Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We are currently enjoying the beach in Vichayito a El Refugio. We´ve also enjoyed many of the locals and their festival of Saint Pedro, Peru´s patron saint of fisherman. We don´t have public access to internet here, so I haven´t been able to blog daily. However, when we get home, I will transfer my journal entries to the blog so you can hear all about our trip. Chao!

Friday, June 19, 2009

This past week we've made reservations to return to Peru and hopefully finalize the purchase of the property near Nuro. We'll leave early on Tuesday morning and arive in Piura early on Wednesday. We will then take a two and a half hour car ride over to the coast. It is a hugely long day of travel, but once we get there, we should be able to rest and relax.
This time we will be staying at El Refugio in Vichayito, which is owned by Georg, the owner of the property we are buying. This will give us plenty of time to pick Georg's brain about setting up solar power as he runs both his home and the resort solely by solar energy.
The property we are buying currently is bare land. There is electricity to the fishing village of Nuro about two miles away. There also is no water to the property. The water situation is not unusual as many don't have access to water other than what can be trucked in weekly and stored in cisterns. The property has been leveled. There are actually four separate plots for sale ranging in size from 300 -2000 square meters. We're thinking of buying all four plots; mostly just for the space. We've also been thinking about taking many of our woodworking tools and setting up a shop there. So, when I said we are starting over in Peru....we are truly starting from scratch!
Also this past week we visited with an international mover to get information on what the costs and procedures would be for the move. The estimate hasn't come in yet, but the basic process is accomplished by using a 20 or 40 foot container that is loaded at our home in Molalla, shipped to Lima, then driven north to the property and unloaded there. Door to door takes about 60 days.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We have been looking for property to buy in Peru since November of 2008.
On one of our visits to the beach in Mancora, we had inquired at the guest house where we were staying if there were any tennis courts available for us to play on. They had looked around the area and had found one that was located at Tenis y Playa. This was a resort location in Vichayito, a few miles south of Mancora, but closed down two years ago. The property was now used as a private residence and not open to the public. It was, however, for sale.
So, after our vacation, we investigated this property via the internet. Everything we saw was so beautiful and well put together. We weren't necessarily looking for a resort, but this was a turn-key opportunity at what seemed like a very reasonable price. We then contacted the owner and were invited to spend a weekend there. This spot was like an oasis in the desert that is the coast of Peru complete with swimming pool and fountain, tennis court and beautiful gardens. We were treated like royalty and introduced to people from all over the world. These people from Italy, Germany, Ireland, England, Canada, Australia and elsewhere had bought property and built homes close by.
After returning home, we decided to pursue this opportunity and asked a good friend to investigate the papers filed at the Public Registry for this property. We soon found out that the owner had built his resort on land that he didn't own. He was involved in legal disputes over the ownership of the land. In Peru, if you have possession of a piece of land for ten years, it is then considered yours. I think the owner built his resort hoping that no one would object and then after the ten years, it would be his. If we were to buy this property, we would inherit all of his legal problems. We decided to look elsewhere.
We returned to Peru in April of 2009 specifically to look for other properties for sale. We asked our friend, Luis to join us as we didn't think my Spanish was good enough to navigate all the inquiries. We looked at several pieces of property. Some were not as advertised and the papers didn't coincide with what we were shown. Some just weren't very desirable. Several were very beautiful spots on the beach, but sandwiched between other resorts, very expensive and not very private. Most of these properties were asking $100 per square meter. Definitely high end properties.
We did however visit a piece of property approximately 20 kilometers south of Mancora that was quite promising. This area was undeveloped except for the home of the owner. It sits up off the beach with a spectacular view. To the north (approximately 2 miles) is the fishing village of Nuro and to the south (another few miles) a desalination plant. Georg, the owner of the land, had leveled off six different building sites and was selling them for $30 a square meter. In retrospect, this property is far more suited to us. We like our privacy. We don't like to be in the middle of things. This was the property we decided to investigate.
We met with the owner of the property. He is an engineer from Germany, now living in Peru with his wife Natalie. He gave us copies of the papers for the property so that we could investigate the statis of this land. Our friend Luis sent copies of the papers to friends of his that worked in the Public Registry. They investigated the ownership papers and even sent out a surveyor to get clarification of some information not made clear in the papers. In the end, all the papers were in order, the taxes had been paid, and there would be no problem in our purchasing the property.
Now that we know we can purchase the property, we are ready to move ahead and actually make the sale happen. We are planning a trip to Mancora so that we can meet face to face with the owner, negotiate a final price, and start the legal procedings to actually purchase the land.
We met with our financial investment counselor today, and have the go ahead for financing the deal. We do have two pieces of real estate for sale that will cover all of our expenses; but when those transactions will actually take place no one knows.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

As Doug and I have talked about moving to Peru, so many have wanted to keep in touch and to hear about our journey. Therefore, this blog has been established so you can share this with us. Thanks to so many of you for encouraging us and showing your interest.
I was introduced to Peru first when I took my daughter, Mandy, on a fiber arts tour of Peru as celebration of her graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As part of this tour, we were involved in workshops given by local artisans. Workshops included knitting, embroidery, sewing, weaving, gourd carving and braiding. Members of the tour had the opportunity to work with four different artisans during the course of the tour.
The artisan giving the weaving workshop was Maximo Laura, a master weaver in Peru. Many of his works are now showing and selling in many parts of the world. Google him and visit his web site to see some of the most spectacular tapestries! Mandy thoroughly enjoyed Maximo and he saw something in Mandy's work that prompted him to invite her to apprentice with him in his workshop in Lima. She accepted and worked in his studio for about nine months. Maximo and his family were so hospitable to Mandy and she soon was adopted into the family. Being her Mom, who visited on a few occasions during those nine months, I was also adopted into the family.
Over the course of the last two years, I've visited various parts of Peru; Cusco, the jungle, Machu Pichu, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, southern parts Ica, Nazca Lines, the dunes, Ballesta Islands, and parts in the North around Mancora. The people are all so generous and welcoming. They live a simple life and are so content with what they have. Having been introduced to some of their best artisans, I have been immersed in incredible creativity that they are so willing to share.
As I develop this blog, I will tell some of the stories of our trips to Peru and describe some of the places we've been.