Bob, From Pa
Posted 02 March 2013 - 02:03 PM
It could have been while looking up at the towering coral heads of Columbia Deep while at 80 ft...or during sunset in the Plaza, where little Coz children were playing with visiting divers' kids...but at some point you realize Coz is not going to leave you, and you'll always be missing something inside while you aren't here.
I'm Bob, a fire chief in a northeastern U.S. city. Me, along with my Laurie, have fallen in love with this island and are now seriously considering a permanent future on the island. I'm grateful to Carey for this website, which has helped us a great deal. Our sixth visit together to the island is coming up in three weeks and this time we'll be doing research on the details of moving and buying here.
Being realistic, we will heed the wise advice to rent here first...and our hope is we find expats to speak with about their experiences coming here. I'd be grateful for any advice or stories on moving here, or how to meet expats that could give us some starting advice.
Looking forward to talking to all of you, it's great to be here!
Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:54 PM
I just joined recently when hubby & I started to look at retiring in Cozumel in early 2014. We started by having a real estate agent take us around to look at houses during our Nov 2012 visit to see if we could afford it. Yes we can. Then we confirmed our decision during our Jan 2013 trip when we were able to see an insurance agent to confirm we could afford to buy medical insurance.
Now we have a year to sell off a lot of stuff and get the house ready to put up for sale in the Fall.
I see you are a diver too. We've met great people here (Paula) and others on the scubaboard.com message board who had tons of information and were only to pleased to share their tips with me.
Retired in Cozumel in January 2014
Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:55 AM
Only problem for a firefighter is everything is concrete and unless the jungle gets going there are no fires other than a palapa or two. That is good right?
Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:41 AM
Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:08 PM
Welcome to the wonderful family of those bitten by the Cozumel bug
Living the Dream in Cozumel
Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:29 PM
Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:25 PM
Kandy/Jim/Betty glad you guys are happy there, it's incredible to compare the friendliness and laid back lifestyle of Coz to where Laurie and I live...the stress level of the northeast US is always high.
Billy: I saw a fire on youtube in Coz during Carnival a few years ago, right in the middle of the parade, I think at the Carlos/Charlies...was wondering how their trucks were ever going to get past the crowd.
It might be fun to pick a place to meet anyone who wants to share a margarita at a good place to chat about your experiences...do all the ex-pats know each other pretty well? We'd be fascinated to hear your stories. If you had to vote on a place for Margaritas where would it be?
One specific question: On this trip I want to rent a jeep in Playa and drive down to Punta Allen...my feeling is that QRoo is pretty safe, should we have any security concerns about a trip like that?
Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:22 AM
This is not something any potential purchaser should count on. You might rent now and then, which could help a bit with expenses. However, there are tons of empty hotel rooms on the island and there is not a lot of vacation rental business compared to a few years ago. There are also some significant issues with Mexican and US tax law that need to be taken into consideration.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:40 AM
I suppose if I wanted to live in Coz six months out of the year; renting would be an option, but it must be nice to have a place you can call your own. All reasons for us to seek out ex-pats and hear their experiences....
I assume wise advice for the part time resident is to only purchase a home you can afford without rental income, and then rent as the market allows to make money as the economy allows.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:13 AM
only purchase a home you can afford without rental income, and then rent as the market allows to make money as the economy allows.
That's been our approach.
Unless you plan on living on the island, owning a home is not actually practical at all. Under any normal circumstances, I don't see a chance of actually making money through rentals. At best, it might offset a bit of the cost of maintenance. We've owned for about a year now and have had one 1-week rental and one 4-day one. Quite a few enquiries ended up going nowhere when the potential renters wanted to pay rates that in one case I didn't think would even cover the increased electric bill (due to A/C) for the period. In other cases, the income after expenses would've been so low that I couldn't see having strangers in my house messing with my stuff and peeing in the pool for that amount. Before we bought, the rental history was quite good, but still didn't quite cover the sellers' annual upkeep expenses.
It's mighty nice, though, and convenient, too - all our dive gear is locked up at the house along with all the clothing and stuff we need, so we travel with just a small messenger bag each. What with Global Entry, it's nearly painless getting to and from Cozumel.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:34 AM
I can certainly guarantee to anyone I'd NEVER pee in their pool.
Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:56 AM
Please do yourself (and others to follow) a big favour and try renting for a period before buying and burning any bridges. A period of rental would let you get a feel for the island and do spend some time in the summer to learn about heat. You can live in a gated community and completely insulate yourselves from the culture, go big bucks for ocean front or try to adapt to normalcy (thank you Warren G. Harding) of living within the community. What you gain during a trial experience will pay you many dividends, think of it as tuition or insurance of making an expensive mistake.
I think many have quite an adjustment to the contrast of a fantasy vacation environment. As to diving, I've seen a number that moved to the island for the diving and found they did more diving on their vacations than after they moved. If you adapt well your priorities change and much of your time goes to day to day household realities. I believe Hillbilly made a comment recently, he's a new arrival, but his move was a couple of years in the making. He might have some worthwhile perspectives.
Now doing business, if only you could be so lucky as 25% tax. That applies to mainland property, away from the coasts and borders. Cozumel ownership most likely would require a fideicomiso, a banking trust to enable foreigners to purchase property in the restrictive zone. Mexican laws and regulations as applied to conducting business are complicated, confusing, contradictory and simple put, discriminatory toward foreigners. Mexico is attempting to address some of those concerns and the immigration laws have undergone two major changes which are still a work in progress. Perhaps the laws will change or if enforcement of Mexican law with regard to rentals and their taxation happens, there will be many rental owners in for rude awakenings. Verify everything and trust no one's advice based upon their experience and belief, including mine. There are legal professionals for that with expertise in the ever changing Byzantine system of Mexico. It is buyer beware and there are no laws regarding disclosure, verify everything.
Now if you want to buy a hotel....? If you want to have over a million dollars in your first year of business, I can help you there, best to have a least two million to start. Some with very well informed and realistic expectations are satisfied and content with the trade offs and compromises of life. Others crash and burn in less than six months and consider themselves relieved if the experience costs them less than $100K. It is a lot cheaper and practical to rent, at least until you are confident in what you're doing.
Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:06 PM
As for living in the Mayan world, I know there is a growing expat community in Belize, for which I've also done some research...although I've yet to make it down there.
Do you have any advice on the relative safety of travelling on the mainland in QR (from Playa to Tulum/Punta Allen?)
I think this trip I may stop by and visit the Bomberos on Cozumel, perhaps bring a tshirt or two...I bet they probably get regular visitors from curious US/Canadian firefighters who come to visit the island.
Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:32 PM
When we first purchased our home there were mexican renters in the house, we thought it would be perfect since we had a couple of years before we were going to move here. After the new laws concerning income thru a foreign trust came into play it kind of pissed me off that we would have to pay taxes in the USA.
Also after looking into it we thought that it was not really fair to make income here and not pay taxes to the place we wanted to live. Not really legal anyway.
So our house sat empty for a year and a half which gave us time to mostly furnish it here from different stores on the Island and help the economy somewhat. We hauled a trailer from Colorado to here and had no problems at all.
We are enjoying the culture here, Sunday is a really good day as we now watch the local team play baseball in the afternoon and then go to the square in the evening. Other days you just kind of live as we did at home, it is a challenge and we make a game of hunt and peck to find stuff we need.
As I might have said earlier throw all expectations out the window and just go with it, they know what they are doing here from the old to the young and if you observe their behavior and copy it everything works.
We kept several houses in Colorado and it is my belief that they will be sold and this will be our home for the future,after all it is the easy life. We are retired so maybe that is what makes it so easy.
Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:04 AM
Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:53 PM
I love Punta Allen and it's a great place to go. Nice beaches and friendly people. The road can change at any time but is always bumpy. If you are driving a stick shift, don't expect to get into 3rd. gear. There is not much to do there but it is still fun. Plan on spending the night to avoid the long drive back in the same day. Tell your wife to wear a sport's bra. There is a nice little place to stay for around $400 pesos a night next to Niki's place ( La Serina or something like that). Punta Allen is a lobster fishing village and has a few bars and small tiendas along with 5 or 6 restaurants. The beaches are nice. You can see the old light house and the lagoon. Fishing is good and it is possible to see a few manatee's there. Go and enjoy yourself.
Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:02 PM
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