Most visitors to Isla Mujeres flirt with the idea (at least once) of chucking it all and moving here. Many go as far as to stop by the offices of one of Isla’s real estate agencies and those with adventure in their souls and a song in their heart, take the plunge and do it! From inexpensive quaint fixer-upper homes in the colonias to luxury beach front properties, the Isla Mujeres real estate market really does have something for everyone. Named by Islands Magazine, The 5 Best Islands to live on (deservedly so!) and as the article said you can still buy a bit of paradise for less than it might cost you for a summer rental in the Hamptons!
Some people buy property on the island and build their dream home. However, building a home can be complicated and stressful under any circumstances, doubly so when you are doing it long distance. Others buy a home and renovate which can also be a bit complicated. Owning your own home seems to work best for those living on Isla full year round and enjoy the constant maintenance it entails. Remember, the tropical sun, fresh sea breeze and lush gardens are perfect when you’re on vacation but it can be hard on a house.
Living on Isla part time and renting your private home when you’re not here can be done and often is. There are property managers and rental agents on Isla that will take care of the details for you (of course for a price or commission). However, if you expect to make enough money renting your own home to cover all your expenses every year, honestly, that’s hit and miss and a whole lot of luck. Some years will be great and other years not.
For those who are purchasing a second home or do not want to do all the work that a private home and a year round growing season entails, buy a condo. The maintenance is taken care of, the gardens are maintained and best of all there is usually some kind of owners program that will keep your condo rented when you’re not there. You can also list your condo privately with an Isla rental agency. Added to that (I know you don’t want to think about this) if you find Isla life is not for you, its a whole lot easier to resell a condo than a private home.
There are several large and a number of small condominium complexes on the island. The real estate agents on Isla will have full listings but to name a few...
Located on North Beach is Ixchel Residences (Ixchel Beach Hotel) also Nautibeach Condos occasionally has a unit for sale. On Sac Bajo are the Puerto al Mar Condos and towards the south end of the island are the Loma Bonito Condos and next to Garrafon Reef Park are the Stavento Condominiums.
Isla 33 Resort & Villas is the only condo complex located oceanfront on the east side of Isla Mujeres with breathtaking views of the Caribbean. Unique to the island, Isla 33 is the only complex to offer 3 and 4 bedroom condominiums as well as the more common 2 bedroom. The design is Mexican Hacienda style and boasts a park adjacent to the property with sport courts, walking trails and plenty of green area.
There is a growing community of expats living on Isla Mujeres full time or during the winter months. From grandparents, retired and semi-retired baby boomers to singles and young couples with children. There are loads of activities and events to keep you busy and as active as you wish or you can sit on your balcony, looking out over the Caribbean and write that book you’ve always wanted to write! Be warned though, you’ll have tons of friends coming to visit :-)
The bottom line... do your research, ask questions and most importantly, listen to the adventurer in your soul and the song in your heart!