Do you own property in Mexico and want to know how to double the value of your property RIGHT NOW?!?
It’s a simple trick that renters HATE.
Do what I’m about to suggest and you’ll be gentrifying Mexican neighborhoods in no time.
Soon enough, all of the kids who bullied you in your Mexican high school will be forced to move to shithole areas like Tepito or Neza because they won’t be able to afford the new rental prices.
So how do you double the price of your rental property in Mexico then?
Let’s say you are renting out what is basically a room with a kitchen and a hotplate to cook somewhere in the corner.
Basically just a room no?
That’s loser talk.
If you think that’s ONLY just a room, then you’re a fool leaving money on the table.
If you can imagine your room to be something else, then it becomes something else.
Think it into existence.
No longer is that room you are renting out just a room.
It is a LOFT.
With this on simple trick in marketing by simply renaming the room you are renting as a LOFT, you can easily double the price that you are asking for.
Now, keep in mind, this trick primarily works in fancier neighborhoods that have a lot of foreigners and upper class Mexicans, known as fifis, who like to remind everyone how “tHeY sPeAk EnGliSh!!!1!!11!1!!”
Neighborhoods such as Polanco, Roma Norte, Condesa, etc.
Not as effective in Pedregal de Santo Domingo or Gustavo A. Madero.
Give it about 10 years when the foreigners and upper class Mexicans reinvent some of those neighborhoods and you might be able to brand your rentals as “lofts” over there.
But in the areas where it does work like Polanco or Condesa?
Guaranteed method to increase the price that you can ask for.
Plenty of landlords apply this simple trick!
Don’t believe me?
Let’s look at some interesting examples.
The Loft Imagined into Existence
Here’s something to look at to help us understand what I mean.
You have this
room advertised as a “tipo loft” on Facebook for those looking for a place in Mexico City.
As you can see, over 200 people found it funny.
“Your laughing, you’re laughing!”
Joker Murray scene
The landlord’s response to the laughing?
“Funny? Funny how? Like I’m a clown? I’m here to fucking amuse you. Funny how?”
Goodfellas How Am I Funny scene
Before we dig into this, I'd just like to say that I find it weird that the apartment is listed as being on Reforma in the description but also, at the same time, is listed as being in "Iztapalapa."
Two very different areas.
Regardless, for those who don’t know what’s funny, keep in mind the high price offered at 9,950 MXN (not counting services) and then check out the photos of the place here.
Now, to be fair, it’s not the worst offer on the planet.
It’s located on Reforma so it’s actually somewhat of an attractive location in my opinion.
And the landlord, as you can see in the description, isn’t very demanding when it comes to requirements to live there.
Still, it has some issues.
As you can see in the photo of the building, it’s quite old looking and, given it’s location, would be more vulnerable to earthquakes as that part of Mexico City tends to be.
An old building and how bad earthquakes can be in that location? Not so ideal.
Then you have the
room loft itself where it literally is just a room with a kitchen to the side and the kitchen and living room merged in with the bedroom.
It reminds me a lot of my place by Copilco area that was like a third of what this dude is asking and was basically the same thing he is offering.
Of course, Reforma is a nicer location but 3 times the price nicer?
You be the judge.
And, regardless of what you think, plenty of others do not think that it is a fair price.
As you can see here, plenty of people disagree on the use of the word “loft.”
They even provide examples and a dictionary definition of what loft means apparently!
Does the room in question way above look the same as the photos of what a loft is in the photos provided in the comments?
And, as you can see in those comments above, some consider the price to be basically theft.
Outrageously expensive for what it offers.
Are they right?
Well, as you can see in the last screenshot, some folks can be outrageously unrealistic in terms of what they think the value of this “loft” should be.
Really? 5000 a most? In that area of Mexico City?
Not likely in my opinion.
I’ve lived in a few spots in that area and have known chicks I’ve dated who have lived in or around that area like Roma Norte nearby.
The price of 5000 gets you a small room with maybe your own bathroom.
But with a kitchen that you’ll have to share.
You could argue comments like that one are more symbolic of how you’ll sometimes see a large group of Mexicans bitching in the comment sections of more expensive apartments offered due to the price alone.
Regardless of if the price is fair or not, I think it’s a fair point that some bring up that some of these folks are just envious that they can’t afford something nicer with their low income.
And, truth be told, all of this is probably symbolic of something greater – income inequality in Mexico and how rising rents don’t match well with the incomes offered at most jobs.
Still, the landlords have to make a profit to offer their units.
But, having said all of that, I will agree that the “loft” in question is a tiny bit overpriced compared to a few other places I’ve seen offered in the area over the years here.
With services factored in, I guess maybe the total price would be 11,500 or something around that ballpark?
I’ve never rented out a place without services included already in the price over the years here so that’s just a guess.
With that price in mind, I’d say a fairer price would maybe be somewhere between 9,000 to 10,000 at most given it’s location on Reforma Avenue being relatively close to the Angel of Independence Statue.
Still, it’s not the only place on the Facebook Marketplace where landlords try to market what is basically a room as a loft.
Here’s another example of a “loft.”
If you want any more examples, literally just join any Facebook rental group for Mexico City and type in the word “loft” in the search results like you can see here.
Here’s the comments in reaction to that last “loft.”
As you can see, plenty of people still find it annoying when folks advertise their places as “lofts” when they technically are not.
Though, to be fair, from what I've seen online, there's also plenty of tenants who have adopted the word also.
Regardless, why do landlords advertise their places as lofts?
In my opinion, it’s simply to use a English word to make something sound fancier.
Fancier means higher price you can charge.
It’s not uncommon in Latin America to see this play out.
At least not in Mexico City.
As I wrote here, I found a few restaurants casually walking down Insurgentes Sur Avenue where English was used on the outside of their restaurants.
Even though the area in the question isn’t very touristy.
At least that’s how I rationalize this behavior.
Given especially all of the Latinos I’ve seen down here who get very obsessed about learning English, showing others they speak English or even associating knowledge of the English language with being “educated.”
Anyway, let’s wrap this up by summarizing the main points above.
Summary of the Main Points
First, as I said, the reaction to the prices above really are just an example of the frustration many have in Mexico when comparing the rising rent to the salaries offered.
Income inequality is getting worse and many are frustrated.
Second, having said that, sometimes Mexicans themselves can be unrealistic with what they think a place should be rented out for.
I think part of the reason for this mismatch is because a lot of Mexicans in Mexico City are not actually from Mexico City and are comparing what you get outside of Mexico City for what you get inside Mexico City.
Like how you could rent out an entire house for like 4,000 pesos in Pachuca versus the 11,000 and more pesos the one guy way above is asking for.
Not to mention what 11,000 pesos a month could get you outside of Mexico City.
Third, when it comes to Mexicans being unrealistic on what they think these places should be rented out for, I sometimes feel there’s that occasional moment where Mexicans just join together collectively to laugh at the rental units offered online as a way to somehow get the prices to be lowered.
Like you saw with that chick in the comment section above who suggested he lower it to 5,000 pesos at most.
We all know 5,000 pesos is not happening.
So if we all laugh at the dude like he’s a clown and he never gets clients, maybe he’ll feel pressure to lower the price?
Fourth, the use of the word “loft” is obviously using a bit of the English language to try to sound fancier as a marketing tool to make the place seem nicer than it is to an audience that places value in English.
That’s my opinion for why the word “loft” is used.
But, regardless of why the word “loft” is used many times over in a lot of these advertisements, the fact is that it is used as a marketing tool and is simply something that lots of landlords in Mexico City use.
Especially, as I implied before, in areas like Polanco, Roma Norte, Condesa, etc.
Not as much in Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
Though it wouldn’t surprise me if someone used the word “loft” incorrectly in that area of Mexico City either.
At least one, right?
And that goes up to the next point to mention.
Fifth, if you haven’t caught on by now, you can get much better deals outside of the touristy areas of Mexico City.
Assuming you don’t feel a need to live in those areas, why live in them?
Mexico City has A LOT of neighborhoods that are safe and have their own character.
I’m literally the champion of living in various neighborhoods outside of the touristy zone given I move around a lot and primarily choose neighborhoods like Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
Granted, I get most folks, not even most Mexicans, would not want to live in Pedregal de Santo Domingo specifically.
That might be a little bit rougher for most folks.
Though I think it’s a OK area!
Still, you got other locations that aren’t too bad like Tepeyac Insurgentes for example.
Among many others!
Sixth, as you saw in the last screenshot of the first place discussed, someone made a half joke about how “this is why he’s offering it to foreigners.”
The implication meaning that he’s looking primarily for foreigners to sell to who don’t know Mexico and would be OK with this price given that they usually (not always) have extra money in the bank account.
I can actually agree with this personally.
The landlord that is offering the first apartment shown is known somewhat for primarily trying to get foreigners and “expats” to take on his places.
In fact, given the amount of shit this dude has gotten from the Mexicans in the group, he’s even made fun of them in comments and said shit about “this is why I prefer foreigners, business people, professionals, expats.”
Actually, well over a year ago, I remember talking with this same dude once because he was offering small rooms (not advertised as lofts) in the same area.
When he realized I was a foreigner, he literally tried increasing the price with some bullshit reason.
Regardless, I think you could argue that this is an example of “possible gentrification” at work.
Landlords in select parts of Mexico City wanting foreigners and rich Mexicans to take up their places so they can increase the rent.
Especially in the context of so many of them losing out on money and potential tenants when Covid started and so many locals initially left Mexico City until it began to get flooded with foreigners soon after.
Anyway, as I argued in this recent article here, I hate it when locals stereotype all foreigners as “gentrifying” Mexico primarily because it doesn’t apply to me and I know plenty of other foreigners who don’t pay shit in rent.
Not to mention the role that plenty of upper class Mexicans play and how it's not just foreigners involved.
Having said that, while I don’t like that stereotype applied to me given it’s completely ignorant of how I live, I will agree that there is smoke behind the fire in that there are plenty of richer foreigners who contribute to that problem.
Depends on the person anyhow as not every foreigner is the same or has the same lifestyle down here.
Anyway, it’s a small detail to renting in Mexico City.
Quickly enough, you’ll notice landlords using this word “loft” to justify higher prices beyond what is realistic or fair.
Does this happen in other parts of Latin America?
Do landlords use the word “loft” incorrectly in places like Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Bogota, etc?
I have no idea.
If they do, tell me about it in the comments.
Or if they have any of their own tricks up their sleeves to increase the prices unjustifiably.
That’s all I got to say for now.
Follow my Twitter here.
And thanks for reading.