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House hunting in Mexicali

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We were contacted by one of our readers looking for a rental apartment in Mexicali.

We found our first place on Mexico.OLX.com under the category of houses and apartments for rent. That’s the best place we could find on the Internet.

However, the area we prefer is on the northern part of Mexicali, around Ave. Republica de Argentina, and Ave. Republica de Brasil. We didn’t find any properties on Mexico.OLX.com in that area.

It had been a long time since we looked at what was available on the market. So, we decided to take a look in what we consider the best part of town around Argentina and Brasil.

We decided to look not only to look for apartments, but for houses, as well. Some houses are even less expensive that certain apartments.

Jim, Matthew and I bundled into our truck and off we went.

Here is what we found:

1261 Ave. de la Reforma, Mexicali

1261 Ave. de la Reforma, Mexicali

At Rep. de Argentina, 185, there was a nice, modern looking, two-story house with a for rent or sale sign in front. We did not want to disturb the residents, so we decided to call on out cell phone. The owner told us that the rental on the place was 8,500 pesos, or we could buy it for 1,300,000 pesos.

“Geez,” said Jim, putting down the phone, “a bit pricey, no?”

“Seems so,” I answered.

“Heck, that’s not bad for a rental,” said Matthew, “but they are asking the equivalent of one hundred thousand bucks for the place. You can buy a nice house in  Calexico for half that, or even less.”

Down toward the border crossing, at 1261 Av. Reforma (which is an extension of Brasil), there is a very attractive apartment building, which appeared to be in an older Spanish style.

From the outside the building appears to consist of medium-sized apartments. Jim, Matthew and I stepped out of the truck to take a closer look. Walking inside into the courtyard we could see that these were not single-story apartments, but instead large townhouses.

The view from the inside was even better than the view from the outside. What a terrific place! Each townhouse had a two-car garage with an automatic garage door on the bottom floor, like having a basement.

The first floor of the houses appeared to contain a living room and, I suppose, dining room and kitchen. There were stairs leading up to the second floor where there could be two or three bedrooms. In the second courtyard surrounded by the townhouses, here was also a small swimming pool. Wow, what a place!

“Boy, said Matthew, this looks like a real nice place to live. Who would have ever thought that was so nice here?”

“Yeah,” answered Jim, “We could sure use a swimming pool.”

While the “boys” jabbered on, I took some pretty neat photos of the place.

There did not seem to be any sign around giving us a number to call to find out how much the rental was on these townhouses, so it was back in the truck and off we went again on our quest.

222 Calle D, Mexicali

222 Calle D, Mexicali

Going west, we turned left on Calle D (D Street), where there was another very attractive block of townhouses, at what I assume to be 222 Calle D.

House numbers are not always consistent here—which is part of Mexicali’s charm. Or, as Jim puts it, “Heck, them there folks in America, think they gotta follow everybody’s rules.”

This place had a phone number to call, so that is just what Jim did. The price turned out to be 9,600 pesos or a little over $600 a month. The townhouses were two-story and looked pretty big.

Jim spun a quick u-ee (that’s a u-turn, folks) and we headed over to Argentina, and went east.

At 1298 Argentina, we pulled up to a block of townhouses. We have passed this place many times, and there is always at least one unit for rent—this time there were two. Luckily, there was a number, and Jim called.

“What’s the word?” I asked.

Ave Republica de Argentina 1298, Mexicali

Ave Republica de Argentina 1298, Mexicali

“Eight hundred bucks,” Jim answered. He continued, “Place looks kinda corporate, so I guess they got corporate prices to go with it.”

“That’s why this place always has vacancies,” explained Matthew.

House on Ave. Republica de Argentina, Mexicali

House on Ave. Republica de Argentina, Mexicali

Just a couple of houses up the street were a small house with a rent sign and telephone number on it. The house seemed empty, so we gave them a call.

A kid answered in Spanish. Jim did the talking on our side.

“It’s a kid,” said Jim, “he’s calling his mother.”

After a brief conversation, Jim hung up and smiled. “They say it is for only part of the house-good for just one or two people—one bedroom, a kitchenette, bathroom, for 3,000 pesos a month, around $250.”

“Three thousand pesos a month?” exclaimed Matthew.

“Well, there a-tryin’,” answered Jim, “but they’ll get a little better than half, I reckon.”

Back we piled into the truck.

We drove over to Brasil, and going west, I noticed a for rent sign.

Avenida de Brasil 577, Mexicali

Avenida de Brasil 577, Mexicali

It was a decent enough looking place and in a safe neighborhood, just like we like. It was a single story concoction of five small apartments. We were in luck, the sign had a number. I dialed the cell phone and handed it over to Jim.

“What? Nothing available?” said Jim continuing, “Bueno, ¿Cuánto, si tiene uno disponible?”

Jim said,” Gracias,” and  hung  up. He turned to me and said, “Not too bad, 1,900 pesos, no wonder they are full up.”

“Jim, I know it’s a bit of a drive, but why don’t we check out that place where Maria pays $125 a month, down by Cachanilla? It’s big and has two good-sized bedrooms—also Maria says there are some vacancies.” I said.

Jim nodded, and off we went.

Maria's place at Ave Mariono Arisa & Calle D

Maria's place at Ave Mariono Arisa & Calle D

I snapped a picture of Maria’s place.

It had been a busy day and we were all tired—but not too tired to go get a couple of those great cappucinnos at Synapsis.

17 comments to House hunting in Mexicali

  • Robert & Tina Mayhew

    Glad to see we are not the only gringos living in Mexicali. Life is great here. We are from Utah and return there every summer. Just got back to Mexicali a week ago.

  • Dean:
    We hear you loud and clear. Mexico COULD be a much better place as it has the physical assets. In Italy, they say, “God created Italy, but then he created the Italians.” It is much the same for Mexico. At least you live in the Free Zone where you are not subject to visas and paperwork for you car. Here, in Mexicali, we have the advantage of living right on the border – the US being only being 176 feet away – and that helps. It helps because many of our neighbors work or shop in the US as Calexico is right across the border. With our SENTRI pass, we can be there in 10 minutes. With health problems and with the advent of Obamacare, we are considering moving to the US, but not too far away, as the doctors in Mexico are much better. Then why Obamacare? For prescription drugs, which are not cheap anywhere. For many reasons, our first choice was Rosarito Beach. However, five years ago, there were problems with “authorities,” possibly because, then, we had an Escalade. Maybe with our current truck we would not have attracted attention. Also, in Rosarito Beach, or on the beach up to Tijuana, is a beautiful place, and has great weather. On our budget, and maybe on yours, a realtor would not find the kind of place you might want. We found a beautiful two story house in Mexicali with 4 bedrooms and a garage door for $400 a month. We found it on OLX.com. Go to http://www.olx.com.mx/all-states/ and select your town and you should find rentals from real people as the ads are free. The closest you can get to the US is, IMHO, the best for you. And if you can find that on the Pacific, that’s great. Avoid realtors!
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • The one we recommend is . That is specific for Mexicali. Their general website for more places is .
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Dean

    Where can I find rental agents in Mexicale online? Thanks for any help!

  • Maryann –

    I think that was my husband, Peter who contacted you. We found a great place, $300./ month including utilities – but we certainly appreciate your efforts.. Head over to my page anytime you want to read about my adventures at Mexicali General..

  • gaby

    thank you maryann! that makes me feel so much better, i guess we will now go truck shopping! 🙂

  • Gaby:
    No. I don’t think a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 will cause you any problems. If anything, your husband will be considered an admirer of the Mexicali police who also drive trucks. Since most of the vehicles here are from California with California plates, you see a lot of trucks, so your husband’s truck will be nothing unusual.
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • gaby

    thank you maryann for refering me to this, it has great information. one last question, my hubby wants to but a 2005 chevrolet silverado 2500 and i am afraid it will call too much attention to us. i currently live in mexico city and anyone who drives a truck that nice here would be considered a narco. does the same go for mexicali?

  • Joe L

    Dear Maryann, Jim and Matthew,
    with the link you provided, my wife and I found a very nice apartment in Mexicali!
    Thank You so much.
    Way too expensive to live in Tacoma, Washington, and too cold. We just don’t want to live and pay such high prices. Ridiculous.
    We’ll trade the cold for the heat anytime!
    We got the spanish course on your site, and we have found it very useful, for beginners like us.

    God bless you and your family!
    sincerely.
    Joe and Daphane L
    Tacoma, WA

  • Herb

    Everyone was recommending Columbia, but it’s too far from home! this sounds more of an option for us!
    thanks!

  • Beth C

    Maryann, this is an amazing post you guys did!
    My husband and I want to leave America, and the easiest place, affordable would be Mexicali. Your information has given us the budget we need for a rental.
    sincerely yours
    Beth C
    Augusta, Georgia

  • Patricia

    Maria’s rental looks fine by me. I know we have to fix everything up, but it’s a roof over our heads. Around $150??? where can u get that price in America?
    thank you.

  • Cybil

    Great information! this gives us a chance to survive1
    We can’t afford living in America, and have considered Costa Rica. But what the heck, it’s too far, and I want to be close to America.
    I really appreciate all the work u have put in! Tnk u all!
    Cheers, Cybil

  • Rhonda

    I had no idea that mexicali is this nice. I love the spanish style rentals, but there’s no price on them.
    Would u make a guess Maryann?

  • Lionel M.

    Maryann,
    We can’t afford to live in our own country, so we are looking for an alternative.
    Came across yr post, just fantastic info, now we can plan our retirement budget.’
    Can’t afford to go to the other places that most Americans are living, way too deep and far from us.
    This is just great information, thank you Maryann!!!!!!!!

  • Grant

    oh wowowow! super, Mexicali’s pretty OK. my wife and I are planning a trip down to live in the areas u have recommended!
    Thanks Maryann!

  • Allison

    Maryann, thanks for this great post. All of your photos are great! and you added in the rental prices. It gives me an idea of what to EXPECT, and it’s pretty great!
    I greatly apreciate the great work you, Jim and Matthew put it for us, the readers!
    Allison

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