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#1 Patches

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 01:22 PM

We have just bought an oceanfront condo in Cozumel. I was hoping somebody could give us advice on the following:
Since we are not going to be there a lot of the time, how often should we "air" the condo out? I have heard lots of scary stories about mold etc.
Does anybody know of a company/people who will help out with airing the unit, cleaning it etc. (outside maintenance taken care of). How much do these companies usually charge?
What monthly bills should one expect to pay?
What is the best company for cable/internet hookup?
Do you know how easy or difficult it is to employ a maid?
Any other advice for newcomers would be really appreciated as well!

Thanks for the help!
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#2 budaman

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 01:58 PM

We have Caribbean Beach Properties take care of our condo. The rate is $150/mo US, but it could vary depending on the size & location, but I don't know how that compares with other companies. We didn't shop around. They open it up and clean regularly. Been very pleased with their service. When we were looking at condos & houses, you could really tell which ones were aired out frequently & which were not by the smell. We use Cablemas and as far as electric, it's all over the map, but have averaged around $55/mo since January. We went with them because they also handle the HOA administration for the condos. Link to site:

http://mexicomanagers.com/

Mike
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#3 Patches

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:12 PM

Hi Mike - thanks for that! How often should a condo be aired out, in your experience? The $55 electricity bill - is that for occupied or unoccupied? Do you keep your airconditioning running when you are not there?
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#4 budaman

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:29 PM

Between us & friends being there, occupied about 50% of the time. I think opening it up once a week or so for a few hours should be sufficient. You'll learn quickly to not have the a/c on when you're not there. The mini-splits we have cool it off quickly. When there, we usually will run them at 25/26C which is around 77/78F which is what we keep our a/c on in Texas. Many times during the day we just open the patio doors. We have three E/SE facing ones that we get very good breezes through.

Mike
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#5 Kandy

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:11 PM

Mike:

Which condos are you in? We just moved down full-time 7 months ago. Prior to that, I left my A/C running at 80 when we weren't here. With the hurricane shutters pulled & keeping out the sun, my average CFE bill was $150 per month. It's most certainly higher than that now, although I keep the thermostat at 78 during the day and turn it down to 75 at night.

We use the in-house management company, and the charge is $155/month. We use Telmex for phone and internet and are very happy with that.

Another piece of advice I would offer is to go online to target.com and order some of the small $35 dehumidifiers. We have one in each closet in the condo and it makes a world of difference, even when we are here. I wouldn't be without them.

Welcome to the island!

Kandy
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#6 budaman

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:37 PM

Hi Kandy!

We're in Summer Breezes on 25th. We don't have shutters yet, but we brought down some thermal curtains for all the patio doors a couple of trips back & they really do make a difference keeping it from heating up so much from the morning sun.

I've attached a pic of the building. The top three balconies are ours.

Mike

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#7 Patches

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:47 PM

Thanks for all the useful information. Our condo is in the North Hotel zone area. Cozumel is an amazing island and the community seems very close, loyal and fun! I hope to meet all of you as soon as we can get down there. Any other advice is most welcome, please feel free to give it!
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#8 Kandy

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 09:57 PM

Mike:

I'm confused. Summer Breezes isn't oceanfront or in the northern hotel zone. Did you already own there (a friend of mine lives almost across the street) and buy another condo in the northern zone?
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#9 budaman

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 04:07 AM

Patches is oceanfront in Northern zone....we went ocean view in CC

Mike
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#10 Kandy

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:58 AM

Gotcha! Again, welcome!
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#11 sailsgal

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:32 AM

There are very good property managers on the island that can offer all the services that you need. As far as electric bills go...they vary? condos are different because you can be on a large meter system and not individual ones.?..We have a duplex and get our own bills every 2 months. We have zoned a/c units in each bedroom and one in the living room, which we only turn on if we have a dinner party and only run the ones in the bedroom at night? we have fans going most of the time and have a good breeze thru our house when there is a breeze?

We also have appliances as much as possible on propane gas...stove, dryer and on demand hot water tank and BBQ...this really helps to cut your electric bill. If you are in a condo,not always possible? have an on demand electric hot water tank installed, this will cut your bill down a ton. Why heat water 24 x 7? the on demand one works fabulous!
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#12 Coz2wonder

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:45 AM

If there is one thing you should do, it is to sign up to view your electric (CFE) bill on line.

The reason I am telling you this, is that not all property management companies/employees are honest.

I am aware of employees of PM companies renting out houses, and condos without the owners knowledge, for cash.

The employee collects the cash, pays the CFE bill (because the owner never sees it) the maid service, and the owner is oblivious to what is going on.

Thank goodness the majority of PM, and employees are honest, but it only take one to scrutinize all.
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#13 Patches

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 01:46 PM

Thanks for this. I am getting quoted some weird and wonderful rates - from $100 to $250 per month for property managing. It sounds like a lot for four visits to the condo per month, and paying a few bills. But then, what do I know?
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#14 Coz2wonder

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 02:59 PM

The very best property managers I would suggest is Jimmy and Laurie Anderson.
* laurieand@gmail.com
* cozumelrentalhomes@yahoo.com

If you do a search on this site, you will see them recommended over, and over again.

They are HONEST, and TRUSTWORTHY.

Also, you will want to purchase an item called DRY-HOOK. They are only available in Mega. They are self contained dehumidifier bags that you hang in closets, or in storage bins (anything with a door, or lid)

They are so much better because they do not spill.
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#15 cdg85705

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 04:08 PM

AC is a big expense which I investigated before I got here. My house has two electrical lines. A 110 and 220. The AC runs on the 220. So, there is a threshold when you add the AC kilowatts to your already 110 line so your rate goes up per kilowatt hour........if it is possible to separate the lines, it might be cheaper in the long run. I hear it is a nightmare to get another meter installed by CFE....you must go there and be persistent about it.
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#16 sailsgal

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for this. I am getting quoted some weird and wonderful rates - from $100 to $250 per month for property managing. It sounds like a lot for four visits to the condo per month, and paying a few bills. But then, what do I know?


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#17 sailsgal

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 07:10 AM

Think about the fact that your property manager has to button down your condo in case of a hurricane...install boards or shutters, move furniture from outside, check water pipes/electricity etc...it can take a lot of time and effort, especially if your condo isn't the only one they take care of.

Again have all the facts really clear on a contract when you hire one, what they offer and what you expect? They can be a godsend to your property when there is a storm and you are not on the island. Clear communication each and every month and viewing the bills so you know what is being paid. Good luck.
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#18 CZMDM

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 09:19 AM

"from $100 to $250 per month for property managing. It sounds like a lot for four visits"

This sound like a bargain. They don't just drive by and check a list. They have to pay your bills, which IMHO, is worth more that $100 per month alone. Then clean the pool, the house, air the house out, sometimes run the air, cut the yard, clean any debris from the garden, etc., etc.. It's hard work and they need many helpers to pull it off. My pool service alone in Florida was over $60USD (over 18 years ago) and they never needed to clean it as it was protected by a lanai.

Jim and Laurie Anderson...not only the best management team on the island, but a couple of genuinely wonderfull people as well. Two of the sweetest people that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting on the island. They are great and extremely responsible. I see Jim on the streets almost everyday of my life and he is always hustling to get things done.

A CFE bill of only $150 a month. While using a/c. I know that condos don't get the full blast of the sun like a free standing house, but if you didn't post that I would have said a bill that low was impossible. Good for you.
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#19 mslf500

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 07:34 AM

Electric bills are hard to compare as you need to know what it is running and how big your place is.

We are about 2500 SF. All electric. (Stove, dryer, tank type water heater, big honking GE Profile refrigerator, three TV's, a large home theater system and satellite receiver.) Our HVAC is two 5 ton central air units.

I've seen bills as high as $350/month in the summer.

We've done a lot to try to cut this down. We have limit temp stats, timers on the water heater, added weatherstripping, tightened window latches, CFL lights, etc. With the exception of a couple of decorative lamps, we no longer use incandescent bulbs.

When we move down there full time, we will probably add a mini-split to our master bedroom.
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#20 CZMDM

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 08:06 AM

In private homes expect those rates to be almost double.
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