Saturday, November 22, 2008

"and this is icing!" exclaimed gretel

Like moths, we all have our personal flames. The flame that drew my interest to La Manzanilla is pictured above.

Almost two years ago, I was bouncing along the internet highway when something unusual caught my eye. For a moment, I thought it was a Grimm fairy tale house come to life. But that certainly was not the Black Forest surrounding it.

A few more clicks, and I discovered what I was looking at: it was a compound of houses on the beach at La Manzanilla -- a beach destination where Doing Nothing is an art form.

And it was for sale. Could life get any better?

Please note the date -- two years ago. Back then, I had not yet realized that people who described Mexican beach property as inexpensive were people who grew up in Malibu. To an Oregonian, inexpensive housing is anything less than $100,000.

The compound did not fall into that category. It was selling for -- and still is -- $1.9 million (US).

Because that was a bit out of my price range, I started looking at other property in La Manzanilla. A purchase trip last year resulted in no purchase -- for a number of reasons.

But that house steered me to the Costa Alegre -- soon to start my adventure in Melaque.

I hope the house finds a good home.


Anonymous said...

Not to be pedantic, but given the time on the market, you might more accurately say that "the compound is NOT selling for $1.9 million."

Having perused a few coastal properties myself (via the 'net) near Puerto Escondido, many of them strike me as ridiculously overpriced. And given that there are precious few Mexicans even able to pony up that kind of cash, (especially as the prices are frequently quoted in USD), I suspect that many of those coastal Mexican properties will eventually succumb to the economic gravity currently tugging at the value of U.S. homes.

Better to buy too late than too soon.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where even without a building boom, house prices are drifting down determinedly.

Anonymous said...

i'm so excited for you. may will be here before you know it. have you confirmed your plans about retirement? i hope it works out for you.

our weather is lousy but i get to go salsa dancing tonight for the first time in over a year, so i am very excited. i enjoy dancing with the mexican men there as they have great rhythm. since most of them are very young, my line is, "quieres bailar con una viejita?" i'll let you figure out what that means. i have yet to be turned down.

have a great weekend steve!


Francisco said...

Steve, Great post...especially the part about the "Malibu people". I swear some people have all the luck! Nice little "shack" on the beach...that I'm only one lottery ticket away from owning!

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- Too true. I have looked at some of the listings in Puerto Escondido. I know that most Mexicans do not barter on land prices. But most of the listed homes appear to be owned by gringos, who seem to have no sense of the current world market for hiome prices. Admittedly, coastal properties are always priced at a premium. But Puerto Escondido is not La Jolla.

Teresa -- Given the Mexican penchant for puns, la viejita better be careful about those dancing offers. I hope you have a great time. Are you in Mexico right now? (By the way, I was quite a Latin dancer in my younger days -- say 40 years ago.) My retirement date is now set for 31 March. I will be in Mexico on 1 May.

Francisco -- I know the lottery feeling. My dream is that the stock market will quadruple within the next week. I suspect we are going to get our wishes about the same time.

Babs said...

A woman here in San Miguel has just put her "second home" in La Manzanilla on the mkt for $395,000. I bet it will come down....a lot as she needs $$. The first floor is a rental unit, which is always a good thing, if and when it rents.

Once you move down here, you'll find all kinds of deals. Last year I found a livable place in La Manzanilla for $35,000 - the trick is working with a Mexican realtor... and not the US ones.

Tenacatita Bay is one of my favorite places on earth!

Michael Dickson said...

My wife and I stayed three nights in that very place, the Casa Maguey, about three or four years ago. It was very, very nice. In April, we had the beach to ourselves. Also, very, very nice.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

So we have seen the inspiration now. How about the reality?

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- The prices in La Manzanilla are what the market will bear. For awhile, that was quite a bit. But it appears matters have changed. Your friend will most likely have a very long wait.

Michael -- i really like La Manzanilla. But there is only so much Doing Nothing that one guy can do.

American Mommy -- Good idea. I will post the new house photographs now that everything is a go.

aighmeigh said...

That house would have certainly inspired me to get away too!

How are you feeling about the move these days? Has it sunk in yet? Let me tell ya, those last 6 months fly by... it's like *poof* and you're counting down the days instead of the months... incredible!

Anonymous said...

oh how i wish i were in mexico but i can't afford it this winter due to my circumstances and finances. i'm considering maybe coming down part of the summer since i'll be off anyway and won't lose any wages.

if you were a good dancer 40 years ago, you should still be able to dance, it's like riding a bicycle.

glad to hear you've set a date for your move. now that you don't have to do as much around the house since you're going to hold off on selling it, i hope you will take the time to study your spanish. there's never a better time to start than NOW-do not keep putting it off till manana.


Steve Cotton said...

Aighmeigh -- I am really anticipating the move. I am realist enough to know that I will face a whole set of new living problems. But I am looking forward to the change.

Teresa -- I need to get cracking on my Spanish. My Mexican friends at church leave me far behind when they start speaking Spanish. Of course, I study now, and forget every bit of it within one day. I hope some things are stuck in the back of my head. I even forgot the word for dog today -- and I use it every day with Jiggs. But I also forgot "television" the other day in a conversation at work. Being forgetful in English is no less embarrassing than it will be in Spanish. Viejo, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Ay! Steve! Tienes que estudiar! No queda mucho más tiempo hasta que te vas. Y si llegas en México sin poder mantener una conversación MUY sencilla, no te divertirás tanto.

Lee algo en español que ya conoces en inglés.

Tsk, tsk, tsk...

Kim G
Boston, MA
Donde se escucha más portugués que español. Desafortunadamente.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- Too true. I just need to study. As soon as I get more Spanish in my cranium, I can start reading topics I really enjoy -- such as history.