I’ve been fortunate enough to have had almost a month’s vacation, over which time I’ve been on quite an adventure. So much to report, but I don’t want to make this post too long. Thus, I will break it up into chunks.
Chunk 1: The New House
As you know, we have been renting a condominium/house in the suburbs of Querétaro in a development known as “El Refugio.” The house and everything in it was brand new when we moved in, which is always a plus. The condominium complex is also relatively new, so everything here was clean and lovely. We met some wonderful people here, as well. All in all it has been a great experience.
Because it is in the burbs, there is a lot of green space that is great for the dogs. Unfortunately, the downside has been that it takes from 20 minutes to 2 1/2 hours to get to work. I know that’s a pretty wide timeframe, but the traffic here can be horrific. Recently, too, we’ve had a gasoline distribution problem, leading to long lines at the gas stations and creating panic among those of us who have to drive to work every day.
Even before that, however — way back in December — we started looking to move somewhere closer to my school. Our lease here is up on March 10th, and finding a place in “el Centro” isn’t easy. There is a lot of demand and not much inventory. Some of the homes, too, are colonials that are in need of a lot of repair. Those that have been remodeled are, as you would expect, rather spendy.
I managed to find a website (or 3 or 4) that aggregated various listings and found several potential places for us. I was a bit concerned that I was starting the search too soon, but it worked out perfectly. Of course, I was also a bit nervous about my language skills, as well. Not everyone here speaks English (duh!).
A few of the listing realtors did contact me, and Lyn and I went to see three places, none of which worked for us for a variety of reasons. One realtor that contacted me did so to tell me that the place I was interested in was no longer available, but he had one that wouldn’t be available until February or March that he thought I might like.
A quick note about the photos: You have to visualize it empty.
He was right! The house, which is located in the heart of the historic district, was being used as a government office that was moving out to get more space. They had been there for six years and, in that time, very little had been done by way of improvements. Nevertheless, the house was amazing! HUGE! With an interior courtyard, five large rooms (living room + four rooms) on one side of the courtyard, and a dining room, kitchen, and two bathrooms on the other side of the courtyard. Much of the outdoor space was covered with beautiful stone archways with a large area open to the sky and the area between the bathrooms and the main house covered with glass roof enclosure.
Despite the fact that there was an office there, it was easy to see what an amazing house it was and could be again. The ceilings are easily 20 feet high, and the stonework and configuration meant that it would be very cool all summer long. Of course, it also will get a bit cold in the winter, but that we can handle!
Other issues around this house, though, are that, unlike here in Refugio, it is unfurnished. We have a plan for that.