Tuesday, May 26, 2015

undocumented housing

I have been a homeowner in Mexico since mid-October.  At least, that is what I have been led to believe.

Last October, I drove to Manzanillo with my two realtors (everything is new again) to close on my purchase of the house with no name.  As in every closing I have ever been party to, I signed my name on multiple pieces of paper.  What was not usual for me was that all of the documents were in Spanish -- as was the notario's explanation of each document.

I signed over my money, and was on my way.  What seemed strange to me is that I left with copies of no closing documents.  I am not certain I even received a receipt.

My realtor informed me the documents needed to be recorded in Puerto Vallarta.  As soon as that was done, I would receive my copies -- including a copy of my deed that is held in trust by a Mexican bank.  I am not even certain which bank that is.

I have been waiting.  But that does not mean nothing has happened.  You may recall I received a visitor from IMSS (Mexican social security) in early March (moving to mexico -- pitfalls of buying a house (part 532)).  He informed me IMSS had not yet received the wage withholdings for the workers who built the house.

I was under the impression that the former owner (and builder) of the house had handled that matter.  It was a condition of our earnest money agreement.  It turned out she was negotiating with IMSS on the appropriate payment.  I left the matter there.

A month ago, while I was at the Manzanillo airport waiting for my flight that would eventually take me to Shanghai, I received a call from the same IMSS inspector.  He was at my house and needed me to come to the house to allow him to take some measurements.

There was nothing I could do.  My flight was boarding.  So, I called my realtor.  She took care of it.  Once again, I am under the impression that the matter is still being negotiated.

But the paperwork drama does not stop there.  When I stopped by my realtor's office to ask about the IMSS situation, she briefed me.  When I asked her about the status of my closing documents, she informed me that the notario needs some additional items from me to formalize the closing.

Something showing my new Mexican address (easy; an electric bill will do -- the universal form of identification down here) and a document to show my legal address in The States (preferably a utility bill, but not a driver license).

And there's the rub.  Even though I am a legal resident of Nevada, and I do have an address, I do not pay any utilities at that address.  The best I can come up with is a federal tax statement -- and a copy of my Nevada driver license.  I have a sinking feeling this is going to be another IMSS-style request that will go unresolved for some indefinite period of time.

In the end, it does not much matter.  I have a house -- with a refreshing pool that is getting me through our early onset of heat and humidity.  And no one asks me for any form of documentation when I view one of Barra's apricot sunsets.

Am I concerned?  Nope.  I have long ago learned that everything works out well in the end.  With a bit of patience to complement my Mexican mask.

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