Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thinking About Moving To Mexico ... Think Again!

My wife and I moved our family to Mexico, Missouri nearly a year ago. We found the area to be friendly, and the local people to be quite courteous. But underneath the exterior, at the core of Mexico, is a faceless bureaucracy with distorted priorities and values. It all has to do with permits, inspection, and building codes ... or the lack of these. Mexico adopted the 2006 International Builders Code. The problem is that anyone can rewire or re-plumb their own house, without a permit, or without having to get your work inspected.  But, let your lawn get over 6" high and you'll get an impersonal letter from the city of Mexico stating that you have seven days to fix the violation, or risk prosecution. And yes, that's the they term used, "prosecution".

We were unfortunate enough to buy a house which was so far out of code that it could take years to get it in "code". A "money pit" is the common term for a house like ours. So much so that it started draining our bank account faster than we could ever afford.

To make matters worse, I am disabled. The nerves in my legs are deteriorating, and my bones are literally crumbling. This is an excruciatingly painful medical condition which requires a daily regiment of medications. This condition was not the result of an accident, poor diet, or diabetes. In my case, this just happened. And it will never get better. Eventually I will become tolerant to my pain management medications, and they will be increased.

I have applied for Disability, but anyone who has worked with the Social Security Department can attest that 99.9% of all applications are initially denied. Then you have to wait (and wait, and wait) for a chance to go before a disability judge. I have no doubt (provided I get an is, after all, a "good-old boys club") that I will get approved for disability. But in the meantime we get poorer and poorer.

The cost of just one of my medications is $1200 per month. We had to make a choice on which bills were priority. We lapsed on our water and sewage bill. Mexico's response was to have the water shut off until the sewage bill (which they continue to charge fully every month) is paid in full. So, while our finances shrink, their bill continues to grow. This is a viscous cycle, one I've never experienced anywhere I've lived.

Welcome to Mexico. There's no Welcome Wagon. We are constantly inspected by a faceless entity who sends us "Violation Notices" every time my lawn gets a little higher than they like. I've NEVER lived in a place  so anal about their lawn ordinances. And then the icing on the cake is that we're in this condition because Mexico does NOT enforce their building or electrical codes, and no inspections are required.

In the following post I will give examples of the specific problems with our house, the circumstances that got us here, and I will do my best to describe the faceless "shadow" which is the local bureaucracy of Mexico.

In the meantime: Thinking about moving to Mexico, Missouri ... Think again!!!