Finding a home to rent in Playa has been a learning experience for us. Whether you’re new to Playa, thinking of making a move, or have been here a while, searching through listings and agents can be time-consuming and frustrating. So, we’ve created this little guide to finding long-term rentals in Playa del Carmen for you.
If you want to skip the whole story and about, you can use the form below to contact an agent. Just a note: this is not an advertisement nor a sponsorship. We don’t get a commission if you rent, or any bonus or compensation in any shape, way, or form. Your message will be sent directly to Chris, a real estate agent who has lived in Playa for 20+ years. He speaks fluent Spanish in addition to his native English, and is simply a trustworthy and honest guy.
Homes and Apartments for Rent in Playa
If you’re just beginning to plan your move to Playa del Carmen, finding a long-term rental may be on your list. However, you may not be able to search through listings the way you’re accustomed to. For example, you can’t use Craigslist to find places. Furthermore, if you find listings online on a realtor website, chances are that it is not up to date. We’ve tried to inquire many times about listings, only to find that they have been rented for quite some time and are not available.
The other issue is that listings don’t work the same as they might in your home country. Agents often don’t have exclusive listings, so you may get different prices on the same apartment from different agents. In addition, you’re paying a bit extra in order to cover the agent’s commission. As such, it’s important to find a trusted real estate agent that will give you a fair and honest price. Don’t forget that the price is ALWAYS negotiable. Make an offer.
Houses, Villas, Condos, and Apartments
One of the things we’ve learned living in Playa is that there are differences between types of listings. Although you may not have a strong preference for the type of place, it is good to know ahead of time. We learned this because we wanted a true house with a backyard. However, we were shown different things that didn’t meet these needs at all. So, here’s the deal.
A house in Playa del Carmen is a house. However, some people may try to show you villas (more on this in a moment). If you want a house with your own private backyard, make sure to specify that. If you want your own pool, specify that. Don’t be afraid to get specific.
A villa is similar to a house. It is a freestanding structure, usually in the 2-4 bedroom range. The difference between a house and a villa is found mostly in the yard. Villas are part of a small community, and often have a shared common area. Some villas will have small yards or decks, and often have a community pool and barbecue area.
A condo is a condo, no tricks here. Similar to a villa, a condo will not be a freestanding structure. Instead, it will be attached to other units in the complex. You may have your own small yard, and will almost certainly have amenities and community areas.
Finally, there are apartments. This shouldn’t be anything new or strange. These are units in a building, and you may or may not find common areas or yards. Most apartments have decks or terraces, and some rooftop ones will have private areas on the roof.
Neighborhoods and Developments
You’ll also want to consider the area in which you choose to live. This depends on how close you want to be to town, your concerns about safety, your desires in a home, your transportation situation, etc. There really isn’t one right answer for everyone.
You may consider living in town if you want to be close to the action, known as El Centro. If you want something a little cheaper, head to the other side of the freeway to areas like Ejidal. You can also find more economic housing in the Colosio neighborhood, which is still in town and close to action.
If you’re interested in gated communities and developments, there are tons of options. One of the most popular locations for expats is Playacar. Located just south of town, Playacar is a huge gated community with restaurants, convenience stores, nail salons, and more. It’s also where we currently live! Playacar is definitely one of the priciest neighborhoods, but we find it to be ideal for us and our needs with a young family.
There are also many newer developments like Selvanova and Bali. New ones are popping up all the time. These developments are often a bit removed from town, and best for people who don’t plan on going to town all the time. If you do, you’ll likely need a car or method of transportation.
One issue we get asked about quite a bit is renting with pets in Playa. Many listings, agents, and owners will turn down pets. It is what it is, and this happens anywhere. However, we have to share our personal experience. We have rented a few places now that said they did not take pets. When we offered an extra little deposit for our medium-sized (30lb) dog and two outdoor cats, we had no problems.
If you find an apartment or home you love, try to rent it with the pets. As always, they may say no. But it can’t hurt to ask or try!
How to Find Long Term Rentals
When you search for listings in Playa del Carmen, you’ll find a lot of vacation rentals, short-term listings, AirBnB’s, and even some hotels. There are a few ways to search for longer term apartments and houses for rent. First, you can simply walk around town. Call the numbers listed everywhere. That individual apartment or home may not be available, but you will get an agent. You can just send a WhatsApp message to see what they have available.
Another place worth checking in Mexico for listings is Facebook Marketplace. Many people put their listings on marketplace, acting as free way for agents and owners to rent their vacant units. You may find that some things aren’t available, or higher prices on Facebook. But, you can also find agents and begin to discover options.
Contact a Real Estate Agent
Our preferred method is working with a trusted real estate agent. We’ve worked with a few, and have had mixed experiences. There are lots of great agents in town. Find one that can meet your needs, listens to you, and gives you good offerings.
Use the form below to reach out directly to Chris, our preferred agent in Playa. Please note, this is not a paid advertisement or sponsorship. We do not make a fee or any commision. Chris is a great agent, has been in Playa for 20+ years, and an honest man. English is his first language, and he is fluent in Spanish as well.