Pros and Cons of Renovating an Old House in Merida, Yucatan

Agosto 20 de 2023


Renovating an old house in Mérida, Yucatán offers the opportunity to take advantage of the historic and cultural architecture of an emblematic Latin American city, while at the same time allowing you to create a space customized to your tastes and needs. 

However, this endeavor comes with advantages and challenges that must be carefully weighed in order to be sufficiently prepared when undertaking such a project.

In this article we will present you the pros and cons of remodeling a house in Yucatan according to the experience of expats and architects who have done it before.

Pros of Renovating an Old House in Merida, Yucatan:

Many expats wonder if is it worth it to retire in Merida, Yucatan and buy an old house to remodel. If this is also your case, here is a list of the advantages and disadvantages that you should consider:

  • Architectural Beauty: Old houses in Merida often showcase exquisite colonial architecture and traditional design elements. Renovating such homes allows you to preserve and celebrate the city's rich history while enjoying a unique and visually captivating living space.
  • Location: Many old houses are situated in prime locations, close to the city center and cultural attractions. Renovators can benefit from easy access to amenities, markets, and the vibrant lifestyle that Merida offers.
  • Character and Authenticity: Renovating an old house allows you to infuse your living space with character and authenticity. You can maintain original features such as decorative tiles, wooden beams, and wrought iron details, adding a sense of nostalgia and uniqueness.
  • Cost Efficiency: In some cases, purchasing an old house and renovating it can be more cost-effective than buying a new property. The initial purchase price might be lower, and with strategic renovations, you can enhance the value of the property. 
  • Construction Costs: One of the great benefits of building or remodeling in the Yucatan is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to construction costs in Canada, Europe and the United States. Labor is cheap and materials: hardwoods, stone, marble and cement are very reasonable.
  • Personalization: Renovating an old house gives you the opportunity to customize the space to your preferences. You can adapt the layout, design, and functionality to suit your lifestyle and needs.

Learn more about: Best places to live in Merida, Mexico



  • Structural Challenges: Older houses may have structural issues that require significant repairs. This can include problems with the foundation, roofing, or walls, which might increase renovation costs and time.
  • Unforeseen Costs: Renovations can often reveal hidden problems that were not initially apparent. Unforeseen costs can arise as you address these issues, potentially exceeding your budget.
  • Regulatory Hurdles: Renovating old houses may involve navigating local regulations and preservation guidelines to ensure that your changes align with the historical and cultural significance of the area.
  • Time-Consuming: Renovating an old house can be a time-consuming process. Delays might occur due to unforeseen challenges, regulatory approvals, and the intricacies of restoring historical elements.
  • Modern Comforts: Older houses might lack modern amenities, such as efficient insulation, updated electrical systems, and energy-efficient features. Integrating these elements during renovations could add complexity and costs.


In conclusion, renovating an old house in Merida, Yucatan, offers the allure of preserving history, adding personal flair, and embracing a central location. However, the project demands careful consideration of potential structural issues, regulatory obstacles, and the need for unexpected budget flexibility. For those seeking a unique blend of heritage and customization, renovating an old house in Merida can be a gratifying venture.

Here in IDC Living we have a network of contacts of owners of old houses to remodel in Merida, Yucatan, as well as the best architects to help you during the process.

If you would like to know about properties in Yucatan to buy and remodel, contact us via Whatsapp or email us at to receive personalized advice.

Te puede interesar también: Departamentos en renta en la Ermita, Centro Histórico, Mérida, Yucatán

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