Many people who come to Merida like the idea of either buying a ﬁxer to renovate to live in or to ﬂip. However, It sounds easier than it looks!
Based on who you talk to it can be a pleasant experience or a nightmare. I’ve done it once and I have to say the experience was pretty good. So much so, I am about to embark on another ﬂip this year. If you talk to those who have done it, most will tell you that ﬁnding the right builder is the key. And yes, I agree with this. There are many issues that are out of your control, such as closing on the house and the permit process, but choosing the right builder for you is number 1. As I was ﬂipping, budget was my main priority. Looking back, I was very “green” and after all the costs were calculated, I underestimated costs quite considerably. Of course, this was my fault for not doing enough research on all the extras that were needed. Most builders in Merida will only quote on construction and you will be responsible for all ﬁttings and ﬁnishings. Of course, that is ﬁne as long as you know what all these extras are. This time around I am fully prepared and have researched what I want to buy and costed each item (toilets, sinks, tiles, air-con, fans etc.) so there should be no great surprises…I hope!
For newcomers to Merida who think they can buy a $50k ﬁxer, renovate it in 6 months and then live happily ever after are seriously underestimating the process. From the time you submit an offer to the time you sell it (ﬂip) or move in, calculate at least 1 year. The permit process with INAH, for Centro homes, can take anywhere from 2-3 months to….who knows! It depends on how adventurous your plans are. Total renovations will take on average 6-9 months or more depending on what you are doing. I have many clients who ask me about buying a ﬁxer to renovate as they have speciﬁc ideas of what they want in a home and they think that that’s the best way to achieve it. If you are willing to do this my one recommendation is that you need to be living in Merida the whole time during the build….unless you have a builder who you have complete faith in, you cannot feasibly manage this from afar. It can be a highly stressful experience so be prepared for problems. It can also be super enjoyable, especially if you like shopping for pasta tiles or designing light ﬁxtures like me. Just be sure to educate yourself on every detail and work with people you trust.
Article by Real Estate Agent Sarah Kannberg