Yes, we bought a house in Merida, Mexico!
Oct 2nd we marked our 5 month anniversary of living in Merida and we’ve already bought a house. However, that was not our original plan.
Initially, our goal was to start with an Airbnb. Then, we’d look for a long-term unfurnished rental, move our stuff here from St Pete, and then, after a year, start looking for a house.
Several things changed that plan.
- We knew within a few weeks that we loved Merida.
- We had a difficult time finding long-term unfurnished rentals in the parts of the city we wanted to live.
- We really missed having some of our things (kitchenware especially)
- We really missed haivAnd Chuck spotted a fantastic house for sale online!
Living in Centro
We knew from the start that we wanted to live in Centro. Technically that is what most people call ‘downtown’ or the historic district. It is walkable and has lots of amazing mercados and cultural activities.
Unlike “Norte, “ where you typically need a car to go everywhere, it’s more suburban with many gated communities. It’s also affectionately known as ‘gringolandia’ by some of our friends.
Big box stores and restaurant chains from the US, shopping malls, and all ex-pat neighbors weren’t what we were looking for in moving to Mexico. Don’t get us wrong, we like having a Costco here, but it wasn’t the big reason to move to Merida.
Where is San Sebastian?
We had stayed in Santa Ana, Santa Lucia, and Santiago neighborhoods on previous visits to Merida. They all have a nice mix of locals and ex-pats and local plazas with restaurants, mercados, and cultural activities.
When we first saw the listing for our house, we paused for a minute as San Sebastian is a little south of those areas, mostly locals and some abandoned homes. With fewer houses listed in the other neighborhoods, people are discovering San Sebastian.
The square with the church has two schools, several shops (we even have a Circle K), a cute little mercado, and a bunch of neighborhood eateries. We’re just two blocks away, and there is always dancing, a concert, or some celebration at the square.
We have a tortilleria and bakery a few doors away, a fantastic takeout place that roasts chicken and has pretty good fried chicken right around the corner too.
Our House in Merida
Some ex-pats had already done some renovations to the house we bought. They kept some of the local charm and added many of the upgrades we were looking for.
We’ve been told that the original portion of the home, where our living room will be located, is one of the oldest homes in the San Sebastian / La Ermita neighborhood.
The front of the house has a large wrought iron fence. One gate enters into the main walkway, while two others enter into covered carports. Off-street parking is great, and covered parking will protect the car from the Yucatecan sun.
The house has old wooden doors in the front and high ceilings and many rooms have traditional pasta or paste tile floors.
However, it’s got amazing new amenities too. It has a water filtration system, solar panels, a huge modern kitchen, sliding glass doors across the back of the house, and a lap pool.
The two bedroom, two bath house had most of what we were looking for, and all on one floor!
A Few Updates
We’re having a few things finished around the house, are awaiting our shipping container, and hope to be completely moved in by the end of the month. Fingers crossed.
We promise to share more of our adventures in Merida as we get settled in.
We joke that the learning curve on EVERYTHING here is at a 90-degree angle. Some upcoming adventures include buying a house, buying a car, working with local contractors on renovations, and shipping our household stuff to Mexico.
We’ve tackled a lot in just a few months.