For months the next trip to Mérida seemed unbearably far in the future and now it seems impossibly near. I can almost feel the tropical air and the energy of the streets on the short drive home - home! - from the airport. I'm imagining what the house will look and feel like with the finishing touches that were done since our last visit. Hot water. Window coverings. Chairs. Lighting. A kitchen sink with the drain connected to the plumbing. Mosquito screens.
I'm really looking forward to some shopping for the things that will make the place comfortable and fully functional. First, though, I need to get better information about what other potential guests and residents will want and need.
The reality is that it will be a while before we get to live out our little fantasy of spending much of the year in Mérida (I know I mention this far too often - me quejo mucho). In the meantime it seems sensible and smart to make it available to others for vacation or long term. An empty house just doesn't seem right, in so many ways. We're hoping friends and family will come, but not everyone is into a 12-hour trip to a hot place without a beach on the doorstep. Go figure.
So, rental. I was a landlord for the past six years in Victoria and it's fairly straightforward. Advertise a nice home in a good location at a decent price and you get mobbed with about 75 applicants. There is little available and what is, is expensive. The hardest part is choosing one of many fine candidates (and some not so fine) and then saying no to the others.
In Mérida it's clearly different. Lots of empty places. Prices all over the place. Unfamiliar rules. Different currencies - will that be USD or pesos? The challenge of long-distance rental management. I see lots of lovely places listed for (what seem to me) high prices and some that look like ruins rented for very little. But I'm not sure about the priorities of the type of potential tenants I hope to attract: people looking for a reasonably priced longer term stay, perhaps while they renovate or try out life in Merida or just settle in for awhile. I'm not sure whether such people actually exist. They might be as mythical as the $10 a day wages for skilled tradespeople that some real estate agents touted as little as a couple of years ago.
To me this is all a learning experience, so I figured it would be fun and educational to take a survey and try to get a clearer picture of the rental market, before I go shopping for household items or do any serious advertising.
So I created a survey. I hope you'll help by sharing any info you have and passing it along to anyone else who might be interested.
Your input will be appreciated and I'll be sure to share the results.