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Everything posted by Sarita

  1. I would like to find a really skilled leather worker to custom make a high-quality multi-compartment leather wallet for me in the Lakeside area. Any recommendations?
  2. Salazar's on the frontage road below the carretera in Riberas, just east of Mirasol. They custom-built a whole pile of iron fencing from a drawing, on time & on budget, very pleased with the quality and finishing, even delivered it all to site. Very nice guys, honest, too. Have since had them do other custom work, always happy with results.
  3. Mirna sounds like a gem! Does anyone have her email? I am in Canada so phoning not a great option. Thanks!
  4. Needing to find a GOOD property manager to handle an occupied home. Need someone who is bilingual and able to handle payments to household staff, repairs & maintenance, and effectively (diplomatically) communicate with home owner and tenants. Any recommendations much appreciated. Gracias!
  5. Buyer is not Canadian but Mexican. They do not want to make offer in Mexican pesos or US, only Canadian, because it is sinking and they come out like bandits.
  6. The funny thing is, this agent criticized the previous agent of 3 yrs ago for doing exactly the same thing- over valuing a property to get the listing, then dropping the price. Only difference is, this one is telling me that only Mexicans would be interested in my property (really? I bought here & I'm Canadian, and half my neighbors are also!) and trying to convince me that the drop in the peso means my property has therefore also dropped by nearly $100,000 US since early December on an original $325k price. Currently, I am being urged to counter but was told that even a $390 Cndn ($275k US) is too much and the buyer will walk. Sounds like he is getting the steal of a lifetime to me. I know the smart thing to do is to let them go and hope for a better offer but that is the real scary part- who knows when or how much. I so wish For Sale By Owner had been a more realistic option. I sold my last 4 properties myself, saved over $100,000 commission and the buyers got a better deal. So not enjoying dealing with the real estate mafia here!
  7. I am an absentee owner not returning and the agent knows this so I think I have been 'marked' as desperate. It is listed just below $300,000 US well down from last list at $380,000 US a couple of years ago and well below all current market evaluations as well. The offer came in at $345k Canadian -- that is $237k US which I replied is an insult and countered at full list. Not sure if my agent is double-ending the deal but I don't doubt it. At 7% commission, that is a huge chunk of change in their pocket (incidentally, about 3X what commission would be on same sale in Canada where many agencies are now at a flat 2%). This property is not a dud, rather it is one of the nicer ones Lakeside, with a recent $100k total renovation and second to none lakeviews. Agent says the Mex. buyer will not care what I paid for renos as they would not have invested so much in it themselves so that is irrelevant. Uh huh. The agent has told me I should not be concerned that the offer is in Canadian funds since I should be looking at it from his point of view, that it is still more than I would have gotten a couple of years ago when the loonie was closer to par with USD. In other words, I should not be so greedy as to hope to break even, I should be grateful to only be losing a little.... My big concern is that closings in Mexico are notorious for dragging on, with a mid-March close, the loonie may have plummeted further, costing me tens of 1000's more in loss. Oh, it has slipped that the buyer is planning to have a pool built with all the money he saves. Seriously?
  8. I have an offer on my property there but it is in Canadian, despite the listing in US funds. Has anyone ever dealt with an offer like this before? I have concerns that by the time of closing, the amount will be worth considerably less than today due to the unstable nature of the loonie lately. The agent insists the buyer will not pay in US funds and that they are doing me a 'favor' making it in Canadian. I should mention, it is also considerably below the list price and my agent is pushing me to accept saying 'this is all my property is worth' despite him stating it has a market value of $80,000 US more just one month ago...
  9. Question: are the little propane tanks available locally? The ones about a foot high, usually come in a 2-pack for tabletop grills?
  10. Does anyone have a current email address for Tony Espiritu, who does custom windows? He did my whole house years ago, some enormous units, all built & hung to perfection (yes I am talking about the windows!). I'm in Canada so phoning not an option. If not Tony, then his brother Jose would work fine too. Thanks.
  11. Question: If one drives their foreign-plated vehicle down into Mexico, applies for residency (currently called Temporary?) then needs to leave for a few weeks to return home for an urgent situation, ie, family business, can they do so by flying or would they have to drive their car back out? Can they get a letter to leave temporarily by plane and not get big crap for it when they return or have it affect their future status? Just trying to forsee any possible future issues for someone with elderly parent that he is still responsible for back NOB. Thanks.
  12. Wanting to ride share with someone coming down in either later October or early November. Have a smallish dog (spayed female poodle x) who is exceptionally well-behaved as is her human (SWF, non-smoker). Ideally would like room for a few boxes but not crucial, most important to get down with my dog as I will never again put a pet in cargo hold of a plane. Willing to pay toward gas & tolls as well as own expenses for hotel, etc, and can share in driving (except in big cities- that freaks me out). Great option for single woman travelling alone. I speak some Spanish and know the way (sort of).
  13. Myron just recently installed a complete video surveillance system at my property and was wonderful to deal with, did a great job and came back to check that all was working well and we were happy with it. A really nice guy.... so sorry to hear.
  14. Sent you a PM, Bernie. Am both coming down this fall and have a casita to rent. Might solve all your problems in one shot.
  15. Gringal, thanks for the kind words. However, I don't feel my situation is due to my location at all. My neighborhood, though semi-rural, is anything but poor. We are a mix of gringos (more Canadians than Americans) and wealthy Tapatios, mostly weekenders. Our area is blissfully peaceful, we have cows, goats and horses wandering loose, which I love. We recently became gated, as our Mexican neighbors pushed for the extra security. They are very aware of the realities of being wealthy in a country with so many extremely poor and some have been victims of extortion threats by cartels and fear being kidnapped, or worse. I have never felt afraid to be alone in my home, until I ended up with a gardener who had drug gang connections who threatened me. That could have happened regardless of where and how I lived. I would never trade my lifestyle here for any more urban environment and if the situation with these scum became intolerable, I would leave Mexico altogether rather than move to a gated community/gringo enclave. For me, it boils down to the constant feeling that I need to be hyper-vigilant of myself ,y surroundings, my home security, my possessions and that of my vehicle when I am out in the world. I am now Permanente and bought a Mexican - plated car but those that cause problems still are very aware when I exit my car that I am a gringa, and right away, the game playing starts with the sleepy sales pitches for whatever they are offering, that, no matter how politely declined, leaves me wondering what I will find on my return, and bad things have occurred enough that I know it is not my wild imagination at work. While those who deny any such thing happens, I have read plenty of posts here to know that my experiences are not the isolated incidents some would have us believe. Foreigners are targeted by many of the crooks and scammers, and they are numerous and everywhere. Living here requires constant vigilance and that is very wearing, particularly if you come from a place like I did- Canada- where these kind of things are extremely rare and people live without a second thought to where they walk alone on the streets, or park their car, or who they open their door to. Mexico, for those of us who came from a a safer, more sheltered society than some from cities with very high crime, is quite an eye-opener. The rules are very different here and you have to rethink and relearn much of what you know, to avoid feeling like a victim. I know many will take offence to that statement, but, most of you came down with a spouse, and will never know how being a single woman AND a foreigner at the same time, makes you an easy target for those with bad intentions. My Mexican male friends have even warned me that I need to be more careful and that I should have the protection of a man, as women are more easily taken advantage of. Not reason enough for me to get hitched up, but I understand where they are coming from, and I keep my guard up at all times. But, it does take away something from the carefree enjoyment of life to have to live that way, always wondering what might be the next con aimed at me. Back in Canada, there are safeguards in place to help people avoid these unpleasantries. Not so here, Big Brother is not looking out for you, in this country you are on your own and as a foreigner, you have little protection from the government and any dealings with them can be as frustrating and unsavory as the crooks. Until you have to deal with the beurocratic bungling, ineptness and inefficiency, you realize how much you took for granted living NOB.
  16. I suspect I am the one Valgal is referring to, who 'boomeranged'. We met several years ago in a town in British Columbia after visiting but before either of us made the move. I bought a house on the outskirts of one of the villages near Ajijic, against common sense & many warnings to rent first, and don't regret it, I love my home here, my fabulous tropical garden paradise, the stunning 360d views, and the weather, as well as the food, which surprised me as I never thought I would. I love the much lower cost of living and was happy to discover I could find most of what I want or learned to get by without. Most of the people have been wonderful though I quickly realized that a fair number of 'social misfits' find their way to Mexico - damn lucky for me, as I could be their queen. I have also been fortunate in being able to pick up Spanish fairly easily so don't feel like a total gringa, and I love speaking with the locals. Now- onto the reasons I left, which, as others have stated, are numerous. Crime/Security: I removed the prison bars from all my windows but built a wall. The 2nd year I put spikes on the wall, 3rd year added electric fencing. I did major renos, countless workers knew about the gringa living alone up the hill, had seen too much.... reality is a tough teacher. Been through several gardeners, too, from leering perverts to lazy buggers to one with drug cartel connections who broke in one night (hence the electric fence). My car was keyed twice months apart, major paint jobs. Been shaken down by cops on phony speeding charges and ticketed for 'illegal' parking in Guad between 2 Mex plated cars. Tired of being singled out for the Big Squeeze because of my nationality. I am daily horrified at the treatment of animals and nature in general, the filth and attitudes towards certain levels of society by those higher up, the corruption and realization that those in power/authority could well be on the payroll of the most dangerous & violent criminal organizations on earth. When the random abductions & murders of innocents hit in May a few years back, I think many had had enough. My family begged me to leave in fear of my safety, along with a family crisis that required my presence back in Canada. Three years back I found I was not happy there, remembered clearly the reasons I initially left, and am now in the process of returning. However, one week into my return, I have had several rude awakenings: multiple acts of damage to my new car (one very intentional), a lying ex-gardener who quit is suing me for firing him, and a very crooked lawyer is putting me through the wringer. Back NOB, I could go anywhere, alone, with no worries, but I would never here and I miss the freedom of personal security. I am once again re-evaluating my decisions and choices. I think there are just so many factors on both sides of the equation that each person has to weigh the pros and cons on their own personal list that is compiled through their own unique experiences. Living in a foreign country is definitely not for everyone, but, you never know until you try so it is still worthwhile to give it a shot and if it turns out that it pushes you too far from your comfort zone, at least you can say you gave it your best shot, had a grand adventure, and, hopefully, didn't burn all your bridges behind you so you can proceed to Option B. Life is meant to be lived, the good, the bad, the ups & downs. Enjoy it while you can!
  17. Me, too! I need same out in San Juan so someone who goes beyond Ajijic would be nice.
  18. It seems that much of the problem is centered around Ajijic due to the high concentration of gringos. I used to go to the Ajijic tianguis on occasion, but no more. I once was hassled by an old woman begging in the middle of the stalls so to be left to shop in peace, I gave her a few pesos. She looked at the coins I had put in her hand with disgust, then spat at me! I left and now I go to Chapala where the few beggars are at least appreciative of a few pesos.
  19. I did not witness whoever was responsible but, really, who else could it be? There was no one else around. About 5 years ago the same thing happened in the same parking lot, when that weasel, Antonio, used to 'work' it, he tried to sell me wiper blades and I declined, always politely and with no hint of prejudice, yet I came out of the Farmacia to find my wiper blades had both been shredded in my absence. Now I see this same guy has moved to Superlake.... mental note to self to not shop there if he is present. I wish the business owners had some clout to keep these little thugs in line if not just get rid of them. Sadly, they will just move elsewhere and keep up with their game,but I fail to understand how they think vandalizing people's property will result in more business from their victims.
  20. I pulled into the parking lot at Farmacia Guadalajara Friday afternoon and immediately was set up in by two men flogging windshield wiper blades and door bumper guards. They each tried their sales pitch on me which I politely declined in Spanish but I was still nervous as I walked into the store and stopped once inside to look back. They were standing at the front of my vehicle, talking. I continued with my errand and when I left, they were several cars over. It wasn't until I arrived home and walked past the passenger side of my vehicle that I saw it: the entire side of my vehicle had dozens of small gouges in the paint, right down to bare metal. I was livid. This will require a full paint job on all three side panels at considerable expense and hassle. I have been here less than one week, just bought this vehicle and this is the second such incident in as many days as I came out of Walmart on Wednesday to find the back drivers side had been side-swiped and scraped badly. Whether this was also intentional or just someone's really lousy driving skills, I may never know, but three years ago when i had another vehicle here, it got keyed twice, each time resulting in full paint jobs. I am once again giving some serious thought to whether I really want to move back here, as I have a tough time accepting that such carelessness and outright vandalism will once again become part of 'normal' life.
  21. Thanks for the feedback. However, the issue is not with finding a company to move the items- I already have that. The problem is with customs at Guadalajara airport as I have read of others horrendous experiences and would like to avoid the same fate. I only have 2 weeks there, if any problems arise and my goods are held after I return to Canada, they will consider the shipment abandoned and it is all toast- right? That is what others have said happens. My understanding is that NOTHING made of wood will be permitted entry into Mexico when by air, though driving no one bothers to look or care. So does this mean the wood block my kitchen knives sit in, and my wood photo frames and jewelry box, are they going to be refused entry? Will my entire shipment be pulled aside because of this? If so, I am screwed as every box has at least one wood item.
  22. Okay, so if shipping used household goods (clothing, kitchenwares, photo albums, toiletries, etc) by freight forwarder is not a good and viable idea, what is? I will only have about 6-8 big boxes, hardly enough to justify hiring a moving company. Neither do I want the hassle of having to hire a broker to get it through customs. Short of driving it down, which I can no longer do since I am now Permanente, what is the best way to move a reasonably small amount of personal goods from Canada to Mexico, the one that will result in the least amount of beaurocratic botching and grey hair? I am only there 2 weeks then back to Canada, so it needs to arrive in that time frame for me to be able to receive it and deal with any potential issues that arise.
  23. What a friggin nightmare! And here I am just packing up several large boxes to ship down to Guad airport through a freight forwarder out of Van. Int'l Airport. I am thinking I should just abandon the idea now! I am not having much success in getting information from the shipping office pertinent to shipping used household goods & personal possessions from Canada to Mexico- they keep telling me I need to ensure my shipment meets all Mex. Gov import regulations, etc. Well, we all know how that is to research & get correct & current data on... I had posted on the boards inquiring for anyone else's past experience in shipping household goods by air freight, and had no response. But reading Tombo's account answered my question with certainty that this is definitely NOT a good idea. Can anyone out there prove us wrong?
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