As I suspected, today’s appointment was not to sign the final documents for the house. It was to pay a deposit and to go over final details before making an appointment to sign the lease at a lawyer’s office at a later date. That date would depend on when I could pay the rest of the fees, which total four months of rent. I had expected to need no more than $30,000 by this date to rent a house, but the house is a bit more expensive than planned so I was a little short. If I’d had to, I could have cobbled together the whole amount, but there really was no pressure since the lawyer wasn’t available this week and I can’t get keys until September anyway. I would have had to pay that extra amount for furniture, so it really comes out in the wash. I would feel a little squeezed if I was spending all this money to get an empty house, but I actually feel less stressed than I would have renting a less expensive house!
So what I was paying and signing for today were the “apartado,” which is for the lawyer’s fees, and also a double deposit (which is entirely refundable as long as I return the house in the condition in which I got it). The final amount will be the first month’s rent.
The agent had me tell her the most important thing in each document to make sure that I really did know what I was signing and that we would not need an interpreter at the lawyer’s office. That something important is, not surprisingly, that if I back out, I lose all my money, but if the owners back out, I get it back. As we were finishing up, my agent confessed that she speaks fluent English, but that since the documents aren’t legal unless they’re in Spanish, there’s really no point in us doing any of the transaction in English since I’m clearly understanding everything correctly. She will send me an e-copy of the lease ahead of time to make sure I don’t feel pressured when it comes time to sign and that I can look up anything I don’t understand. The documents today were just one pagers and I didn’t encounter any words I didn’t know.
If anyone wants the contact details for a personable, helpful, English-speaking, and non-pushy real estate firm in Mérida that has listings outside of the expat areas at local market rates, please let me know. Someone actually asked me for them yesterday so she can’t be alone!
We wrapped up pretty quickly, but it was too early to go home since the cleaner was there. I found a yummy lunch and then went to Gran Plaza to do some window shopping. I checked out the movie listings, but nothing good was playing at a convenient time today (I had to be home around 3:30 for the cleaner).
My meeting with the lawyer is in exactly two weeks, the next time the cleaner is here. I can slow the pace down a tad now and will have more free time since I’m not going to spend hours a week looking at real estate listings. Oh, wait, I’m going to replace that time with looking at the classifieds in the hopes of finding my dream fridge. 😀
The owners of the house here have confirmed that they are returning on October 31st so I am now starting a 76-day countdown until I’m back in my own space. I’ve got a lot of pool enjoying and dog cuddling to do by then! 😀