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10 August 2009
Dave Clingman

I am still surprised at times and pleased by the friendliness of people here in Mexico.  Saturday Andrew and I drove up into the mountains south of Guadalajara to view some properties for our possible home.  Our first stop was Concepcion de Buenos Aires.  The person who was selling the small house there was unable to meet us, but we thought we would drive that route to see the area anyway.  At the plaza of the small town, we stopped a few people to ask if they knew of anything being sold.  At first, the people seemed skeptical about talking with gringos, but the third person we asked took us into the nearby butcher shop and asked with everyone listening, which then began an almost town wide search for someone who knew.

We finally were walked three blocks to a town elder, who then told us about 15 hectares (approximately 37 acres) that the town might sell to us.  He gathered three others and took us out of town about five minutes to show us the land.  It is very nice.  On this land, there are at least three fresh water springs, which makes a small part of the land a bit of a bog.  But there is also a small hill top, which Andrew and I both liked.  We asked how much they would charge us for one hectare that included the hill, and the price the group agreed on was $500,000.  (Remember that's pesos, equaling approximately $38,000 US.)

We then continued our drive toward
Mazamitla.  We took all back roads, some of which were rather scary in sections, so that we could see more of the country.  We easily found the next property we wanted to view, because the owner had given very precise directions.  The person who was supposed to show us the house was not home, but a neighbor stopped work on his own house to show us around and inside the house we wanted to see.  This house is situated on about one acre of land, set amidst tall pines.  It is a beautiful area located about ten minutes south of Mazamitla (two hours south of Guadalajara), one of the most popular vacation spots for Guadalajara locals.  The asking price for this house and land is $700,000, which works out to about $53,000 US.  We both liked this place even better than the first one.

We then drove north into Mazamitla and viewed a couple of places there.  The prices in town, though, are considerably more than we can afford, and the amount of land that is being offered is quite small.  We would like to find a place where we can have a horse (perhaps we can take
Jorge with us) and a couple of dogs.  Maybe even a goat and some chickens.

Then we drove ten minutes east to
Valle de Juarez, the place that I previously preferred over all others.  We could not find the person who was selling properties there, and the agency and website showed few properties for sale.  We ate dinner there in Juarez at a cost of just over five US dollars for the two of us, and then returned to Mazamitla to spend some time in the plaza to get a feel for that town.

We both agreed that the
house south of Mazamitla was our favorite for the day.  Okay, I admit, we actually got rather excited about the prospect of living there and maybe building another small house and renting out the big one to vacationers.  We imagined where we would have our garden, and we even discussed the possibility of putting in a hot tub between the two houses and charging extra for the renters to use it.

The house has two bedrooms plus a loft.  It comes fully furnished with four double beds (two in each bedroom), one twin and one double bed in the loft, a dining table, two couches and a television in the living room, and a complete kitchen, even including a few dishes.  There is a fireplace in one corner of the living room.  The ceilings are high open beam, which both looks nice and will aid in keeping the house cooler.  There is a large elevated porch outside the front door, which looks out and down on the rest of the property.

I think our next step will be to contact the owner (who lives in southeast Mexico) to see if she will let us stay a couple of weekends in her house for a small fee, so that we can get a better feel of what it would be like to live there.  If we still like it, we'll make an offer on her house.

We did other things during this past week, but our Saturday trip and our excitement about finding a possible home eclipses them.  Perhaps I'll write about those things next week.


While we were viewing her house, the owner raised the price from $700,000 pesos to $900,000 pesos.  Our offer was less than her original price, and so she did not accept it.  Every few months, we inquire as to the status of her house sale, and as of January 2010, it is still unsold.  She declines our original offer each time we renew the offer.

Read update 3 August 2009

Read update 18 August 2009

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