Well, I knew the day would eventually arrive when I’d HAVE to leave my home of the last four years.
The owners came down for a “vacation” on the 6th of September, and as we had agreed four years ago, when they came down I would go somewhere else. The evening before I left the owner told me that because I would have to pay to stay somewhere they weren’t going to ask me to pay rent for the next THREE MONTHS. That sounded good to me.
While the house has been up for sale for the last couple of years only ONE person has ever come to look at it, and the agent who has had the listing for the last year did NOTHING at all. Never saw or heard from them. But for some unknown reason I had a bad feeling that something was up with the owners.
When I got back to the house after ten days away,I was told they engaged a new agent to market the house and that the agent wants the house empty. Sort of like with Jolie Aire when we got back to the States, but this time I don’t have my own place to move into. At first the owners told me I needed to be out by the 20th of October, but I got it extended a little bit saying that people generally don’t want to start a rental period until the first of a month so now I have until the first of November to find a place.
After being blind-sided with the news I immediately went to my neighbors and told them what was going on and asked them to inquire around about possible rentals in the area. They know I don’t want to leave Boquerón and they’d always told me not to worry, they’d help me find a place to live. But Boquerón is a small town so it might be tough to find a place available though I’ve seen “Se Alquila” (For Rent) signs around from time to time, but those come and go. I put up a notice in a Yahoo Group, Gringos in David, which is actually how I found out about the place I’ve been living. I’ve found a couple of rental ads, all a bit more expensive than here, but not a whole lot. I’ve been paying $175/month plus another $30 for yard maintenance. The places listed are about $250 plus yard.
I’ve got a contingency plan if I can’t find something I like right away. My gringo friends (I don’t have many) Kris and Joel have a neighbor lady who rents out rooms in her house. I’ve met Cedo a couplBoquere of times and we get along, so I’ve asked Kris to talk to her about the possibility of me renting a room for a while while continuing to look for a long-term rental.
The day after the owners of this house left to return to Texas, my neighbor, Genito, came over and said he knew there there was a house for rent and that we should go over and talk to the owner of the house at two that afternoon. The owner of the house in question is Geraldo, and he lives just a couple of blocks away. The house he has for rent is brand new down in what is called Las Brisas de Boquerón (Boquerón Breezes), just a little over a kilometer down the road from where I’ve been living. It’s a recent development built in the last couple of years. The houses are small, only slightly bigger than the one I’ve been living in. The neighboring houses are closer, too, but none of them have forty fighting cocks which is probably a big plus as far as tranquility is concerned.
The place is unfurnished although Geraldo said he had a spare stove that he would install at no extra cost. But everything else I have to buy. I priced out an apartment-sized fridge for $230 in David, though delivery is extra.
Now, the good part is it will actually be cheaper living there. For the last four years I’ve been paying $175/month plus $30 a month to have the yard taken care of. Electricity and water are extra, of course, but they’re cheap. My electric on a BAD month will be close to $30 (that’s right, THIRTY. There’s not a number missing.) Water is nearly nothing. Maybe $40/yr. It’s not metered so I have NO IDEA how they judge the payments which usually run a couple of bucks a month.
The NEW house would be $120/month. That’s ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DOLLARS (BALBOAS) A MONTH! Fifty five LESS than I’ve been paying. I had to ask Geraldo TWICE to be sure I heard right. So with electric payments and water. And the timing works out just right. He’s finishing up painting the inside and I’d be able to start moving things into the house the last week in October but he’d let me have things like a fridge and furniture moved in before the first of November.
I was kind of unsure about whether I want to move there. The place is a quarter of a mile from the main road, double what I have to walk here to get to the bus and some days my hips are screaming when I get to the bus stop and are worse coming home with a heavy load of groceries. So I told Geraldo that I wanted to think things over for a couple of days but I was 95% sure I’d take it. And we left it at that.
The next day Genito came by and said he new of another place for rent that was just a couple of blocks away by the Centro de Salud (health clinic). He knew the woman who owned the house and had her grandson come down to talk to me later that afternoon. He told me the house was renting for $140/month and would be available the first of October. I went up to see it the next day. I wouldn’t let my dog be sick in that place. What a mess. It’s a lot larger than the place at La Barriada but totally unacceptable. For example, the sink in the kitchen doesn’t work and you have to take your dirty dishes OUTSIDE to the laundry sink to wash them.
I said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” in Spanish of course and a couple of hours later went down to Geraldo’s and gave him a deposit for the tacky little house there. Actually, while the house is a bit tacky and tiny the neighbors are probably going to be okay. The guy directly across the street from me is in the Policia Nacional. Two houses down on the right on the same side of the street is owned by a professor at UNACHI (Universidad Autonima de Chiriquí. And a couple of houses away from him, on the other side of the street, is where Geraldo’s sister lives.
Geraldo opening the front door
The back yard
The policeman’s house (with car)