When buying real estate, its good to consider a variety of options; this is true of Mexico real estate, just as it is anywhere else. For this reason, early in your preliminary search process, it is good to consult an online MLS listing serving that offers you a variety to choose from.
A well prepared MLS listing service will offer you the following types of variety.
Variety of location. While you may have a certain area in mind, it may be helpful early on to browse through other locations in Mexico. It's most convenient if you are working with a service that includes good listings for locations throughout the country. This makes for easy comparison between the Cancun, La Paz, Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala and Playa del Carmen real estate areas, for example.
Variety of Agencies. While large international real estate companies may include their own listings from a number of locations throughout Mexico, it's nice to have access to a database from a variety of independent agents. Some networks of independent brokers have compiled such databases.
Variety of sellers. New properties from big developers are nice to see, but it's also nice to know about good resale bargains, and independent properties not listed through any company. This means you are making your choice from all available and appropriate options, not just the ones which are most convenient for the company.
Variety of property types. Houses, condos, villas, land, commercial property for sale – you may not have considered one specific option, but upon a bit of browsing, you begin to feel that villa is actually more appealing than a single family home, for example. Having to browse through too many different sites makes it harder to evaluate these differences or give yourself the chance to explore a little.
Variety of properties. While it's important to have listings selected for their quality and appropriateness, it's also important to have a good number of listings in front of you. If you go to a restaurant, and they only offer you one dish, that seems a little too expensive, you'll probably want to go somewhere else. Likewise with properties, having a good number to choose from, again, leaves you free to evaluate what's best for you.
Variety of search criteria. Some listings will through everything at you in apparently random order. It's good to have a way of filtering these by your needs – by location, by area, by price, etc. That way, you can see everything available in Playa del Carmen, for example, or see condos from throughout the country that are priced between $150,000 and $250,000.
When you start searching, make sure that your MLS database offers you variety.
Thomas Lloyd graduated from Purdue University Krannert School of Management with a degree in Management/Financial Option Investments. He has been living, investing, and working professionally in Mexico for over 15 years. A Mexican Certified Realtor he is the current president of Mexico Real Estate, you can contact him at (512) 879-6546.