Finding accommodation in Guadalajara is nowhere near as difficult as it is for many major cities, but you should still be proactive about finding a place. There is a huge diversity in the quality of rooms, size, location and price, so it pays dividends to spend a couple months researching different apartments and getting a feel for the market. All in all, however, the rooms (and cost of living in general) are pretty cheap to compared virtually every city in Europe.
There are a few different avenues you can explore to successfully find a flat in Guadalajara, or Mexico in general:
Ask locals for help - If you have any friends in the area, that’s a great starting point. Many apartments in the city will be allocated on word of mouth, so if you can spread the word that you’re looking for a place, you can boost your chances. If you don’t know anyone, consider walking into local restaurants or hostels and chancing your arm - it can’t hurt.
Use the internet - The answer to almost everything can be found online today, and apartments in Guadalajara are no exception. Just google "guadalajara apartments for rent" and you’ll find a load of results. Even better, search in Spanish - few listing will be in English, and they may be targeting tourists and charging above-average rates.
The Housing Anywhere Guadalajara search could help. We connect with tenants and landlords in the city to find individual rooms (inside already-furnished apartments) or whole flats which you can rent out. With these, you can book as soon as they are put online, so you may be able to sort a flat months before you have to leave, which removes a big burden.
Estate agents - Estate agents who find apartments on your behalf are still quite popular in Mexico. They tend to work in a very local area, so it’s worth investigating any parts of the city you might like to live in before approaching one. Make sure their fee is success-based, as you don’t want to get charged and still end up homeless.
Use Facebook to find flatmates - We operate two separate Facebook groups to help you find accommodation in Guadalajara. Our Student Housing and Exchange group is for any students looking to rent a place, generally near your university. The other group (with over 120,000 members) is for anyone looking to arrange accommodation in Guadalajara Metropolitan Area. Check them out and see if you can find some like-minded people to share your new home with!
While you hopefully won’t experience any problems with crime or violence during your stay, there are certainly safer places to live than others in every Mexican city. Living in an apartment block, with a secure gate and a few doors between the street and your possessions, for example, might be safer than living in a house down a side street. Keep your wits about you and always check the location before agreeing to take on a rental.
It should go without saying that you always need to have a contract - otherwise, you could be hit with all sorts of fines, or be stuck in an awful apartment with no way to dispute. Check the length of the tenancy (it’s usually 6 or 12 months, though you may be able to negotiate) and other factors, like the amount of notice which must be served. While the majority of people are honest, you should never skim a contract in a country you don’t know well, or where you don’t speak the language.
If you’re renting a room inside a shared apartment in Mexico, you can expect to pay anywhere from €150-350 per month, though it’s usually easy to find a place under €350. As a rule, I would assume the rental price does not include any utility bills or internet, and these could add about €100 per month for the entire flat. If you live with four people, this shouldn’t be much at all compared to your rent.
Furnished rooms are the most expensive, but location is the other main driver. If you see a nice-looking place which is dirt cheap, investigate the area before moving forward - no sense getting a cool apartment if you’re miles from uni or in a scary part of town. Similarly, you might see an average place for €300-400 a month, but the location is probably excellent.