Exhibit A: The listing on the left advertises a house on Calle 52, x 51 y 53. The yellow banner that declares “NEW!” doesn’t mean it’s new to the market, just new to them. It’s been listed on the right for quite some time, and probably by the owner longer before that. The left-hand listing quotes $129,000, and the listing on the right asks $134,000. The $5,000 gap may be moot, though. For all I know, it’s already sold, because you can’t rely on real estate websites to stay up-to-date. They will also list “sold” properties that were sold ages ago, I suppose to imply a heated market, but inattention is probably plays a hand, too.
I can almost understand the price discrepancy because we’re talking dollars, not pesos, and currencies fluctuate. But then shouldn’t the “new” listing be more expensive, given the weakening dollar? The agency that’s been accused of gouging gringos and hyping the market is actually asking less.
The listings also disagree on lot size. One records 479 meters, the other 516. Once you’re under contract, you may discover something in between. Or more, or less. Hey, why quibble. You uptight Americans with your yardsticks are all alike. Relax, you’re in paradise.
You tour a property and it’s not clear who owns which wall. The property line ends somewhere over there, by that rock. Which you can’t see because the yard is so overgrown. You try to explore, and brush your legs through some scrub. When your clothes become covered with thistles, the real estate agent pretends not to notice your picking them off one by one. The neighbor’s yard notches awkwardly into yours, probably an ages-old transaction that you’re stuck with. It’s part of the charm. Not charmed? Maybe you’re not cut out for Merida.
The Calle 52 neighborhood is what we optimistically call “up-and-coming,” on a narrow street bustling at times with Montejo-bound traffic, but it’s a wide, nice-sized lot with plenty of space to buffer yourself from the noise. A house next door has been restored, but you’re charting new expat territory otherwise. Too bad the rear faces west; your back rooms will get constant sun. But it’s got a lot of potential for a buyer who’s not so terribly American about such petty details like money and size.