Our first night in Merida I got out the laptop, logged in to the wireless network provided by Casa 64, and checked the real estate site to see if there was anything new on the market. This has been a daily habit for the past year. Most of the recent new listings had been for homes that needed renovations. We had decided that we did not want to go through a year-long (or longer) project from such a distance, knowing that this would most likely cost us more but avoid the considerable stress of restoration. In other words, we are not willing to pull out what gray hair we have left. As I scrolled through the listings I noticed a new home that had just shown up on the site. There were lots of great pics and I showed them to Alan and we agreed that this was one to add to our list. Noting that the house was located on a short cross street just a few blocks from Casa 64, we decided to go for a look the next afternoon. We easily spotted the house with its freshly painted facade but noticed there was no meter attached. Thought that a little strange that a new home for sale would have no electricity. We walked on past the house and I was quite sure I heard a small dog barking inside. We continued our walk but kept thinking about that house. Late the following afternoon we walked past the house again and as we neared the corner a man walking a small dog strolls past, says hello and continues on. I had a hunch that this was the owner of the house so we stood at the corner and watched as he crossed the street and entered the house. Alan looked slightly horrified as I turned to go back and knock on the door.
To make a long story short, Stephen graciously invited us in and spent an hour showing us every detail of the house (and it did indeed have electricity). He explained that the meter had been defective so they were on a fixed rate plan until the meter is replaced. We told him that we were working with a realtor and that we would make an appointment to formally see the house the following Thursday. We asked about the name of the house and he told us that the original name was Casa del Muro, but that when their agent Henry Ponce listed it, he changed the name to Casa de Las Lechuzas - home of the owls.