Guadalajara - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

To the Consulate, 15-20 minutes from most housing. A new consulate is being built in a residential area but it is heavily delayed so no one knows when it will really open. - Aug 2023

Housing for diplomats is usually either apartments in high rises in the Providencia neighborhood or town houses in "cotos" - gated neighborhoods. In general, housing is good, relatively new with nice finishes. Our house is the best housing I have had in four tours in the FS. Most apartments and cotos have some sort of club house with gym and pool, though not guaranteed for all housing and quality may vary. Primary downside for all the housing is lack of green space as most houses have limited back yards which are small and frequently tiled or covered with astroturf. Apartments may or may not have common use green space. Commutes are 15-30 minutes to the old consulate and will be 5-20 minutes when we move into the new consulate. Traffic is minimal during our drive times, but can be heavy during Mexican rush hour. - Jan 2023

Most families live in townhouses in gated communities (cotos) with varying amenities. Our coto has a pool, playground, gym, basketball court, and raquetball courts as well as a party room. The kids can ride bikes around the neighborhood pretty safely. It is a 20-30 minute drive to the consulate and a 20 minute ride to most of the schools. The houses are nice and modern. We actually have closets (one of the few times in our experience overseas). We rarely have maintenance issues. There are sound issues, though. Mexicans know how to party and they don't shut the LOUD music off until late late at night. - Aug 2018

Housing is divided mostly between 3 bedroom apartments in Providencia where the singles and childless married couples live and houses in little gated communities further west. Commutes are usually around 15-25 minutes. I don't have much experience with the houses, but the apartments vary quite widely in amenities. All will be way larger than you need and have doormen/guards. In some, you have to actually be let in and out by the guards and aren't even given a fob/key to get in. Some have pools and modest gyms, others do not. The apartments' locations aren't really near any of the happening stuff going on in GDL. Some are within walking distance of more upscale restaurants and some grocery stores, however. - Feb 2017

There are apartments, sprawling haciendas, but most families live in a Coto, a walled community of houses, patrolled by guards at the front gate and often include a club house with a pool, gym, etc. The houses in cotos are typically boxy, concrete, and crumble easily. Most residences in the city have a blank facade with the heart of the home in a central courtyard, away from the front door. It's unsettling at first how much seems to be crumbling and covered in graffiti but quickly you realize that people focus the beauty of their homes within its walls. Front lawns are extremely rare. There is a LOT of traffic in Guadalajara and commutes can be lengthy (30-45 minutes isn't surprising). - Feb 2015

Singles and couples with no or one kid tend to be in three-bedroom apartments whose locations and amenities vary; some are in very walkable areas, but with others you'll mostly be driving. Families tend to be in three- or four-bedroom houses in gated communities also with varying amenities and locations, but most are walkable to some restaurants, small shops, etc. Most but not all housing comes with access to a gym and a pool. Commute times tend to be in 20-30 minutes range. Note that housing for those with dogs can be tricky but not impossible. - Jan 2015

Houses and apartments are widely available here. Many expats live west of central Guadalajara. The traffic can be bad at rush hour, but rush hour is at a different time here than in the U.S. so we've rarely had trouble with the traffic. Some people think the traffic is crazy here, but it's not bad at all compared to many other cities around the world. This is a good place to drive. - Oct 2014

The consular community lived in either nice apartments and most people really liked their places. The housing was substandard but could have been better with a more proactive maintenance program or more customer service oriented from the Management Section at the Consulate. Still, I'd rate it at a 4 out of 10. Not horribly bad. Getting used to the dirt and sand in the water was a bit new for us. - May 2014

Apartments are more common for singles, couples and small families. Large townhomes in gated communities for larger families. Commute is about 15 minutes. Typically the "rush hours" are from 8:30-10am and 6-8pm, so our work hours did not coincide with the Tapatio schedules. - Apr 2014

Apartment housing is usually spacious and very nice for singles, couples and small families. Houses and townhouses are available for officers with pets and larger families, but yards are small (not more than a small, enclosed patch) and ALL housing has leaks during the rainy season. A/C breaks down frequently. - Jun 2013

There are houses, apartments, etc. It is best to live in a gated community for security purposes. - Jan 2012

Most families live in gated communities in townhouse-style houses with zero lot lines. Our community has a pool, gym and playground, with a 15-20 min. commute time, depending on traffic. One of the gated communities with the largest homes is a 30-minute drive from town/work. Smaller families and singles live in high-rise apartments and townhouses in the Providencia neighborhood, about a 10 min. commute. - Jan 2011

We have an apartment in Providencia, in the city. It's nice because we can walk to everything we need, but it's not noisy or too busy traffic-wise. Other people with the State Dept. live in houses in gated communities. We love that we are living among the locals here. Some of the government housing is a 30-minute drive (up to an hour during rush hour) from downtown. - Jun 2010

For consulate employees there are one of two options: Gated community (large four-bedroom houses, at least a small yard, suburban feel) or Providencia (townhouses and apartments, wealthy neighborhood with restaurants and bars). - Feb 2008

Excellent. - Jan 2008

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