Did you know that you can look at Craigslist pretty much anywhere in the world? It’s kind of cool and a little surprising, but this is how I found our latest home in La Paz.
I was looking for a “Used La Paz” or something to the likeness and ended up on Craigslist. I surfed around on that site for a while looking for a place to live, though most of them seemed to be in Cabo San Lucas. Strangely, the rents are very reasonable, so if you’re ever considering vacationing here, you might want to look into this rather than going with the traditional hotel route.
Anyways, there didn’t seem to be anything available, so I clicked out of Craigslist, but something made me go back in a look a little further back. That’s when I found it. A two bedroom, two full bathroom home in a gated community, with a full kitchen, laundry room, common area and pool.
This looked perfect, and it was listed at $700 USD per month. There must be something wrong, I thought, as we had looked at a some similar type residences, and they were running $1500 USD per month and higher.
We made arrangements to go and view the place, and ended up going for a sort of interview. The longer we sat there, the more we felt comfortable, so by the end of the hour and a half visit, we were anxious to rent the house. Two days later we moved in.
The master bedroom has a lovely and comfortable king size bed and an ensuite. This was one of our “wishes” on the list…queen size would have been okay, but king size was definitely preferred!
The living room has two recliners that are quite comfortable, a sofa which we just had replaced and also very comfie, coffee table, end table and a fireplace.
The fireplace will be handy on cooler evenings, as there are no heat sources in every Mexican home I’ve been in. I guess it’s not really necessary, but I did find at one point in February that a fireplace would have been nice.
The spare bedroom has two single beds which we’ve arranged in an L-shape to accommodate our offices…
Having said that, I prefer to have my office on the veranda which wraps around 1/2 of the house. I get to listen to the birds, smell the flowers and be right next to the pool if things get a little too hot. The thing is, the veranda is all shaded, so we do get a little afternoon sun, but for the most part, this house stays very cool all day long. All the windows are recessed, so there’s plenty of light, but nothing direct. Perfect!
At long last, I have a full kitchen…complete with an oven. I was baking in a toaster oven in the apartment, and I have to admit that was getting pretty old. The kitchen required 4 hours of cleaning before I would use it, but it’s now quite functional with a ton of counter space and plenty of cupboards.
Our laundry room is functional…kind of water smelling, but then there’s a huge hole in the floor which holds our water…500 gallons, I’m told.
Incidentally, I learned about all this, as the water ran out right in the middle of a shower the other day. The city will pump water to the homes on certain days, and I guess they hadn’t pumped it to our development for four days…fours days of cleaning and doing laundry and it all got used up. Something to remember! Fortunately, there’s a reserve on the premises and we were full of water again in a couple of hours.
The centre entertainment and common area has 4 tables each with 4 chairs, a television, stereo, BBQ, wet bar, cooler, sink, bar stools and lounging chairs for the enjoyment of the tenants. The development has 5 houses and 4 condos which all have use of this area; though from what I’ve experienced, there aren’t many that use it. It’s pretty quiet during the day until the resident kids get home from kindergarten. Even then, they will only play outside for a couple of hours a day, so all in all this is a very peaceful place compared to our last place. Beautiful, right? Read on…
Why so cheap you’re probably wondering. So were we. Until we moved in, that is. It was the night we moved in when we first found out about the dirty little secret of Fidepaz first hand. Seems that the whole north end of La Paz is downwind from the sewage treatment plant. The smell is something that seriously can’t be mistaken for anything else, if you catch my drift! It also occurs daily…sometimes more than once and seems to linger for about three hours at a time.
We did a little investigation with our trusty source, Les from Pan D’Les, and found out about this little problem. So we discussed this with the landlord, and were assured that the smell was not something that was ongoing and that it was probably a farmer who had fertilized his crop in the area and would likely dissipate in the next couple of weeks.
Well, fortunately for me, I’ve been in Canada since about day six of moving in. Unfortunately for Nathan, he’s been there everyday since we moved in and the smell is not going away. It is so horrific that the windows need to be closed and air freshener sprayed around the house in copious quantities. We’ve also been burning some Nag Champa to try to get rid of this smell.
One thing has become clear. There will be no lease…6 month or otherwise. The Universe has once again looked out for us in this. The lease was brought to us for signature already; however, it was all in Spanish, and since we can’t understand it, we declined to sign it and asked for an English one. We’ve yet to have this delivered. We have also learned that contracts in English are void in Mexico…oh well.
So, once I am back in La Paz, we will pack up our belongings and head to Cabo San Lucas for a few months. It’s a renter’s market, and the positioning of the city makes it even cooler than La Paz, even though it’s farther south.