One house, Two house, Green house, Blue house
I knew exactly where the houses were and they were not far from Casa de los Monos, where we were staying.
We had made the appointment with Isaac to view the homes a few days after we got there. But the first morning we were there me and Angie walked by the houses. And around the blocks. And throughout the neighborhoods to get a full feel of them.
We looked at what the neighbors were. Any bars or mechanics shops would signal defeat. Busy and loud roads. Nearby markets. Timed the walk to Santa Lucia, of course. And sort of analog and sensory input I could think of, we measured.
I brought a tape measure with me to Merida. A strange item in my carry on, sure. But I was going to put it to use.
One thing I have always found difficult is judging sizes of rooms and lots. Back home I've used tape and chalk to measure out potential homes and then tried to imagine the size of rooms and yards and pools. And it all seemed so small sometimes.
But armed with my tape measure, a pen and a small notebook I took measurements of Casa de los Monos. The width and length of the whole house. Of specific rooms. Of the pool. Monos is a beautiful house and plenty spacious, so this would be the perfect subject for reference.
Knowing these measurements and how they all fit together would make life easier when trying to judge houses in the future. Not just blue house and green house, but any potential future house.
Now I could lay blue house and green house within the frame of Monos and determine if there was enough space, or too much space (is that possible?)
The morning came and we walked over to Blue House to meet with Isaac. He was there waiting with the owner and we walked in and took our time looking around and really thinking about how amazing this place could be.
Afterwards, Isaac drove us to Green House. It was only a few blocks away, but it was easier for Isaac to just drive us down. This time just the three of us walked around the house. As I tried to formulate ideas in my head.
So, how did they stack up?
It's a tough call.
Blue is a much cleaner clank slate. It's large and doesn't take a ton of imagination to reconfigure it in your head and make something amazing out of it.
Green takes much more imagination. It is slightly smaller than Blue, and the rooms seem more "set" in the layout of Green, which would require working around them. But I think it could be handled.
The street in front of Green is narrow and busy. And that equals noisy. By the time you get to the back of the property, there doesn't seem to be any issues with it being overly noisy. But the rooms at the front of the house suffer from the street noise.
Blue is on a comfortably wide street with low traffic. It's nice and quiet. It's also a shorter walk to Lucia.
Based on that, it seems fairly easy. Blue, right?
But Blue is going to cost $25k-30k more than Green. Would that money be better used in construction? Especially considering Green would probably require less construction, and would be more along the renovation lines?
I walked past both houses considerably more times after that initial visit. Weighing them both out.
Which one did I walk past more? Blue, by a lot. I was drawn to Blue. I can't get it out of my head.
Blue feels like the dream, Green feels like the consolation. I would be blessed to have either, but I am really hoping when the time comes Blue is still available.
When is the time coming?
I don't know, exactly. Even with Angie losing her job, I have increased my savings for the house. I got rid of our cable subscription. We're a rabbit ears household now. That money is going to the Merida Fund. What are me and Angie getting each other for Christmas? Nothing, add that to the Merida Fund!
I have probably saved enough now that I could get a small loan for the rest, even without Angie working full time, and be okay. However, I have decided to keep saving and set a strange deadline.
When Angie lost her job and all the turbulence that has ensued over the last couple years I have put on some pounds. So, I have promised myself if I can lose 30 pounds, I can then go to the bank and check on the small loan and make an offer on a house.
I've lost 8 pounds, so far. 22 left to go.
Let's hope 2018 is the year!