Tuesday, August 04, 2009

light at the end of the patio

The search for a winter rental began in earnest today.

The plan was to look at three houses that I had pre-vetted. If all went well, I would have my choice by the end of this week.

"If all went well ---"

Over a century ago, von Moltke informed us: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

Battle plan. Business plan. House-hunting plan.

All the same. You want to make God laugh? Just tell him about that little plan of yours.

And there must have been laughter in Heaven yesterday.

I was to meet the estate agent at the first house -- about three blocks from the house where I am staying. She showed up with good news and bad news.

Bad news: We cannot see house #3 today. There were some unexplained complications. But it was not available today. Maybe later in the week -- Thursday?

Bad news: House #2 is no longer available. Or, more accurately, the owner has made house #2 unavailable.

The owner previously indicated he needed someone in the house for six months. I agreed to the extra month -- to at least get a look at the house. Now, he wants a full year, and the rent for the year will be high season rent.

Off the list the house goes. If I have to keep asking the price, I obviously do not deserve to be the owner's share cropper.

Bad news: The keys to house #1 are missing --or the locks have been changed. But a locksmith is on his way. No, he's not. She has to pick him up. Eventually, we are through the door, and --

Good news: I like the place. It is three bedrooms with the main bedroom on the ground floor. Jiggs needs that. No more stairs. And each room is open and airy.

Good news: The kitchen is large with a full-size stove.

Good news: But I already knew this. The house has a great garden. In fact, it was the garden that attracted me to the place. There is grass for Jiggs to roll in -- and plants to admire.

If I had a family (translate that to "wife"), I doubt the place would pass muster. It has little style and there are details that would drive some people to distraction.

For example, the view of the garden is open to people walking and driving by. But I had the same setup in Salem -- and loved being on stage. All I need is a hot tub.

I have already come to the conclusion that living in Mexico is a bit like camping. I am past the point of those inconveniences bothering me.

If we can come to an accommodation on the rent, this place is a real contender.

But -- there will be more contestants. So says my plan.


Anonymous said...

sounds like that place would be perfect. hope it works out or that something even better will come up.

God bless,

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- I doubt any house will be perfect. But this one just might do.

Islagringo said...

All right then. If you are going to be stubborn and just stay put, I wish you the best possible househunting!

Steve Cotton said...

Islagringo -- And it is a lot more fun than learning Spanish.

Anonymous said...

i guess "perfect" is an overused adjective. i guess saying it sounded just right for you and jiggs would have been more appropriate ;-)

i just looked out the window-it's cloudy and drizzly-what a change. for once i am welcoming the coolness.

have a great day!


Ruth said...

A garden that has a view of people walking by is a good way to meet your neighbors. Hope you and Jiggs find a happy place to settle for the winter.

Anonymous said...

If they can give you the place now, at terms that are agreeable, take it. Don't fool around with trying to find the perfect. If it works for you, it works. When the argument grounds the conclusion, additional premises are irrelevant.

I fear you may piddly-poodle around and lose your option on this place.

While you are at it, I suggest you also take on a wife. That would really make God laugh, in a way that would rock the heavens, sending a shock-wave to be felt even here in Salem.

But you never listen to me.


Nancy said...

I don't know about the "camping" comment...maybe the rental market is that way (which I wouldn't know) but most houses I have been in around Mexico are set up just fine. Some rentals come without kitchen appliances, maybe that is what you meant?

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- Any more, I simply shoot for "satisfactory." But we would love some rain down this way. There was lightning on the horizon this morning. But it was all drama with little effect -- something I get see to see daily here.

Anonymous -- I don't need the place now. I have a perfectly good place to stay until the end of October or mid-December. As for a wife, I certainly would not be staying in the place I have taken a shine to if I had a wife. It is just not the type of place a woman would like. But it could certainly use a woman's touch. As for me, I think all it needs is a portable hot tub. If it had one, I would never need another thing. I have very simply tastes.

Steve Cotton said...

Nancy -- I should start with the conclusion: I love camping. To me, it is an adventurous compliment. (And it is why men don't mind sleeping on the couch; it reminds us of camping.) I picked up the comment from a friend when she was visiting. Most of the cookers here are run off of a small propane line that prevents burners from reaching a good temperature for sauteeing or stir fry. Just like a camp stove. Being careful to use the correct water source for drinking. Soaking fruits and vegetables. Putting toilet paper in the trash can other than the toilet. Showering under a gravity-fed shower. Drying clothes on a line. Avoiding getting bleach spots on your clothes when disinfecting counters. None of that bothers me, but they are the same attributes that make some people hate camping. In fact, I had to think about the list to remember the things that have shocked some of my visitors. To me, they are a fair trade for the great things I have every day: the view and the ocean outside my office window top the list. And the fact that Professor Jiggs is enjoying life here as much as he did in Salem. (With all of the work you have put into your house in Mazatlan, you would see a diamond in the rough in the house that interests me. But it is really rough. And there is little I can do in the five months I would be there. It has set unattended for some time.)

Calypso said...

Take your time - ask every where you go - usually the real estate vendors have high priced product - word of mouth is excellent.

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- I am learning a lot of lessons. One I learned today is that even though the estate agent is the landlord's agent, the renter is expected to pay a fee to the agent in addition to the rent -- 10-15% I understand is the going fee. There is an incentive right there to hoof it on my own.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

It's also not uncommon to have the agent extract a very high price of his own design. Unless you agree to it, he won't even approach the owner that an offer has been made. The owner rarely has the opportunity to accept an offer or make a counter. This is true in rentals as well as purchases. It gets even messier if more than one agent is involved.


Steve Cotton said...

Larry -- We have already had some converations along those lines. Talking with the landlord may turn out to be a better option. In this case, he lives in Texas.

Anonymous said...

The rentOr pays the agent, not the rentEE. The rentor often screws the agent, but that is not your problem.

Steve Cotton said...

Where I come from, the landlord merely puts the agent's fee in the rent as the cost of doing business. That does not appear to be the custom here. If there is any custom. So far, everything seems to be made up as it has gone along.

Leslie Limon said...

Steve, what others may refer to as "inconvenieces", I liken them to "simple luxuries". They are what I enjoy most.

Steve Cotton said...

Leslie -- They certainly add layers to life. I have learned how inconsequential clothing is when bleach spots "ruin" them. I now go without or simply wear the newly-decorated pieces.