Sunday, February 6, 2022


 And, No, I Don’t Sell Real Estate

I’m just amazed that Jon and I are enjoying condo living this much. A year ago, we hadn’t even considered it.

After living for six years in a small, classic hacienda-style concrete block and stucco house with a yard in a Mexican barrio (neighborhood) of Sayulita, we decided to move to a condo in Puerto Vallarta for multiple reasons. Life in a rustic casita surrounded by friendly locals was a great experience and we’re glad for that period of our adventures. But, what a pleasant contrast our new home is!

The Tiny Kitchen in Our Sayulita Casita

There are some things we’ve missed and some things we grew weary of. Moving to a condo in the “big city” of Puerto Vallarta was a refreshing change. We feel like we’re living “high on the hog” for much less than the same lifestyle would cost in the United States—we estimate about half. Living a somewhat bohemian lifestyle in Sayulita gave us a new appreciation for some of the luxuries we had given up. Wait until you see the kitchen in our condo unit!

While some people choose to rent a home when they move to México, we believe purchasing a home is a good investment. Besides that, we don’t have to worry about a landlord evicting us or raising the rent unexpectedly. Owning our condo unit in Puerto Vallarta gives us that sense of security. And there are so many more advantages of condo living.

1.    Our New Neighborhood is Very Walkable

Puerto Vallarta Old Town Walking Map

Sidewalks, handicap accessible ramps, a funicular for the steep hill down to the beach, and a beautiful Malecón to walk along the ocean for 1.3 miles from Playa Los Muertos to the north end, make Old Town a senior-friendly area. We often walk three to five miles a day which helps keep us healthy. I’m excited about getting our urban walking sticks to begin Nordic Walking along the ocean.

2.    We Love Having a Dishwasher

Our Condo Dishwasher is an Appreciated Luxury

After living a minimalistic life in Sayulita and while traveling in a small RV, hand-washing dishes every day for years, I became skeptical that a dishwasher uses more water. So, I Googled it. Our GE Profile dishwasher in our condo uses 3.5 gallons of water per load. I’m pretty sure I used more than that to hand-wash and rinse the same number of dishes. According to its Energy Star rating, it uses 249 kWh/year, costing us only 750 pesos or about $37 USD per year in electricity! I don’t have to feel guilty about this extravagance any longer.

3.    Great Water Pressure

     In our casita, water pressure was limited to the gravity-fed stream coming from the tinaco (water-storage tank) on the second-story roof. The first thing that comes to mind is the difference this makes when taking showers. You might think that a low-flow, wimpy shower saved water, but I think I stood in the shower longer to wash and rinse myself, especially when I washed my thick hair. Better water pressure means a shorter, more satisfying shower. Yes, we’re already spoiled by the consistent steady flow in our condo showers.

     Higher water pressure also makes using a washing machine and dishwasher possible. We didn’t have either appliance in our casita as filling them with water would take too much time and electricity (water was pumped up about three stories from the underground cistern to fill the three tinacos which requires electricity). The lavandería in Sayulita used garden hoses to speed the process of filling their washing machines. What a cumbersome process!

4.    The Luxury of Having a Laundry Room

     I used to boast that one of my favorite things about living in México was having our laundry done for us. We would take our dirty laundry to the lavandería once a week and then pick it up clean, dry, and neatly folded. That was half the reason we had a golf cart. After years of that, we’re happy to do our own laundry. Plus, we were able to sell the golf cart and invest the money in our new condo.

5.    Propane On-Demand, Hot Water All the Time

SoniGass Propane Tanks are HEAVY and Awkward

     No more heavy, cumbersome propane tanks to buy, haul into the yard, and connect to the house gas line the way we did in Sayulita. Jon doesn’t have to run out into the street and flag down the SoniGas truck when he hears their distinctive recording or the neighbors’ dogs howling along to the tune. No running out of hot water halfway through a shower—Murphy’s Law ensures this would always happen when I had shampoo in my hair. No trouble browning quesadillas on the range because the propane ran out and the flame died. No worries about leaking propane lines for Jon to repair and replace.

     Where we live now, propane is provided by the condominium so we never run out. It’s another service we pay for with our HOA dues, a convenience we can now appreciate.

6.    Quieter, Especially at Night

          These are benefits I appreciate, even more than Jon does as I have an acute sense of hearing:

     No roosters crowing and dogs barking at all hours of the day and night or the sound of festivals running late into the night and early morning as was normal in the barrio.

     No need for me to use earplugs every night. The condominium’s insulation and high-quality windows and exterior doors block sounds making it relatively quiet. The condominium we chose is far enough from nightclubs that we don’t hear the bone-rattling racket of late-night partying.

     If guests become too rowdy after 11:00 PM when quiet hours start, we can call the front desk to have Security take care of the problem.

7.    Indoor Temperature is More Comfortable Year-Round

Our Cozy Condo Bedrooms Need No Heater in the Winter

     Well-insulated ceilings, floors, and walls moderate temperature fluctuations inside our condo. Exterior windows have thermopanes with good seals that minimize air leakage. 

     In the winter, I don’t need a space heater in the bedroom and three blankets covering me at night to be comfortable the way I did in the casita. This helps keep our electricity bill down—it has been even lower than our bill for our small casita which had about half the square footage, no washing machine, dishwasher, or garbage disposal. Even in San Miguel de Allende where we rented a two-bedroom home for two summer months, we had to run the heaters all night to stay warm at night. We don't tolerate the cold any longer now that we've acclimated to this beautiful tropical weather.

     We live in our condo full-time, so summer comfort is important. When the weather turns hot and humid, we run the air conditioners most of the day. Both the condo and our casita have three mini-split air conditioners, but we were sure that our larger home would be more expensive to cool in August and September. We were wrong! Our electric bills have been consistently lower since we moved into our two-bedroom, two-bath condo in July. Our energy-efficient Dual Inverter A/Cs help lower electricity use, but the real difference is better insulation in this home.

8. Few Mosquitoes and No Scorpions! (Continued HERE in Part 2)

     Have you read this book yet? Have you left a review on Amazon and Goodreads? Now might be a good time to read Lessons Learned because my new book, Living in Mexico: More Lessons Learned (Healthy Living in Mexico #5) is now available! (FREE with kindleunlimited)

           I invite you to SIGN UP for my Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter, published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books. If you’d like to take a look at my recent newsletter, you can read it HERE.



Terry L Turrell, Author


  1. Sounds amazing! We've been thinking about buying a condo in PV. Can you tell me the name of yours? I'd love to check it out! Thanks

    1. Hi Laurie,
      Thanks for reading my article and for your comment. We live at Condominiums Pinnacle. We love Puerto Vallarta!

  2. Felicidades! We had a dishwasher in our condo in Guadalajara. Look out for alkaline salts & sediment clogging the wash arms. Run a load with citric acid powder once a month or so. Should be easy to find; soap makers use it for bath bombs. Buen suerte!

    1. Hi Deborah,
      Thanks for reading my article and for your great comment. Gracias for the dishwasher tip!

  3. I just looked up Pinnacle Condos in PV. Look like they areover $400,000? What is the hoa there?

    1. You can see our hoa fees in my Budget Blog at . The HOA fees vary depending on floor plan.