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Flip Nicholson of Fenix Real estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Pool home, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingJust like anywhere else, the cost to build a house depends on how nice you want it. For instance, do you want a pre-fab home, or do you want something that you’re going to last in the rest of your life? Do you want something you’re going to sell? Or do you want something that you’re going to call home for a little while? 
 
Building a house in Mexico starts at about $60 to $80 a square foot for a home with a nice granite countertop in the kitchen, nice top floors, decent fixtures, and plumbing and electric to US standards. In Mexico, you can have grounded electricals, plastic pipe plumbing, and good quality fixtures for less than $80 a square foot from the ground up. That includes paint and contractors. The standard here in Mexico is you get a 2-year guarantee on workmanship on the structure, so if you get a crack in your foundation a year after you moved in, by Mexican law, you can legally go back and find that builder, and he has to fix it. 
 
The cost to build a house in Mexico also depends on where you build the house: whether on the hillside or on flat ground. The costs are different if you start with a clean lot, or if you have to prepare your lot, which I’ve seen some people do. 
 
Permits are very affordable in Mexico. There are no building inspectors in Mexico, and we don’t have that process north of the border where you have to have 5 or 6 different building inspectors sign off on each phase of your project before you can continue. In Mexico, we only have a permit that we obtain from the city hall, and it doesn’t cost a lot of money. Once you get your permit, they post that on the site that’s being constructed. 
 
It takes about a year to build a house, so I would say that between $60 and $80 a square foot, you’re going to have a pretty nice home.  
 
(Pictured: Pool home, Ajijic, Mexico.)
Alicia Gomez of Collins Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
TLower level kitchen in Casa Shirley, Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livinghere are advantages and disadvantages to building a house in Mexico. The cost to build a house in Mexico depends on what type of materials you want to use in your construction. You also have to pay IMSS (social security) for the workers. You have to get permits for the construction. You have to pay the architect for the project and you have to pay the engineer to build a house and to do a lot of supervision while the house is being built.
 
When building in Mexico you always have to check the quality of the construction and have a good engineer and architect. The cost varies on what materials you use and how big the house is and if you want a pool and a garden. I think the cost is worth it if you’re going to build the house of your dreams. A nice house with nice appointments, foundation, tile, granite countertops, nice fixtures, etc. could be around 6,000 pesos per square meter (about $30.50 per square foot) excluding the cost of the land.
 
(Lower level kitchen in Casa Shirley, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)
Chris Gruenwald of Biencom Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Home in a subdivision, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe cost to build a house in Mexico varies by soil type and by municipality. Here in Chapala and Ajijic, you are looking at about US $385 per square meter ($36 per square foot) for a brick construction with granite countertops, real wood cabinetry, marble tiles in the bathroom, and a covered garage. That should also include all permits, all taxes, all workers’ insurance, and appliances. That number could easily go up to $500 per square meter ($46 per square foot) depending when the exchange rate normalizes.
 
Generally, expressed in pesos, the cost to build here in Mexico is about 6,000 pesos per square meter, which is about 550 pesos ($30) per square foot. That kind of construction would be nicer than a tract house in the US. It would have independent walls. It is not made of dry wall and wood frame. This is not to say that there’s something wrong with wood frame but the brick construction is much more attractive.
 
Construction costs here in Mexico are a lot more stable compared to the construction costs in San Diego, where I come from. The cost of materials go up more often than they go down but the manual labor keeps going down with the exchange rate. These days, manual labor is extremely cheap. Relative to the US, the construction cost here is much more inexpensive and I think it has been the tradition in Mexico that the upper class keeps the manual labor down low to keep the profits up and there is a large labor pool willing to do all the work. Labor costs, permitting costs, and taxes are much less here in Mexico compared to the US.
 
(Home in a subdivision, Ajijic, Mexico, pictured.)
Vanessa Kerr of Peters & Romero – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Condo in Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingTo build a house in Mexico, first, you have to get a piece of land.
 
Buying a piece of land in Mexico City can vary a lot depending on the area.  The area where we work is called Polanco, one of the high-income residential areas of DF.  In Polanco, the price of property (including land and construction) is generally around $3200 USD per square meter, but in some selected areas it can be over $6000 USD per square meter.  A square meter is roughly ten square feet (and we can´t resist pointing out that foreigners will not be able to avoid learning the metric system!).  Polanco is very expensive, similar to Manhattan in New York, but it is possible to find areas of Mexico City that are much less expensive. 
 
In general, if you decide to build a house outside of Mexico City it is much less expensive, with the exception of two other big cities, Guadalajara and Monterey. Building a house in Guadalajara and Monterey will cost around 20% to 25% less than building in Mexico City. If you are building in the rest of the country, it could be 50% less or even lower than the cost of building in Mexico City.  
 
In general, if you were to build a small home of about 200 square meters in Polanco, Mexico City, it would cost around $200,000 to $500,000 USD just for the building. The land could cost $650,000 USD, easily. Because of the high cost of land, and also because it is difficult to find land in this area of the city, most people do not build but rather prefer to buy an apartment in an existing building.  Like Manhattan, this is more of an apartment area than a single family home area. 
 
The price for an apartment in Polanco can vary between $400,000 to well over $2 million USD. For $500,000, you would get a small apartment of about 100 square meters (a little over 1,000 square feet) with one to two bedrooms.  
 
(Apartment in Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico, pictured.)

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