Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard

Language in real estate ads


elisabeth
 Share

Recommended Posts

My husband and I are considering moving down when we retire next year.  We plan to visit in the summer. In the meantime, I am occupying myself by reading everything I can find, participating in forums and, my favorite, looking at real estate ads to get a sense of what houses are like and what we should think about.  I've seen some lovely houses called "fixer uppers" or in need of renovation.  From the pictures, I couldn't see anything wrong, so I am wondering if anyone can explain what these terms usually indicate (updating, which is largely cosmetic?  structural damage of some kind?).  In the US, "needs updating" usually means older finish choices like bathroom tile and cabinet doors (and possibly wallpaper that needs to come down).  A fixer upper, in my experience, really has some kind of damage, and it's often clear from the accompanying pictures what that is.  But I can't tell what this language means in ads for Mexican residences.

I look forward to meeting many of you online and when we come down this summer.  We won't be able to stay for more than 10 days, because we have trouble scheduling more time off at a time that works for both of us.  Thanks, Elisabeth

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Needs updating usually means the same as what you describe above.  Fixxer uppers don't always have damage. Sometimes it just means it has outdated fixtures, etc. Sometimes there is more work.   It's really a matter of how the agent decided to word the description.  There is no one blanket way to describe things when you are dealing with individuals and the wording they chose.

I will say that there are a couple of noticeable differences in housing.  Of course, it depends on where you are coming from and what you are used to.  A couple of things right off the bat:  fully enclosed garages and storage.  The garage is a standard item in the US on a single family home.  Here, most of the time, you have a covered car port and the property surrounded by tall walls.  Storage wise, you don't get the benefit of the garage storage you have in the US.  You may get a very small enclosed area somewhere in the carport area of in the backyard. No attic and no basement either.  In essence, so much less space for storage.  Another thing, many kitchens don't have pantries.  This may not be a big deal if you don't cook and store items in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could easily mean needs 3 prong and grounded wiring which can be spendy and perhaps has nice big Terra Cotta pipes which are fine if you don't need to put paper down the toilet.

Been there for both of those.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My rule of thumb would be to avoid anything that is in obvious need of help as to floors, roofs, walls, stairs. You will find enough to fix just with the stuff that looks okay. Even tho we are in paradise, weather-wise, the heat dries things out and the rains wash things out, and sometimes the earth moves, and I'm not talking about the way it did for Hemingway! We do have a home inspector here, my neighbor Brad Grieve, and he is great at identifying what needs to be done to a home and how to find good contractors. Most expats here will suggest that you rent before buying, to give yourself time to identify where you want to live and what kind of house or condo you want and at what price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another definition for "fixer upper" is..... be ready to spend a good number of pesos (thousands) to make it something you will want to live in. The good news is that the labor to do so will be cheaper by far than in your home town NOB.

Another think to consider as many smart people have done..... you MAY want to rent for a while, possibly for more than a year and in more than one neighborhood/town. This is not Kansas and if you are not really 'up' on living in Mexico you will surely get a number of surprises.

While you are here this summer, ask as many people as many questions as you can.... they won't mind. DON'T rely on a realtor to be completely above board with answers.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read Lisa Jorgenson's book which mentions subsidence and runoff (and also the existence of maps of the fault lines).  She also talks about construction techniques, but I must admit I hadn't make the step to "don't try to work on it yourself;" however, neither of is so inclined anyway.  I also didn't realize that the material of the plumbing lines makes a different in whether you can flush paper (which is how I read your post, pappysmarket). I assumed it was just the diameter.  Anyway, the trip this summer is just to see if we would like the area.  If so, we will come down early next summer to find something to live in - and it will be a rental.

Gorgeous cat, Mainecoons.  I have 3.  One may not live to come down with us, but I will certainly bring two (and possibly our dog, not a good candidate to move because she is terrified of thunder and lightning).  I haven't figured out how we will manage finding a temporary temporary place to live with the cats, or if I will have to come back for them once we find a place to rent for 6 - 12 months.  But I have time to work on this.  We also need separate space for the cats, as my husband is very allergic.  We actually have a casita here (well, OK, and accessory studio building). So I figure it will need to be an inlaw apt or an enclosed sunroom/porch with access to a walled garden.  Ever since I lived in Tunisia I have wanted a house with a courtyard or walled garden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Terra Cotta pipes are often very rough and so some paper hangs up and then it just continues to build until you have a backup. Our new BnB lasted about 3 months before we had our disaster. Not fun but our plumber replaced everything with PVC in one very long day. The next year it was the on demand water heater when we were full. Funny now but not then. Found a guy who could weld it but had to lug it out in the middle of Calle Zaragoza in Ajijic and tie up traffic for a while. The bus driver was not amused but the guests applauded. Warranty service came from GDL about a week later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, elisabeth said:

I have read Lisa Jorgenson's book which mentions subsidence and runoff (and also the existence of maps of the fault lines).  She also talks about construction techniques, but I must admit I hadn't make the step to "don't try to work on it yourself;" however, neither of is so inclined anyway.  I also didn't realize that the material of the plumbing lines makes a different in whether you can flush paper (which is how I read your post, pappysmarket). I assumed it was just the diameter.  Anyway, the trip this summer is just to see if we would like the area.  If so, we will come down early next summer to find something to live in - and it will be a rental.

Gorgeous cat, Mainecoons.  I have 3.  One may not live to come down with us, but I will certainly bring two (and possibly our dog, not a good candidate to move because she is terrified of thunder and lightning).  I haven't figured out how we will manage finding a temporary temporary place to live with the cats, or if I will have to come back for them once we find a place to rent for 6 - 12 months.  But I have time to work on this.  We also need separate space for the cats, as my husband is very allergic.  We actually have a casita here (well, OK, and accessory studio building). So I figure it will need to be an inlaw apt or an enclosed sunroom/porch with access to a walled garden.  Ever since I lived in Tunisia I have wanted a house with a courtyard or walled garden.

Finding a place to take the cats is not hard.  There are lots of pets here and, overall, is a very pet friendly place.  Now, as to finding a place that is separate for them, that may be a bit trickier. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the most important things to be aware of when you finally get serious about househunting (after a good chunk of renting) is this:  Back in the States, most if not all realtors are obliged to have a multi page "disclosure" document completed by the seller for the buyer's benefit.  There are consequences if lies are found.  Not so here.  You are on your own in discovering any problems. Don't expect the realtor to volunteer a single negative.  Won't happen.  So....happy house hunting some day, but BUYER BEWARE.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggest getting Judy King's book, "Living at Lake Chapala" for the straight scoop. She has forgotten more than most of us will ever know. Plus it is a fun read.

And just an FYI - always expect to put the used toilet paper in a basket unless there is no basket. Especially in public toilets and private homes.

For a 10 day stay, I would leave the kitties at home unless they are very seasoned travelers. Cats tend to be creatures of habit and that many moves would likely not be appreciated. Before you give up on the dog, the rainy season is heaviest June thru September. My dog, who really hates thunder, has managed to get through it if I spend the first few nights cuddling him during the storm. Others swear by Thunder Shirts.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cats do not come with us this summer - you are correct, they will be much happier at home!  I can't quite make out what we are going to do in the summer of '18, which is when I think we will come down to stay.  We could come, stay in temp quarters until we find something to rent, and then I could go back for them - but I would have to fly, too far to drive by myself, but I also doubt either the airline or I can cope with 1 passenger, 3 cats.  I will see if Hotel Perico can handle cats.  They cannot share quarters with the dog, either: she would love to play with them but not vice versa, and there wouldn't be much left of them.

Can one flush paper in the better hotels?  I haven't mentioned this to George yet.

Thank you all so much for the great advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Ajijic_hiker said:

Have you even been to Lake Chapala yet? You might not even like it here.

As you probably know, the most important thing in real estate is:      ? location, location, location ? 

Hope this doesn't get me in doodoo. But in Mexico the important thing is Beazz, Beazz, Beazz. I don't know how google would translate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, MtnMama said:

I suggest getting Judy King's book, "Living at Lake Chapala" for the straight scoop. She has forgotten more than most of us will ever know. Plus it is a fun read.

And just an FYI - always expect to put the used toilet paper in a basket unless there is no basket. Especially in public toilets and private homes.

For a 10 day stay, I would leave the kitties at home unless they are very seasoned travelers. Cats tend to be creatures of habit and that many moves would likely not be appreciated. Before you give up on the dog, the rainy season is heaviest June thru September. My dog, who really hates thunder, has managed to get through it if I spend the first few nights cuddling him during the storm. Others swear by Thunder Shirts.

Haha, yeah that's what our plumber told us to tell the guests. I doubt we would have been as successful as we were if we had told the Gringos to put the paper in the basket not the toilet!  They wouldn't have done it anyway.

 

1 hour ago, elisabeth said:

The cats do not come with us this summer - you are correct, they will be much happier at home!  I can't quite make out what we are going to do in the summer of '18, which is when I think we will come down to stay.  We could come, stay in temp quarters until we find something to rent, and then I could go back for them - but I would have to fly, too far to drive by myself, but I also doubt either the airline or I can cope with 1 passenger, 3 cats.  I will see if Hotel Perico can handle cats.  They cannot share quarters with the dog, either: she would love to play with them but not vice versa, and there wouldn't be much left of them.

Can one flush paper in the better hotels?  I haven't mentioned this to George yet.

Thank you all so much for the great advice.

I leave this answer to others. I do think imost of the local BnBs are "equipped " to handle paper in the toilet. Anybody care to comment on the existence or nonexistence of "better hotels "?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leave the cats and dog home at first because anyone with a short term rental will not likely let you bring cats, too many people are allergic.

 

In AJijic village proper I no longer know of anyone or any business which REQUIRES that the paper be put in the wastebasket instead of being flushed. 

 

It always amazes me that people new to the area stay at Hotel Perico out on the Libramiento the most remote location possible for a factfinding trip.  Choose somewhere in any one of the village areas.  Save the remote location for when you come to look for a home.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Toilet paper:

Many years ago, toilet paper was much less soluble than it is now.  Older properties may still have terra-cotta sewer pipes and “registros“. The latter were frequently a problem, as they worked for the change in liquid flow direction and/or junction of pipes, but not so well with insoluble paper sometimes accumulating in the registro box, causing a clog.  Modern papers are generally quite disintegrated by the time they are flushed, and that action helps to “liquify“ them even more.   Our home in Chapala was built well over 50 years ago and had multiple bathrooms, 2 laundries, 2 kitchens and a pool; with probably several unknown registro locations. We never had a stoppage in over a decade. 

I suspect that most stoppages may be the result of flushing things, other than soluble toilet paper, whnch should not be flushed.  Never flush sanitary products, paper towels, plastic, condoms, hair, etc., etc.  That is asking for trouble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again to all. I have read Judy King, excellent resource. 

I actually use only the most soluble brand of toilet paper here (Angel Soft) according to Consumer Reports).

We won't bring the pets until we have found a long term rental, and we will have made at least 2 visits by then to see if we want to commit to a long term rental.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hotel Perico has it's positives, but it is actually far away from the "center of things" and if you are walking, it is not a convenient place. We stayed a while at The Casa Blanca in downtown Ajijic and our room had a mini kitichen which was quite convenient. If you are without a car, you will want something on, or close to, the bus line and walkable.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hotel Pericho does take pets as we stayed there first a couple of nights with our cats when we arrived.  It is not in town, however, if you have a car, it's just minutes to anywhere, and it's very reasonably priced.  After a couple of nights, it was just too rustic for us, so we switched to a local B&B who gave us a good deal as it was the off season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...