5 Things you will have to get used to after moving to Mexico

buying property in Mexico

5 Things to get used to after a move to Mexico

Moving to any foreign country will present new things and challenges for you. Moving to Mexico will introduce a lot of new ideas and situations for you to get used to. Here are 5 things that are realities of living in Mexico.

1. New creepy crawling things

In most of North America and Europe (where most people are from that move to Mexico) there are roaches, spiders and ants. These are the common insects that come into homes. In Mexico you have a list of other animals that cohabitate your space with you. You can try hard to get them to move but you just might have to learn to live with them. So what are we talking about?


Roaches are actually not that big of a problem in Mexico as you might think. So that is one thing that you can worry less about. Probably the most noticeable thing you will need to get used to is geckos. The thought of tiny lizards climbing on the walls and running around might alarm you and scare you at first. If you know the facts, you just might want more of these guys in your house. Geckos eat a whole host of insects and control spider populations in your home. So if you don’t like spiders, you are in luck!

Once you live in Mexico for a while you learn to like these shy creatures. They are very skittish around people and never come close. If you learn how good they are for eating mosquitos and small bugs, then you wont mind sharing a space with them. If you do want to spend less time with them, you can seal screen windows and any holes near electrical entrances to your home. This is how they enter. Also a good sweep under doors will help keep them out.


Most people have an instant fear of these creatures. They do have a sting that you won’t soon forget. The good news is that these creatures are very timid and don’t like to be around people. They like dry spaces and hiding places, so unfortunately homes are good for this.

Many people that have lived in the area their whole life never been stung. So your actual chances of getting stung are  slim. Your chances of seeing one, well that might be once a month or so depending on where you live.

To prevent them from getting in your home make sure windows and doors are sealed. Some say that lavender is a natural repellant to them.

Ants and termites

Especialy in tropical areas you are going to find these two creatures. Some ants are so small and seasonal, others bite pretty hard. Once you are here you will learn a lot of good local remides for them in your home.

Termites are something to consider in building materials and furniture. The key is fumigation and knowing the signs of them before it gets out of hand. With a few precautions you can eliminate the worries.

All of these different creatures should not keep you from moving to Mexico. There are ways to live with them or keep them away.

2. Prices for  everything

Mexico is known for lower prices. It is a consideration for people moving to Mexico. So with so many prices being different it is something you will have to get used to. Not only in the grocery store but the cost of everything else. You also have to get used to people saying “You paid too much”. Expats that have been in the area longer and locals often say this to newbies.

It is hard to adjust to what real prices are especially for labor since where most people move from is so much more expensive. The best thing to do is look around and ask around to get a sense of prices. Some unscrupulous people will try to charge a lot more for property or something else just because you are a foreigner. Take time on big decisions and then you can be more confident in your decisions.

After a while you will adjust to the cost of everything and spend with confidence. We are sure after a while you will love the cost of living in Mexico.

3. What season is it? Loosing track of time

For people coming from more northern areas where there are four seasons, you might loose yourself in Mexico. Having year round warm summer weather can make you loose track of the time. You might think that sounds funny but it really happens. Sometimes you will be in the supper market and see a Halloween display and realize it is fall.

With a uniseason you can loose track of time. Of course the best season is winter months so you can make fun of your friends in cold weather.

Playa North Isla Mujeres
A nice December day at the beach in Mexico.

4. The way you get and use water

Big jugs of water, washing fruits and vegetables and cleaning mineral deposits are all things you will have to get used to. Mexico has a two part water system. Water is either well water or city pipe water to your house. A separate drinking water system is in place.

The water tank for the house fills the toilets, washes dishes and you take showers with it. The rest of the time you buy jugs of water called garrafons. This system does make some sense since not all the water in the house needs to be purified drinking water. It does seem silly that in many western countries you can drink the water in the toilet since it is the same as tap water.

If you are new to Mexico and have a sensitive stomach you might be washing almost all fresh products in a special wash. This will eliminate bacteria and keep you from getting sick.

The last thing about water you might have to get used to is the mineral deposits. Many places have high minerals. This leaves faucets coated with a white hard crust. Muriatic acid is sold in the store to clean it but some prefer more environmentally friendly options.

For more about water in Mexico see our detailed article here.

5. Red tape and bureaucracy

Did you know that Mexico’s other name is the Land of Paperwork? From the moment you start your visa paperwork for moving to Mexico, you start to understand how things work. Papers for this, id’s, multiple copies, slow lines and phone lines that don’t really help you are all part of the experience. It can be frustrating at first but there are ways to deal with it. Here are some tips:

  • If you need help with the application process of the visa don’t hold back from hiring a good immigration specialist. It can save you in the end from making simple mistakes and smooth the process along.
  • Take your time and set aside time for doing things. Things usually take longer then expected.
  • Try to get a bank account set up and do as much online banking as possible. Most places you need to pay bills will all have lines. You can save a lot of time by doing it online. Remember around the 1st and 15th of the month the ATM lines get long since this is the two times a month most people get paid.
  • Get used to making copies of everything. Even if a new application only specifies a few things, the requirements might change person to person. Always take extra copies and always have a copy of your most recent CFE bill. The CFE bill is your electric bill and almost as important as your passport as a form of identification in Mexico.

moving to Mexico

We hope you enjoyed this article about the things you need to get used to when moving to Mexico. If you are looking to move to Playa Del Carmen, see our article here.  And after you have moved you might want to check out our weekend guide for locals that want to explore the area as locals.

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1 Comment

  1. That was excellent advice about hiring a local lawyer to help with red tape and bureaucracy. As an example, when I first moved to Playa I had half of the correct paperwork together to become a resident but I kept trying to do the paperwork myself at immigration. I must have visited about five or six times and was getting rejected for reasons that I never understood and the delay went on for months and months. Eventually I hired one of the lawyers that I saw around the immigration offices frequently and I swear to God, within one meeting she cleared it all up and everything was straightened out it and I had the correct paperwork at last. It was easily worth the $150 I paid to bypass all of the hassles I was getting from the immigration officers. Anyhow, once again excellent advice. ☺

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