A Holiday on the Beach at Progreso
Respected reader, this story began with the conception of Bruce and Mary’s “Escape to México” dream. Then their dream became a plan. The timeframe is the fall of 2007 and they have put their St. Cloud house on the market to finance their move. That is where this post begins. If you also dream of setting yourself free in Mexico, take some notes, as you may learn much from Bruce and Mary’s many missteps and unlikely good fortune in this adventure.
With our house on the market we started actively scouting the internet for a B & B or small hotel. We concentrated our search, in the beginning, on the Riviera Maya coastline. Although we’d vacationed all over México, our latest trip had been a backpacking affair down and up the Riviera Maya, and it had really been a gas.
Right off the bat, we discovered an “Eco-Resort” in Xlak, which is about as far south on the Riviera Maya coastline as you can get without being in Belize. We discovered that this entrepreneur, a retired engineer, had built this remote little resort and it looked really cool on the website. It had 5 rental units, owner’s quarters, a wind generator with battery back-up (which really appealed to my alternative energy roots) and it was right on the beach. I checked it out and it was, as expected, way too expensive. In fact, I discovered that that was the case all the way from Xlak north to Cancun with the Cancun area being the Manhattan of the Riviera Maya coastline. This area was very nice but we decided it was out of our price range. We explored the Pacific side and focused on the Manzanillo area. We loved our trips to Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco and this was right in between. The prices were right and we were getting pretty close to contacting a realtor.
But then, in my surfing I accidently came across a realtor based out of Mérida, the capital of Yucatan. The website was very well done and drew me in. There were a number of small hotels and other commercial properties in our price range. I emailed, asking for particulars on a couple of properties. I got some general answers but to get more I needed to fill out their form, which was essentially a qualifier. I complied and my conversations with Rob of YMB Realty began. In our initial phone call we talked for about 45 minutes. He gave me snapshot of his 30 years of real estate experience in Canada and Florida. Rob was a licensed broker in Canada which has, he said, more stringent requirements than the US, as contrasted with México where there are no licensing requirements at all. Rob described the Mexican real estate scene as the “Wild West’. He illustrated this point with the telling of several nightmare scenarios that regularly occur, and good luck getting redress in a Mexican court, he said. I found myself very impressed with Rob and told him so. At this point he explained his process. He asks his prospects to come down for an intense 3 day junket. For a refundable upon purchase $300US fee, he introduces you to the local infrastructure, ie: banks, immigration lawyers, government officials. And of course he shows you the properties that are appropriate to your needs and desires. Then the idea is, you go home, sleep on it all, call him up, tell him which property to move on and then plan your trip down to close on it. Then he told me of a couple of properties designed to get me excited. There was a B& B in Progreso, right on the coast that was a little pricey but the gringo who owned it offered financing. He told of a little joint, again in Progreso, that was built by some Tennessean sheriff that was only $50,000US. I must admit I was practically drooling over these prospects and I liked his sales process, it was designed for a serious buyer only, and I absolutely considered myself such. Then he went for the close. “I have a slot open for you the third week of next month!” Whoa! I explained to him that I was a serious buyer but I did have to sell my house first. This deflated him but he was a pro and he vowed to keep in touch.
Thanks for visiting gentle reader. Will Bruce and Mary’s house sell? If not how the heck do they make their escape to México? And is that realtor Rob on the up and up? Enquiring minds want to know! Join Bruce and Mary soon as the saga continues. In no time Bruce will have you up to “realtime”.