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TravelingRae

Mar 9, 2016, 7:52 PM

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should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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I'm Canadian and have spent the last two winters in Mexico, confirming what I knew before even coming here: that I want to live here permanently. I'm in my late 30s, self-employed (can work for my US and CAD clients anywhere I have internet), and speak sufficient Spanish to do everything from the FMM and TIP process at the border to negotiating rent, figuring out TelCel, visiting the dentist, enjoying a museum, etc. Mexico just makes sense to me and immediately felt comfortable here.

I've been living in Mazatlán (Stone Island), but have determined that Mérida is a better fit for me. I just got back from an initial scouting mission and have confirmed that I want to move there and in which neighbourhoods to start house hunting.

I'm leaving Mexico next month (end of my 180 day tourist stay), will travel in Europe through the summer and winter, and then make my application for the temporal at my home embassy (Calgary) about this time next year. I understand the process for that, but with Calgary being 16 hours roundtrip for me from my residence in Canada, I'm wondering if I can do the menaje de casa bit at the same time?

I poked around the embassy website and it seems that I need to have my address in Mexico before I can do the the menaje de casa paperwork. Can it be a temporary address? I rented a place through Airbnb while I was in Mérida last month and had planned to stay there for a month upon landing so that I have ample time to house hunt. Would that be doable or should I plan to return to Mérida to find a place ahead of requesting my temporal visa? What makes me nervous about that is signing a lease for a year or two, paying all the fees, and then being denied my temporal.

I don't have a ton of household goods, but I decided that if I have one chance to bring my things without paying import fees, I'd be an idiot not to go that route. I am debating bringing my truck down. It is a 2000 Ford Ranger, a mechanically sound rust bucket with almost 300,000KM on it. I love the idea of being able to load it (and a trailer) with my things and drive to Mérida to avoid paying movers a huge amount for a small load, but research tells me that the TIP process with a temporal is a huge pain and very expensive. Is this true?

I want to go to permanente at some point if at all possible and won't be able to keep the truck in Mexico anyway, so I'm debating if it's worth spending any money to bring it in since getting it back to Canada would be a 5,000KM one-way trip. It might not be that hard to nationalise since it's so old, but I'm not sure it would be worth the money. Can anyone convince me that I'm better off paying for movers or only bringing as much as I can take on a plane with me (doable!)?

Thank you for any insight you can provide,

Rae



YucaLandia


Mar 9, 2016, 9:53 PM

Post #2 of 19 (10765 views)

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Re: [TravelingRae] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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Hi TR,
Your plans fit what many of us have successfully done. We drove down with a '96 Ford Ranger and a '96 Nissan Sentra - both loaded to the gills with personal household goods, and paid nothing in duties nor taxes.

You can certainly apply for the RT visa in Canada, drive across the USA to the Mexican border in your Ranger, and bring in a load of personal household items in your truck, and even a personal trailer - as 1,000's of Americans & Canadians have reported Aduana just waving them through ... after Aduana scans your informal 'Menaje de Casa' style list to look for commercial quantities of things, or prohibited things, or lots of tools or lots of electronics or building materials.

So, make a list of every big item in the load, and every numbered box, and the contents of each numbered box, and you should be able to enter easily. A few friends who had enough tools to outfit a mechanic's shop and a carpentry business + a welder etc did have to pay $300 USD duties, but the rest of us paid nothing.

See these weblinks for how to do the immigration issues easily,
~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

and the customs issues easily:
1 What Can I Bring into Mexico: Mexican Customs Rules - The Article

and getting a Temporary Import Permit (for your vehicle) easily:
Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico

Happy Trails,
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


YucaLandia


Mar 9, 2016, 9:54 PM

Post #3 of 19 (10763 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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ps We live in Merida, so give us a shout when you get into town,
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


TravelingRae

Mar 10, 2016, 8:30 AM

Post #4 of 19 (10731 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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Thanks, Steve. This was helpful, but didn't answer my pressing questions:

1) Should I plan a trip to Mérida to find a house before I go to my home consulate to apply for my temporal so that I can provide them with my final address or would a temporary address be okay? And would the temporary address be okay for them to approve my menaje de casa?

2) Isn't the TIP process with a temporal really complicated? From what I understand, your TIP is only valid for the 30 days of your FMM and when you do the canje process, you then have to redo the TIP to get the longer stay for the vehicle. And then, what happens when you convert from temporal to permanente? Is there a chance that the older vehicle will be allowed nationalisation or should I plan to get it out of Mexico? And if I get it out of Mexico, does it have to go back to Canada or can I go offload it in, say Belize?

I wouldn't be so worried about the vehicle stuff if I was moving somewhere closer to the US border. But Mérida might as well be the end of the world in terms of driving distance from the US border and from Canada. It's not like I can drive all my stuff to Mérida, drop it off, and then turn right around to bring my truck back to Canada and then fly back to Mérida without compromising my temporal status, as far as I understand the process, never mind the cost and the wear and tear on an older vehicle.

Any further thoughts would be appreciated. What part of Mérida do you live in? I'm looking at Itzimná or possibly San Sebastian.

Thanks!

Rae


RickS


Mar 10, 2016, 7:38 PM

Post #5 of 19 (10701 views)

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Re: [TravelingRae] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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I can address, hopefully accurately, your #2 about the TIP....

It should not be complicated. When you 'qualify' for your Temporal at your home Consulate in Canada, you have 30 days to get to Immigration (INM) in Merida to finalize it. And yes, you can apply for/get a 30 day TIP for a vehicle while in Canada. WHEN you get to INM in Merida and finish the process for your Temporal visa, you will ask for/get a TIP that is associated with your new Temporal and it will be valid for as long as your Temporal is valid. Assuming you stay in Merida/Mexico you can stay Temporal (and keep your TIP car) for 4 years at which time you must either:
+ Leave Mexico, you and your vehicle or
+ Apply for a Residente Permanente visa, currently without having to re-quality. But BEFORE your Permanente becomes official, you must REMOVE your TIP vehicle from Mexico. If you need a car you will have to buy a Mexican plated vehicle.

Whether your Canadian titled vehicle, after 4 years, will quality for nationalization is a crap shoot... who knows what the rules will be then!? But you have 4 years to tackle that 'problem'. I would not depend on being able to "dump it in Belize" and currently it would be difficult to sell it in the US (will it meet US import criteria) but again, who knows what the rules will be like in 4 years.

P.S. Check out Izmal... the yellow city.


(This post was edited by RickS on Mar 10, 2016, 7:41 PM)


TravelingRae

Mar 10, 2016, 8:06 PM

Post #6 of 19 (10696 views)

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Re: [RickS] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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"It should not be complicated. When you 'qualify' for your Temporal at your home Consulate in Canada, you have 30 days to get to Immigration (INM) in Merida to finalize it"

All the info I read said that once I'm qualified, I have six months to cross the Mexican border and then I have 30 days to do the canje thing. Has there been a change? If so, what is your source?

The more I think about it, the more any plan involving taking my ancient truck out of Canada after it makes it back in May sounds way too complicated. I planned to replace my truck in the next couple of years, so I might as well do the bus and taxi thing in Mérida my first few months there and then buy a Mexican vehicle. I know I won't need a car for daily living anyway, so I won't be in a rush to get wheels.

So at this point, I think I'm better off exploring the option of driving my things across the US border (I live 45 minutes from it) and offloading them onto the truck of an experienced US/Mexico mover. Or consider just bringing my things as extra baggage on the plane. I might not bring everything I want that way, but the essentials will make it. If I have to make a trip ahead of time to rent a place, I might be able to bring my things in two hauls, even if I end up having to pay duty on one batch (I don't have anything of value other than my computer; I'm mostly bringing down my kitchen stuff).

I have been told to check out Izmal by quite a few people and I will when I get to the Yucatán permanently. :) Mérida meets my immediate needs and I need to land somewhere...

Thank you!

Rae


RickS


Mar 10, 2016, 8:19 PM

Post #7 of 19 (10693 views)

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Re: [TravelingRae] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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Sorry about the "30-day" statement I made... I am no expert on doing the Consulate thingy and should have just stuck to the TIP portion of your question, which I feel is accurate.


TravelingRae

Mar 11, 2016, 5:36 AM

Post #8 of 19 (10674 views)

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Re: [RickS] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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Thanks for the clarification!

What you're telling me about the TIP is what how I understand that the system should work, but I've heard of the process not going smoothly and folks losing their deposits because of delays at various steps.

Rae


YucaLandia


Mar 11, 2016, 6:17 AM

Post #9 of 19 (10667 views)

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Re: [TravelingRae] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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TR's possibly right about some of the issues.

Some people are getting their TR visas quickly out of the Merida INM office, in as little as 2 weeks ... which gives plenty of time to notify Aduana of their visa's new expiration date, which preserves the deposit at Banjercito.

6 months ago, we had a few outliers that took 6 weeks to 2 months, but the last time I talked with them at the INM office, they assured me that these problems had been resolved .... which is why I didn't project the problems TR is concerned about.

It helps to send a notice to Aduana of your NUT and pieza number, with a copy of the document showing you have started the INM process... when you first file at the Merida INM office, requesting that Aduana extend your expiration date by a year. Further, it helps to notify Aduana again when you have the document from when you submit fotos & sign the documents for your RT card.

To me, the costs saved by moving yourself, and bringing your own things out-weigh the possible loss of a $300 deposit.

Another variant-option we have here in Merida (that's not on Chapala area commenter's radar) is the ease of a long-day trip (or overnight trip) down to the Chetumal-Belize border to extend the TIP.

It's an easy 4-5 hr drive each way. There are cool ruins to see both when there and when going to or from.

The world heritage site of Calakmul is stunning .... well worth going to ... toucans, troops of howler monkeys ... jaguars ... great birding .... but difficult to get to ... unless you are already at Chetumal ... Plus there are easy stops at Edzna et al on the way back to Merida, as little side trips... all things that gringos stuck-in-Merida often never drive-to due to the distances that can make day-trips a bit challenging.

For me? The moving costs saved... the opportunities to see some world-class ruins ... the opportunities to experience the cool high-canopy jungles of the southern Yucatan (versus our scrubby north-Yucatan selvas)... all easily outweigh the possibility of a $300 deposit lost if INM has some quirky hang-up.

But, to each his own.

and Yes, it can be helpful to buy a Mexican vehicle ....

but know that a Mexican-sold Ford Ranger has the somewhat-crappy Argentine motor & drive train ... that crap-out long before the American-sold Ranger motors. Plus the Mexican Rangers use weird exotic Prestolyte starters that have to be shipped-in from Vera Cruz - costing $8,000 pesos ... versus the American-made starter that can be bought at Auto Zone in Merida for only about $75 USD... where just the savings on a dead-Mexican-starter far outweigh the risk of $300 lost on a TIP ...?

I only drive our little Ranger about once a week, as TR proposes using a bicycle, buses, etc. - putting on less than 2,000 miles a year ... which means his American Ranger could reasonably last 8 years through 2 cycles of TR visas.

Finally, you do not need a Mexican address to apply at the Consulate. INM will want a local Mexican address when TR applies here in Merida ... and if TR changes addresses from his first landing-point, he can easily file a change-of-address with INM.

This approach gives him:
~ his own stuff ... saving buying things.
~ his own vehicle to check out various neighborhoods of Merida ... to determine what fits his style.
~ gives him a TRUCK .. which few gringos have ... which is a HUGE convenience, as gringos here frequently NEED to beg, borrow, etc from people like me ... when they need something simple moved like a mattress or a grill etc.

~ gives him a cheap, easy-to-maintain, easy-to-find-parts-for, easy to get worked-on, vehicle of known history...

???
steve

.
ps We have good friends who are selling places in both San Sebastian & in Itzimna & Centro & San Roman Norte, which he could check-out, buy, or live in temporarily(?) to see if likes the neighborhoods...
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


YucaLandia


Mar 11, 2016, 6:36 AM

Post #10 of 19 (10662 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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I would note that I'm not a typical gringo, and the plan I propose seems to fit TR's style - but maybe not(?)

(most Americans are not willing to drive a Ranger with 300K kilometers across town,
- let alone being willing to drive cross-country across both the USA + Mexico in their comfortable cars)

The ways that work for patient, easy-going, flexible, resourceful guys ... people who don't get hung-up on temporary set-backs ... may not work at all for people who feel comfort only when they've planned-out every detail and are only content when everything works-out to their plan.

If you have a go-with-the-flow style (that Mexico often forces on us), then: Learn the rules, know your basic options, consider both the consequences & realize the un-knowable hidden opportunities - and make flexible plans that maximize your chances of having many good days here.


The chance to experience a 40 minute tree-top, bloody, dominance battle-for-control of a howler-monkey troop, as the #3 howler-male challenged #1 for the crown ... far outweighs the possibility of losing a $300 deposit if INM/Aduana have problems.**

Different strokes for different folks. ;)

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Mar 11, 2016, 6:46 AM)


TravelingRae

Mar 11, 2016, 6:39 AM

Post #11 of 19 (10658 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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Thanks for your reply, Steve. First off, I'm a woman. ;)


In Reply To
all easily outweigh the possibility of a $300 deposit lost if INM has some quirky hang-up.


My deposit is actually $200, but that's not what I'm most worried about. I'm more worried about what do I do with the truck once it is of no use to me? There is so much rust on that thing from the salt on the roads in Canada in the winter and my two winters in Mexico that I can't expect it to last me much longer. I don't want to risk putting myself in a position where I lose the option of being able to bring another vehicle into Mexico. It might be a moot point if I get my permanente quickly, but I like to keep my options open.

As for a replacement vehicle, it won't be a Ranger. One of the reasons I want to be in the Yucatán is because there is so much road tripping to do in the area to see ruins and other sites (as you pointed out). So I'll be doing a camper van conversion thing with a Ford Transit or Transit Connect. There's too much about that plan to go into detail here as it's not relevant to the thread, but the options I want aren't even available in Canada (eg. manual tranny) and I can get the exact vehicle I want in Mexico for 10,000CAD less than I'd pay for one in Canada that doesn't have all the options I want. I've held off replacing my Ranger for a year now because I've figured this out and that I'm better off buying my new vehicle in Mexico.


In Reply To
ps We have good friends who are selling places in both San Sebastian & in Itzimna & Centro & San Roman Norte, which he could check-out, buy, or live in temporarily(?) to see if likes the neighborhoods...


I don't plan to buy (don't have enough cash for one thing). And to be honest, I don't like any of the places I've seen that belong to expats. They are not the style I am seeking, are much more expensive than what I am going to be willing to pay, and tend to be in "expat neighbours". While I appreciate all the advice and wisdom other expats have to share, I'm moving to Mexico and want an immersive experience. One of the reasons Mazatlán doesn't work for me long-term is that it's hard to get that truly immersive experience in such a small city.

I've been living in a Mexican house at a Mexican price with Mexican neighbours for a year now and I love it. I saw some houses when I was in Mérida that were in the $3,000 to $5,000 (pesos!) range a month that were exactly what I wanted, three bedrooms, two baths, balconies, yard, and in the heart of the neighbourhoods I liked. Sure, they were older, but nothing a good coat of paint wouldn't help. So that's where my mind is at when it comes to housing.

Rae


YucaLandia


Mar 11, 2016, 6:48 AM

Post #12 of 19 (10655 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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TR...
Great!


**Sharp readers might note that these opportunities (like Calakmul) are rooted in a mix of planning, execution + serendipity: You gotta plan to make the out-of-the-way trip to Calakmul. You gotta plan to arrive at the front gate of Calakmul at 8:00 AM. You gotta have your wide angle binoculars with you to be able to see a fast-moving jungle-canopy free-for-all battle occurring 60 feet overhead. You gotta have your day-pack with snacks & water, since there's no tiendas nor snack-bars at the remote Calakmul site.

... so as Ike said: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless ... but planning is indispensable.
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


YucaLandia


Mar 11, 2016, 6:55 AM

Post #13 of 19 (10651 views)

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Re: [TravelingRae] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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Re places to live:
Only one of the 4 places I referred-to are in a gringo area.

The other 3 are not in gringo-gulches. They are a mix of either very simple ($85,000 USD) ... or upper middle-class Mexican places.

Your plan to get a vehicle here may be superb, but I've not seen many used SUVs for sale here, but I wasn't looking for them.

There are tons of fine fine lightly-used sedans - owned by middle-class ladies - being sold with just 60,000 miles (because many Mexican middle-class people are superstitious about 100,000K vehicles) => buying their new one every time the old one nears 64,000 miles.

The dealerships offer really lousy trade-in values, so, private-party used vehicle sales can save you a lot of money, especially with the recent falls in the MXN peso (from $13 down to $18 MXN pesos/USD).

All the best,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


YucaLandia


Mar 11, 2016, 7:08 AM

Post #14 of 19 (10647 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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A final insight: Realize that Yucatan is so very different from the places that most other internet-posters live, which can make their advice inadequate, insufficient, or misplaced.

Consider that disposing of an older vehicle can be much easier in Yucatan than about any other place (other than Baja):
If the vehicle is still driveable, then make the short easy trip to the Chetumal-Belize border. At the border, surrender the TIP at the border ... without leaving Mexico ... recover your $$ deposit ... and drive back up into Q. Roo ...

Because Q.Roo is a 'Free Zone', foreigners can legally drive their foreign-plated vehicle with no TIP (as long as it still has a valid registration).

Drive the scrap-vehicle to a junk-yard, scrap-yard, or mechanic in Q.Roo who wants it ... and sell it for scrap... and catch a bus back to Merida.

The relative proximity to the Belize border + the relative proximity to the state of Q.Roo (a Free Zone) make things different here, which makes the advice different - especially different from places like the big gringo communities in the Chapala area.

This whole schmear of Yucatan-specific issues might mean you'd get better + targeted advice by shifting your questions over to a Yucatecan forum, like "Mexico Amigos" (on FaceBook). Send me a PM if you're interested.

Happy Trails
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Mar 11, 2016, 7:18 AM)


TravelingRae

Mar 11, 2016, 7:17 AM

Post #15 of 19 (10645 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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"Only one of the 4 places I referred-to are in a gringo area. "

Oh, yes, I understand. I figured that you had seen that I'm thinking of Itzimná or San Sebastian.

"They are a mix of either very simple ($85,000 USD) ... or upper middle-class Mexican places. "

Definitely higher end than what I'm looking for. http://www.vivanuncios.com.mx/...63096830910404450609 This house is just about perfect and I actually toured it. I know from my experience house hunting in Mazatlán that I could easily knock that $5,000 a month down to $3,500 on a two-year lease and get permission to paint and do some spruce ups at my own cost. I hope it's still available when I return next year. It's the one I'll be judging all other houses against.

"Your plan to get a vehicle here may be superb, but I've not seen many used SUVs for sale here, but I wasn't looking for them."

Oh, I'm going brand new, straight from Ford. (And, yes, I've already sorted out the financing for that.)

One thing I find incredible in Mexico is how inexpensive vehicle repairs are! So if I do end up buying a used vehicle just to tide me over until I get my new one, I'm not as concerned about getting something with issues as I was when I bought my Ranger used. I got all new brakes done on it here on Isla last year and the cost was about 350CAD. When I had my pre-trip inspection done in Canada last fall before driving back down, the mechanic asked who did the great job on my brakes and couldn't believe the price. He said he would have charged $1,200! I'll be getting my clutch replaced in the next couple of weeks -- 1,400CAD job in Canada and therefore not worth doing on a vehicle with that kind of mileage. My mechanic here said I'm looking at 400CAD at the most.


TravelingRae

Mar 11, 2016, 7:21 AM

Post #16 of 19 (10643 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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"A final insight: Realize that Yucatan is so very different from the places that most other internet-posters live, which can make their advice inadequate, insufficient, or misplaced."

Thanks for that reminder. It is very different from Mazatlán, that's for sure!

"If the vehicle is still driveable, then make the short easy trip to the Chetumal-Belize border. At the border, surrender the TIP at the border ... without leaving Mexico ... recover your $$ deposit ... and drive back up into Q. Roo ..."

Ah, I was wondering if that was possible! This is exactly the kind of info I was hoping to find. Much appreciated!

"The relative proximity to the Belize border + the relative proximity to the state of Q.Roo (a Free Zone) make things different here, which makes the advice different - especially different from places like the big gringo communities in the Chapala area."

Right. I always think of the free zone as being the rather scary strip along the U.S. border.

"This whole schmear of Yucatan-specific issues might mean you'd get better + targeted advice by shifting your questions over to a Yucatecan forum, like "Mexico Amigos" (on FaceBook). Send me a PM if you're interested. "

I will, thanks!

Rae


sioux4noff

Mar 18, 2016, 9:16 PM

Post #17 of 19 (10430 views)

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Re: [TravelingRae] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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That house looks nice. I think as you meet a wider variety of expats, you'll find more who live in houses like that, or even more basic.


TravelingRae

Mar 19, 2016, 7:25 AM

Post #18 of 19 (10401 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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I know there are expats out there who live in these kinds of houses, but they seem to be rare, especially online. This just isn't the kind of house most expats are looking for and therefore isn't the kind of rental I'm given links to. Might as well save folks some time and be clear in what my expectations are.


sioux4noff

Mar 19, 2016, 7:47 AM

Post #19 of 19 (10397 views)

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Re: [TravelingRae] should I rent a place before applying for temporal (and a few other questions)

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I think you might be surprised at the number of expats who would like a house like that. But you are right, they are not the houses often found on-line.
Perhaps you don't hear from them on-line because they want to be cautious about who they "invite" to live in their neighborhood. Once you meet people in person or become better acquainted with them on-line, they may well start to open up about areas and possibilities they know of. That's just a thought.
 
 
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