Move to a long-term rental and other things

The move to the long-term rental

We have been busy.  In late April we moved from our three month rental in the Mejorada area to a long-term rental in Santiago.  Both houses have features we like(d), but this one is proving to be superb!  Three bedrooms, three baths (two full, two half) and lots of windows giving us good ventilation.  Fortunately the owner of the previous house let us know she would not extend the lease longer term before we unpacked most of our boxes from the States, so preparing for the move was relatively easy.

We hired Francisco Gamboa, recommended by Debi Kuhn to do the move.  He came by one evening with his wife to give us an estimate and the next day he showed up with two helpers and his small pickup truck and got to work.  Very industrious fellow.  By noon we were moved, all three pickup truck loads.  Over the next week we finished up and now we are slowly unpacking and deciding where to store things.  I will do another post later with photos of the house and grounds.

We have a one-year lease that we can renew.  The new house is two blocks from the Mérida English Library and three blocks from Parque Santiago and its mercado.

Money exchange and car purchase

We have been in the process of setting up and exchange and savings account with Intercam and InterBanco.  On Monday we will go in and sign the documents.  At that time we should be able to work with our financial agency in the States to transfer enough money to finish buying a car.  We have selected a new Toyota Avanza and have put down a deposit on it, enough to secure the April discount into May.  Hopefully it will all get done next week, but we’ll see.  We are going to meet friends in Tulum next weekend and if we do not have the car we’ll rent one for the weekend.

It seems that setting all this up has become more complicated over the years, due in part to regulations intended to make money laundering more difficult.  I am in favor of that, but…..

Residency status

Kathy’s residente temporal card was issued so we are both good as legal residents for a year.  Our cards can be renewed for three additional years.  At that time we will be eligible for residente permanente status.  We used Yucatán Expatriate Services to facilitate the process and, based on our experience with their excellent service and reasonable cost, can highly recommend them.

The weather

It gets hot here, real hot.  Last week we had several days of temperatures of 100 degrees or higher, topping out at 104 ( that is 38 and 40 degrees for all of you who use global standards for temperatures).  The past several days we have had some rain and more moderate highs, and we are forecast to have three days with highs in the 80’s before a warm up starts on Tuesday.  The lows are forecast to remain in the low 70’s, which makes for more comfortable sleeping with fans.

I have informally adopted a 100 degree rule.  When it gets that hot, I set the AC in the bedroom at 84 degrees before we go to bed.  Otherwise fans work well most of the day.  This is the acclimation phase for us and we are getting accustomed to sweating as a regular feature of daily life.

That is it for now.  With life settling down a bit, with the start-up sequence to life in Mérida coming towards a conclusion, my posts are likely to become less newsy and, perhaps, deal more with matters of daily life here.



4 thoughts on “Move to a long-term rental and other things

  1. Just curious. Why did you decide to use a facilitator service to get your visas? I know the helpfulness of immigration around the country vary incredibly. My experience in Manzanillo was that the officials would bend over backwards to help keep the process moving. I did each of my applications on my own. The office over your way must be more difficult to deal with.

    • The office here in Mérida has the reputation of being easy to deal with. When we came down, I started the process at the Mexican Consulate in Portland. Once entering Mexico, and showing the immigration fellow at the airport the visa they had attached to my passport, I had 30 days to start the in-country part of the process.

      I am a pretty frugal guy, but I do believe in the judicious application of money to reduce friction in life. Given the time frame and all the things we had to accomplish in the first weeks after arrival, I chose to use Yucatán Expatriate Services to represent me in the immigraton process. A couple of weeks after that, I went with Lizbeth to get fingerprinted and sign some documents and the next week I had my residente temporal card. After that, they worked the process to bring Kathy into temporal status via unidad familiar – that was a little more complicated, but not for us.

      I am pleased with my decision. When renewal times comes in about 10 months, I think I will probably do that on my own.

  2. I am curious about your car purchase. Are you paying cash or are you asking for financing? Was financing available to you as an expat ? My fiancé and I are also considering the move to the Merida area and are trying to decide whether or not to finance a car here and import it or to just try and purchase a car in Merida. Love your blog it is a great source of information about what it’s like to start a new adventure in Merida.

    • Hi Bob,
      We are paying cash. Financing is available, but we did not check it out. It may be very difficult for you to bring down a car that is financed in the USA – usually it is hard to get permission from the lender that satisfies the requirements.

      We did not want a US plated car here. There are many reasons for that and maybe some other, more experienced folks, will chime in on those.

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