A view from Queretaro while on our house hunting trip to Mexico

House Hunting in Mexico… with Kids!

My cry of despair echoed through the empty freeways of Columbus, Ohio as we approached the airport and discovered neither of us had packed the freshly charged child entertainment devices. It was too far from home to return for them. Our fate was settled. We were going on the most strenuous trip of our lives and going without tablets for our young kids: house hunting in Mexico.

My child was throwing up all night and even so, I said to my husband, “this is the worst thing that’s happened so far!”

I often speak in superlatives. Obviously, the health of my children is most important of all, even no tablets during the week we just need to survive.

Have you ever been house hunting? Have you ever gone house hunting in a foreign country? With kids? Have you ever been house hunting in a foreign country  with young kids in a very tight timeframe? It’s surprisingly fun. If you like that sort of thing. It turns out that I do like that sort of thing!

A view from Queretaro while on our house hunting trip to Mexico

An incredible view. While the view from this apartment is incredible, it really wasn’t kid friendly otherwise.

House hunt, day 1

Our relocation agent hands me the itinerary on our first morning in Mexico. After a quick glance, I see there are 6 houses on the list. This is so exciting, I think to myself. I don’t have a pen. Instead, I label the first picture of each home with the text tool. It works surprisingly well.

I think I take around 450 photos on day 1. We actually see more than 6 houses total. Maybe we see 8? It’s all a blur. The last house of the day is one so amazing that my husband and I are in awe that it is in our price range.

A bathroom in Mexico.

I’m not sure what I expected to see in houses in Mexico. All of the ones we saw were new or newer and quite modern (and often beautiful). I really loved this bathroom.

Day 2

I lose count of how many places we see on day 2. We have another itinerary on paper, but one house is already rented and we skip it. We also end up changing the order. That is surprisingly confusing and I really can’t keep them straight. It matters less because the houses involved are not my favorites.

But I dream of the final house from day 1. It’s the ONE, if we can get it. My husband tells me his mind is made up before we finish with the second day of house hunting. I agree.

Keep on looking

We skip another house at the end of day 2. We are tired. The kids are tired. I’m sure our amazing relocation agent is also tired. In addition,  I’m from the flat lands of Ohio, where a glacier melted a zillion years ago. It’s as flat as my midwestern accent. So being almost 6,000 feet above sea level instead of less than 700 feet is really kicking my behind.

We make our decision

We pick the final house from day 1! And we get it!

A rotunda of sorts in the house we chose in Mexico.

This is the house! It’s so pretty!

Day 3

It’s Thursday and it is the day we get to do some furniture shopping. Since our minds are made up on the house,  we expect our day to be light and easier than the previous days.

How wrong was I? So very wrong. For the kids, today is the worst day so far. The 3 year old didn’t have enough time to fall asleep in the car and that really affected her mood.

Remember this post, where I say try to keep things, like naps on schedule? Sometimes, we are in situations where that is impossible to do. So after much unhappiness at the furniture store and a meltdown of epic proportions at the mall, I bribed my daughter with candy. You know what? It’s okay to do the thing that works when you’re in tough circumstances (as long as it isn’t harmful – and it is my opinion that occasional candy isn’t harmful).

After we eat lunch and a little bit of candy, we get in the car for the drive back to our hotel. Both kids fall asleep. It’s kind of late for naps, but we have dinner plans later with an expat family. And a date with the hotel pool before that.

Thoughts on international house hunting

Our phones didn’t work in Mexico during this trip. Since we forgot the tablets, our phones and a few specific games installed on them for the kids helped us get through the very trying time known as house hunting.

Inside an indoor playground in a mall that also had food.

A foam pit! In a play area! My children enjoyed this place.

In addition, many restaurants in Mexico have play areas for kids. Some are elaborate. Some of these restaurants are really nice restaurants. In the mall, there was a standalone playground in the food court, but that one cost money to use. We chose to go back to our hotel and use the pool instead.

A picture of a man wearing an older child on his back in a carrier while house hunting.

The other way we survived: baby wearing!

We survived the trip. In fact, I feel like the trip went the best it could have, given the circumstances. It was so helpful that our relocation agent was very kind to our children. She arranged for our lunches to be in restaurants that had playgrounds inside. She helped with ordering food they would like (they ate fairly American foods – with my daughter having been ill before leaving, she wasn’t eating with her usual robust try-all-the-foods attitude). I ate all the tacos. And I will also branch out once we move there. I cannot reiterate enough how delicious the tacos are in Mexico.

In addition, the houses were gorgeous! I didn’t know what to expect, except maybe colorful tiles in the kitchens and bathrooms.

Have you ever been house hunting in a foreign country? Have you endured some other difficult situation with young kids in tow?


This post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. These payments help reduce costs of running this site. I appreciate you visiting today!

14 thoughts on “House Hunting in Mexico… with Kids!

  1. Jessica says:

    Just from the quick glimpse, your house looks lovely! I remember apartment hunting in Brussels. Although I was single, I was overwhelmed with the choices. Looking forward to reading about your new life in Mexico.

    • Natalie says:

      Thanks! I’m excited to get to our house in Mexico and also sad to leave our house here. I think we also would’ve been overwhelmed by our choices had we not instantly agreed this house was the one (and our second choice was great, too). Actually, I liked almost all of the houses we saw!

  2. Kelly says:

    Kudos to you for all that you accomplished. House hunting is hard enough on your own, let alone with kids. Congratulations on your new place. Sounds wonderful!

  3. Julie at FuninFairfaxVa says:

    I’m so glad you found your dream house on day 1. Even though you went ahead and spent another day house hunting, it’s good that a little of the pressure was off. I can’t imagine doing such a high-stress activity in a foreign country with little ones in tow. Glad you got through it all and came away with the perfect new home (and good call on the candy). Hope the move goes smoothly!

  4. Donné says:

    Hi Natalie,
    How are you? My husband and I are thinking of spending an extended stay (extended in travel terms, i.e 2 months) in Mexico City towards the end of the year. We’ve heard that even though Airbnb is more expensive, you can at least be sure that you won’t run into any issues of getting back a deposit. Have you heard of people struggling to get a deposit back from a rental?

    Many thanks

    • Natalie says:

      Hola Donné, I haven’t heard of issues like that from friends who have used Airbnb. However, there is an entire site devoted to Airbnb issues called http://www.airbnbhell.com/ and I did a search for security deposits. There are some stories about that issue. I’d thoroughly read through Airbnb’s policy, independent reviews about Airbnb, and so forth before booking. There are now many sites for booking stays and it is worth researching those. Nomadic Matt recommends Wimdu and Roomorama, so those are also worth researching. Thanks for your comment and happy travels!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.