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Moving to Puerto Morelos? Here are 10 Things to Do Before Leaving Home

Date: September 26, 2021

So you’re moving to Puerto Morelos, now what?

First of all – don’t freak out! Moving to Puerto Morelos is an adventure, and if you do your homework up front, you’re going to be just fine. We promise.

Although it can seem overwhelming to move to a new country, it’s just like any other big project – cut the steps into bite sized pieces and soon you’ll have it done. It’s impossible to control all the variables and some things may not go the way you planned, but keep in mind the big picture – you’re on your way to making your dream come true. That’s something to celebrate!

Whether you are moving to Puerto Morelos full time, or just planning an extended visit, taking care of these 10 things before you leave home, will help assure that your arrival in Mexico is smooth and as stress free as possible. Check out the video below and/or read on!

Here are 10 Things to Do Before Moving to Puerto Morelos:

1. MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR MAIL

Mexico is a wonderful country with many modern conveniences, but a regular, reliable postal service is not one of them. There is a postal service, but it’s notoriously unreliable and there’s no mail delivery in Puerto Morelos. There is a post office somewhere in the Colonia, but good luck finding it, finding it open and finding mail inside of it. SO, you’ve got to figure out how to handle mail before you come.

Try to go paperless as much as possible. Advise friends and family that you aren’t able to receive regular mail. If there’s something they need to send to you, they will need to FedEx, DHL or UPS it. Consider a virtual mailbox or forwarding service. Then you’ll have an address in your country, someone will open your mail, scan it and send it to you and you can decide what to do with it. Here’s some services that might interest you: https://www.reviano.com/blog/best-virtual-mailbox-service.html

2. MAKE SURE YOU CAN EASILY ACCESS YOUR MONEY

Before your move to Puerto Morelos, you’re going to want to review your banking situation. If you’re going to keep a bank account in the USA or Canada, make sure they aren’t charging expensive international transaction fees when you use an ATM or debit card in Mexico. If your bank charges those, consider some other options. Charles Schwab is a popular option for US expats (no fees), and PayPal offers a Debit Card with no fees. Also – make sure you notify your bank and credit card companies that you’ll be in Mexico. If you decide to open up a local bank account, familiarize yourself with the options in Puerto Morelos – Ci Banco and BBVA Bancomer.

3. APPLY FOR A RESIDENT VISA

You can stay in Mexico for 180 days when you enter on a tourist visa. If you want to stay longer, you’ll need a temporary or permanent resident visa, which you must apply for OUTSIDE OF MEXICO at a Mexican consulate.

If you’re planning a move here, you’re going to want at least a temporary resident visa. Especially since the government is cracking down on folks staying 6 months then going out of the country and coming back in right away just to get 6 more months on their visa. For more information, please see our YouTube video featuring Milly Arceo with Legally in Mexico

4. GET HEALTH INSURANCE

Whether you are visiting long term or moving to Puerto Morelos full time, you’re going to want some kind of health insurance. While medical expenses are generally very affordable here, if you need to be hospitalized it can add up in a hurry! Consider trip insurance in the short term and look into policies offered in Mexico or several companies have global insurance, so you’re covered wherever you are. Here’s some recent info – https://www.mexperience.com/health-and-medical-insurance-options-for-mexico/

5. FIGURE OUT YOUR PHONE SITUATION

Will you continue using your mobile service when you arrive to Mexico? Be sure to check with your service provider that you can travel abroad and still use your mobile devices without worry. If not, there are many ways to obtain a Mexican phone number and service. OH, and don’t forget to download WhatsApp – its a free international call & text service that uses your existing number. EVERYONE uses it, be sure to have it before you leave for your new adventure! Here’s an article on the best cell phone plans for international calling/data – https://www.valuepenguin.com/travel/best-international-phone-plans

6. GATHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

You may need items like birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, power of attorney or corporate documents notarized, certified and/or authenticated via Apostille or another authentication process. Authentication is required if you want the Mexican government to treat a particular document as an official document.

This can come into play when purchasing property, selling property, getting married or trying to get government health insurance. This can be done after you move, but is probably much simpler to do prior to leaving the country. Here’s some general information on Apostille – https://www.internationalapostille.com/what-is-an-apostille/

7. MAKE A PLAN TO BRING YOUR PETS

Don’t leave your furry family members behind! Moving your pets to Mexico has become a simpler process (thank goodness!) but the rules do seem to change frequently. Here’s a link to some info on that – https://www.expat.com/en/guide/north-america/mexico/10745-traveling-to-mexico-with-your-pet.html

Two things to keep in mind – only dogs and cats are considered pets. For other animals, make sure you do your research on how to get them into the country. Also, many airlines have restrictions on the time of year that animals can fly in cargo. You’ll need to figure out when the best time is to fly with your pets if that’s how you plan to get them here.

8. DOWNSIZE & RESEARCH OPTIONS FOR MOVING YOUR STUFF

Downsize as much as possible – you don’t need to move everything and you don’t want to! It can be expensive and complicated to get your belongings here. Take some time to figure out what you can live without before you start packing. Remember that you can’t just ship items to yourself (wouldn’t that be nice!) every package arriving in Mexico will be opened and they will place a duty tax on your items.

If you are moving to Puerto Morelos, there is an exemption from the duty tax for household goods. Familiarize yourself with it and be aware that, if you are going to hire movers or ship via container ship, you’ll also need a customs broker. Also – pro tip – you would be amazed at what you can check at luggage on flights. Consider that as an option even for bigger items.

Here’s an article on all this – https://yucatanmagazine.com/to-import-or-not-to-import-your-stuff-to-mexico-that-is-the-question/#:~:text=This%20includes%20furniture%2C%20linen%2C%20books,point%20of%20entry%20into%20Mexico.

9. THINK ABOUT TRANSPORTATION

Between taxis and public van transport, you can get around town very easily in Puerto Morelos. Biking and walking our small town is also doable, but if you’re going to be here for any length of time, you’ll probably want to have a vehicle. Bringing your US/Canadian plated car can be an option – but research it carefully. I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Buying new or used cars is pretty simple here. Just be aware that there’s no financing unless you’ve established credit in Mexico – you’ll pay cash or put it on a credit card.

10. LEARN A LITTLE SPANISH

It’s pretty easy to get by without any Spanish in Puerto Morelos. But your life is going to be so much easier (and your experiences here will be so much richer) if you are able to speak a bit of Spanish. Consider taking a class in person or online, download DuoLingo or any one of the language apps. Familiarize yourself with google translate (make sure you’ve got it on your phone) and get ready to have the time of your life!

Watch this video!

In this installment of Moving to Mexico Monday, we discussed how to ensure a seamless process when moving to Puerto Morelos, and got tips from folks who have already made the move.

Who are we?

Run Away Realty is a boutique-style brokerage located in the heart of Puerto Morelos, Mexico. We live and work in Puerto Morelos and are passionate about helping others discover how special our community is!  We strive to provide a hassle free real estate experience and to take the mystery out of buying in Mexico.

If you’re thinking of buying, we are ready to help you understand Puerto Morelos real estate!  A great place to start is our FAQ page – or  just give us a call or shoot us an email to find out more! For even more info consider joining one of our Moving to Mexico Zoom meetings, and subscribe to our Run Away Realty YouTube Channel.

If you would like to know more about Run Away Realty, and see what our clients have to say about working with us, please click HERE!

Saludos!

Kim & Gabriel

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