Monday, August 03, 2009

a cliché a day keeps the landlord away

I am about to bite the bullet. Pay the piper. Dance with the girl w'at brought me.

When I started my move to Mexico, I knew my first stop was going to be temporary. My house sitting gig was for six months -- with a month and a half extension option. After that, I had no idea where I was going to go.

Well, the time has come to start making a decision.

The summer months are not the most pleasant months to live on the Mexico Pacific coast. The heat index is high enough to melt you like a Nazi in an Indiana Jones movie. And what does not melt off will be harvested by the plague of bugs with their day-long bloodlust.

You know all that already. And you know there are some fascinating reasons to live here -- even in the heat. My time is my own. The ocean is beautiful and relaxing. The sunsets are better than any film.

Having spent the summer months on the beach, it would be rather silly to go traipsing off to another area of Mexico for the winter. Rather like eating a big bowl of creamed corn and then skipping the bowl of cherries.

I have decided that I am going to stay in the local area through at least April. But that means I need to start looking at a place for those five months of sybaritic living.

Tomorrow I will get to play Michael Douglas in A Chorus Line. An estate agent and I will look at three houses to see if they can pass muster.

My needs are simple. I need at least two bedrooms with a ground level entrance. Professor Jiggs must be welcome. And, most importantly, I need a kitchen with a stove that is somewhere above Coleman camp site. Strange enough, that last requirement is causing more trouble than the others. I am not certain how Mexican cooks -- cook.

A beach view would be nice, but it is not necessary.

I will post some photographs later in the week of some of the auditioners. But not all.

Apparently some homeowners are not avid about letting their neighbors know their homes are on the rental market. And I always love a good secret. One of those professional traits I find it hard to abandon.

My bullet is bit. My hand is in my pocket for the piper's pesos. And that purdy young thing is in my arms tangoing, not in Paris, but on the playa of Melaque.


Felipe said...

If you rent from a Mexican, take care with the size of the deposit. Chances of your ever seeing it again are minimal. Deposit = gift.

Julian in SC said...

Interesting idea of "Deposit = gift". I thinks that is true many places south of the border. My problem here was a 6 month apt lease where a little clause in the 14 pg lease agreement wanted 60 days "Notice to Vacate". I gave them 45 days and they wanted to charge me full rent for the 15 days. They are still looking for it.

Anyhow, back off my soap box long enough to say I agree with your decision to hang around for the good times.


Anonymous said...

Several years ago we met up with an American woman from Puerto Vallarta. She paid her mexican landlord for 6 months rent and after 2 months she was told it was rented to someone else and she must move out immediately. No refund either. So, I agree beware. I really think you would thrive in the Puerto Vallarta area and you could make day trips to Sayulita, San Pancho and Chacala. You would absolutely love San Sabastian. (for a day or two visit). I am glad you are planning now. I am sure there are many other stories about honest landlords but I am just giving you one bad example so you know it does occasionally happen.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

I've never spent time in your neck of the woods, but you might be in for an education. The weather will certainly be more agreeable, but you're likely to be indundated with gringo snowbirds. They are frequently not a pleasent lot; rude, loud and arrogant. Up here they tend to gather in the north end of town, not down by us. And that's a good thing. We rarely travel north during the winter. Our neighbors have learned to not associate us with them.


Charley said...

You had me at "sybaritic". I had to wiki-google it. Did you know that Sybaris warriors taught their horses to dance and this lead to their collective demise?
Watch out for Dancing Horses while house hunting. So Kool that you made a decision to invest yourself in the area 'til April.
Haven't heard a peep about you doing work for the firm back home via internet. Viva true retirement?

Anonymous said...

If you choose to live in a Mexican neighborhood there are a few things you can count on. (We know because we have experienced it). Very noisy roosters. They sometimes roost in your trees or nearby trees and cock a doodle doo in the evening and most of the night. It can drive you to madness. Then the loud music. Sometimes your neighbors blast their music as loud as they possibly can day and night. They love it as loud as it can go. They will not turn it down or off for you. It is part of the Mexican environment and they enjoy their music. Often it is the loud oom pa music over and over. You will just need to get used to the garbage. They will burn it in front of their house and they try to burn the plastic as well. It really smells bad. Garbage is often just dumped and burned or just dumped. I am not saying these things to be negative or unkind. This is just the way it is. We think it is terrible and they don't. It is just their way of life in many cases. You won't change them either. Peace and quiet don't exist in many areas where you might choose to live. I recommend you choose where you would like to live carefully.

Jan said...

This is the best time of year to look...anywhere in Mexico. It's true that the deposit is a gift unless you rent from an American which is possible because many are not making the trip down this year due to economy. good luck

Felipe said...

But, one wonders, what happened with the initial plan? Staying in the hot zone at the hottest time to see what you thought, and then staying in the upper regions in the coldest time to see what you thought?

Constantino said...

"Summer on the Beach" I thought that was only doable on the East Coast of Maine?.... and perhaps Oregon.
It can only get better now, after another month or so......
Retired people go to south for the winters, you just were a tad premature.....
Glad you are staying place a little more, stay until April and tolerate the tourists.

Anonymous said...

Felipe's so correct about the deposit = gift concept Mexican landlords have taken to heart. I rented from and got to know an excellent landlord and his family over four consecutive one month stays (spanning four years). My last vacation, as I was leaving to return home, he asked for a $150.00 dollar deposit one year in advance!?. The funny part was, I know his family well, went fishing and on outings with them. So I know he wasn't trying to get me not to return.
There are many places, especially now, that will meet your requirements in your area. Staying put till April is a good idea.
Good Hunting

Islagringo said...

Honestly, I'm sorry to hear that you are planning to stay put for awhile. I was hoping that you might finally want to get away from the Pacific and try out the Caribbean. I know a pretty little guest house on a pretty little island that would welcome P. Jiggs and Co.!

Babs said...


Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- Good advice. I have seen several suggestions on message boards that the deposit should be used as he last month's rent. That, of course, only works if the first and last month are not already required as part f the agreement. I have run into a new one: full payment for the entire period of the rental plus a deposit. Not happening with this fellow.

Julian -- I intend to enjoy good times here -- and then move on.

Anonymous -- PV is just a bit too expensive for my taste, even though that is where I originally wanted to retire. I am finding several houses in the $500-$800 range within a block of the beach here. Never found anything like that in PV.

Larry -- I ran into an early arrival yesterday. I will blog on the incident -- maybe. It was not very pleasant.

Charley -- The contract work did not pan out. As it turns out, that was a good thing. I am not certain where I would have found the time.

Anonymous II -- As a tourist town, this place is simply noisy. No matter where you live, chickens, dogs, ATVs, motorcycles, and just-plain-yelling are part of the daily scene. In every neighborhood. And that is fine with me. I am the guy who plays his music at full volume at 1 AM while singing along. Peace and quiet simply are not on my list of important things. After all, I live next to a beach where the waves hitting the sand are louder than any car crash I have ever heard. Another post in the offing, I believe.

Jan -- The negotiations have begun.

Felipe (again) -- I am sticking around simply because all of my plans are subject to my whimsical nature. I would like to see what this place is like during the NOB tourist season. The Guadalajara tourist season has already taught me about the drugs and sex on offer right here on my little street.

Constantino -- And I will undoubtedly learn a little bit more about myself.

Francisco -- My potential landlord is Mexican but lives with his wife in Texas -- I believe. The deposit situation should be interesting.

Islagringo -- There is always the winter of the next year. I think of this as a road show of a very successful Broadway musical. We shall see how it plays in Peoria.

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- I have a COUPLE of places in my SIGHTS right NOW! Tomorrow's post will be an update.

Anonymous said...

You are very predictable. You were bored. Now you have a project -- and you perk up. Go back to your job, and enjoy life.


Anonymous said...

Steve, I'm laughing so hard that tears are coming to my eyes..your narrative is terrific. Good luck house hunting. Maybe we could get you on one of those HGTV shows here in the states where they lead you around to 3 different homes...will he choose the 2 bedroom giyaw just 2 blocks from the beach, or the condo with all the modern amenities, including a gas stainless steel designer rage, or will he choose the 2 bedroom bungalow that needs just a little repair--the grass roof needs to be replanted???? We'll be back after these brief messages.......


Steve Cotton said...

Horst -- House-hunting is work enough for me.

Marcia -- I enjoy the writing project, as well.

Islagringo said...

I laughed when I read that you did not know where you would find the time to do any NOB work projects! People just don't understand how busy retirement can be!

Steve Cotton said...

Islagringo -- I suppose I could always make time, but I am retired. Priorities no longer mean anything. Of course, that means I do not sleep. :]