09-2018 05:06 PM)Pointer Wrote:  200k for a "little condo" sounds mighty expensive to me. You can probably find cheaper in places like Spain or Portugal.

Both are way better destinations too. Spain is still suffering from the global financial crisis so there are some good values to be had. Im looking into buying there myself right now

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01-12-2018 07:06 PM
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jbkunt2 Offline
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
Good points all.

I think the lesson here is don’t buy anywhere unless you have to or it’s a certain bet.

Why bother when you can just rent and leave as you wish?

Cheers.
01-13-2018 12:11 PM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
(01-13-2018 12:11 PM)jbkunt2 Wrote:  Good points all.

I think the lesson here is don’t buy anywhere unless you have to or it’s a certain bet.

Why bother when you can just rent and leave as you wish?

Cheers.

There's an axiom that investing in real estate has created more millionaires than any other industry. Id say investing poorly has ruined many people as well.

There's no such thing as an absolute "certain bet" (in anything really) but you can definitely increase your chances of success by acquiring knowledge

Im no expert on Mexican real estate by any means. (Im just not that fond of Mexico personally) Id suggest talking to American expats or investors that have real estate there for better insights.

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01-13-2018 01:37 PM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
200k for a "nice little condo" in a 2nd tier city of a 3rd world country.

Good investment?

Seriously?

You can get a very decent condo in Medellin for 100k, 200k will get you a very large condo, 300k will get you a mini mansion.
(This post was last modified: 01-13-2018 02:27 PM by Blancpain.)
01-13-2018 02:25 PM
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RE: Buying a winter home in Tulum, Mexico?
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. From personal experience, do not buy condos/apartments or villas. If you are going to buy something buy a house or even raw land.
01-13-2018 06:20 PM
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