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encantame


Dec 10, 2003, 8:19 AM

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problems of relocating to Mex?

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My husband and I are 51 and are considering a transfer with his company to the San Diego area to work in a plant that is right across the border in his same company he works in the US with. We have looked online at homes in the San Diego area and are bewildered by shacks that cost $375,000.
We are considering just living in Mexico, since that is where the plant is anyway, BUT...wonder if there are future repercussions to such a thing that we may not realize, like:
1. how will this affect our health insurance? Would they expect you to run across the border to the USA if you got sick?
2. might this affect our retirement? (would we still be eligible for social security and would it still be coming out of our checks to USA, or switch to some Mex form of it?)
3. Medicare?
4. do we have to pay taxes to both countries if we are citizens of both?
5. does one get a driver's license in both Mex & US?
6. will there be a problem with us living and holding a job in Mex, even though it is a US plant?
I'm sure there are many issues that one might happen upon after the fact and I'd rather know them before we make any decisions, as hindsight is pretty stinky.
Please volunteer any thoughts or even questions that you wonder about in a situation yet that I may not have thought of yet, as they should all be considered.
PS - we have a poodle and 4 cats


-encántame

(This post was edited by encantame on Dec 10, 2003, 8:35 AM)



jennifer rose

Dec 10, 2003, 9:03 AM

Post #2 of 26 (3127 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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1. how will this affect our health insurance? Would they expect you to run across the border to the USA if you got sick?


Each health insurance policy differs. Read the terms of your contract.



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2. might this affect our retirement? (would we still be eligible for social security and would it still be coming out of our checks to USA, or switch to some Mex form of it?)


Moving will not affect your Social Security retirement benefits.


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3. Medicare?

Medicare does not pay for services rendered outside of the U.S., except in an extremely narrow set of circumstances.


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4. do we have to pay taxes to both countries if we are citizens of both?


Whoa. Who said anything about dual citizenship? You certainly didn't, and moving to Mexico doesn't make you a citizen. You will pay sales (or IVA) taxes on anything you purchase in either country, without regard to citizenship. Ditto for property taxes. Income taxes will depend upon your source of income.


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5. does one get a driver's license in both Mex & US?


Again, that depends upon the nationality of the vehicle you're driving.


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6. will there be a problem with us living and holding a job in Mex, even though it is a US plant?


That depends upon the terms of your employment contract and work permit.


encantame


Dec 10, 2003, 9:34 AM

Post #3 of 26 (3116 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] problems of relocating to Mex?

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4. do we have to pay taxes to both countries if we are citizens of both?

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Whoa. Who said anything about dual citizenship? You certainly didn't, and moving to Mexico doesn't make you a citizen. You will pay sales (or IVA) taxes on anything you purchase in either country, without regard to citizenship. Ditto for property taxes. Income taxes will depend upon your source of income.
----
>>>Yes, I'm aware that moving anyplace does not make one a citizen of that country. That is _why_ I was asking about citizenship. I'm aware that people can (or used to be able) to have duo citizenships and for that reason I asked a question concerning it, hoping that people would respond with the pros and cons of having it (duo).


-encántame


Rolly


Dec 10, 2003, 9:50 AM

Post #4 of 26 (3113 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Becoming a citizen of Mexico is a complicated process that takes many years to accomplish. It probably would not be worth the effort. Becoming a citizen is for people who expect to spend the rest of their lives in Mexico and wish to participate in politics. There are a few other advantages such as the ability to own property in certain restricted zones.

Rolly Pirate


Carron

Dec 10, 2003, 11:24 AM

Post #5 of 26 (3090 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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If the company your husband is with has facilities on both sides of the border, this is something you should discuss with them. They should be able to assist you with your plans, no matter if you decide to live in Mexico or in the US. If your husband is working on the Mexican side of the border, his company will have to make the arrangements for him to do so legitimately. Demand that the company help you.


encantame


Dec 10, 2003, 12:26 PM

Post #6 of 26 (3074 views)

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Re: [Carron] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Rolly and Carron - if we moved there, we would most likely stay there and retire also. I know that there are things that the company could help us with BUT, my situation is not like that. We have not been officially asked yet. What I'm trying to do is find out as much as possible BEFORE we have to talk to them. I also think personal experience will cover things that companies may gloss over or fail to mention. If and when the company asks, they expect an answer pretty immediately, there will be no time to do research, so I'm trying to find out all the pros and cons, what can and can't be done, rather than just showing up and trying to figure it all out in 24 hours and give an answer. There is no way one can even come up with all the _questions_ in 24 hours, let alone get good answers. I've always felt that real live people were a better resourse, if that were not true, people would not need the internet, they could just talk to their company and stay isolated from others who have actually been thru it.
What I'm looking for is people with the experiences of having pets / homes /jobs / etc and did it by moving to Mexico.
Of course, we would ask the company things, but I don't think relying on one source of info is ever a smart move, that's the whole reason I came here, to get points of views from real people who have no vested interest in us and who have been thru it and have info to kick in about it.
If they do ask us, we want to be very informed BEFORE we go to talk to them. That will also help us to see if they are informed themselves, by the way they answer questions we already know the answer to.
I suppose we've been burned many times before, but none would be as bad as a move of this immensity if we were not very well studied in all factors when we make the decision (if they offer it to us).
Well, it could be I'm asking for advise on things that no one really knows the answers to, so no one will be able to give me and stories/advice/warnings of what it would entail.
I do have an inkling that our 5 pets would be one of those horror stories though.....


-encántame

(This post was edited by encantame on Dec 10, 2003, 12:28 PM)


Rolly


Dec 10, 2003, 12:33 PM

Post #7 of 26 (3070 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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I think what Carron was referring to in asking the company for help is in getting a residency permit called an FM3 with permission to work. They may also be able to offer advice about housing.

Look here for my story on moving to Mexico. It may be of some help to you. There are also scads of resources here on MexConnect -- go exploring.

http://rollybrook.com/...o_move_to_mexico.htm

Rolly Pirate


D.G.

Dec 10, 2003, 12:59 PM

Post #8 of 26 (3056 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Since your company would be the one offering the job, and since they do business in Mexico, there are probably other people who they have relocated, helped with an FM-3, etc. See if you can find out who they are, and contact them directly. They can give you the best picture of what an employee of that plant experienced. Of course, if you are the first, well, then that's another situation.

Hope it all goes well for you, it sounds like other moves weren't so great from your comments.


SteveInPVR

Dec 10, 2003, 2:08 PM

Post #9 of 26 (3043 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Bringing your pets in to Mexico should not be a horror story. I've driven over several times with my two dogs. The "offcial" requirement is that you need a statement from you vet stating that the pets are in good health, vaccines up to date, etc. This should not be more than 7 days old. Now, I've done this every time, and have never been asked to show any documentation. At the border, they usually just say, "oh, dos perros," and that's the extent of it. When you go back the states with the pets, you will also need a certificate from a Mexican vet that the pets are in good health, etc. Again, I've never been asked for this upon our return. But, just because I've never been asked doesn't mean I will stop getting the letters...you never know!

Steve
Steve


Carol Schmidt


Dec 10, 2003, 2:25 PM

Post #10 of 26 (3039 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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We moved to San Miguel de Allende with two cats and a small dog and all are surviving just fine.

You have to have an International Health Certificate from a vet signed within something like 48 hours of crossing the border on all of them (even though we've never actually been asked to show such a certificate, we always get one). That means we have to have an appt. with a vet who has been alerted ahead of time to have forms on hand, on the morning we are to leave so that we will meet the time frame.

We drove down in a small SUV with everything we wanted to take, having gotten our FM3s ahead of time and listing all the contents of all the boxes on a Menage de Casa (see Rolly's page), and had no problems. We decided to go ahead with the menage because we had two desktop computers, two computerized sewing machines and other electronics stuff tobring, and that would have been hit hard with duty at the border if even allowed in.

No questions at the border on our pets. We put both cats in a pet carrier that rode just behind our seats, the litter box elsewhere in the car easy to get out, and the dog on my lap. We carried the pet carrier and litter box into the hotels each night in secret but declared the dog since she's a yapper. She's so cute and little that hotel managers generally agree to let her stay if they see her, but she does have to have company or she yaps so we can't leave her alone.

A lot of Mexican hotels will not take pets--check their sites on the internet and ask ahead for your route. That problem is discussed several places on these forums so do a search on hotels and dogs. We took the route that let us stay in the U.S. the longest so we could use Motel 6s as long as possible, then crossed at Nuevo Laredo and tried to drive straight through to San Miguel in one day, 600 miles, to avoid the hotel-dog problem, but we did stay over in the Holiday Inn in San Luis Potosi, whose internet site says they do take dogs. Had to beg and cry and talk to the manager to actually get permission, however.

Have heard stories that people have been kicked out of Mexican hotels in the middle of the night with no refund and nothing else open when their pets were discovered, but others here have said they've had no problems sneaking their pets in or getting permission. As I said, ours is a yapper.

Once we were here, most places took animals for long-term rentals. Mexican culture is around where the U.S. was in the 50s regarding animals--many people have no respect for them and mistreat them, while many people in the U.S. still mistreat animals as well, if you read the news. Lots of homeless dogs and cats around, and sometimes the dogs run in packs and can be dangerous, though I just heard of a woman in the states who was killed by loose dogs too.

We wouldn't let our dog run loose even in a penned area because of fear a street dog could jump in and kill her. Street dogs came into our courtyard and killed the Banty hen and nine chicks that we were enjoying running loose in our area. We keep a close rein on her when we walk her. We keep our cats inside--they've always been indoor cats--though we have friends who let their cats outside and probably have the same shortened life spans as U.S. cats.

I remember that outdoor pet cats live an average of three or four years, indoor/outdoor cats live around seven years, and indoor cats live something like 17 years. Probably about the same here.

We also feed a dozen feral cats and are taking them in to be neutered as soon as we can catch them--11 done so far, but some disappear, others show up. We share this job with our next-door neighbors who are from Canada.

In every area with a large number of gringos there is some sort of Society for the Protection of Animals by some name or other, which tries to educate people about respect for animals and which takes in strays and provides low-cost neutering, etc. They all need help and money--even with someone to socialize the new animals and walk and pet them. You 'd have lots of opportunities to help the cause.


What are your specific fears about your animals?

Carol Schmidt


Marlene


Dec 10, 2003, 3:34 PM

Post #11 of 26 (3023 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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I think if relocating to Mexico is something you are seriously considering, maybe checking out the town or city you are thinking of moving to would be a first step. The day to day living situation in that area could impact your decision more than anything else. Mexico is a noisy, vibrant country. Expecting to sleep after 5:30 or 6 a.m. if you are a light sleeper is just not an option in my neighborhood. I was laying in bed this morning thinking about all the folks here for the winter, still in their first few days and what must be going through their minds. (You see it is beautiful outside these days. The air conditioners are off and we have nice fresh cooler air from the ocean, hence windows wide open)

5:30 a.m. motorcycle with NO muffler, newspaper hitting casa walls! 6:00 a.m. tortilla truck guy waking up the elderly shopkeeper "GLORIAAAAA" 6:30 a.m. Gloria, 83, now wide awake sweeping sidewalk chatting with neighbor also sweeping sidewalks (loud brooms) 7:00 a.m. Gas truck...honk honk honk AND playing noisy tune from loud haler 7:10 a.m. Gas truck again, in case we missed him the first time. Now we're up! 7:11 a.m. Doors banging loudly as the early school shift (kids go to school in two shifts here- morning or afternoon) rush to get to class... 8:00, 8:30, 9:00 a.m. AGUAAAAAAAAAAAAA! 3 different guys with great lungs

You get the idea. By the time 9 oclock rolls around, while folks in Guadalajara are still getting ready to open their shops at 10 a.m., we in Mazatlan have been awake for hours! The fishermen have the catch of the day already. Everything opens early and why not, we were awake anyway! Viva la difference. Make sure it is for you, however. Sleep deprivation doesn't sit well with everyone that spends time here. The evenings are quite beautiful and neighbors spend time outdoors until fairly late. Voices, music, dogs, well you get the idea.

I agree with the other posters about pets. The animals are the easy part of the equation, as they are completely adaptable. My old boy dog was happy to find that palm trees worked as well as pine trees. But where the heck were those fire hydrants..??

Hope this helps a little.

Enjoy Mexico.


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 2:11 AM

Post #12 of 26 (2961 views)

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Re: [Rolly] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Rolly - I enjoyed your information very much, it is the kind of info I am looking for. If we were ready to retire it would be all I needed to know! Thank you for making such a detailed account for others to learn from.
I'm still wondering about if the social security still comes out to the USA gov if you are living and working in Mex, as of course, you were retirng, so that wouldn't be something you had to deal with. If anyone else is doing that, please kick in, because even though the ocmpany will tell us something, I like to make sure it is actually the way it happens.


-encántame


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 2:33 AM

Post #13 of 26 (2961 views)

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Re: [encantame] problems of relocating to Mex?

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About the pets....
The horror in my mind concerning the pets is that we live on the east coast and even if we just fly to San Diego and live there... the thought of 5 animals on an airplane for all those hours makes me wonder how many times they will have went to the bathroom/thrown up in their cages and smeared it on themselves by the time they get there. I can only imagine them being a nightmare of a mess on arrival and don't understand how the baggage carriers deal with this. Not to mention them going without food or water all that time. I'd rather live in San Diego only because of not having to have alot of paper work for everything. They would still be the same mess on arrival, but not be detained longer for paper work check. Even if I had the paperwork (don't know what that would be) to fly them to Mexico, I imagine they would be stuck in some area of the airport forever while they were checking it all and the pets would be insane by the time they got out. I also can't imagine selling my house and packing up everything to leave here and getting 5 pets to the vets for their papers right before I leave. I feel somewhat hopeless about ever being able to accomplish it in due time. It's difficult for me just to get them all to the vets to board when we go on vacation!
If we already lived anywhere where we could just drive across the border, I see that several of you are saying that is not a problem. Well, that's good to know, as I don't have any idea how this will all happen, and if we should end up making more than one move like living in San Diego first, it'll be good to know how to do it just driving across. Even though I love Mexico, my first choice would be to live in the USA because that would eliminate a whole lot of red tape, if only the housing wasn't so out of our grasp. I never meant to get anymore pets, our poodle was going to be our last one.... but these strays all showed up here in a litter and were all sick and well.... you know how that goes.
It is possible we will not even get an offer to go, I'm just trying to gather info in case we do.


-encántame


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 2:41 AM

Post #14 of 26 (2959 views)

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Re: [D.G.] problems of relocating to Mex?

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DG - we have never actually moved before for a job. Actually we've only moved once since marrying. We started out in a trailor and moved to a house after 2 years, and have been here ever since.
But, we know people who were only moving to another state for a job and were not given complete or accurate information and would put in a bind because of it. We've also had just regular business dealings that were all supposed to go a certain way and then things suddenly changed when it came down to it. So, I learned to try to get as much info on my own as possible.
We know one other person who's transferred there but they are trying to buy in San Diego and can't find anything they can come close to affording, even with a major drop in what they are used to living in. (mansion -> shack) - still not affordable!


-encántame

(This post was edited by encantame on Dec 11, 2003, 2:42 AM)


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 2:43 AM

Post #15 of 26 (2957 views)

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Re: [SteveInPVR] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Even if I already lived in San Diego, I suppose it is the sheer number of pets i have that would make it so hard to do this 2 day vet check thing going and coming.


-encántame


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 2:46 AM

Post #16 of 26 (2956 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Thanks for all your information and detail, I enjoyed reading it and will keep it along with the other valuable info I've received here.


-encántame


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 2:59 AM

Post #17 of 26 (2955 views)

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Re: [Marlene] problems of relocating to Mex?

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Thanx for the great account of a typical day where you live! It was a lot of fun to read and I appreciate the time it took to write it!
We had been thinking of an area like Rosarito Beach or Enscenada, as the housing was affordable and seemed nice enough.
This would not be hurting my head so much to think about it if it weren't for the 4 cats. The poodle I could just take on the plane with me in a special bag, but not the 4 cats. And one of them is already crazy, I can't imagine what kind of trauma this would do to her. And she wouldn't make a pet for anyone else because she is so weird and afraid of everything. Actually, we tried to find homes for all of them, but everywhere we asked, they were already full of cats, including no kill shelters and friends and work associates! We really never meant to have more pets, and gee, the last week vacation we took, their boarding bill was over $500! Well, I'm whining now, so I'll quit, I'm just kind of freaking out in my head over the prospect of trying to accomplish ANYTHING with 4 cats (including just dustmopping the kitchen floor) and I'm sure no one wants to hear that!
I appreciate all the info that has been given, every little bit brings a bit more clarification.
I have been to Cancun, Mexico City and Acapulco and have studied Spanish since 1997 - but on my own, which is not as good as other ways, but I worked with what I had, because I really love Spanish. Ha, ha, I can also say that the most immersed in Spanish I ever was was when I was in Miami! In Mexico, they all wanted to practice their English on _me_!


-encántame


alex .

Dec 11, 2003, 7:43 AM

Post #18 of 26 (2915 views)

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Re: [encantame] kind of a smart alecky answer:

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but I'm guessing there is an Interstate highway between where you are and San Diego? Why fly? Dogs and cats are quite common in Mexico, they won't feel out of place.
The sticker shock of living in San Diego is probably more significant that you are imagining, $450K is more like the median housing cost, then there is the property tax, well, you get the idea. I vote for the following:
FM3 visa
A rental in Rosarito
US car
US plates
US driver licence
A postal box in the US, such as at the UPS store.
A US checking account w/ ATM access
Blue Cross insurance (I believe major hospitals in Tijuana accept it, check to be sure)
An open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

Alex


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 11:30 AM

Post #19 of 26 (2878 views)

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Re: [alex .] kind of a smart alecky answer:

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Thank you for the list of useful suggestions, I appreciate it.


-encántame


encantame


Dec 11, 2003, 1:28 PM

Post #20 of 26 (2857 views)

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Re: [alex .] kind of a smart alecky answer:

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what does that word 'median' mean, as in median housing?


-encántame


jeffsitka

Dec 11, 2003, 3:38 PM

Post #21 of 26 (2837 views)

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Good Morning Mexico!

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That's the best description of the sounds of a morning in urban Mexico I've ever read. I recall my first trip to Mexico in 1989 and being awakened a 7:00 AM by a truck playing a Spanish language recording of the song "My Way" at high volume over a PA. At least I think it was in Spanish because the distortion made it hard to understand. I never did figure out what that guy was selling.


alex .

Dec 11, 2003, 3:55 PM

Post #22 of 26 (2833 views)

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Re: [encantame] median price

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The median price indicates the mid-point of the home prices; one-half of all home prices are above and one-half of all home prices are below the median price. The median price differs in definition from the mean home price, which is the average of all home prices. If the average price is higher than the median price, it is an indication that the distribution of home prices is concentrated, or "skewed", towards higher values.
So $450 K will probably get you a cookie cutter 3 or 4 bedroom tract home.
Alex


Marlene


Dec 11, 2003, 4:15 PM

Post #23 of 26 (2825 views)

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Re: [jeffsitka] Good Morning Mexico!

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Thanks, but you will notice that I tactfully left out the balance of the day between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. lest I should scare our potential visitors!


esperanza

Dec 11, 2003, 4:33 PM

Post #24 of 26 (2821 views)

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Re: [alex .] median price

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Friends in San Diego recently paid $775KUSD for a recently renovated 1600-square-foot house in a nice old neighborhood. Ugh.




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Miguelito


Dec 11, 2003, 5:09 PM

Post #25 of 26 (2809 views)

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Post dating pet docs

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hmmm, I think I'll ask my vet about that.


Los que cantan oran dos veces! (Those who sing pray twice!)
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