Since April, I’ve been blogging to document the ups and downs of buying a house in the Centro historic district. We have found our property, and yet, I still find myself revisiting the real estate sites from time to time. Is this a little like hanging out in singles bars after you’re married?
Yes, I think the sheer number of still-affordable available properties, so many of them with great potential, makes window shopping fun. And the longer you’re in this game, the more easily you see the potential in a run-down casa. Will Casa Nana be our one and only Yucatán property, or once we’re settled in Mérida, will our roving eyes lock on to yet another project? A lot depends on how this first one goes, and it depends on our finances.
At home, at the end of a renovation, there’s a confidence and adrenaline rush that leads to the feeling that I’d like to do it all over again. When our kitchen was done a few years ago, I felt I had learned so much from the experience, I’d gladly go through it again — better prepared than before. Will I be mentally exhausted and financially drained when we have built Casa Nana? Or will the sound of opportunity knocking prove irresistible?
This really is a lot like that old gag of a new bride introducing friends to her “first husband.”
I also like to scan the listings to see what’s sold, and what hasn’t. If something from a year ago is still on the market, I feel vindicated. If it has sold, I wonder if I missed an opportunity. (Again, this is similar to the singles scene.) I admit there are some inherent flaws here — listings are unreliable. My house is still listed as for sale, for example, and I can tell you it ain’t. There’s also a blue art deco house that we toured when it was offered at $125,000. It’s now offered at $149,000 on one website; $105,000 on another. Crazy, but a well-known problem that won’t be resolved any time soon.
Even more maddening, a house you viewed for $160,000 U.S. could have sold for half that, as far as you know. Nobody lists property transactions, a common staple in any Sunday newspaper north of the border. So in reality, browsing the real estate listings is just for killing time and dreaming a little. I still get a little rush when I see a new listing.
I guess right now I’m in that adrenaline-rush phase, because I’m feeling positive and already ready to do this again, before I have started this one. With a good eye and some cash in your pocket, there’s still loads of opportunity in this three-mile square.