Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm so confused!!!

So I've been in my apartment for almost four months now. I have a six month lease which expires the end of January. I know I don't want to stay here. It's a nice place, but the rent is pretty high and it doesn't include anything like cable, internet, water, etc., like a lot of other apartments do in the area. But when I sold my house last July, I had to find something fast and didn't have the opportunity to shop around. Besides that, I don't like the fact that no one so much as says "boo" to you when you walk around...very unsociable place.

So I was looking in the newspaper on Friday and saw an ad for a condo apartment. Out of curiosity, I went to take a look at it to see what else is out there. It was owned by an elderly woman and was in an older community of mostly professional people as opposed to students. It was $800 a month for two bedrooms/two baths, tiled living/dining room and kitchen, carpeted bedrooms, large patio, fireplace and wetbar in the living room. The rent includes cable and water. It was cute and had more character than the place I have now. But since my lease isn't up until the end of January, I'd have to pay rents at both places, which would just be throwing money away.

I took Jared by it yesterday and he thought it was cute, too, but it's still just an apartment. So after talking about it over breakfast, we went by the new subdivision that I did a post on last month. After viewing all the models, we agreed that this one would best suit our needs. It's called a "courtyard" home in which the grounds and exterior are maintained by an HOA for about $75 a month.

Although I'm not crazy about split levels, it has two totally separate living areas which would be great for both of us. Even though days can go by where we don't see one another in the apartment because of work and school schedules, when we ARE there together we kind of feel on top of one other.

I would have the upstairs area...




...with an extra room for an office...

And Jared would have the downstairs with a separate kitchen area...

Living area with a separate entrance to an outdoor patio area...

And bedroom...

We talked to the sales guy for about two hours on how much it would cost and the extras you can get. I can't get the $8,000 tax break because I've owned a home too recently, but the guy said that if Jared went in on the mortgage, HE could qualify for it...especially since he has excellent credit with a car loan and an American Express card. So, bottom line, with the considerable down payment I would put down, the monthly payment would be around $800 which includes the HOA fee and upgrades like granite countertops and stainless steel appliances (which I would want to do for resale purposes).

Sounds like a great deal, but I hesitate because I've heard lots of people say that the economy is going to get worse and I'm almost afraid to buy anything for fear of what's going to happen in the future. And I really question the resale value of these places. I had thought that I it would be an investment because I could always rent it out, but the HOA will only allow 20% of the homes to be rented out.

Then last night, Jill met a retired guy in Merida who's into real estate and she sent me his link:
http://mexintl.com/index.html So I could get this cute little place in Merida Centro for $59,900...

Look at these floors!


Or this little fixer-upper (also in Merida Centro) for $39,000...

Yeah, it needs a little work, but I could do wonders!

This is a yard I could handle...

Now I'm more confused than ever.

6 comments:

Vee said...

Sorry you're confused, but I certainly enjoy looking at your options, lol. Have you been thinking of moving to MX? If so, maybe this is the right time?

Jill said...

Deb-

I really like the split level! But don't force yourself into anything you don't want (although, wow, that's a great deal...but then again, Seattle is a lot more). I looked at that exact property with the yard and thought...what a great place for a pool! Of course the prices in Merida look great and they are, you end up spending the real money on the renovation...but there are tons of places for sale down here. I sense once you get here you won't want to go back! Oh, and Tom said you emailed to reserve the room...told me he'd sign me up for their sales team- ha!

Jamqueen said...

So many choices...Can you go to a month to month where you are now until youe decide where you want to live? I can't see you moving to MX right now....I know there's no guarantees, but is your job pretty secure? Good luck!

Life's a Beach! said...

Deb, I wonder before buying in Merida if you shouldn't try living there for a period of time. Test drive it! A friend of mine lives in Merida. It has amazing cultural opportunities, but the friend doesn't like it as well as Isla. Merida is a large city, as opposed to Isla which is a village.

When I have a good trip to Isla, I feel pulled towards living south of the border. But Craig and I both think we'd want to hang onto a place in the U.S. and just rent in Mexico.

I'm as confused as you are, so I'm sure I'm no help!!!!

The one thing I will tell you is that new developments start out with low HOA dues almost at teaser rates. Then they start climbing after the first few years. Ours started at $45 a month and now they're up to $60 a month. A real estate friend says there's another round of foreclosures coming related to unemployment and ARM type mortgages. So who knows when it'll hit bottom.

Isla Deb said...

Vee and Ann - I can't seriously think of moving to Mexico now...although I would entertain the thought of buying something there and using it as a tourist rental for now. And, yes, I can go month-to-month after my lease is up. I'm sure they'll raise the rent if that happens, but I really hate to lock myself in for a whole year anywhere because you never know how it's going to be until you live there.

Jill - I know those houses would take a lot of work to renovate. The good thing about that is that in Mexico, the renovation costs are a lot less than they are in the U.S. That's funny about Tom...he should have given you a free night for the publicity! Ha!

Beck - I definitely wouldn't buy anything in Merida unless I spent some serious time there. I know it's a big city, which doesn't bother me because I've lived in quite a few big cities. Thanks for the tip about the HOA fees. I heard about the second wind of foreclosures coming as well. The only thing I'm sure about is that I'm not sure about anything! lol

barry said...

no worry Deb...you will know what you want to Do when it's Right ..you have all the ingredients ,, a Cup of Dreams, 3 heaping tsp of Adventure, a pint of azure sea, a gallon of Smarts, a handful of white beach sand ,5 tortillas, a bucket of Sols and tincture of Time ... you will Know when its time to get cooking.