Under the Palapa: Making an Offer on a Condo in Puerto Vallarta

In my last column Michelle and I had finally found a condo (not quite finished) in the Centro part of town, that appeared to serve all our needs, namely: A sea view, no car needed, a pool, new kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. The only kick in the sternum for me was, If we bought it, our budget would be exceeded by almost 50%.

I had left Eddy the realtor and my wife in a deep conversation concerning washer- dryers, fridge, dishwasher etc, because and this came as a big shock to us, none of these things except a gas stove, are provided in Mexican condo projects, unless built by American or Canadian developers. The momasitas are expected to chose what they want in the their kitchens and then buy them!!!! Anyway it was all too much for me and my newly shot budget so I fled to the stairs and started upwards.

There was no electricity in the building only what appeared to be a line coming from the street lamp-post, which seemed somewhat illegal and below code. This also mean’t that there was no working elevator for my climb and so I slowly made my way up the 10 floors to the top. Ye gods it was exhausting in the early June heat, when humidity is becoming dangerous, and I made a note to self, more exercise would be required to live in this country. My body began to discover long forgotten leg muscles which I hoped was a good thing, but I thought we were probably going to buy on the first floor anyway so I perhaps would not have to go through these Hillary and Tenzing moments again. Onwards I trudged, ever upwards I went, dripping in perspiration.

Finally I reached the top and entered an unfinished shell of an apartment with just the bare outlines of bedrooms and bathrooms, with of course the lonely gas stove in the kitchen.  I wondered around poking at workmen’s things and equipment, while taking my wildly fluctuating pulse, until I saw it….The view.

If I thought I had heard a choir on the 1st floor, it now seemed like an asthmatic soloist compared to what I was hearing now. This appeared more along the lines of a Puccini climax, for there was a singing in my ears unlike anything before. An 180 degree vista of old Puerto Vallarta with the azure sea beyond, a magnificent postcard look at what few people will ever see, and I was looking at it. I walked back and forth along the 40foot balcony stunned by what was before me. I simply could not get over it.

But wait….In the middle of the living room when I finally pulled my eyes from the sea scape, was a spiral staircase !!!!

All I could say was: Could there be more?

To be honest I am not at home on shaky spiral staircases and this appeared to be no exception as I put one foot onto the first step, which sent a slight ripple throughout the structure. However I thought of brave Balboa who was supposedly the first of the Spaniards to lay eyes on the Pacific (although he was later beheaded in a town square for his trouble by a quarrelsome relative), and heaved myself onto the metal curlicue, proceeding to the enticing door above.

I opened the door and a blast furnace hit me as if I had become a seared meatloaf. The large white cement terrace, the same size as the floor below, was in effect a frying pan without any benefit of shade, only a wall separating one penthouse from the other which a few who-begotten workers sheltering beside it. I mouthed “Hola” at them to which they nodded miserably and sucked on their water bottles as I made my way out onto the main part of the vast expanse of roof-top.

I looked to the left and saw a marvelous sight of dense forest disappearing over the Sierra Madras in a carpet of multi-hued greens, alive with darting parakeets and majestic hawks. I realized I was at the top of the city and in a forest at the same time. Wonderful.

I turned to the right and suddenly there was a rushing sound in my ears and then came what can only be described as The Hallelujah chorus sung by 2000 participants, for I was looking at the greatest view in PV, the entire town with the sea beyond, a story higher than the living room I had just come from.

I raced past the stupefied workers and down the stairs with the legs of a young man filled by the enthusiasm gained from what I had just seen. I burst through the door of the first floor condo to find my wife and Eddy still in deep conversation  regarding splash tiles and washer-dryers.

“You have to see this!” I shouted. Then pointing upwards I took off again up the stairs telling them to follow me. I did catch a glimpse of Eddy with his mouth open followed by a plaintiff cry of, “You guys cannot afford anything ABOVE the first floor. Come on let’s get serious, you like this one Michelle!” But by then we were approaching the top floor with my wife and I neck and neck.

To say that Michelle loved the same thing I did would be a massive understatement and once more she kissed me hard upon my lonely lips.

When Eddy got there we were dancing around the frightened workers lost in a sense of bliss.

“This is it Eddy, we want this one, period!” I said in my most firm manner.

“But”, said our frustrated realtor, “This is 4 times what you said you wanted to pay!”

That was a good point of course and since we clearly did not have the money, we would go to my airtight plan B, make a ridiculous offer, “the low ball”. Too bad that the price went up $50,000 a floor and we had fallen in love with the top one, I would simply change the rules. Ha!

When I told Eddy our offer he turned white and then claimed he could not possibly offer such a low price as it would insult the owner/developer beyond reason. I pointed out that all week he had wanted us to make an offer at many of the showings and now that we were, he would not do it.

“No I can’t” he said sadly.

But he did.


Next week: More pain and then delight.

Copyright Christopher Dalton 2014

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4 Responses
  1. Vince

    I can just envision your face as you summited the spiral stairs to gaze on to the view. Looking forward to the next instalment when the deal is struck. Enjoying the fruits of your labours, with many thanks. Vinnie

  2. Keith and Linda

    Am I dreaming……I’ve been in this place.
    And then I remembered.
    Wonderful writing Chris and it is all SO true.
    Happy Holidays. We are going to Hawaii this winter.

  3. Mary-Anne Day

    Hi Chris,
    Loved reading your condo story. Can hardly wait to read your next excerpt. Ron & I arrive in PV on Jan. 7. & Penny & Rod come on the 8th. We hope to see you & Michelle during our visit.

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