American Couple Trades Portland Life for Playa del Carmen Adventure

Leaving their Portland home behind, a couple takes a leap of faith to start a new life in Mexico, purchasing a condo near the beach for under $300,000.

Morien Wark and Zoelle Appell, a couple from Portland, Oregon, decided to take a chance and move to their favorite vacation spot, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. They wanted to find a two-bedroom condo close to the sea for less than $300,000. They had a budget and a dream, and they were ready to make it happen.

Morien and Zoelle, both 43, had spent many vacations in Playa del Carmen and had grown to love the coastal resort town. They even applied for temporary residency status in Mexico to stay there longer. One day, after an argument and reconciliation, they decided it was time to make the move. They packed their car and drove to Playa del Carmen.

Upon arriving in Playa del Carmen, they quickly adjusted to life in the vibrant community of about 300,000 residents. The average cost of living there is around $1,400 a month. Zoelle, who doesn’t speak Spanish, found comfort in the growing expatriate community.

To buy property in Mexico as foreigners, they had to set up a bank trust called a fideicomiso. After selling their Portland house for $650,000, they began their search for the perfect condo in Playa del Carmen. They wanted a two-bedroom place with a swimming pool and close proximity to the beach.

Morien and Zoelle considered three condos:

  1. Downtown Gem

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo was on the ground floor of a small complex in the heart of downtown. It featured a central swimming pool and was located in a bustling neighborhood with many shops and restaurants. The kitchen and laundry room were small, and the living room had an odd shape. However, they liked the pool view, easy access to shopping and dining, and the good condition of the condo. The asking price was $170,000, with monthly homeowner fees of $140.

  1. Fixer-Upper in Upscale Neighborhood

This condo was in Playacar, a more upscale area of Playa del Carmen. It had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, but the apartment needed some work. The kitchen and bathroom were outdated, and the bedrooms were dark. The building had a shared swimming pool and was close to a beautiful white-sand beach. However, the complex’s winding streets meant a long walk to the beach. The asking price was $140,000, with monthly homeowner fees of $120.

  1. Near the Sea

This two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condo was just two blocks from the beach. The new building had excellent amenities like a pool with sea views, a gym, underground parking, and 24-hour security. The apartment itself had stylish tile floors, a modern kitchen, and spacious bedrooms. The downside was that many of the building’s owners used their units as vacation rentals, so the complex lacked a sense of community. The asking price was $300,000, with homeowner fees of $350 a month.

After considering all three options, Morien and Zoelle decided to buy the downtown gem. The location, pool view, and access to shopping and dining outweighed the small kitchen and odd-shaped living room. They were excited to start their new life in Playa del Carmen and embrace the adventure that awaited them.

This story is a perfect example of how taking a chance and following your dreams can lead to a life-changing adventure. Morien and Zoelle knew what they wanted and were willing to take a risk to make it happen. Their journey shows that sometimes, the greatest things in life come from daring to dream and taking the leap.

Click here to read the full story by New York Times.

Are you looking for a property in Playa del Carmen Mexico?

Are you considering a move to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, just like Morien and Zoelle? Finding the perfect property in a foreign country can be a daunting task, but our team of experienced real estate agents in Playa del Carmen is here to help. With their local knowledge, professional expertise, and dedication to your needs, our agents will guide you through the process of finding and purchasing your dream property in this tropical paradise.

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