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Bubba

Mar 28, 2006, 7:39 AM

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What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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We have been considering the Merida area a winter home and, to that end, spent some time last year looking at houses. A couple of things bothered us:

As we were primarily attracted to the colonial center, we spent some time looking there. It appeared to us, superficially at least, that locals are selling out in the colonial center and moving to new suburban housing developments. They seem to be selling largely to expats either planning to move there or both local and expat speculators buying and, perhaps, fixing up housing for resale at a profit. This may have two long term effects To drive up the cost of housing - perhaps dramatically -and to concentrate expats in the historic center while local families long resident there leave the center. Neither of these trends, if true, are bad in and of themselves but they do portend a change in that area. For instance, this could mean the renovation of this very nice area but also mean that it will become an expat colony utilized by locals for festivities but living elsewhere..

The second thing that concered us was the possibility that a huge refinery may be built near Progreso which may be a good thing for the country but may also mean increased air pollution and creation of a boom town effect as in Ciudad del Carmen. Lately, we have heard that the refinery may not come to pass but who knows.

These issues are important to us as we may seek a place to live that is not an expat colony as is the place in which we live now. We don't want to move across country only to find ourselves in a place trending in the same direction as the place we are leaving.

There are some nice smaller towns around Merida, Izamal comes to mind although it is too far away. The coast east of Progreso seems largely deserted most of the year.

We wonder if some of you living there now could give us your take on these issues.


.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 28, 2006, 7:44 AM)



sfmacaws


Mar 28, 2006, 7:55 PM

Post #2 of 13 (5735 views)

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Re: [Bubba] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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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?

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




Ed and Fran

Mar 29, 2006, 6:30 AM

Post #3 of 13 (5727 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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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.


The oil that comes ashore generally gets distributed in country by pipeline. The oil that gets exported usually never comes ashore, but gets piped (underwater) to an FSO (floating storage and offloading unit) located way offshore in deep water. Tankers moor at the FSO and load from there.

But any large development by Pemex in the area would involve huge numbers of temporary workers during construction. These are much more likely to be quartered close to Progresso (assuming that is where the work takes place), rather than in Merida.


PirateJohn


Mar 29, 2006, 10:18 AM

Post #4 of 13 (5710 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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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.


The oil that comes ashore generally gets distributed in country by pipeline. The oil that gets exported usually never comes ashore, but gets piped (underwater) to an FSO (floating storage and offloading unit) located way offshore in deep water. Tankers moor at the FSO and load from there.



Yes, but take a hard look at the Playa area of Tampico. Pemex build the largest refinery that you have ever seen, and it runs along the shipping channel going into the port of Tampico. Sadly, the water around the recreational beaches has suffered as a consequence.

--PirateJohn--
www.PirateJohn.com
John "PirateJohn" Gilmer
South Texas
PirateJohn's website at www.PirateJohn.com


sfmacaws


Mar 29, 2006, 10:32 AM

Post #5 of 13 (5707 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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Quote
But any large development by Pemex in the area would involve huge numbers of temporary workers during construction. These are much more likely to be quartered close to Progresso (assuming that is where the work takes place), rather than in Merida.


Quote

There's the rub! Large construction projects over here in the Yucatan usually involve huge camps of workers living on or near the site. A whole infastructure springs up around them, from taco stands to used clothing stalls. They sleep in hammocks or on the ground under palapas and gather to drink at night and on sunday. Petty crime always goes up while they are around. Theft of stuff from houses and cars and yards, opportunist theft. Also although rarely reported, it is said that rapes go up from so many men living alone with no family or social ties to the area. Collectivos take many of them back to their villages in the interior on Saturday afternoon and return them late on sunday night. An additional hazard if you are driving nearby at night are the staggering drunks headed home. A huge project like this that would use laborers for many years would not be something you'd want to live near.

Thanks for the info on how they transfer the oil, Ed. I was hoping you'd chime in and explain that. I know you have been pessimistic before about this new field even getting developed. If it did happen, what do you think the timeline is? Could they actually start building something in 5 years? 10 years?


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Ed and Fran

Mar 29, 2006, 10:54 AM

Post #6 of 13 (5706 views)

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Re: [PirateJohn] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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...take a hard look at the Playa area of Tampico. Pemex build the largest refinery that you have ever seen, and it runs along the shipping channel going into the port of Tampico. Sadly, the water around the recreational beaches has suffered as a consequence.


The refinery in Cd Madero goes back to the early part of last century. Regardless of upgrades and changes, it is still an old refinery that (like almost all refineries back in those times) was originally built with little regard for the environment. By the way, that's the Rio Panuco, not a shipping channel.

Maybe you and I have different standards when it comes to water. But I lived in the area for a couple of years, regularly went to the beach there (Playa Miramar), and never thought it was particularly bad.

Regards

Ed


Caarina12

Mar 31, 2006, 10:32 AM

Post #7 of 13 (5669 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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I will be in Merida on April 10th-17th to check out the area for us to relocate in a few years.

We are still in the rat race in California, but we are now close to debt free and the reality of being able to move seems to be getting closer. I still am a fan of Cuernavaca/Tepoztlan, Queretaro and SMA due to the closer proximity of Mexico City. (important for my DH) However, I want to cover all my bases. I loved Oaxaca but it's too isolated. I feel the same will be true for Merida.

On paper, I love a lot of things about Merida, but I just don't think I could deal with the heat! We'll see, if I can't handle it in April, well... you can just imagine what it would be like in the summer.

Caarina


Ed and Fran

Mar 31, 2006, 12:16 PM

Post #8 of 13 (5663 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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Jonna:
I know you have been pessimistic before about this new field even getting developed. If it did happen, what do you think the timeline is? Could they actually start building something in 5 years? 10 years?


Forgot I wanted to answer something on that. I don't remember being negative on development of the field. Could be though, the memory sure isn't what it was once (I think). I would be negative on the chances of developing a new refinery in the area. Assuming this field will mainly help pick up the slack from a declining production in Cantarell, then the oil most likely goes to the same places as the current production from Cantarell. But who knows.

I'm sure they will develop the field. Probably fairly soon. A public announcement like they made doesn't mean they just stumbled across the field. It indicates that they have done enough studies and test wells to get a fix on reservoir size, formation, location, etc., which they'd do before making a public announcement. Basic engineering studies for field development would most likely already be in progress. Most of the work involved would be offshore platform fabrication (done in remote fab yards, like they have in Tampico and Tuxpan, or out of country), undersea pipelines, possibly conversion of a tanker into an FSO unit (typically done in Asia), but there would also be onshore facilities and work. Contracts could be (not necessarily will be) let for platform fab and pipelines in less than a year. You could see work starting in place in a couple of years, certainly less than 5 years.

I don't think a city as big as Merida would even notice any change from such a project. Most of the activity and worker housing would be closer to the gulf (Progreso?).

At least that's my story. Just one more data point.

Regards

E&F


sfmacaws


Mar 31, 2006, 1:25 PM

Post #9 of 13 (5658 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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Well, my memory ain't great either! I thought that your pessimism was due to the extreme depth of the field and that Pemex doesn't have the resources - unless the govt stops taking all their money - to develop it. It does sound like they have a plan though, but that could all change with the next elections.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Papirex


Apr 2, 2006, 12:47 AM

Post #10 of 13 (5629 views)

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Re: [Caarina12] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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http://www.clickoncuernavaca.com/ We are 83 km or 52 miles from Mexico City, about an hour from the edge of the City, you do drive up and over the mountain. The highest point between Mexico and us is Puerto la Cima at 3,100 meters, or 10,170 feet altitude. It is a beautiful drive on the cuota. Figure at least another hour to get to wherever you want to go in Mexico City. $75 Pesos on the cuota, or free on the libre if you are a masochist.

At 5,000 feet elevation, we have the best year round climate of anywhere in Mexico. We are in the true central highlands, not near a coast, but Acapulco is only 3 or 4 hours away via the highway 95 cuota. If you like hot and/or humid summers, or cold winters, forget about Cuernavaca.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Bubba

Apr 2, 2006, 1:24 PM

Post #11 of 13 (5608 views)

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Re: [RexC] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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OK, everybody, repeat after Bubba:

Rex's town has the best climate in the entire world. I know this because Rex has repeatedly assured all of us of that fact.

Please believe him and, when looking for a place to clutter with your gringo hiney, please head for Cuernavaca, the place with the most perfect climate in the entire world.


Papirex


Apr 2, 2006, 2:43 PM

Post #12 of 13 (5606 views)

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Re: [Bubba] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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Bubba, you are finally displaying some astuteness. Not many Gringos here, plenty of them where you are, or are going.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


raferguson


Apr 2, 2006, 8:14 PM

Post #13 of 13 (5594 views)

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Re: [Caarina12] What is the Current Trend in Merida?

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I remember a local in the Yucatan telling me that April was the hottest time of the year, she mentioned 43 C, 110 F. If you look at the climate data on Weather.com, April is only a couple of degrees cooler than May, the hottest month. For April, the average high is 95 F, with an average low of 69 F. The 10 day forecast is in the 95 - 100 degree range.

Anyway, if you can stand it in Merida in April, you should be able to stand it during the summer. It won't get appreciably hotter in the summer than it is in April.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com
 
 
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