We spent some more time driving around and looking at houses for rent today. There was a house for rent in a neighborhood we really liked downtown. It was at the end of a dead end street, had a garage for parking, four bedrooms and three stories. It was nice but the carpet was really old and dirty. In Mexico I think I prefer tile because it is easier to see if it is clean. I tried to see if there was tile under the carpet, but there wasn't. We could probably do a contract that specified they had to change the floor, but I'm not sure if it would be worth it.
They were wanting $5500 pesos per month (about $500 USD) and I'd rather be down in the $300 range. It was a cool house and it might have been more attractive if we didn't have a baby on the way. Also it was in an area that has scorpions. This probably wouldn't have been a problem if the houses nearby were clean. Most of them were, but some of the ones behind it that it shared a wall with seemed pretty run down. The one's it shared the street with were very nice though.
We also looked at the place on the mountain again that was renting for about $900 USD per month. It was very beautiful and would cost millions of dollars in high class areas in the U.S. There was a guy staying there that was doing some work to clean up the yard. We asked him about scorpions and he said they generally found about 5 each week! He said they also had problems with lots of snakes and that the owners were moving out because it was too expensive to run the utilities to keep the house going.
It was beautiful, but 5 scorpions per week isn't going to cut it. It think we are going to have to settle for a building that isn't on the mountain. This isn't really a bad thing because $900 per month is more that what we really want to pay–even if we could afford it. The scorpions make it an easy decision.
The last house we looked at was near Sam's Club. It is a little ways from downtown, but it is in an area where people live that say they have never seen a scorpion. The house was beautiful. It had four bedrooms and a garden area. It also had a maid's quarters out back. The entire thing was surrounded by a tall wall and it was in very nice shape and clean.
The owner wants to get $65000 pesos ($597 USD). This is still more than what we really want to pay, but we might be able to bargain them down to something a little more reasonable. There are other houses in the $200 range, but they aren't in as nice of neighborhoods. Our original budget was for a $200 house. Our friends pay $200 and their house would work very well for us, but it is hard to find houses like that downtown. Maybe we could find something similar in the neighborhood over by Sam's Club, but so far we haven't seen one.
We want to see some more houses in this area to see what type of prices they are going for. So far the ones we have seen have been even more expensive, so it might be a really good deal for that area. The no scorpions thing is very attractive!
I think our best bet is to find a house by word of mouth. The one's listed by the real estate office seem to usually be more expensive, so the best deals are probably going to be the one's where there isn't even a sign on the house.