Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stepping Up the Timeline II

One day, in the not too distant future, this blog will originate in Mérida, not southeastern Virginia.
A major step was taken this past weekend, when our home in Norfolk was opened to scores of people searching for antiques and other assorted housewares at bargain prices. We just ended a three day estate sale and I can tell you this... it's a lot of work and we are exhausted. We contracted with an estate sale company because we read that it is not advisable to do this on your own. It does seem, though, that we did most of the work and paid them a hefty fee to collect the money.  That being said, the sale went very well and we are now living in an almost empty house. There are still a few items remaining that will go to a local auction house and we will have a yard sale to get rid of the remaining junk. Was it an emotional experience?  Not in the least.  We have been told that letting go of material possessions can be very freeing and that is exactly the case. The moment we made a decision to purchase a home in the Yucatán we began a gradual detachment from all that we have accumulated over a lifetime. Other than a very few small items that will fit in our luggage or vehicle, everything is going.  It feels really good to have most of the furniture gone. The house is almost empty open and less cluttered and it will be much easier to keep clean once it goes on the market.

That's the next step.

Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~Einstein

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.