We bought a house in Mérida, take 1

Once things had quieted down we settled in for winter. Of course it was bitter and of course it was cold.

I still kept an eye out for houses. Checking all the websites. Sometimes daily, sometimes waiting a week or two in between.

Every once in awhile I would email Isaac and ask for an address so I could locate a property and see if it was close to my "zone."

I felt bad emailing him too much just asking for a location. Eventually, I got really good at finding houses on Google Street View. As long as there was a photo of the front of the house and a general neighborhood given in the description, I could usually track it down like a top notch Columbo.

Sometimes, to give Isaac a break, I would just hit the "more info" button to ask for a location if I was really stumped or there was no photos of the front. But that was rare and it was rarer still when I'd get a response. I was good at tracking down faded house numbers or using the 3D flyover effect of Google Maps to track a particular row of house colors. Like a rainbow fingerprint.

Nothing particularly amazing came along. Then, one day in spring I saw it. A house in need of renovation that was in a great location and a good size with all of the features we were looking for. I'll call it Blue House for now. I sent it to Angie and she liked it, too. The price seemed a little too high, but maybe we'd get lucky and they'd take less.

I contacted Isaac and he went right away and took some extra photos of the place and a walk-through video and the measurements of the lot. I wasn't going to make it down to see it in person, so this had to suffice.

When we got home that night, we measured the lot off and marked it as best we could in the space we had in our yard just to try and get a firm idea on the size. Photos and video always seem to compress things. We were happy with the size and I emailed Isaac that night with our offer.

I expected they would reject our offer and counter, and I was prepared to come up a little. I played out all the scenarios in my head that night rather than sleep. I just hoped their counter was close to what we could afford.

Early the next morning Isaac emailed me back saying he would take our offer to the sellers. And then we waited.

It wasn't long before Isaac emailed us back. The sellers had accepted our offer! No counteroffer at all. Isaac was going to get the ball rolling and get the lawyers working up contracts.

We were so excited I was walking on air. I went home for lunch and I remember it was a beautiful sunny and warm spring day. I paced about in the back yard like I do and text back and forth with Angie. We'd have to come up with a name for our house, and where would we place the pool? And on and on. It's hard to describe how excited I was. 2017 was going to be a great year.

After lunch, in the middle of the afternoon, I got another message from Isaac. Apparently, there had been some confusion in the exchange rate. Our offer was in U.S. Dollars but the seller was interested in Pesos.

When Trump was elected president, the exchange rate swung a crazy amount in favor of the dollar. About 22:1 if I remember right. But now it had swung back and it was closer to 18:1. If you're buying a candy bar, that's not a huge swing. When you're in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for houses, well, now you're off quite a bit.

I offered to come up a little bit, but the seller didn't want to budge. The gap was too large and everything came crashing down. In the matter of a single day I had risen to the highest high only to be dragged to an incredible low.

"I'm done." I told Angie in a pout. Nothing was ever going to work out, it seemed. The terribleness of 2016 just kept on keeping on and there was nothing we could do to slow it or stop it. I didn't even want to look at houses anymore.

I didn't even want to visit Mérida again. If I did visit again, and walked past this house in the future, I would just be tortured. I'd have to avoid the street at all costs.

This only lasted about a day, and I was back up on that horse. Looking for houses.


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