There are a lot of steps to this process
I was on a work trip, then we've been dealing with our dog's diabetes and, to top it off, my uncle passed away.
He had cancer and his health had been declining, so it was probably only a matter of time, but I don't know if anyone expected his health to deteriorate quite as quickly as it did. It was a sad, tough week.
So, let me try and refocus back to the central theme of this blog.
We finished the bank loan process here in the U.S. and I assumed that I would just wire the rest of the money to Alonso who would exchange and hold it until closing. But when I asked I was informed that's not how it works.
I admit, I'm not the smartest cookie, but I have nothing but trust for Isaac and Alonso. They have been patient and utterly amazing.
Yet how far down the rabbit hole does this adventure lead?
My next step, I was told, was to open a bank account in Mexico. I was referred to a bank executive in Mérida to start that process. I sent some info but not all of it the right info.
Here is one of my problems. Many years ago me and Angie "swapped" homes with my parents. My dad really wanted to live in the country for his "retirement" (I put retirement in quotes because even though he retired, he kept working) and I really didn't want the long commutes anymore.
When we made the switch I never switched the utilities at the house in town into our names. My mom gave me some story about the local utility charging a big fee to get it switched. So, I just didn't bother and I paid the bill, in their name, when it came. No big deal.
Until now, when I need a utility bill for proof of address for the bank account. I had hoped my phone or internet bill would suffice, like it seemed to for the other documents involved with buying the property in Mérida. But, no dice.
I called and had the utilities switched, but it could be weeks before I get another bill. There was no fee for switching, by the way. In the meantime, I was able to send a bank statement to replace it and that seems to have worked.
The other thing that would prove problematic was the need for a copy of an immigration visa from a recent trip to Mérida. That is something I definitely do not have.
I was hoping he just meant a stamp in a passport, because that is all I have, but nope.
If you've never been to Mexico, when you fly in on the plane the flight attendants will hand out an immigration visa form. You fill it out with your info and the info of your stay. Swear you aren't bringing in any illegal things, etc.
When you go through customs and immigration, they keep one part of it and tear off the other nub for you to keep. When you leave Mexico, you go back through immigration and turn that nub back in as proof that you've left.
Well, I didn't have that nub, obviously, or even a photo of the nub I could send. If future you is ever thinking of buying a house or setting up a bank account in Mexico. Take a picture of that dang nub!
Had I had a copy or photo of that nub, then Alfonso, the bank executive, was going to DHL the documents I needed to sign to me and I would send them back and we'd be all set.
My other option would be I could wait until I went for closing and sign everything then. And that would be fine except for one thing:
The exchange rate is bonkers in our favor right now!
When we started this process and the seller wanted the money guaranteed in pesos, I was nervous. The rate had been trending poorly for the dollar, and it didn't look like that would change soon.
It's why, even though I had quite a bit of money saved, I took out a much larger loan amount. Keeping my saved money as a back-up in case the exchange rate kept sliding away. It felt like a gamble at the time, now it's looking like a blessing.
The Mexican presidential election is happening on July 1st, and there is some speculation that before that election the rate could keep sliding my way. But we're still an undisclosed distance from closing and that makes me nervous.
So, what are my options? Wait until closing and hope that the exchange rate stays close to where we are now?
OR! I spend a few hundred dollars, fly to Mérida for a day (or two) and sign the paperwork so I can open the account, wire my money and have it exchanged as soon as possible and save (at this point) close to $10,000.
After all, if I fly in I'll have that dang visa in my sweaty little palms.
I am choosing that second option. The quickest flight, within reason, I could find leaves in less than two weeks. I will fly in on Thursday, go to the bank and sign on Friday, have an extra day Saturday and then leave Sunday. I'll go to the bank in the U.S. the next day, Monday, and wire the money and have it exchanged.
I hope the exchange gods are in my favor for two more weeks!
I also alerted Isaac and Alonso to my arrival in two weeks and they said I could sign a power of attorney while I'm there to sign closing for me just in case I can't make it back down to sign. I still want to go back down for closing, though.
I will see if Isaac has time to show me the property, but either way I'll walk by it about ten times.
If this exchange rate holds or improves for me and I can get this done, I will be the happiest person on earth. It could save us so much money, potentially.
But the Eeyore in me is always telling me not to get too excited.
I guess we'll know in two weeks.