Nov 8, 2011, 7:37 AM
I haven't posted in a long time, but thought an update might be appropriate now. It has been 10 months now since I moved to SMA full time, (by myself)....so, almost a year! It flew by.
I'm in my second rental now. First one was a one bedroom apartment in Guadiana. I rented it on my last visit here, because for piece of mind I needed to know where I'd be living so I could return to Chicago and know what to sell, what to keep, and have a visual of where I'd be living in my head to make all those decisions. It helped me a lot. (you may not be the type of person who needs to do this, but I am:-)
I rented the apartment at end of August, and started paying rent October 1. (I paid reduced rent until I was finally here in January.....but should have worked out a better deal, I realize now)
I came down in October for a few weeks to get my apartment in shape to move into. (Bought a few pieces of furniture at consignment stores, then knew how much space I'd have for what I wanted to bring from the US).
The apartment was semi-furnished, but not to my taste, so I stored some of the landlords furniture to make space for things I knew I wanted to keep from home. My mover (Golden Bear) said the price was the same no matter how much I brought, since there was no one sharing the truck at the time. They drove from California to Chicago, where I had to have local movers lined up to help load the truck. (I had professional antique movers PACK my artwork and glass pieces that were important to me). I provided the necessary list of contents with serial numbers for all electronics, numbered the boxes to match the list. It was pretty easy. There was zero damage to anything.
I decided to sell my car which isn't really needed here, but now I realize I do miss it. (Needing to ask friends with cars for rides to Celaya etc.)......but I would never have use for the car on a daily basis. So considering all that, it was the best thing to do.
Before the truck arrived (which was huge and really nice).....I sold furniture and other things, gave away family heirlooms to cousins, sold some, in the end wound up making nearly 10k, which more than paid for the move which came to 8500us. I brought down some mid century furniture that I didn't want to part with, but not much. Basically I brought things that were meaningful to me and sold the rest, and amazingly, nearly all of it was sold only by using facebook!
After about 6 months in my apartment I realized it was just not going to work long-term because it was too small. Also after talking to a lot of full-time gringos I discovered that it was also overpriced. it is now renting for 200usd LESS than I was paying, because rents have all come down a lot in SMA. A lot of people who have been renting seasonally now want full-time renters, so there is a lot to choose from.
Then in spring I started the search for another place. (I'm an artist and needed space for a studio in my home). I came to quickly realize that in general, places were either too small or huge. I went for huge:-) I signed a 2 year lease to bring the rent down quite a bit, and also as I said prices had come down so I got a good price on a 3 bedroom 4.5 bath house with big garden, casita and guest casita, fireplaces in every room.... for just a bit more than I had been paying for a one bedroom. And in the same neighborhood too. It's wonderful and I hope to stay forever.
Recently I took my first trip to Mexico city (DF), with a friend who is fluent and knows her way around. It changed everything for me, I feel a lot more connected to the rest of the world, since it's a big city with everything you could need, and now I realize that I don't need to order anything online any longer:-) Side note.....Mexico City is all cleaned up, spotless streets and good air quality, they have done an incredible job of cleaning it up from the Mexico City you may remember from 30 yrs ago when you couldn't even breathe there. I felt completely safe, but of course I was in the nicest areas.
In my 10 months here I've made a wonderful group of life-long friends, all who are full-timers. At first I met mostly part time people who then left after high season, and I was here thinking, "where did everybody go"?, so I continued to meet people and everything fell into place.
What is odd is that I have not been back to the states yet, much less my home town of Chicago in 10 months now and don't have the slightest urge to go back! Of course this will be different for everyone......I don't have family left there now, only friends, but they have been visiting, and I expect many guests this winter.
So it's all been great. Takes a while to get the hang of things but just keep at it. I'm learning a lot of Spanish from working with the Mexican people....hiring a carpenter to do some things, talking to the gardener and maid, you will learn without even trying too hard:-)
Well that's my update. I hope this helps someone in some way. Do not be afraid of living in SMA, it's great!