Mar 28, 2006, 7:55 PM
Post #2 of 13
Gee Bubba, no matter what you do you end up making a ton of money in real estate! Maybe we should all just follow you?
Re: [Bubba] What is the Current Trend in Merida?
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I too look at Merida as a place to settle. I think the main difference is that Merida is a city, not a little town like Ajijic or even San Miguel. If a ton more gringos bought in the centro they would still be but a drop in the bucket of population there. I don't think they could hit critical mass in our lifetimes, perhaps in Brigitte and Mimi's lives but more likely those french nieces and nephews would benefit.
For quality of living and experience, I don't think you'd notice them even if the whole centro were gentrified by hordes of NOB Boomers. It's often said that when gays move into an area, we send the property values soaring. This is mainly because of retrofitting and upgrading places with good bones and nice archetectural details. Something similar is happening in Merida centro but it is a large area and to my mind the retrofits and upgrades are an invisible improvement. Merida has laws against changing the facade of any building so the remodels are not noticeable from the street.
For a lot of reasons, locals like being able to buy new houses with modern plumbing and electric and with more space and bathrooms. Redoing a colonial to add these things takes a lot of out of pocket money, easier to sell grandma's house and buy one that has what you want. There are ex-pats buying out near the ring road as well and for the same reasons.
The climate in Merida is always going to keep it from becoming an Ajijic or San Miguel. For most people, the unrelenting heat and humidity are not something they want to live with. It's a consideration, even for someone like me that likes it hot. Another consideration is hurricanes. Surprisingly, I read somewhere that the number one large city most often hit by hurricanes in Mexico is Merida. When they take that hook to enter the gulf they often sweep over the tip of the peninsula. Plus, some that hit the east coast are strong enough to still pack a punch when they get that far east. So, weather is going to be a big deterrant for most people. I just don't see ex-pats becoming an overwhelming presence there.
I do think that the beach towns, up and down the coast from Progresso will feel the influx of ex-pats more as they are small towns. Plus they do get a sea breeze and it is slightly cooler and feels fresher.
If this big new field that Pemex is trumpeting gets developed and they put the main port for it in Progresso, you're right and that area will become huge. What I heard is that the administration, suppliers, pipelines, etc would be based there, I didn't hear about a refinery. But, the oil will have to be shipped from somewhere and if they bring it ashore there in Progresso there is of course a huge potential for problems. If that happens, Merida will also see a huge influx of money and prices will go up whether there are gringos around or not. Really, I think ex-pats will be a small piece of wherever Merida goes in its future, most of the changes will be due to local issues.
My concern more than gringos moving there is the increase in tourism that I've seen. There are a lot more tourists in Merida than there used to be. There are a lot more dazed and sweaty people walking around staring up instead of looking at their feet. I'm a little tired of tourists right now and the idea of moving off the coast and the constant tide of people is attractive. I don't know if Merida would give me that break from tourists I want, I'm also thinking more about the bay coast in Chetumal. Another consideration is do I want to live in a big city, I think I'd like a little more space. I know I want a 15' wall, the way I'm feeling right now I might add some concertina wire to the top as well.
Really, we're just tired of sitting here in Akumal and itching to get back on the road. Since we stayed so late, we're going to have to skip coming through Ajijic and just head up the gulf for Texas. We want to be in LA by 4/16 for my son's birthday and it is a lot faster across that great, boring expanse of west Texas. We'll see you, Anita and all on our trip south. If you and Brigitte decide to come over here to Merida next winter, let us know as I'd love to go poking around the real estate offerings with you.
Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán