Waiting it out

I’m really not sure I like this part of selling a house, especially in a market as depressed and slow as this one seems to be. Waiting it out is the order of the day. The week. The month. Make that ‘months’. Coming up to three months now and no offers. We do have three hopefuls at this point (one is a long shot but I’ve played those before). One keeps trying to come back with her architect brother but can’t nail him down. One may want to trade us a house in La Paz (why not?).

We took to drastic measures this week and reduced our price (which was set at our assessed/appraised value) – it was a 20% cut. So now, it’s selling for the peso equivalent of about $370,000 CAD/$300,000 USD. It’s one hell of a house for that price. We just dropped it this week but the change hasn’t been widely circulated just yet. So we’ll see – surely that will get someone’s attention.

(Update: two showings this past weekend (one was the lady with the architect brother). Another agent viewing scheduled this coming weekend and it’s only Tuesday. The price drop worked in getting attention, now let’s move to an offer…)

(Another update: Wednesday sees two more showings booked on Thursday…so sent I out for flowers.)

Alcatraz, as they are known here (Calla Lilies)

And a phone call Friday that we could expect an offer – albeit one for almost 5% less than our just reduced by 20% price. So we weren’t too excited, but we were thinking about it. Then they called to say maybe don’t expect it – the clients are still looking around. So that’s that. Or so I thought.

I went to bed fairly cheerful Friday night and woke up Saturday morning ready to hang myself. But clearly, I didn’t, because I’m still here. And my daily horoscope (delivered by email) actually told me not to LOL (you know I would never, this is all drama): If something you have been working on seems to be going nowhere you may be minded to end it once and for all this weekend, but don’t be too hasty. Early next week it should begin to bear fruit, so be positive and keep at it.

CW is currently in Vancouver getting a second opinion on his back. Well, he’s home late tonight, he got his second opinion yesterday, which was the same as the first opinion, more or less. Up to him to pick the place. We still have to submit the Canadian quote to the insurance company (this is a private clinic, and he has worldwide private coverage excluding USA).

The operation has already been approved in Mexico, at the equivalent cost of about $15,000 CAD (again, $1,000 deductible, so no problem). I hope he picks Vancouver, but not my call. We have a much stronger support system up there (and they speak English, which is not a small thing to me).

We need a week for him to recover and will get a place on Air BnB (the kids would invite us to stay but they have a million stairs down to their house and I don’t see that working). Rosie will stay with her best dog sitter, who she loves, and she will stay here at the house. PJ will go with his trainer, who he loves. Everyone is happy.

The puppies. After tomorrow, all gone but one – the timid little girl who is going to Ottawa on October 7. She’s getting less timid, poco a poco, it’s slow. They’ve been a trip – but it’s almost over. Gracias, Dios. And gracias para la oportunidad. I’m going to try to bring her in the house after Chris comes home. The two of them have been inside the casita since sibling # 3, the larger white one, left last week. I figure it’s warmer and feels safer. And I leave the door open and at just over three months – they seem to be house trained – they are going to the bathroom outdoors only.

I tried leaving the TV in the casita on when there were two puppies left and came back to Boris Johnson on the news and the two of them cowering under the bed. She’s really afraid of loud noises and keeps looking up like she expects lightning to strike. So I keep the TV off and I don’t turn lights on and they seem to sleep through the night okay.

Honestly, though, I’m getting very tired. I’m always worrying about one or the other of the dogs, PJ is throwing up right now (hopefully he just ate something foul and not something that’s blocking him), Rosie’s 12, we have to move the two of them to La Paz first, and then get them back to Vancouver. But hey, let’s cross that bridge after the house sells. (Update: Of course, he’s fine and just ate something.)

And now, there’s just one pup left – little Rocky (kind of her nickname, she looks like a raccoon but officially Rockette). She’s cute. She was scared and under the bed for most of the first 24 hours after her last brother went to his new home. But now she has come right out of her shell. I think they each realize that suddenly, they can sleep when they want, eat when they want. No one bugging them to play or moving them over or eating their food. I think she’s starting to like it and she’s much friendlier. Good God she has long legs. And she seems to be a happy dog.

I am finally calm about these puppies. With three gone to good homes and the last one booked to a great home in about three weeks, I can relax a bit. I still have to spend lots of time with her, but she’s cute. She wails like a banshee when I leave the casita area. And starting around 5:30am. At least I think it’s her, but who knows. Every house has multiple dogs and sometimes you can’t tell where it’s coming from.

This weekend into Monday marks Mexican Independence Day – it’s a big deal (like July 4 or July 1). CW is home late tonight. Monday is “the” day but the celebrations will go all weekend. We should be able to see some good fireworks from inside the walls.

Our first Independence Day we were nine months in, had the house in San Miguel and had a big party and watched fireworks from our second floor terraza. And I wore these:

Eyelashes for Independence Day

Things change. We have no plans at all. None, nada. Frankly, Scarlett and all that. I’m sick of looking at razor wire and electric fence. I am sick of opening the peephole before I walk the dog to check and see if anyone is lurking on the street. I’m sick of washing all my fruit and vegetables in microdyne. I’m sick of putting used toilet paper in the wastebasket. I’m saddened by the extreme poverty. I’m saddened by the rampant corruption. I’m just tired. And I was doing so well until today (being positive). Must have been waking up and seeing this when I opened my eyes:

The view out our bedroom window reminds me of Mexico’s warts, every morning

We turned the master bedroom (next to this bedroom) into the TV room and office because it was so large and had ceiling to floor windows.

We turned the master into the TV room and office because of the view

It made sense to put the view with the office since we spend so much time there. But I can’t help but wonder if I would have a different attitude if I saw Popo every morning from bed instead of razor wire.

That ship sailed though. I guess I’ll google “how to have a better attitude” instead of wallowing in it. I know I have to look for things to appreciate. I DO appreciate how cheap and abundant fresh flowers are here and was just thinking that yesterday.

Most of the time, the weather is okay but the last few days have been gray or cloudy and I’m wearing a hoodie in the morning. Hot in the afternoon though, 25+. And good rains at night. Yesterday, the rain happened at 4pm, when my Uber Eats order was about 3 minutes away. It was torrential for an hour. I mean torrential. Almost scary. They deliver on motorbikes – so he had to wait about 1km down the hill until it stopped. Yup, an hour, how’s that for timing?

It was just KFC, so it didn’t have to be hot but it was brutal to see that little bike on the map on the phone just hovering, that close but yet, that far, LOL. And the poor Uber Eats guy, of course, earned no money while he waited. I tipped him 2 X the delivery fee (the fee is only 25 pesos) so he didn’t lose any money. These guys work so hard for so little.

If I remember correctly, this is around the time the pool could cool down substantially and be difficult to get back up to 32/33. It’s getting cooler at night and in the morning and a lot of cold rainwater goes in. If it’s cloudy and gray, the solar doesn’t do a lot. If we’ve got sun, no problem, but if the next month is gray and cloudy – it won’t get back up there. I know I sound like a broken record but we’re in Mexico for the weather. So when it’s gray and cloudy here and gray and cloudy in Vancouver, well, take me to Vancouver, thanks.

I was just thinking of being in the Monkey Bar in Mexico City with Eileen when it started one of these torrential downpours around 5pm – it was glorious. I loved going to Mexico City back then. Now, I don’t have the heart or enthusiasm for it. I used to see things differently than I see them now. Am I jaded or am I more informed? Or both?

I want to be enthusiastic again. I want to get excited about things again. I want to be bubbling over about shit I have no business getting that excited about yet (those of you who know me will recognize that condition). I feel like I’m dying a slow death here, what is that expression – 1,000 cuts or something like that. Like a frog in a pot of water that’s coming to a boil and I don’t even notice it.

Okay, I clearly need to do something, put something in motion. With the plan being back up north for the summers – do I want to open a retail pot shop? It’s been on my mind. I don’t want to run one, day after day, but that’s what staff is for. The marketing rules are very restrictive – and marketing is certainly the fun aspect for me. Still, then there is that old adage that the more restrictions you have, the more creative you must be and the better the product ends up being. Problem is, the supply just isn’t there, given you have to go through the BC government to buy everything. I’d probably be better off trying to get a job at the BC pot agency – whatever it’s called. A testing job. LOL. Just kidding.

I dunno, I think I should throw together a business plan. The Island (all of BC for that matter) is lagging in retail stores. In the year it’s been legal, BC has spent $1.90 per capita on legal pot. That’s not good. But there are no stores. They are licensing them (applications are $7,500) but then they don’t open. But costs to get to that grand opening, depending on the size of your store, run $1 million or more. But you could do it for a million. If I had a business plan, I could get investors, I think.

The general rule of thumb is about $1,700 in sales per square foot for cannabis stores – that’s $3 million in gross sales in an 1800 square foot store. Which (again, based on at least for now accepted numbers) translates to maybe $1.4 million in gross profits and $600,000 net profits. A year. Interestingly, I think the numbers are pretty close to those exact numbers for private Liquor stores too. Makes sense.

I can do a business plan. That will keep me off the streets for now. I guess that’s the trick – to keep my mind busy. And that’s been the biggest problem with the here and now – there’s nothing entrepreneurial to do here. Nothing. And for me, idle hands are the devil’s workshop, kick the cat and all that. Although this time it’s been more like throw my hands up in the air and don’t do anything but sit around and wait. For what?

I also think we should plan to move January 15, whether the house is sold or not. We can find a housesitter to come ‘until sold’ (they’re free, they housesit to live in Mexico for free). Lots of agencies. He can have his operation and recover, we can spend Christmas here and then we’re gone mid-January. There, now I have another project.

Ok, CW is back and still deciding about his back. If he does the operation, it will be Vancouver. He’s checking on the timelines now and checking in with insurance. More to follow. He will do it. But he’s waiting on a couple more answers from the clinic up north and we’ve submitted the Vancouver estimate for pre-certification to the insurance company.

Here we are, pretty much the last week of September. By the end of the week, the house will have been listed for three months. Six showings. Not Vancouver and not even Vancouver Island. Slow but supposedly brisk for the market. And a few more in the offing: two returning Mexicans who are currently living in the US (separate leads) who are also interested from Craigslist. We’ll see. And maybe one Canadian. Nibbles. It’s so hard to be patient. I put it back up on Facebook Marketplace today, too. And posted an ad on International Living.

Geez, Louise. It’s later again. I did sign up with an agency so we could find house sitters and we have had a great response and I have some great candidates. But now Chris isn’t sure he will be ready for that kind of drive come January (three days on the road, eight hours a day max). The nurse said it would be fine but he is hesitant. Here comes the rub. The car is in his name. And we will need a five-day pass (Seguro Retorno – secure return) to get the car out of the country because once he moved to permanent resident status (he had to either roll over to permanent or start the whole process again as a temp in Vancouver, ffs) – anyway once he moved to permanent, the car’s import permit is no longer valid.

We won’t take it out of the country but La Paz (all of Baja) is a free zone and no permit is required no matter what your status, as long as your home province registration and plates are current. But as you can see, this perhaps complicates things again as he would like to fly. Which leaves me, two dogs, a car that’s not in my name with foreign plates and three days of driving in Mexico and staying at motels overnight. Life is complicated sometimes but I’m sure we’ll figure it out. It’s only a two-hour flight for the dogs, maybe we can ship the car. I will look into it. I’m not keen to drive alone. And this will ramp up if we do sell the house. Oy.

We can’t sell the van, we can’t junk it, the only thing we must do is get it out of Mexico (at least to the free zone) – whatever it takes. If it’s in an accident and you can’t drive it, they expect you to have it towed. Plus, we just put some $$ into it and it’s good for several more years, it’s a Honda after all.

Okay, let’s have some good news. Last week, our last pup flew the coop to her new home near Ottawa. And now there are none (except the two bull terriers we started with). Here is a photo again of the first day, after their flea bath, full of worms (July 26) and then a picture of each in their new homes.

Myra
Rockette
Cayon

So, finally, mission accomplished. Big, big kudos to those who adopted, the pups all have great homes and wonderful new lives. And I have at least an hour in the morning and several during the day that have been returned to me, I feel like I have time to get things done again. So all is good for the next little while.

CW had all of his pre-op tests and he’s ready to go, awaiting a surgery date of (we hope) mid to late November. All approved by insurance. I am off to the Island next weekend (need to vote on Monday, Oct. 21 among other things that need attending to). I won’t be on the mainland at all – which sucks but since I’m coming back about two weeks after I leave the island, I thought it best to just do a one week fly by this time. All this travelling, however, is putting a pretty big dent in our cash flow but it is what it is and we will just pull our horns back a bit for a while. I’m pretty sure November’s travel will be considered medical and can be written off our income tax (or his, since it’s his back).

So, that’s it, here we are again. Hurry up and wait. Don’t even know if I told you that we had viewing number eight and they seemed quite taken. We’ll see if she brings her husband back (she’s the scout, like me, he only looks at her top choices). But no one seems to be in a hurry. Not like up north. Selling up there is much more fun. This is excruciating, actually. But something tells me it won’t be that long.

This time around is teaching me that in Mexico, one should never rush off and make an offer. Like I do (or we do). We like something, we want it. These people dawdle. They don’t worry about it being gone. Really different market here. But truth be told, both here and San Miguel, we bought fairly quickly because it was such a deal and others were sniffing around. I think the market has slowed considerably though since either of those purchases.

Turkey Tortiere
Canadian Thanksgiving

Enough analyzing. I need to go finish cleaning up from Thanksgiving. CW made the turkey tourtiere and we had several Canadians in attendance. It was a good time. And on that note, I’ll end this post. I’ll even add a song at the bottom (haven’t done that in a long time). And as an aside, the lyrics in this song did not age well. It’s the wishing and hoping part I remembered. I’ll write again soon.

Have a great autumn!

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2 Comments

  1. sidney mehlschmidt Reply

    Don’t feel too bad that you haven’t sold your place after 3 months on the market. Casa Amarilla, our place in Zihuatanejo, has been for sale for over 2 years and we’ve only had a couple of nibbles.

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