It’s all over but the crying

I’m pretty sure that I’ve used that title before. But I think it is (all over but the crying). The couple I talked about last post came up with an offer (Thursday, not Monday, which pretty much occupied that week). It’s conditional on financing (ugh), which actually doesn’t happen in Mexico much, as most sales are cash. So, we don’t really know for sure yet. Although we have a backup – a Mexican family from 45 minutes away, currently living in Chicago, who will use it as a family vacation home. I liked those guys too. And he’s got cash – but we have already commited to the first buyer’s offer, subject to their financing and offer open basically until the buy/sell contract signing (they do things a little differently down here). That’s scheduled for February 26, a week from Wednesday (now this coming Wednesday, actually…I started this post a while back).

Is it actually sold? I hope TF so because we’re renting a house in La Paz for April 1. And from there, I will head north and help get the Airstream in shape to stay in. In the meantime, our pre-sale condo should come due (as noted in the last blog) about June/July and we will sell it. After we’ve done that, we can buy a place on Vancouver Island and rent it out. We are planning to spend a year or two in Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay likely) at that point.

We may just invest the money from this sale and we can get 9%. And buy a house with a mortgage (max 4%) that the tenants will mostly pay.  I did the Excel file and with the renter paying down the mortgage somewhat, and the increase in equity, so the house is the better investment, we think. Plus, we could get one with an in-law-suite, which we could then occupy in summers. Once we are done renting in Vancouver for a couple/few years. If we live that long. No alarm intended, but people die every day. Witness Uncle Rick (and Mom and Laura and Tommy and Tommy (not a typo both cousins) and Aunt Ruth and Adrian and Ruth from Cuernavaca and Kiki and all of them).

So, here we are. With lots to do. We need a new bank account down here – that will take a full day (Oy). The reason? We need to go to Intercam – for exchange rate purposes. Our bank account in Mexico (which is Scotiabank but NOT affiliated other than in name with Canada, it’s a Mexican company here) won’t do the trick, they have retail exchange rates. I usually work with large foreign currency exchange amounts (so far only for house purchases but multiple times) with VBCE (Vancouver Bouillion and Currency Exchange) who have awesome rates. However, woe is me when they told me that they cannot accept large dollar peso amounts for exchange from Mexico to Canada. FM *&^+@!!. Because of Mexican cartel money laundering regulations, they choose to not get involved.

When will it close? Who knows. Sometime between mid-end April looks probable. If it closes. This is Mexico, I count on nothing. They could pay their 10% deposit and not follow through. In which case we keep the house but big deal. We will just take this whole process day by day. But mostly, I think it’s sold.

Which brings us to PJ – who is showing stress aggression in this house only – not when he goes to Mexico City with his trainer for 2-3 days a week (like doggie camp, big school). It’s Rosie. We actually had a behaviourist (also a veterinarian) come and consult after filling out a 20-page questionnaire. He’s pretty sure it is because of PJ’s relationship with Rosie – if you remember, after he was about six months old, the old girl (read: bitch) started randomly attacking him to prove her dominance. Only he fought back. They’ve been in separate parts of the house since the fall but it’s not working. He’s turned on me a couple of times and on Chris (breifly and with no biting but terrible vocal aggression). So we have misplaced, redirected aggression due to stress (Rosie’s presence).

So, we are going to send him to school and with the trainer on a long term basis while we move. The behaviourist is calling it dominance aggression, brought on by Rosie constantly attacking him out of the blue and now he is stressed and unhappy and jumpy in this house. But in Mexico City, he runs with other dogs, plays, sleeps amongst them – adores his trainer, just adores him.

Rosie is 12.5 and all three previously deceased bull terriers lasted until their 12th year, only one made it to his 13th birthday. So not wishing her an untimely death, but we will move with her and when she does die, we can bring PJ to La Paz from boarding school. FM. 

The good old days

This is a huge stressor for me and causing all kinds of anxiety.  He has never shown any aggression at school or when with the trainer. And he’s been with the trainer for three weeks at a stretch (CW’s operation).  And is there half the week, most weeks. Rosie may live three months or maybe even six, according to past experience, before we can get him back.

And hey, you all know about his enlarged heart problem. He may have a heart attack while playing with the pack of dogs. I just want him to have a good rest of his life, I want Rosie to have a good rest of her life and I don’t want to always worry about my dog having an episode. Nothing is guaranteed, I know. But at least we have a plan. I do admit to waking up in the middle of the night in tears about it though, I understand entirely that once we move, we may not see him again. He was such a sweet, loving dog until he and Rosie started fighting. It’s only been four months of this stage of aggression but it feels like 40 years. But, I chant for him to have a good life and for us to meet again and that’s the other all I can do.

And oh yeah, full time boarding at doggie camp? There goes my face lift when the house sells 🙂 

Did I mention that I went to La Paz and found a rental for a year? And we’ll go from there. CW is heading over for the 1st week in March to get some services set up like internet and phone.  We will drive with Rosie which is a little scary, given the situation on Mexican mainland roads with hold ups, shake downs and cartels. Still, we will be on toll roads, about seven hours from here to Guadalajara, then a motel, then another 6 or seven to Mazatlan, a motel there and the 14 hour truck ferry the next day. Only daylight driving. And we’ll be in Baja at sunrise.

Okay, it’s February 26 and here’s a really big update: they can’t do the buy sell contract yet, because they don’t have final confirmation from the bank yet. So this conditional offer for three effing weeks with no money attached runs out today. And we’re not extending it. We told them to come back with their non-refundable deposit and a buy sell contract when they are sure they have a mortgage, and we’ll honour all previous terms. But it’s back on the market in the meantime and if it’s gone, it’s gone.

Chris is booked out Sunday March 8 (non-refundable ticket) to set up some things in the new La Paz rental. That we committed to rent for a year. They will probably excuse us with three or four months rent but Jesus, Mary and Joseph. And Mother of God and all that shit. He will still go. I guess the deal could still come together. If not, there’s always the back up buyer but he thought this house was sold so he’s moved on – still, he says he’s interested and will come back and have a look. But shall I fall apart now or later? I guess much later might be possible. Right now I have to figure out WTF to do.

Well, now it’s March 4 and still no deal. They are still waiting for the bank. Did I tell you *what* the bank’s problem is? For those who have been reading this blog all along, you recall the trouble I had with Immigration here in Mexico and the delays and the flying to Guatemala City to renew my visitor visas – because I took CW’s last name when I married him 27 years ago. Same bullshit at the bank. As follows:

When I got my residency visa in 2015, I had to play the same waiting game with the Goberniero (Migracion in this case). They also didn’t get it in the beginning, and took them about 5 – 6 weeks maybe to confirm it was all fine.

They wanted our marriage certificate for residency, naturally. But because we were married in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Canada is not a member of the “apostile” treaty around the world, we couldn’t apostile our marriage certificate as Americans can. Instead, they required that we get it “legalized” by the Embassy of Mexico in Ottawa, Canada (our capital), and “authenticated” by Foreign Affairs Canada in Ottawa also. Done (to the tune of $500 CAD). Stickers affixed.

So we submit our marriage certificate (we were married on October 22, 1992). Uh oh. They don’t like that. My last name before I got married was not the same as my husband’s the day I married him 27 years ago. But it is now. That’s an issue. Our marriage certificate shows my maiden name – a woman with the same birthdate, birthplace, first and middle names as the person on my Passport. And driver’s license. And credit cards. And Mexican government green card (resident visa).

The Canadian Embassy in Mexico City gave me a letter that is stamped and signed, declaring that I am who I say I am – listing passport numbers, the marriage certificate number and advising that taking one’s husband’s name is a very common practice in Canada. The bank has ALL of this.

This was all good enough for the Republic of Mexico to give me residence. I have my current passport and my expired passport, which show 10 years each. I have ALL of them in Canadian storage, all the way back to my first passport. The buyer’s notario has declared everything to be in order and perfectly legal and says the bank just needs a bit more time.

In the meantime, the guy from Chicago, Mexican with family ties here, seems interested also but we’ll see. I’m so sick of showing this house. CW is in La Paz this week, as mentioned above. I want to go home and eat sweet corn on the cob and poutine and Chinese food. I want people to believe that I am who my passport, driver’s license, credit cards, and residency card says I am. I’m not going to start this though because the list would be really long. Kind of ironic that one of the best-selling books I ever wrote was How to Move to Mexico.

And then there’s the next thing – we’re priced in pesos and the peso is tanking. We would get $27,000 CAD less on the exchange today compared to January 20 (6 weeks ago). That’s $627.90 per day we’ve lost on average since then by not being sold. It could go back up again before we sell but the smart money is likely shorting the peso. If the current potential buyers with the slow bank don’t buy it, we are re-pricing in USD. At least the Canadian dollar usually goes up and down in synch with that one. Don’t EVER buy a house in Mexico. And PLEASE remind me if I ever start talking about it again.

So… the Chicago guy came up with an offer and we said, thanks but no thanks – lowball – more than 10% lower than our reduced price. After we’ve reduced our asking price by 20% (it was originally listed at assessment/appraisal value). So he’s out. Even if he comes back with a higher offer, we gave him our bottom line before and he needs to meet it. We’re not even countering. But I wish him luck. But I have no time for that.

I guess I’m left sitting on my hands again. It’s like groundhog day here. Every day is the same. It’s beautiful inside the walls, there’s no denying. The weather is good. And I have first world problems, I know. I am grateful that we have a house to sell at all when I think about it. There is so much poverty and so much sorrow in this country. But that’s another story.

I leave you with a photo of the parrots who have come back to roost in the dead palm tree this spring (they disappear from December to late February to the south of town where it’s warmer). Photo above, video below which will let you hear the noise they make. Joyous noise, as someone commented today. Maybe by the next time I write, the house will be sold. I sure hope so. Until then.

Loud little buggars – I think these are babies from last year come back…