My new condo in Playa Del Carmen ckick here
It all started off with a thought I had back in February 2021. I was thinking of retirement and where? So I got thinking of two of my favorite places I like to travel to in the past 20 years that are not on the other side of the world. I was looking at Panama or Mexico? They are both great places. After months of research, I chose Playa Del Carmen, Mexico over Panama. Mexico uses the Canadian dollar whereas Panama uses the American dollar as its currency! The American dollar fluctuates too much, difficult for me! Also, there are direct flights Calgary to Cancun twice daily and the flights are not direct to Panama.
I began to do some research about retiring in Mexico and discovered that there was a Consulate office in Calgary. I contacted, the person and he asked me when I was planning to go there. I told him probably October or November, so she told me to call back in September. They also emailed me the link to see if I qualify. I called in September and they said I can’t get in to see them until November 15! They gave me an appointment without a time, I sent many emails with no reply, so I went down to their office for the first time in early October with all my documents in hand. Luck was on my mind that day as I got in to see a Consulate agent that day, so instead of my meeting November 15, I was on a plane to Cancun the first week of November!
After Arriving in Mexico, I received a 30-day visa That will give me enough time to make an appointment to finalize my permanent residency. During that time, I began looking at buying a condo! Things began to get overwhelming for me again, lucky me, I saw this young lady, Miriam N Olivera, helping someone else who was English. I asked her if she was an interpreter and she responded, yes! She gave me her card and I noticed she was also a lawyer. Thank God I sent her a message asking her for assistance. She was amazing, took everything off my plate. I have kept her on for the buying of my new condo. I highly recommend Miriam N Olivera as a true professional! It took 8 weeks to get a meeting with the Mexican immigration, but well worth the wait. They are very busy with people from all around the world moving to Mexico!
In the meantime, while waiting for my permanent residency, I went shopping for a condo to purchase! I went out with a couple of real estate agents that were amazing, but I found out there is no MLS in his part of Mexico. I had to find agents that worked for the same company. I was staying in Real Ibiza at an Airbnb a place where I stayed a couple of years ago for the winter, I was looking to buy there because I love the area but everything I was looking at while I was home in Canada was sold? While riding on a bus to downtown Centro, I noticed some new condos being built and liked the look of them. I got off the bus to check it out, something in my gut was telling me to do so! As soon as I walked into the sales office, the sales lady approached me Norma was her name and I asked her if I can have a look at their new condos, she told me that they have a promotion for the month of November! Thinking that this was a normal sales pitch, I looked into it further! Clearly, this was a good deal! That same day, the deal was signed because I knew prices in the area and it’s even a better location than Real Ibiza, Wow, I can walk to the mall and Real Ibiza and Walmart in about 5 to 10 minutes. Everything I need is around me.
Now it’s time for me to learn after buying a condo in Mexico when you buy a basic condo down here in Playa Del Carmen, it does come with a kitchen and bathroom sinks but that’s about it, Really, there are no light bulbs in the lights. Lucky, I bought what they call furniture meaning kitchen cabinets, stove, closets that are equipped with dressers inside and 3 air conditioners that were not installed. The installation was another story! I am still waiting for all the above to be installed except for the stove and air conditioners and had to pick them up myself, Patience is key in Mexico. I just laugh and put my hands in the air, why get upset? Just laugh. Also, Covid is to blame around the world. At the end of the day, I got a great deal all in total $1.65 million pesos base price $1.5 million to $150,000.00 extras, BTW, the price went way up January 1 2022 to about $450,000.00 more. For the people that know me, I am always good and maybe a bit lucky in real estate…And no my new condo is not for sale!!
Now for the tough times, I went through and thank God I had the sales lady Norma and my lawyer Miriam with me every step of the way. I will start off with the Canadian bank I was dealing with. I knew to ship money down to Mexico. I had to go to Canada to do it or have a trusted person I have a joint account within Canada. I took my daughter Tiffany to the bank with me to make a joint account. After finding out how much, I think she was having second thoughts on how she can spend the money lol… So now time for the transaction to happen. It normally takes 3 to 4 days for Canada and Mexico in trust to come through, but a week and a half later, nothing, $500,000.00 pesos were missing and all of us were worried. Tiffany, my lawyer Miriam and the sales lady Norma, anyways in the end, Tiffany was the only one that could stop the transaction and she did. I ended up losing about $5000,00 Canadian from the day. I first thought one point is big, Canadian $$$$ started at $97,423.60 to $103,425,09 I will talk to my bank when I go back to Canada in the spring. I asked them to send pesos they sent Canadian dollars. I started at 17.04 Mex went down to 16.05 Mex today we are sitting at 15.91 Mex.
So many good things happened and I learned so much. Number one meeting my lawyer Miriam N Olivera. I’m going to call her my new Mexican friend, I strongly recommend using her service in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico She really did help with my residency, I only had to go in and get my photo taken and it was done for as little as $5000.00 pesos. I also kept her on for the buying of my condo, helping me with everything and finding me the right handyman team (Jesus and his partner) at a really good price, of course! I paid them a lot more than what they requested $350 pesos per fan/light, much to low! I also got them got them to change every light as well as putting in the three air conditioners, that was a lot of work. Also, my friend, lawyer Miriam N Olivera set me up with my electricity, gas, water and so much more…Thank you so much Miriam my friend!!!
A couple of other friends I would like to thank for their help with translation, Josh long time friend in Cancun and Marcella from Aguascalientes, Mexico also long time friend I first met in Canada quite a few years ago, we had a mutual friend Carolynn, a neighbor I grew up with in Toronto (rip) we miss you and when I did my road trip Calgary, Canada to Panama City, Panama she and her mother let me the stranger in their place 6 years ago.
I took possession of my new gated paradise condo in the community of Punta Estrella in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico on January 28th/22. I’m getting so excited about my new life in Mexico! So much to see, do, and learn still, like buying a 7-passenger van or car, a scooter and get a golf membership, I heard of a great deal for a Mexican resident like me!
Pete now Pedro Montgomery WorldTripPete.com