My husband and I had always dreamed of buying a place in Mexico. I gave lip-service to the idea, but harbored many reservations. On a trip to Cancun we visited and stayed in Puerto Morelos, a small fishing village between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. While I very much enjoyed Puerto Morelos, it was a bit small for my liking and I couldn’t envision myself living there. A day trip took us to Playa Del Carmen and it was love at first sight. This beautiful coastal city was not as large as Cancun but had more to offer than Puerto Morelos.
After returning to our home in the United States, my husband began the internet search for real estate in Playa Del Carmen. I was very much infatuated with the idea of having a home there but terrified of entering into a real estate deal in Mexico. I figured we were just dreaming and it would never come to fruition.
On our next trip to the Yucatan, we rented an edgy penthouse unit in a property called The Plantation House. This fueled our desire to live in PDC even more as it was located in a prime location. We noticed that there was a small real estate office on the street level of the same building. Leaving our unit one morning, we peaked our heads in and struck up a conversation with Gary Wendt, the realtor in this space. We had a very casual conversation and after a bit asked Gary to research properties for us to look at. We gave him guidelines as to what we were interested in and a price-range.
This may sound strange, but my husband and I both had a good feeling about Gary from the start. First impression…not pushy, very articulate, speaks Spanish (and English haha). Gary was charming without being cheesy; and there our friendship began. One of the many qualities that we discovered about Gary was his extreme integrity. After residing in PDC for 18 years he has acquired a keen sense of quality builders and properties. Gary was unwilling to show us anything that he didn’t feel was up to par. My husband and I found that very admirable. At the time we were looking for property, Mexico didn’t require a realtor’s license which makes a foreign buyer quite uneasy. In other words, the guy selling beaded necklaces could also sell you a condo! It was very reassuring to know that Gary was a licensed realtor and extremely knowledgeable in real estate laws and procedures.
After looking at quite a few properties, Gary showed us one under construction. We were impressed with the quality of the building and its location. Still the idea of forking over money in a foreign country was terrifying! We didn’t commit and headed back to the US. Gary kept in contact with us without being pushy. We found his knowledge of Mexican real estate transactions most comforting. I can honestly say if it weren’t for Gary we would not own our dream property. Enough of the schmaltzy stuff. Gary arranged for the builder to hold the pre-construction price until we could come and look again. On our next trip down Gary had everything in place and left no stone unturned. He was involved in everything from attorney meetings to inspecting the condo upon closing. He even made suggestions for upgrades that he personally inspected in our absence.
In the United States after a real estate transaction is complete there may be no further contact with the realtor. Not in our case…Gary has helped us with virtually everything. His Spanish has been a lifesaver when setting up accounts such as electric and internet. And yes…he accompanied us on these endeavors. He even had an airbed waiting in our condo when we arrived as we had no furniture! And it didn’t end there…Gary drove us all over creation so we could furnish our new home. There are countless things he’s helped us with. Gary is an amazing realtor but more than that he is and amazing friend!