Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Putting your best face forward...

Sydney realtors call photos like this "lifestyle shots"!
We made our first trip to Merida in April of 2010, and the city won us over pretty quickly.  By the end of the week we had already seen about a half dozen houses.  One easily stood out for me, although Darren was not quite as convinced. I thought that the house had everything....proximity to our favorite park, a medium sized grocery store and pharmacy within 2 blocks, a good-but-not-great price, and lots of potential though it was not easy to see at first glance.  We flew home, and over the next several months I imagined, dreamed, sketched, and fantasized about renovating that house as our Merida home base.

I'm generally cautious though, and I agonized about the price and the timing...we weren't anywhere near the point in our lives when a move to Mexico would make sense, and what might have been a bargain price for some folks was a lot of money for us.  And so we waited.  I checked the status of that house every day for months until one day the listing changed to "under contract."  Surprisingly, I wasn't devastated.  After all, the timing wasn't at all right for us.  But the disappointment did make us think hard, settle on a plan, and really commit to the idea of finding the right place for us in Merida.

All of this is a long introduction to explain why I check up on this particular house on nearly every trip to the city. When we were here in February, the new owners had started a renovation project, and on this trip they appear to be finished.  The house looks great, and the before/after pictures of its facade demonstrate exactly why a good eye can be your best asset in a Merida house hunt.  That plain, uninspiring facade has now turned into this:

I have no idea who bought the house, or what the inside looks like.  But the new facade is beautiful, and the location is the same stunner that it always was.  I'm glad that someone saw the potential in this fixer-upper, and I hope that they enjoy it for years to come.  For me, though, this house will always be the one that pushed the fuzzy dream of a Merida home into an actual plan for a future reality.


  1. I think we probably all have some properties that represent a road not traveled. A really cool property on 37 was snapped up before we had a chance to buy it, and we had actually booked a 10-day trip with the idea of buying it and starting reconstruction. And the one on 47, where the owner hiked the price another 10 grand when we made an offer. No change on either property, but we can't resist occasionally swinging by to check on them. They feel almost like ours, if only because there was a moment when we had reason to imagine ourselves living there.

  2. Call me fickle, but I'm a bit of a believer in fate. I think we all end up just where we are supposed to be. None of the houses we've lived in were ever our first choice. "The one" was either too expensive or slipped away to the delight of another owner. But the homes we have ended up with have always felt right for us and our home in Merida is no exception. I'm certain your "spot" will one day proudly display your vision and will feel like home, as will Lee and Paul's.

  3. hello, my name is kristen. i have been online looking for 2 friends of mine, emily and ryan (newie). they should be in the merida/yucatan area looking for me too. if you've heard of anything at all or know of someone who meets a lot of people passing through, please drop me a line and let me know...
    anything at all would help.
    thanks so much for your time,