Posted by: jimndianne | November 30, 2009

Houses in and Around Xalapa

30 November 2009 Mexico

Today we are off to look at some houses. We were lucky enough to make contact with a super lady, Christianne Maldonado from Coldwell Banker, one of the local real estate companies here. We thought long and hard about houses in Xalapa but after looking at the chronic transport problem they have and the fact that the pollution is rather high, we decided that we would prefer to be more out in the country. The houses were also rather hemmed in in Xalapa or if not, then they were rather expensive. This meant 001travelling back to where we saw the waterfall the day before at Xico but it did give us  the chance to view Mexico’s highest mountain, Pico de Orizaba, at 5,636 meters (18,490 feet)! The photo is a bit distant but so was the mountain!

The first house we saw looked like a very cute cottage and took quite some time to find. Eventually, after asking a group of policemen who all gave different answers, we located the owner who took us directly to his house. He spoke perfect English and had been with Malaysian Airways for a number of 017years. He and his wife had built this house over the last six mont013hs but due to health reasons have to return to sea level.  Pico is about 2000 feet above sea level. The   house wasn’t

finished and the layout really was not very practical at all. The total land at 1100 m2 could have been useful and the view amazing but I felt we would almost have to knock the house down and start again. This is a view of the one and only bedroom 008which was on a very small mezzanine (accessed by a vertical wooden ladder) and it looked down 010into the lounge. The bathroom was only an image of what it should comprise and the kitchen not a lot better. He had added on a store room which had a permanent roof but only plywood walls! Asking price was around $57,000 and we did not make an offer. Interesting project but had gone off the rails somewhere along the line.

Christianne took us to a number of other houses just to 045show us what was available but due to the short notice we gave her, we were unable to see inside. These were far more to our liking sitting on about 1000 m2 of land with access completely around the house.

We then drove back to Coatepec which is about 20 mins from Xalapa but still in a rural atmosphere. Christianne wanted to show us her house which she had spent the last six months building and thought it might give us an idea, again, as to what was available in this area.  She had three dogs as an added attraction so we readily agreed to come and have a look. Well this was a real education and we have to say the house fell into the category that we all have of houses we’d like to own some day!

Built of concrete blocks principally with a stone foundation, concrete floor partly 033 036suspended and yes, a concrete roof. Bamboo  features in a number of places as supports, ceilings, mezzanines and features within the walls. The finish to the inside walls, which seemed to flow throughout the house, is unusual but  019very effective. 020 Christianne has applied a slurry of different coloured earth over the blockwork walls to not only give that soft look but also some natural colours. Over the slurry has been applied a clear finish to stabilize the slurry and provide a very hard wearing surface. The kitchen bench has been done in the same way. There’s not an internal door in the place, the curved walls giving all the privacy needed! The house was a real credit to her.

That completed our day of house inspections and we returned to the hotel in time for an evening meal, a couple of Margaritas and some rest. 040

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