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Apartment Hunting in the Purple Line & Magdalena Contraeras of Mexico City

Published December 29, 2022 in Mexico - 0 Comments

Starting a few odd weeks ago, I began apartment hunting in Mexico City.

I always document my time apartment hunting again and again down here because I go for areas not many gringos check out and I imagine it can help some of you get an idea of what you'll find in the market in other spots that aren't Roma Norte and Condesa.

You can find my other articles by typing in "apartment hunting" in the search engine of this website.

On this occasion, I was apartment hunting in basically all over the city with these specific areas on my radar:

1. Anywhere close to the airport and/or along the purple metro line.

2. Magdalena Contreras

3. Tlalpan

4. Cuautepec north of Indios Verdes

5. Tepito

For all of these areas, keep in mind that I was posting in Facebook groups asking if anyone has a room to rent.

Facebook groups that had anything to do with these areas and not just those that are for renting out rooms.

In fact, I posted easily over 100 comments in all the groups I am part of every few days until Facebook suspended me from messaging in groups until December 16 as you can see here.

Fucking Mark Zuckenberg.

But did I have any luck with these groups?

At first around early December, I was not at all. To the point I thought I would have to move into a hotel when my time in Milpa Alta was finished. I actually stayed 4 days past my second month there still looking for a place.

It was only after December 16 that I had REAL luck finding something.

For Tlalpan, keep in mind though that I basically gave up on looking for an apartment in that area. 

I didn't try too hard but it wasn't difficult.

While posting in groups for Tlalpan though, Facebook recommended a group for Magdalena Contreras and I posted one comment in it while not thinking it would lead to much.

I was wrong and got a shit ton of people offering me their rooms.

To the point that I did more research on the borough and decided to throw away the idea of living in Tlalpan for Magdalena Contreras.

Mostly because most of my options for Tlalpan were for either the "original towns" of the are and I lost interest in living in them after living in Milpa Alta now and also the options in Magdalenas looked nice.

For Tepito, I didn't find one god damn place that looked good except for one option but we'll get to it in a second.

For Cuautepec, I did find some options but all of them were not furnished except for 2 and 1 of them that I did find furnished had a landlord who wouldn't rent to me because I'm a foreigner and he doesn't rent to people he thinks will only stay for a short period.

While he's right I wasn't planning on living in Cuautepec for an entire year, it also just shows the ignorance of Mexicans to think I'm a tourist who will just be around for a week or shit.

A lot of them, as I mentioned in other articles like this one here, can't seem to comprehend that we live here and aren't showing up necessarily for a short period to then just go back home.

Especially in areas with no gringos like Cuautepec.

For Cuautepec anyhow, I did find 2 other options but only one of them was furnished.

That other furnished option was up in Malacates which is the northern most neighborhood of Mexico City. I thought it'd be kinda cool to live in literally the northernmost neighborhood but the place got taken before I finished my time in Milpa Alta.

By the end of my apartment hunting anyhow, I did have just one last option in la Brecha of Cuautepec but it wasn't furnished. Did have utilities though so I kept it as a possibility since I could've just bought a cheap bed to throw in there myself.

Ultimately though, my options came down to Magdalena Contreras and the Purple Line Zones.

Let's get to some of those options and some side options also in other areas.

No Questions on the Bed!

Before we get to those two specific zones, let's address one thing I noticed.

Which is that, for Cuautepec and Tepito specifically, landlords in those 2 areas of Mexico City REALLY HATE it when you ask "if this place has a bed? or "is it furnished?"

These are questions that drive them up the fucking wall.

They take it really personally.

Even one dude on Twitter asked me -- as you can see here -- about why they hate these questions.

I have 2 theories based on my interactions:

First, some see it as a ridiculous question because, for the price, why would it have a bed?

Similar to walking into a McDonalds and asking if they have any Argentine steaks.

Just something that obviously they wouldn't have.

But I don't think asking "if they have a bed" is unreasonable in these circumstances.

When I was living in Milpa Alta while apartment hunting, I was living in a room that was completely furnished for just 50 bucks a month.

I've seen in Cuautepec also rooms with a bed rented out at around 60 to 90 bucks a month also.

After a few months of apartment hunting in Cuautepec, I have a more solid idea of what the rental market is like there.

So if someone is renting out a room for 1400 pesos (70 bucks), it's not unreasonable to ask if they have a bed.

They most likely don't as most rooms don't have a bed in that area but it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask if they have one as some places for that price do include it.

Second, the other theory I have is that there's some deep insecurity that comes with the question.

Because now they have to answer "no, there isn't a bed" which is, in their mind, an indirect way to confess that "no, it's such a shithole and I'm too poor to furnish it that it doesn't have a bed."

I'm convinced this is an accurate psychological description of what is going on because some Mexican landlords called me "muerto de hambre" when I asked if it has a bed.

Which is basically a Mexican insult to imply you don't have enough money to even eat.

Or, in other words as it relates to this situation, just a projection of their own insecurity for being a broke ass bitch that can't furnish a room and being confronted by someone who is looking and able to pay more money for a nicer option than what they can offer.

Over enough time in Mexico, you realize that a lot of Mexicans are EXTREMELY insecure about their financial situation and it's honestly one of the easiest ways to trigger a Mexican is by somehow suggesting they are poor.

You also  have to walk on eggshells with them sometimes so as to not accidentally piss them off with their insecurity complex.

Like how you must add the question about their place having a bed or not.

You could ask "tiene cama?"

But, like I said, that might piss them off.

I find the easiest question to ask with the least risk of triggering a faggot Mexican is to ask "tiene fotos?"

Which, when apartment hunting in real shitholes like Cuautepec, you'll find that a lot less landlords have photos than when apartment hunting in areas that have a rental market for foreigners and/or a lot of students (like by Metro CU).

And a lot of those landlords will be too lazy to take photos and tell you no or they claim to have photos but don't have an IQ higher than someone with down syndrome to realize that I am asking for photos and not asking if they have photos.

To which they'll just tell you "si" but not respond with photos.

The down syndrome is real with these people.

But, as I went through this period of figuring out the best way to ask if they have a bed, I have decided now that it's not really that bad either to ask "tiene cama?"

Because I think, in a certain way, it's a good question to ask similar to the one about photos because it reveals something deeper.

Basically as a test:

If your potential landlord is too lazy to send photos, he won't be a good landlord for addressing issues with the place if they come up.

If your landlord is too easily triggered into bitching at you for asking if the place has a bed, he probably will get angry about other things quite easily.

In fact, on the last point, I imagine your existence as a white American -- who naturally has more money than his broke Mexican ass living in the ghetto -- would piss him off even more because your presence is a reflection of how he's a broke ass motherfucker.

So I imagine this character who gets bitchy at the question about the bed probably would as much of a faggot at simply seeing you show up.

Like this dude here from Tepito -- my only option I found in Tepito that initially looked good despite many days searching -- getting pissed off at me asking the infamous "tiene cama?" question.

So go ahead and ask if it has a bed!

It's probably a good way to filter out landlords who act like insecure faggots over every little thing.

Let's move away from Cuautepec and Tepito now and into the areas I had more luck with.

The Latina Mami of Magdalena Contreras

On a more positive note, I did find a woman who was quite nice with me.

She's a gal in Magdalena Contreras that happened to have a room owned by her uncle.

However, after asking me where I'm from in Facebook Messenger, she offered me her Whatsapp and a room for free when realizing I'm from the US.

Yes. That's right. A free room.

Here you can see bits of the conversation.

As you can see, she even called me "bb."

Or baby.

A little bit flirtatious, no?

I did absolutely nothing to flirt with her or give off any sexual vibes.

But, once she realized I'm from the US, her attitude changed from business "we got a room" to "oh baby, come live with me for free."

She'd even message me days after asking when I'm showing up.

Even after I already moved into my current apartment as you can see here.

She wants me to move in.


I've been flirting with her back since then anyhow calling her "bb" also.

But she hasn't sent any nudes.

Now, to be fair, I'm not actually keen on fucking her.

She seems a little bit overweight based on her photos, could pass as someone in her 40s and she lives in Magdalena Contreras where, based on where I live right now, would be a pain in the ass to get to.

But it was fun to entertain what her intentions were.

To fuck? Steal my kidneys? Steal all my shit?

Well, I let the jury decide on Twitter as you can see here.

Some think I should go fuck her brains out (despite not knowing that she's kinda ugly) and others thinking it's a scam.

I did look at her Facebook anyhow and did see some suggestive photos of her with other men that look like they could be the age of her son.

So, in all seriousness, maybe she is looking for a young fresh cock?

Wouldn't blame her much, can we?

After all, it's well known within scientific literature that Mexican women can't control themselves at the sight of an AMERICAN COCK.

All its glory in 19 inches.

What Mexican woman wouldn't get WET AS FUCK over that when all their local men (if you can call them that) only have a pitiful 4 inches to offer?

It's well known throughout history that we Americans offer what the little Mexicans can't to their own women.

How else did we conquer Texas and California?


Anyway, I let her be after that and moved onto to some more apartment hunting.

Apartment Hunting of Magdalena Contreras

Let me give you here a very brief impression I've had with apartment hunting in Magdalena Contreras outside of Mexican mamis looking for GRINGO COCK.

For one, I've only been there briefly once.

I just happened to be in the area looking for a park and I did stumble into Magdalenas and the area I visited looked kinda nice actually and very suitable to live in for gringos who don't wish to live in shitholes or rural looking areas.

However, that's only one very specific part of Magdalena Contreras that is on the northern end.

I haven't been anywhere else in that region but, based on the Google street views of the countless options thrown at me over the last month, a lot of the area does look more rural in the southern bit.

Perhaps not as rural as Milpa Alta though.

But relatively green with some mountains too.

Plenty of hiking like by Los Dinamos for example.

And, like I said, no shortage of rooms for rent and, unlike Cuautepec, it isn't terribly difficult to find a "move in ready" room with a bed and utilities included.

When it comes time for moving to this area of Mexico City (southwest), there's a very good chance I'll move here or to Santa Fe.

I think both options are more promising than what I saw in Tlalpan.

When it comes to rent anyhow, a lot of rooms offered to me were in the southern bit of Magdalena and were somewhere in the 1700 to 3500 range (85 to 175 bucks).

With most options actually being somewhere in the low 2000 peso range.

So fairly cheap.

Even in the northern bits of Magdalena, it wasn't too expensive.

There was one option in particular that -- if I wasn't able to move to somewhere along the purple lines -- I would've moved there

Here's pictures of it and it was about 3000 pesos (150 USD) and in the nicer area of Magdalena Contreras.

Room itself was pretty basic though.

But let's get now to the Purple Line Zone.

Apartment Hunting in the Purple Line Zone

I imagine some of my readers are not familiar with Mexico City and don't know what I mean by "the purple line zone."

Here's a picture of the metro (train) line of Mexico City to show what I mean.

For well over a year now (if not 2 years), I've consistently tried to find some room for rent SOMEWHERE close to any of the metro stations along this line.

The main reason is that I'm not very familiar with the Central East portion of Mexico City nor am I at all familiar with the Mexican city of Neza that happens to be very close to that.

So I wanted to move to an area that makes traveling to anything around here easier.

There was also a specific neighborhood that always caught my attention for its history and architecture known as La Federal that, while not along the purple line, is right next to the airport and very close to Metro Pantitlan anyhow.

So what was my experience like?

First, I wasn't able to find a single option anywhere in Pantitlan Oriental or Agricola Oriental neighborhoods.

They were areas I've consistently looked at when apartment hunting around or close to this area.

Before, I would usually find some option here and there.

You'll find that furnished rooms seem to go for around 2000 to 4000 pesos with those on the higher end of that being in nice, recently developed buildings with their own security.

While apartment hunting this time, I tried to make it a goal to finally cross this fucking area off my list of places to see as it's always been so tricky to find something that works as I've written in other articles like this one here for example.

So I expanded my search beyond Pantitlan Oriental/Agricola Oriental and went for anywhere along the purple line or in Colonia la Federal.

Along the purple line, that meant the following areas that either had a metro station of the purple line within walking distance, happened to be in Neza or happened to be near a cablebus station of Iztapalapa that could take me to the purple line (like to Metro Santa Martha).

The areas then included: Colonia Federal, Tepalcates, Juarez Pantitlan and broader Neza city, Santa Martha Acatitla, Santiago Acahualtepec, anywhere close to La Paz Metro station, Xalpa, San Miguel Teotongo, Miguel de la Madrid, Lomas de la Estancia and Ixtlahuacan. 

Which, as a quick side note, I actually found Colonia Tepalcates to be WAY more fruitful at first than Agricola Oriental or Pantitlan Oriental but I still overlooked the options there for reasons.

Out of those areas, I had a preference for Colonia Federal and San Miguel Teotongo because I had been to San Miguel Teotongo and actually kinda liked it (reminded me of Pedregal de Santo Domingo of Coyoacan).

The price for rooms with all of those areas put together can vary anyhow from say 800 to 3000 pesos (40 to 150 bucks).

Obviously, the cheaper the room the less likely it would be to be furnished.

Though I didn't find people from these areas to get pissed if I asked the dreaded "tiene cama?" question.

They'd just say no.

And almost all of them said no.

Especially those in the "cablebus areas" of Iztapalapa that can take you to the purple line easily.

They don't furnish their rooms very much.

However, like in other areas of Mexico City, I did find again some landlords to be surprised when they realized I'm from the US looking for a room in their area like you can see with this one example among others here.

Literally the first foreigner since Christopher Columbus to show up.  

In Neza, I did find a handful of options that are more expensive than the cablebus options.

The cablebus options were the areas that had rooms as low as 40 bucks but the options in Neza would go as high as 150 and they'd more likely be furnished.

Even found one room in Neza that happened to be right on the line separating Neza from Mexico City that I quite liked and was close to picking but it got taken before I could move.

Was for 3000 pesos anyhow.

You can see it here.

Ultimately, I found 2 options in Colonia La Federal that looked satisfactory.

One that was renting out for 3000 pesos and the other for 4000.

Let's get to it.

The Autist Mexican Landlord of La Federal

At first, I wasn't thinking of traveling from Milpa Alta to Colonia La Federal because the distance is too fucking far and there's no metro station to take me up there.

Not even a cablebus station to and from Milpa Alta.

However, on one of my last days in Milpa Alta, I had plans to do some tourism bus service they have but they rescheduled my trip for the following day.

So I had nothing going on that day and decided to go up north to visit these 2 options.

And also was curious to see how long it would take to get to the rest of the city from Milpa Alta by public transportation.

In short, it took literally 4 fucking hours to get to La Federal from Milpa Alta and another 4 fucking hours to return to Milpa Alta.

Left my house at 2 PM and didn't get home until almost midnight.

What the fuck.

I'll be honest in saying I never believed people when they would say "it takes 3 hours to get from some parts of Mexico City to the other."

But that was always because I took the metro everywhere religiously and the metro gets you anyhow in about 40 to 55 minutes at most (assuming the metro doesn't fuck up too much which I know is a heavy hope these days).

Anyway, I have to eat my own words.

I was wrong.

It is possible to actually live in a part of this city and take 4 fucking hours to get somewhere else.

What the fuck.

I'm still enraged by how shit the public transportation was without the metro that day that I'll probably write an article about it.

Anyway, I got there obviously from Milpa Alta to La Federal.

Once I did, I checked out the 3000 option first.

You can see a picture of the building I was looking for here.

However, once I got there, I found the landlord lied to me and it was actually the building on the next street over.

We got inside.

And I immediately checked out the room.

The landlord, from the start, seemed like a social autist.

Very socially awkward person.

He was literally that meme of a man (without exaggeration) that is looking his head towards the floor while walking.

While just having weird mannerisms.

Something off about the guy.

Once I got into the room anyhow, it didn't seem bad.

It had a little space in another room that I could place my shit and, after living in that one room in Iztapalapa that I wrote about here, I obviously checked to make sure there were no holes in this room that would let in mice.

There were not.

That other room also had a hot plate but was told it doesn't work.

Almost like a cocktease. We have something you can use to cook with it doesn't work. Haha! Haha!

I didn't mind that too much though (though having to live another month without warming up tea would've pissed me off as my place in Milpa Alta didn't even have a kitchen).

Anyway, I asked to check the bed because I don't like sleeping somewhere anymore unless I do.

Ever since I found bedbugs in an old apartment of Centro Historico years ago that I wrote about here, I just always check the bed now.

Some landlords, as I wrote about before, find that offensive that my first world ass wants to check the bed and others are cool with it.

Part of me wonders though how much being a white guy from the US adds to the insult that I want to check the bed.

Because, as I wrote here and mentioned before, a lot of Mexicans have an inferiority complex as they relate themselves to us and read anything we say as SOMEHOW being a slight against them and their third world status.

Like motherfucker I just want to check the goddamn bed. I would do the same thing if I was in apartment hunting in Iowa.

Once you have bed bugs once, you never forget it.

Has nothing to do with you being Mexican nor am I implying that being Mexican means it has bed bugs. Stop being an insecure faggot.

But this dude could not help but be an insecure faggot.

An insecure faggot was his way of being.

His natural state.

And he took it quite offensively that I wanted to check the bed.

Even told me that "the bed will get damaged if you lift it up."

My hands were already on the bed about to lift it up when he said that and I looked up at him and then towards the window thinking...

"How the fuck do you damage a bed by lifting it up? What is this a fucking Mona Lisa painting?"

I lifted it up anyway.

He made some noise.

I looked.

No bedbugs on the bottom.

Though I didn't take off the sheets to check the top because it seemed my checking the bed ruined this encounter.

He looked red in the face even. Motherfucker wasn't having a temper tantrum nor saying nothing else but you could see he was offended or mad.

We walked out of the bedroom anyhow.

The bathroom was next door.

I open it out of curiosity and see one of those electric showers you hear about.

Which was the last straw for the place. I've never used them before but I don't want to get shocked.

Though, even without an electric shower or any tea available if I lived there, I imagine my "breaking his bed" also broke the deal between us.

He told me that "he has someone else coming to see the place and I have to leave."

So I left.

Despite being there for all less than 5 minutes.

And he immediately shuts the door behind me.

We haven't been in touch since.

Here's photos of the place anyhow.

The Private Community of La Federal

By this point, I had one other landlord to check up on.

The 4000 option.

She was only available at 7 PM though and it was a little over 6 PM by the time I finished the room of the Autistic Mexican landlord.

So I went to get some dinner to pass the time before checking up on the other place that was only a few street away.

In my initial impression of walking through La Federal or at least the few streets I walked onto, I couldn't find any street food options (not one) and very few businesses selling food.

There was one option across the street of the Autistic Mexican that was selling tortas and hamburgers but no tortas that day. So I walked.

Next to them, there was a store selling chips, drinks, etc.

I walk in to buy some Fuze Tea and the dude at the counter was a rude asshole.

Some old man who, after giving a 20 peso bill for the 17 peso purchase, barked at me saying "se cuesta 17."

I looked at the 20 peso bill and said "si, aqui son 20."

Is this dude blind? He can't see a 20 for what a 20 is?

Between this dude and the Autistic Mexican, my first impressions of Federal were that everyone here must be some socially stunted, rude motherfucker.

Anyway, I bought my tea. Found a restaurant that made good enchiladas as you can see here.

Then  I made my way over to the next building at around 7 PM.

Once there, the female landlord -- who looked like a direct descendent of the Spaniards (one of those upper class middle aged white Mexican ladies -- was waiting for me at the gate.

She seemed nice.

Showed me the place.

Didn't get offended at me wanting to check the bed nor the Wifi to see if it'd be good for working online.

It was.

The apartment building itself is actually quite nice.

Has its own private security. Has a real gym included. It actually has a real kitchen and not just some hot plate. It's a bit more modern and not some dungeon looking place. The bed is actually the most comfortable I've had in a while. Hot water in the shower. Etc. 

Sure, it has the sound of an airplane flying every hour.

Including right now as I type that.

But that doesn't bother me at all. It's not distracting.

So, above all, I quite liked the place.

And, with a lot of luck, nobody stole the place before I moved in the following day.

Final Thoughts

So it came down to basically that one option in the nicer part of Magdalena Contreras or the 4000 option with the non-autistic landlord in La Federal.

Given that Magdalena Contreras proved to be very easy to find decent options in and that La Federal and the broader "Purple Line Zone" have been places that have taken me a year and more to find anything in, I obviously went with La Federal option.

I'm not worried about finding an option by Magdalena Contreras another day. Looks to be a walk in the park.

And I quite like the building I'm in anyhow.

Has all the benefits I mentioned before and doesn't seem to be too hot inside either.

Which is nice because, as I wrote here, it's quite often I find apartments in Mexico City that are hot as fuck inside.

I've had that bad experience before.

And it also offers a decent view from the window.

One thing I will say also is that -- from the walk back to my old apartment in Milpa Alta -- I was stunned to see an airplane so close to the ground as I was getting back to Metro Hangares.

Obviously, with a name like "metro Hangares," why the fuck would I be surprised?

Especially with the airport literally being a stone throw away.

But I guess I just wasn't thinking like that and hadn't seen an airplane so close to the ground as it flew over me as you can see here.

Anyway, that's all I got to say with a quick of the apartment community I am living in right now. 

That's another episode of "apartment hunting in obscure areas of Mexico City."

If you got anything to add, drop a comment below.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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