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Dateline: The End of My Rope

I’ve never been so happy to get an email as the one I received yesterday afternoon from Articulo27@sre.gob.mx. After what seemed an interminable wait, (only 78 days in reality) I’ve finally been granted permission to buy “my” houses in Roma Sur. Woo hoo!!!

You can’t imagine my relief. For the past couple of weeks, all my worries have been building toward a crescendo. “What if I get denied after all?” This one seemed unlikely as I had literally never heard of it. On the other hand, there’s a reason you have to ask for permission, right?”

I’m now considered a Mexican, at least where
buying this property is concerned

“What if my visa expires before I get the permission?” My lawyer advised me that I could simply execute a power of attorney in his favor and he would be able to sign. OK, that would work. But I have to admit I was a little uncomfortable with the idea. I think I trust him, but anyone who knows Mexico well knows that it’s a low-trust kind of place. Mexicans don’t trust each other, and the mistrust is a bit contagious. Sadly. My BF, Marco, would have been my preferred attorney-in-fact. I totally trust him, and he’s a lawyer to boot. But he’s also incredibly busy at work, every single day, and doesn’t even get any real vacation days to speak of. It’s a scandal, but that’s a subject for another post. I knew he’d do it, but it would also be a sacrifice on his part. He’s already done a ton of work helping me negotiate the deal, proofreading my Spanish, and helping review the documents sent by my lawyer. I didn’t want to ask for more.

“What if I don’t get permission before the planned date for final payment of the house?” I certainly wasn’t going to pay for the houses before I got permission to buy them. Nope. That one seemed too risky. But it was also the most easily addressed. So far I only have a draft of a proposed contract of purchase/sale, and haven’t yet signed anything. I’d have to leave the contract more open, something the seller wouldn’t necessarily go for. She was already growing impatient, and I don’t blame her. Elderly and in need of moving to a single-story place, she had her own reasons for selling and wasn’t delighted with the delay either.

Those were the principal worries, but there were others. I might have to leave before the permission was granted, and then not be able to get back again easily. As many of you know, the days of being able to go in and out of Mexico with 180 day tourist visas granted as a matter of course seem to have come to an end. It’s not really clear what the official policy is, because the “new” rules are the same as the old rules. And the bureaucracy seems to be pretending that there’s been no change. But talk to anyone who has been coming and going, and you’ll hear the horror stories of grillings by immigration agents about specific tourist plans, return tickets, etc., and visas issued for less time than the intended stay. My mind filled with visions of bureaucratic horrors of all kinds.

But now I’m incredibly relieved. My attorney now thinks we’ll be able to close maybe in a week or so.

As for the visa situation, I managed to find an email address for the Mexican Consultate in Boston at the bottom of the form to apply for a visa. I’ve almost never gotten replies to unsolicited emails to Mexican organizations, but I figured, “What the heck?” and emailed them. Interestingly, they got back to me in a couple of hours. They wanted a scan of my driver’s license proving I was in their territory, and then when they got that, said they’d let me know when appointments for April open up. So far, March is booked.

So things are coming together. I’m now free to go back to my previously scheduled worries about my mother, remodeling, dealing with contractors, how to pay them, total costs, etc. But those things aren’t on a deadline, which makes them much easier to deal with. For now, I’m feeling much better.

Saludos and thanks for reading!