Llaves

I was up super early today to get some work done before going into Mérida. I left around 8:30 and it was just after 9:00 when I pulled into the Galerías, hoping to have access to the Scotiabank there. If not, then I had a few other ATMs to try on my route to the lawyer’s office. The main doors into the mall were closed, but a cleaning guy directed a man also hoping to get to Scotiabank to take a service entrance. I followed and was able to get to the ATM and make my withdrawal.

It was then a very easy drive to the office, which is just a few blocks from the Siqueff restaurant, so I had a pretty good idea of where I was going. Since I was a few minutes early, I walked around the block a bit, found a shop to get a bottle of water, and then returned to the office for exactly 10:00. I was the first one there, but my agent, Paty, quickly showed up and we had a good gab before the owners arrived. I’d met the wife before, but not the husband. He was a bit standoffish, but his handshake was firm, so I wasn’t put off.

We were soon led into an office. First thing was to sign the lease. Mr. Owner suggested that it be read aloud to make sure I understood everything and didn’t feel pressured to read at the speed of lightening. Paty told him I’d gotten an advanced copy and had no questions, so we didn’t need to do that. He quickly scanned it and made the same comment I did — no rent price in it! Why that is was never really explained, but it’s not part of a lease here. I was really glad he had the same reaction as me.

I then had to fill out some more paperwork giving my personal information and copies of my ID. Paty told me not to worry about the bottom section, asking for a CURP (Mexican SIN/SSN) and I was able to proudly say that I have one and provide a copy of the certificate. My preparedness amuses her greatly, but my folder of paperwork has saved me steps so it’s worth lugging around.

Next, I had to pay for October and sign 24 receipts that will be given to me as the rent is paid. Rent goes directly to the owners and they said that it can be paid in many different locations, including Oxxo (Mexican 7-Eleven), which is just a few blocks from the house. I’m still not quite sure how that works, but I know that Oxxo accepts payment for just about anything. Once payment is made, I can send them a message and when they are in the area, they will drop a receipt in the mailbox.

The process was very quick and felt quite informal. My landlady is very warm and as we waited for copies to be made, she was happy to share her favourite shopping spots near the house, including an organic market near the Lebanese bakery that she says sells the best chicken in Mérida.

Paty and the owners were so patient and kind and really made the process easy and gave me confidence in my decision to rent from them. They made sure I fully understood everything and reiterated what they promised will be done before the house is all mine at the start of October. This includes painting the façade and the laundry room (that was not on the original list!), cleaning up the yard, and bringing in a microwave, in addition to emptying out the maid’s room.

Once everything was done, Paty apologised for forgetting to bring keys and suggested I follow her back to her office to pick them up! Followed quite a ride across town (she drives like a demon), but once we passed the Siqueff restaurant I actually knew where I was going so I wasn’t worried about losing her. I then had to drive all the way back to the house, but who’s complaining when I had possession of this beautiful thing?

Here’s my street:

Never mind that it looks a bit rough by NOB standards. It seems common in Mexico for neighbourhoods to be economically diverse. Notice that the house across the street is obviously very nice. Ms. Owner says all the neighbours are great and the neighbourhood is perfectly safe.

Here’s the façade:

There are three garage doors with their own openers, a main person door, and a service entry door.

Moya just fit into the middle bay. Just. I’ll have to figure out which is the easiest one to get in and out of. I think it’s the third, but it’s not covered. 🙁 At any rate, I don’t plan to take the truck out that much…

The entrance is the loveliest part of the house:

I love that flagstone!

Here is a door directly into my office. I don’t appear to have a key for it, so I’ll have to ask if there is one.

Around the corner is a side yard. When I was here last time, the ground cover was bright green, but they applied weedkiller. A gardener will clean it up and then it will be up to me to maintain it. The little window is into my laundry room. Notice the covered terrace area.

I’m so grateful to have this furniture!

Here’s the entrance to the laundry room.

It’s a bit rough, but some elbow grease will make it a very pleasant room to work in. I hope they leave me that ladder!

There’s even as slop sink with a built-in washboard.

Standing in the laundry room looking towards the terrace and the laundry drying area.

Here’s the laundry drying area. There’s no cord, just those racks to hang things from that will be good for big pieces and anything I can put on a hanger. I have a small rack for undies and such. They offered to put up a cord, but it would be too high up to be really comfortable to use. I will do a post later about the tinaco (black container) when I write about the water system. Spoiler: the house water is potable.

View in the other direction. You can see my bedroom window upstairs.

The terrace. I love the doggy prints in the cement! I can see myself here with C&C whooping their butts at canasta! 🙂

Back to the entrance. You can see the far door is the service door.

This is the main person door from the street. There’s a mailbox on the other side (for which I need to remember to ask for a key).

Looking down the service corridor. Those windows are my kitchen and, yes, that’s a dog house at the very end!

Ms. Owner wanted to get rid of this “ugly” bench. 🙁 I think I made it clear that I want it!

Here’s the wall fountain! 😀

We come into the house into the living room. Love the provided furniture, not so much the zebra print cushions. Imagine those couches with bright pink, orange, teal, and/or purple cushions!

The armoires are wonderful. Here’s room to store wine bottles and hang wine glasses:

The house has so little built-in storage that these are really a blessing. The other armoire has a different configuration.

The house has blinds and curtains throughout, another expense saved except where I might want heavier material (bedrooms!).

Looking towards the dining room:

The buffet came from France!

Looking towards the kitchen. I can slide open the doors at the bar or close them. It was my dream to have a kitchen that I could completely hide and this is a real dream. It’s really the only interior part of the house I’m super excited about. 🙂

Looking into the kitchen:

That door goes to the exterior service corridor. The fridge will go by that AC unit.

I get that huge cabinet. The space under the sink is usable as well. Notice the space for the stove with an actual working vent above! Those windows really make the space. I get to keep that table, but it’ll go elsewhere. Imagine a stainless steel table/island in its place! Costco has one that is surprisingly affordable!

Costco also has some stainless steel shelving that I’m eyeing. One will go here most likely.

My only real major issue with the house is the quite gross kitchen sink. They cleaned it up a lot, but it’s still pretty bad. I think I can buff it out and then wax it, but am going to consider paying out of pocket to replace both it and the faucet. To be determined!

I suspect that this door will be open a lot.


The entire house is big dog proof so if I have to bug out for a hurricane or Puppy wants to come visit, there’s room for him.


Here’s the rear courtyard where I expect I’ll eat most of my meals.

It has an RV-like awning that can roll down for extra shade.

Here’s the door to the maid’s quarters. That cement detail is the bathroom window.

I was amused by this souvenir from… Calgary!

The dining room set is really lovely. Hope I will have people to invite for dinner. 🙂

The chairs might be sticky, though, as they are leather or vinyl. At least they’re not fabric!

Now, looking towards my office, the guest quarter, and the maid’s room.

Nice space to fill in front of the stairwell.

And on the other side.

My office:

Lush probably wins about a beer/wine fridge being plugged in under this unit since there is an unfortunate hole that would fit an extension cord.

Surprisingly comfy little recliner and I’ll be glad to have that end table as a bed stand until I can get one!

Now, I’m standing in front of the guest bathroom looking towards the kitchen.

Nice safe stairs up for Bast and Contessa, not that they’ll have any reason to use them. 😉

The guest bathroom. It’s in decent shape, but the hard water has been, well, hard on it.

Lots of stains in the shower. I’m hoping some real elbow grease can help it. Otherwise, I’ll just put in a really cute bathmat!

I really curse the person who invented pedestal sinks.

Here’s the guest bedroom:

So. Much. Storage. Really jealous. Wait ’til you see the master closet.

These are all over the house and are, of course, for hanging hammocks. I really need to learn to sleep in one.

Now, the maid’s room, which will probably look better once all this stuff is gone.

This is the door leading to the rear courtyard. It has a second screened door, so it could be left open for fresh air and light.

Bathroom door and closet, that will probably be used to store cleaning products.

This bathroom actually seems cleaner. It probably wasn’t used as much. I’ll probably use the guest bathroom when I don’t have guests and this one when I do.


The room is surprisingly bright. There is mosquito netting to keep critters out!

Now, let’s head upstairs. Views from the landing:

The upstairs landing is really a bonus space.

Bedroom door:

Master bedroom:

Master closet. Notice the other window for good cross-ventilation.


Bathroom door:


The master closet is probably big enough to be another bedroom. It even has a window and a ceiling fan!


But this is all I get for storage?! No drawers?!

Heading into the master bath. I have been researching clever ways to make pedestal sinks useful.

My shower is in a bit better shape. What’s that in the corner?

I take a gecko as a good sign!

The sink is oddly situated at the other end of the room.

View from the little bedroom window by the closet:

View from the big window:

Looking down from the landing:

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my new house. I look forward to revising it once I start to put my own stamp on it!

35 thoughts on “Llaves

  1. Rae, I am thrilled for you. The house is wonderful and you will have such fun decorating it. This past year has been very exciting and rewarding for you. Congratulations.

  2. Well that’s done, you must feel of sense of relief! Congrats it looks lovely and huge! Love following your ventures!

  3. Looks super. I am sure you will have a great time. A good bit bigger,nicer, etc. from the Stone Island duplex where we were neighbors for a week or so.

    • Good to hear from you, Mike! It is definitely bigger. 🙂 Also brighter and has more ventilation. That house taught me a lot about what to look for in a tropical home!

  4. Score! And what fun for you to make your own! I grew up with hard water in Southern California. CLR is an effective cleaner but pretty toxic. Here are some natural (and inexpensive) alternatives from the Maid Brigade, a commercial cleaning service:
    “Start by mixing half water and half Vinegar in a spray bottle.
    Spray the mixture in your tub and shower and wait a few minutes before wiping clean. [I would use this as a quick clean after using the tub or shower.]
    You can also try removing hard water stains with a paste made from baking soda and vinegar. Smear the paste over the surface of the stain and let sit for 15 minutes. After the mixture has settled in scrub clean and rinse with water.
    It’s important that you immediately wipe dry because you don’t want the water sitting on the newly cleaned surface.
    Finally, you can try removing hard water stains using lemon juice.
    Spray fresh lemon juice on hard water scale build-up near faucets.
    Rinse after 10 minutes. Again, make sure to wipe the area clean.”
    And most of all, enjoy your new home!

    • Deborah, thanks for the tips! I saw at the house here in Chelem the damage CLR can do and am going to avoid it. I’m going the vinegar route, including draping rags soak in it over the knobs. I know lemon juice is really effective since it whitens, but you have to use fresh lemon juice (not bottled) and lemons are rare and expensive here.

      FYI, there is no point combining vinegar and baking soda since they cancel each other out and basically become water. All you get is an abrasive paste.

  5. So very much more that I had anticipated. The included furniture is a real bonus. Who wouldn’t be happy there? Looking forward to being a guest some day. The stairs look very solid and safe. The outdoor space is perfect. Don’t rush to furnish it all, nothing wrong with closing off rooms that you don’t need.

    Congratulations on your choice and the new road in your life.

    • Okay, the house is really officially huge. 😀 Looking forward to hosting you.

      I’m definitely not rushing to furnish. I’m not going to do anything with the guest space until I have confirmed guests coming. I’ve therefore really only got the kitchen and my bedroom to worry about at this point. I’m thinking of taking that nice terrace set and moving it to the rear patio rather than buying something cheap for the rear patio.

  6. Lovely! Enjoyed the tour. Fall and winter this year will be an exciting time for you, making those dreams a reality, the BEST!

  7. Very nice, huge house for you to make your own – I envision a lot of color added to each room. Have fun and enjoy this time.
    SandyM

  8. Your new home looks lovely! Lots of airy space. I could smell Mexico looking at your pictures! Looking forward to visiting you. I’ll bring the required spices for my beef short ribs and the canasta cards! And of course, wine!

    • Thank you! If you have space left in your luggage after all that, I may ask you to raid Miranda for a few things. 😉

  9. I’m sure you’re going to really enjoy this place. it’s so nice that you found it. I am happy for you. You’re living your dream! One of them anyway.
    Good luck and enjoy your palace!
    Elaine in BC

  10. Pingback: Llaves – a Year Later |

Comments are closed.