Table of Contents
Below is a list of frequently asked questions for renting in Baja.
If you have a question about renting in Baja or any of our Baja rentals, please feel free to ask at email@example.com
Baja Rentals FAQ Basics
Who is a typical renter in Baja?
Those that have signed rental contracts for our Baja rentals come in all shapes and sizes and are from the USA, Canada, Europe, and beyond. Many of our Baja rental clients are retired who simply want more ocean view for their money. Some Baja renters are not retired, but they work remotely, meaning at home, online, on their computers. While other Baja renters are made up of those escaping their cold winters or hot summers.
Some of our Baja renters are those that have always had a love for Mexico, want to live in Mexico, but still be close to the border. And lastly, some renters are actually buyers, renting as they get to know which Baja community is the best long-term choice for them.
Can I expect to be living in an ocean front Baja rental for a song?
Ocean front rentals here in Baja are inexpensive compared to southern California ocean front rentals. In general, ocean front rents are about 30% to 60% less expensive. Ocean view rental homes are also considerably less expensive.
How do I start the rental process?
Search for homes online. Set an appointment to visit the ones that seem to be the best fit for you. Fill out a rental application. Once the rental application is approved then you sign a rental agreement with a move-in date.
What does it take to move into a rental house or condo in Baja?
Some owners want first month of rent and security deposit, while other owners want first and last month of rent, and security deposit.
What items should I expect to bring down with me to Baja for my long term rental?
Many rentals here in Baja, whether short term or long term, have furnishings included. But not every rental will have everything you may need. For a long term rental, you may need to bring your own towels, sheets, table settings and cookware. However, some long term rentals here in Baja where once a vacation rental, and therefore may already be fully equipped. So make sure you ask about what is included concerning to all furnishings and accessories.
I don’t speak Spanish, will I have problems renting a home or condo in Baja?
You don’t need to speak Spanish. Many people who live down here don’t speak Spanish, but many have chosen to learn Spanish to better communicate and immerse themselves into the local community.
When I see Baja Rentals online, what is generally not included in the advertised rate?
It is customary for 6 month and longer rentals to not include utilities. Community association dues are included in the rent unless otherwise agreed upon. A renter would never be responsible for property taxes. You will have to agree upon who is going to cover the gardening maintenance.
Who pays for utilities after I move in?
You will. You can pay for them directly at the utility companies. Some convenience stores allow you to pay utilities as long as you bring along a receipt and they are not being paid late. As of this writing, only the water company has to be paid in person. If you don’t want to go to the utility companies to pay the bills, then you can hire a utility bill paying service.
Do homes in Baja have high speed internet service?
Yes, there is both high speed satellite internet service and DSL. Satellite internet is offered by private companies. DSL is offered by Prodigy, distributed by the phone company. Where you can’t get Prodigy, you usually can get Satellite internet. Make sure you understand the differences of each of these services.
Can I expect to be able to use my current cell phone?
Verizon, AT&T, and Nextel all have programs that cover the Mexico, and competing companies are following. Google search the information or call your provider.
What is the cheapest way to call the USA, Canada, or anywhere in the world, from Baja?
Get a voip system, such as Skype, Google Voice, Majic Jack, or Yahoo Talk. You can call for pennies and it doesn’t matter that your call is originating in Baja. You can have an area code from your original home town ring on your home computer in Baja. Vonage works down here to.
Can I get TV service in English?
Yes. Satellite Direct TV is very common down here.
Can I find all the groceries that I like in Baja?
Almost. I personally prefer to bring my own coffees and deli meats from the USA. Over time, you will also find your preferences.
What are some of the big name stores that are in Baja that I might be accustomed to?
Walmart, Home Depot, Smart and Final, Auto Zone, Burger King, Mc Donalds, Costco, Office Depot, Thrifty Ice Cream, Dominoes Pizza, Subway. But once you are here, you will love discovering many of the smaller local stores that do a great job of competing with these giants.
The Financials of Renting in Baja
How do I pay the rent if I am renting in Baja but my bank account is in the USA?
It depends on what is agreed upon with the landlord. Sometimes you will have to mail a check for rent from a US bank to the owners address. Some owners will accept direct deposits. Some owners will have your drop of a check at the property managers office.
Is rent paid in Mexican pesos or US dollars?
Rent can be paid in either, but it depends what is agreed upon by the landlord and renter. Even though you will be renting in Baja, most owners want to be paid in US dollars. All of our Baja rentals are advertised in US dollars.
When I am in Baja, what is more widely accepted, US dollars or Mexican pesos?
Both are used. Make sure you have about half of your cash on hand in US dollars and half in pesos. You will find that it is cheaper to pay in the currency charged. For example, gas is cheaper if paid in pesos, because they will give you an unfavorable exchange rate if you pay in dollars. A computer repair service may charge you in dollars and you will get an unfavorable rate if you pay in pesos. Ask in advance as to what is the exchange rate.
Can I rent in Baja and work in the USA?
Yes you can. Many people do. But make sure you understand the driving distance involved. Many of our renters work at home, and fly up to Las Vegas, San Francisco, or where ever they have to about once or twice a week. Some of our renters simply have to drive across the border a couple of times a week.
If I rent in Baja, can I or any of my family members work in Baja?
Yes you can. But most people who can afford a nice rental home in Baja choose to not work for local wages as they are very low. Some however who have come down to Baja to rent have opened businesses.
Baja Rentals Home Maintenance Costs and Utilities
How much can I expect to pay for a house cleaner a day?
At the time of this writing, a cleaning runs about $20 to $40 dollars a day, depending on what is included and frequency of visits. It will cost more for a deep cleaning and if cleaning solutions have to be provided by the cleaning person, and less if you have then work for you on a regular basis and you provide all the cleaning solutions. Experience also plays a roll in costs, many cleaning people have been cleaning Baja rentals for years and know their jobs well, and have found market value for them to be able to consistently get work.
How much would a gardener cost a day?
About the same as a cleaning lady.
How much will I spend on Utilities?
Budget about $50 to $200 a month for electricity, $45 a month for phone and internet, $35 a month for propane gas, $10 to $100 for water, and about $40 a month for Direct TV.
Baja Weather Concerning Renting
Is Baja a year round destination?
Yes. In the summer, Baja rentals tend to fill up with those on vacation and those trying to escape the extreme heat of their local town. In the winter there are snow birds that come down to escape the extreme cold temps. From a tourism stand point, the slowest month is February and the busiest month is July. Many Baja rentals are offered at a discount if you rent during the slow winter months.
When is the best time of the year to rent concerning weather?
The best weather in coastal northern Baja is in the fall, from September through December. Of course, the weather is mild year round and only gets about 9 to 10 inches of rain a year.
Since the Baja ocean temperatures effect the daily are temperature, what are common ocean temperatures?
In the winter, ocean temperatures go down to about 55° farenheit, while in the summer ocean temperatures go up to about 70° farenheit. Needless to say renting in Baja year round is very common since both the summers and the winters have mild temperatures.
Legalities of Renting in Baja
What do I need to legally sign a rental agreement as a non-Mexican national, such as a US citizen or Canadian?
Legally, you will need a FMT, a Mexican tourist visa, or an FM3 if you have one, to sign a rental contract. Showing this documentation is not always asked at the signing of the rental contract, especially in Baja. This is because northern Baja is a free zone and visitors can enter the country without an FMT. So many people down here visiting from the US don’t have any form of Mexican documentation on them at all. They just simply drive across the border. In other parts of Mexico, that isn’t designated as a free zone, visitors will likely have a FMT, which is a tourist visa for Mexico. With this tourist Visa in hand, you can legally sign a binding rental contract.
Are all Baja rentals subject to any laws that protect me, the renter, since I am in a new country renting that is foreign to me?
Absolutely. You will find renting in Baja to be fair, legal, and safe.
If I am renting in Baja, can the landlord just raise the rent any time they want?
No, there are well known and followed laws that protect increases in rent.
Can the landlord just kick me out if they find someone to pay them more rent?
Absolutely not. Your rental contract will be respected.
Baja Rentals and Medical Services
If I rent in Baja, will I have access to medical services?
Absolutely. Many of our past rental clients have rented our properties just to come down for the medical services. You will find private practitioners to be excellent and friendly. Many times excellent medical care costs less then a common co-pay to your HOA stateside.
How far away are your Baja rentals from medical services?
Not far at all, and as close as 1 minute to 20 minutes to good private practioners and hospitals.
Are all your Baja rental properties close to pharmacies?
Yes, you will find pharmacies scattered up and down the coastline along the free road, from Rosarito, down to Ensenada.
I take prescription medication, am I likely to pay more for it in Baja?
No! Prescription medication is much more economical in Baja then in the USA. Many people from California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas cross the border on a daily basis just to take advantage of the better pharmaceutical prices.
Are there good doctors and hospitals in Baja?
Absolutely. Many doctors and hospitals along the border region have access to all the latest technology that is found north of the border. You will find first-world quality medical services very inexpensive compared to a very complete HMO.
What if I or one of my family members has a medical emergency?
Several of the local Baja hospitals have a fast pass access across the border. They can transport you across the border without waiting in the border line in an emergency situation.
Will I be able to find reasonably priced Elder Care, in house?
Absolutely. This is a very fast growing industry here in Baja. Elder Care services are much more economical then in the USA, and can still be covered by USA agencies and plans.
Can I find a good English speaking dentist?
Absolutely. There are many. Ask some of the long term residents for recommendations.
How much should I be prepared to spend on dental work?
Dental work in Mexico is about 1/4 the cost of the same work in the USA. Many US citizens come down to Mexico just to have dental work done.
Safety in Baja While Renting
Is it safe in Baja?
Yes. When you are down here you will meet many expatriates who have lived here while all the Baja and Mexico negative news has been sensationalized by the media. Simply ask people down here who are from the USA or Canada how they feel about their safety. You will be amazed.
Do I need to live in a gated community in Baja?
You don’t need to, but gated communities are so common, that you will most likely end up in one.
What is the easiest way to stay safe while in Baja?
It is very easy to stay safe. I do not recommend driving late at night, and do not drink and drive.
Are any of your Baja rentals in crime ridden communities?
Absolutely not! The USA media would like you believe otherwise, but as of this date, after renting to hundreds of rental clients, we have not had a single incident! We only rent the best properties and communities, and do our due diligence before we take on new Baja rental listings.