A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Nov. 29, 2008 – Last Monday morning I had my usual twice-monthly massage in the nearby area of Riberas del Pilar, which is between Ajijic and Chapala. Kelly and I usually go together and do errands while we are out.

A friend of ours, Miguel Roman, works in real estate out of Ajijic -– that link takes you to his site. It happened that he had just listed a house in the town of Chapala for $35,000 US. Kelly had directions to it and decided that with nearly an hour and a half till he would be picking me up, he’d go find the house.

An adventure followed.

He found the right neighborhood and parked a couple of blocks away, before the road turned into a rugged path. He wandered around and found a house that had the right number. There was a Mexican woman in the yard, and she confirmed that the house was for sale.

She was most hospitable and asked him if he’d like to see it. So he went inside with her and took quite a few photos. In fact, he was late in picking me up.

chapala-isabel-house1

Over a restaurant lunch, he showed me the photos. I was intrigued too. So back we went for me to see it as well. It was a pretty typical Mexican house, with three bedrooms and a bathroom. As you can see in the photo, there were steps from the bedrooms down to the main living area, which was indoor-outdoor, and with a view.The owner said she wanted 350,000 pesos for it. At today’s exchange rates that is under $27,000 US but everyone tends to convert mentally at 10 pesos to the dollar, as the rate was just above that for a long time.

Well, to make a long story short, this house wasn’t the one Miguel was selling, though the two were near each other. The street names were confusing and there were no street signs. I think he sold his listing, a 2 BR 2 bath unfinished place.. it was hardly on the market at all before he got an offer anyway.

chapala-isabel-house2

We slept on it and decided to pass on this house ourselves. We are happy here and not eager to tackle a huge project like that. The real magic of that place was the view, and while it was very good from her living room (or would be if you trimmed the trees), you’d have to build onto the roof to get the full panorama. She said the house had been constructed with that in mind. This photo shows her roof, with Chapala below, and just a part of the view of the lake. So I phoned the woman’s brother’s house and asked them to pass the word on to her.

Back to the title of this post. The hitch on this house we saw is that you have to walk uphill to it and can’t get your car less than a block from it. Those steep paths!

BUT STILL I think it’s great evidence that deals can be found everywhere. I bet if you spoke some Spanish and wandered around asking people if they knew of houses for sale, you’d find interesting possibilities. You’d need to check them out carefully… Mexican real estate is a buyer beware matter. But still…

2 Comments from the old blog:

  • At January 14, 2009 6:59 AM,  ExpatriateMedicine said…

    I count Miguel as a friend also. And a professional who works hard for YOU. Whether you are ‘window’ shopping or actually ready to makr the move, Miguel treats you with respect.

  • At January 14, 2009 7:10 PM,  Rosana Hart said…

    Nice to hear from someone else who’s a fan of Miguel’s.

2 Responses to “3 Bedroom House for $27,000 US? There’s a Hitch But Still…”

  • Audrey Zikmund says:

    Hello…..We are thinking of buying a house in the Lake Chapala Area, and have been very excited about it but now I am hearing stories of old owners of the property coming to court and saying they own the property??????????? does any one know anything about this?????????? Thank YOu………Audrey

  • Rosana says:

    I haven’t heard this particular saga, Audrey, but there are a lot of surreal aspects to how things are done in Mexico, or so it seems to me. Be SURE to be extremely thorough, even if you are working with a realtor who isn’t particularly! And best wishes, Rosana

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