Monday, September 3, 2012

House Hunting in Mérida

A post I read earlier today by Lee from Imagine Mérida got me to thinking. What kind of people are actually moving here? Well, actually all kinds, but from what I have seen, there are scores of people who have retired and are financially secure enough to purchase a home and make the transition. Many stay for years or decades and others find that life in a noisy, hot and humid city is just too much or they miss their families back in the States. There are the younger folks who have internet businesses that can be based anywhere in the world. How lucky to be able to work and live in any place you choose. Then there are the brave entrepreneurs, young and older, who come to this tropical city to start up a new business -art galleries, hair salons, video production companies. I truly admire these brave and successful adventurers.

All of these expats live in homes that run the gamut from modest to extravagant, with most somewhere in the middle, all beautiful in their individual styles. Many of us fall in love with Mérida after seeing it for the very first time on House Hunters International. For us, it was the episode with two guys, Erich and Rob, just returning from working in Japan, ready to purchase a colonial style home in the Centro. I don't remember the exact budget, but I know that it was less than 200K. We thought, Gee, all that style and a pool for that amount of money? For the next year, we spent hours and hours checking the real estate sites and dreaming of owning one of those beautiful old homes. Our first trip to Mérida was in January, 2010. We were going to see if the city really suited us and if we thought that we could move there permanently. Despite all the advice we had read that said 'rent for a year before you buy', we found a house, perfectly located, that had recently been renovated and was just waiting for us. We ignored the advice and have not regretted our purchase one bit. No, it was not the Ponce masterpiece we had longed for, but we found out rather quickly that those were not in our price range. Sure, we could have bought a ruin and possibly renovated it for a little less than what we paid, but we decided early on that a long distance project in a foreign country would not work for us. Instead, we found a Victor Cruz designed home in Santa Ana that was perfect for us.

Which brings me to this. There are still houses on the market in the Centro that have style, are architect designed, and affordable. They are not huge homes, but how much space does one couple and a pet or two need?  Here are five such homes, two of which are Victor Cruz renovations.






These five homes range in price from $124,500 to $159,000 and all have been tastefully renovated.


  1. Erich and Rob's budget, at least for the purposes of the show, was $200,000. I actually found this transcript when I was Googling for it!

    One star of the show, La Pianista, is still on the market, by the way. At 195,000:

  2. Thanks for the correction Lee. My figure should have been less than $200K. For some reason, I vaguely remember hearing 170,000. Maybe that was the price of La Pianista at the time, which was the house they originally wanted, if I'm not mistaken, but ended up with another.

  3. That was a pleasant distraction in my work day. Thanks!

  4. You're welcome! I just can't stay away from those real estate sites.

  5. Yes, even owning a house in Merida, I peruse the listings

  6. Thanks for commenting. Yes, it is really interesting to see what comes and goes on the market.