Why Matt Chose Mérida
The following article was written by a client of ours for Live and Invest Overseas:
After years of thinking about buying a place of my own overseas, I was finally ready… er, almost ready to make the trip to Mexico to look at property…
I’m 47 and have never lived overseas. I have, however, fantasized about living on some beach somewhere… enjoying the palm trees, the blue waters… or maybe plopping down in the middle of an urban environment, knowing nobody, exploring a strange place on my own.
I chose Mexico as a location, because, growing up in San Diego, I was familiar with Mexican food, nightlife, and culture. As a high schooler, friends and I made many trips across the border into Tijuana to go to the bars, nightclubs, and shopping areas along Avenida Revolución. As a young adult, I traveled to Cancún, Playa de Carmen, and Tulum, relaxing on the beaches, diving in cenotes, and climbing the ruins (you used to be able to do that way back then!).
As I got older, I started fantasizing about a life abroad. Where should I look?
I read a lot of newsletters (Live and Invest Overseas) and blogs. I had conversations, email and virtual, with friends who had lived or who owned houses overseas (I apologize to all of you for my many questions).
After all the research and a trip to scope out Ecuador (which was enough for me to cross Ecuador off my list… in other words, a trip well made), I made a decision…
I was off to Mérida, the large (about a million people call Mérida home), beautiful colonial city that is also the capital of the Yucatán.
I chose Mérida for its proximity to the United States (it’s easily reachable through Miami, Houston, and now Dallas), for the type of lifestyle it offers (big city convenience), for its cost, and for its weather.
My choice was made easier thanks to my friend Steve, who has owned a home in Mérida for more than 15 years. I visited Steve several times, always enjoying myself.
When I would tell people where I was off to, almost all of them had never heard of Mérida. Cancún, absolutely… Playa del Carmen, sure… Tulum, kinda… Mérida, nope.
I picked one of the hottest months for an extended stay to test myself on the heat and humidity. It did not disappoint. This is a heat that I’m not used to, and I live in NYC, where the summer heat radiating off the concrete and asphalt can be brutal. Mérida’s climate will take some getting used to, that’s a certainty.
Before going to Mérida on this trip I did a ton of research on the real estate market and, by asking people I trust for recommendations, found an agent I liked. I scoured her website and made a list of places I was interested in seeing. Yury quickly got the feel for the type of place and price range (no more than US$200,000) I was looking for.
I secured a place to stay on Airbnb in the Centro, close to Plaza Santa Ana, and Yury and I set up a meeting the day after I arrived to see a bunch of the properties on my list.
We headed out around 11 a.m. The sun was already beating down on the city. Outside the park squares, there isn’t much shade or relief from the heat in Mérida.
We were able to see five or six places in a couple of hours. Doing research on the types of places I like, the locations that appeal to me, and the price range I was comfortable with really helped to make the process more efficient, and I liked that Yury showed me a couple of places outside my criteria, either style-wise or because they needed restoration. This allowed me to see what I didn’t like and also to see how much work went into these houses before they were up to the standard that I wanted.
One house stood out. The location was perfect, close to the Centro. The price was reasonable, and the finishes were what I was looking for. After coming back with friends later that weekend to look at the place at night and with a different set of eyes, I was ready to make an offer. After a little back and forth, we settled on a price that we both felt was fair.
Having an experienced agent really pays off when buying overseas. The agent I worked with was able to explain the process and the different parties involved and to set up appointments with a notary and a lawyer who could handle the transaction on my behalf after I’d returned to the States. The notary was very helpful in explaining how he would represent me. The fee for the notary’s services is a couple of hundred dollars.
In addition, my property agent was able to arrange for a building inspection for me. I’ve heard that this isn’t something that happens all the time in foreign markets, including Mérida, but I’ve had inspections of every property I’ve bought in the States, and I didn’t feel comfortable not having one for this purchase in Mérida. Even if nothing comes up, an inspection is good for the peace of mind that it gives you.
In this case, the inspection identified a few small things that needed to be taken care of by the seller, including a clogged water line and the upgrade of an electrical wire gauge, as well as a couple things that were up to me to address (new water storage tank and some extra drainage for the property).
All-in-all, I feel confident that the house I’ve found is an excellent property for me.
I close later this month and plan to rent the place out for income immediately. I’ll visit once or twice a year until I’m ready to retire, when this property will be my home part-time. Yury has introduced me to a property manager who will manage the place for me while I’m in the States. Rosalinda will handle all of the administrative (paying bills, etc.) and rental (finding renters, checking them in, collecting payments, etc.) duties that can be a huge time suck.
Sign up for our mailing list
Working with Yury has been a delight. My husband and I recently purchased a home with Yury as our realtor. She listened to our needs and never tried to show us something outside of those parameters. T… Read more
We went from talking about buying a house in Merida over dinner one night, to making an offer two weeks later on a short house-hunting trip. After checking multiple web-sites for what was available we… Read more
Yury was spectacular in selling our property. She knows the area and how to highlight its features. She gives every bit of professionalism and stays in contact with you every step of the way. You neve… Read more
My partner and I recently concluded a week of intense house hunting with Yury in Merida and she did such an incredible job and took such great care of us that I simply had to write this testimonial. C… Read more
Yury did an exceptional job on the selling of our beach house in Sunset Shores, Yucatan Mexico. She went way overboard on clarifying a couple of technical issues that weighed pretty heavy on the sale … Read more
We had a fantastic experience when we bought our house in Chuburna. Yury took care of everything and it was a smooth and pleasant experience. We love coming down to Yucatan and wish we could spend m… Read more
Buying a house is stressful, buying one in a foreign country is twice as stressful. Choosing the house is really the easiest part and closing the deal is absolutely intimidating… so many consideratio… Read more
We met Yury on our first trip to Mexico in April 2014. We wanted to look at beach properties to consider for retirement. Yury went above and beyond what most realtors would do. She listened carefu… Read more
Muchissimas gracias Yury por ayudarme a la venta de mi terreno. Eres una persona encantadora y una agente de real estate sumamente profesional, hiciste que desde tan lejos me sintiese siempre segura… Read more
As for making your dreams come true… here’s our testimonial: We were fortunate enough to meet Yury during a quick trip to Merida from our (then) home in Toronto. We were introduced to her by a friend … Read more