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Safety of leaving home vacant


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#1 chilidog

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 05:02 AM

My husband and I are seriously thinking of buying a retirement home, but for the next few years will only be living there for a few weeks at a time. Is is safe to leave your property; does it depend on the neighborhood (we've been looking in Centro and Corpus Christi and are working with Cozumel Living Real Estate)? I'd appreciate any feedback.
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#2 CZMDM

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 08:59 AM

I have a neighbor who is rarely on the island. For a while he seemed to get broken into bi-monthly. Then he installed complete hurricane protection (sliding curtains) and the house has been safe ever since.

The company you are using...Cozumel Living is a good, reliable company.
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#3 Carey

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:05 AM

You'd need to have a manager come in at least once per week and open the place up and air it out, however. Or it's going to be a hideous mildew pit. The other alternative is to keep the AC units on, set to dry non stop and that will cost a pretty peso.
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#4 CZMDM

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:16 AM

Carey is spot on about airing out the house. When I lived in Florida every builder I talked to told me that the air needs to be kept at 82f to keep the place from developing mold problems and the humidity is not half there as it is here. Airing it out is fine, but it needs to be done often if not you will have problems with everything from mold to your clothes getting rotted out.
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#5 Coz2wonder

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 09:54 AM

The BEST property managers on the island is Jimmy and Laurie Anderson. They come in every day, or every other day to inspect the property. They also only use known, and reliable repair people to do work.

In thinking about how you can deter someone from burglarizing your house would be some things I have thought about. Only been burglarized once, and that was in Western NY. Kids stole my sons dirt bike. We got it back because they couldn't resist riding it...

Make sure when you purchase a home/condo, that you CHANGE THE LOCKS

1. Etch all electronic equipment with your name (TV's, Computers, Stereo)
2. In town, you really do need bars, and protective shutters
3. Lights on timers *you may want to purchase a back-up power supply. When the power
goes out, that is a prime opportunity for your house to be victimized.
4. Music playing (on timer)
5. Cut out cardboard figures, human, and dog I would cut them out of a box, nothing
fancy. (they will appear as shadows if somebody looks in the window)
6. Beware of Dog Sign...you can also purchase (in NA, barking dog sounds, to deter
intruders)
7. Real or Fake outdoor video camera, with signs (in Spanish, "House under surveillance")
8. Meet, and greet your neighbors. Exchange phone numbers, or give then your PM's number
9. Have your neighbors use your garage bin. Looks like somebody is there
10. Home alarm system, with a back up power supply

These are crimes of opportunity, by opportunists.

It is only my opinion but, a thief is a thief, is a thief. It has nothing to do with the economy anywhere. Thieves aren't stealing to feed themselves or their families...they steal because it is easier, and more exciting then going to work everyday.
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#6 ccannon707

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 02:04 PM

2 people I know - one opted to buy into, the other rent in a managed community instead of going the single family home route because of the theft/safety factor. Still have to watch out for mold etc... but getting their stuff stolen wasn't really an issue anymore.

By managed community I mean a condo or gated apartment bldg with owners/managers in residence.
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#7 nauticab

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 08:03 PM

when i first moved here, i got a great house in corpus for cheap. why? because the owner only came down twice a year for 2 months at a time. i rented/took care of his house for the other 10 months. did this for 8 years. it was a pain to move out (he let me keep the majority of my stuff there and i could return during his stay to get anything i needed) but the rent was cheap and i did him a favor by taking care of the house. he went this route due to break ins. the theives cut the protectores and stole his scuba gear.
it is something for anyone to consider. ok, to cover my ass.... yes, renting out property is supposed to be an SA de CV deal...however, it is not a vacation rental. it's having live-in property manager who pays you a SMALL amount for the mutual convenience.
there are many full timers on the island who rent and are reliable to pay rent in a situation like this. if the house plan is suitable, this can be a very good option. just get references.
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#8 chilidog

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 04:13 AM

when i first moved here, i got a great house in corpus for cheap. why? because the owner only came down twice a year for 2 months at a time. i rented/took care of his house for the other 10 months. did this for 8 years. it was a pain to move out (he let me keep the majority of my stuff there and i could return during his stay to get anything i needed) but the rent was cheap and i did him a favor by taking care of the house. he went this route due to break ins. the theives cut the protectores and stole his scuba gear.
it is something for anyone to consider. ok, to cover my ass.... yes, renting out property is supposed to be an SA de CV deal...however, it is not a vacation rental. it's having live-in property manager who pays you a SMALL amount for the mutual convenience.
there are many full timers on the island who rent and are reliable to pay rent in a situation like this. if the house plan is suitable, this can be a very good option. just get references.


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#9 chilidog

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 04:17 AM

Thanks SO much to everyone who replied -- I really appreciate all the good advice!!! And, as this process continues for my husband and me, I'm sure I'll have many more questions.
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#10 Coz2wonder

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:57 AM

Does anyone know the statistics on home/condo robbery on the island?

If so, how does that compare to NA for the same size population?

What are the stats, on local vs Foreigner home/condo robberies?

I am aware of 4 foreigners home being robbed on the island.

In 3 of the cases, doors (unlocked), or unguarded windows where available for a thief to enter.

Everyone should feel safe in their homes. The reality is there will always be lowlifes creeping around, waiting for an opportunity.

If you do diligence, (just like a home) then your risk is greatly decreased.
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#11 TERRY7133

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 12:03 PM

This may be a little off the issue of safety for your house in czm but I thought I would advise you of other issues which I did not initially consider .

Because of the climate in cozumel . there are many maintennance issues to consider .
Many of these issues will or can be handled easily by your property managers .

Opening and closing all windows and doors on a regular basis.
Running all pumps on a regular basis
Opening and closing all locks regularly
Running hot and cold water at ever faucet and flushing all toilets regularly.
Running air cond . and fans regularly
Making sure closets and drawers are aired out often
Checking water meter for leakage

These are just some that I have learned the hard way --- I am sure there are others

I have had a wonderful family watching our house for 1 1/2 years now and could not be happier .They go above and beyond maintaining security at our home.
They are the sister and brother in law to Nemecio ( Cozumel wireless )
When the time comes if you would like to interview them -- just let me know.
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#12 Coz2wonder

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 12:08 PM

excellent tips Terry.
'
Also, using DryHook, (only available at Mega) helps keep that funky smell out of your closets and off your clothing.
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#13 TERRY7133

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 12:54 PM

Thanks Paula--- Maria and Jose continue to watch our house .

I realize some of these things seem insignificant but they can lead to major headaches and expenses !
The other 2 issues I had to deal with in the original structure that I purchased were metal windows ( not aluminum ) and pine wood slats in my 2 gates.
I have replaced the windows but I stiil have to deal with the deterioating pine slats in my 2 gates outside .

I am not trying to alarm anyone --- only help educate them to the climate differences.


Thanks to the posters on this forum , I was saved many mis-steps in my construction
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#14 chilidog

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:25 AM

This may be a little off the issue of safety for your house in czm but I thought I would advise you of other issues which I did not initially consider .

Because of the climate in cozumel . there are many maintennance issues to consider .
Many of these issues will or can be handled easily by your property managers .

Opening and closing all windows and doors on a regular basis.
Running all pumps on a regular basis
Opening and closing all locks regularly
Running hot and cold water at ever faucet and flushing all toilets regularly.
Running air cond . and fans regularly
Making sure closets and drawers are aired out often
Checking water meter for leakage

These are just some that I have learned the hard way --- I am sure there are others

I have had a wonderful family watching our house for 1 1/2 years now and could not be happier .They go above and beyond maintaining security at our home.
They are the sister and brother in law to Nemecio ( Cozumel wireless )
When the time comes if you would like to interview them -- just let me know.


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#15 chilidog

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:25 AM

Thanks for the good info and offer....how much do they charge?
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#16 imkennedy

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 07:42 PM

Thanks for the good info and offer....how much do they charge?

We work with Jim and Laurie Anderson. We are in your position. Bought off Nancy Edwards over a year ago. We can only get down there twice a year so far. Retirement is 6 years At at this point. Jim And Laurie do a fine job of taking care Of our house. We are in Corpus Cristi, 25bis. No troubles yet. Feel free to email me for more info. We will be down there irr December, just before Xmas. Happy to share our experiences. W_e live in N. California.
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#17 CZMDM

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:02 AM

Jim and Laurie and the best. Honest, dependable and very friendly. If I ever needed a mgmnt. co. there would be no other choice.
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#18 two ladies & a guy

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:52 PM

Please take a minute to look at out posting, we are needing to sell our home her in Cozumel. It is listed under Two Ladies and a Guy. We also have a very very dear friend who will looking after the place when we return to the states in mid December for a very small fee. Please feel free to contact me at shawnleinhart@yahoo.com.
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