Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - There are many joys associated with purchasing a new home in Mexico, but exploring the possibilities of buying an older house opens the doors to creativity. Anita Dabbs, a real estate agent with Ron Morgan Properties Bucerķas who specializes in buying and selling older homes, offers tips for remodeling kitchens.
Since the kitchen is where family and friends gather every day, it is often called 'the heart of the home' - and that's why it's the most popular area to remodel before any other.
Remodeling in Mexico is pretty much as it is in the United States or Canada. The kitchen is a playful room incorporating many interesting aspects and finishing touches. Start on items yourself, work with a contractor or hire an architect to assist with structural plans.
"In older Mexican homes this is the space that usually gets outdated first," says Anita. "Everyone has ideas about what a kitchen should be, and remodeling it gives you a chance to explore your creative style."
Entertaining is prevalent in the Puerto Vallarta area, so think about how you will use the kitchen. If you cook often there's function and design to consider, but if you do not cook you can make it a showplace. Look at the space available and keep in mind the kitchen work triangle, where the cook top, refrigerator and sink are at the three points of the triangle. These three elements will keep the kitchen running efficiently.
Before you start it's a good idea not to imagine your new kitchen exactly as it was north of the border. Think about the environment, climate and the best materials that will work and are available in the area. "Don't sacrifice practicality for what will not hold up in the area," says Anita, "Stick with materials that local construction guys know how to use. There are many supply companies, so you do have choices."
Popular kitchen counter materials include granite, Talavera or other tile materials. Anita suggests getting inspired and try mixing materials by using colorful tiles as accents, incorporating broken pottery for trim, including glass blocks, stone or bricks. The possibilities are endless.
Storage cabinets and spaces are really important because many kitchens in older Mexican homes do not contain either one. The most important aspect is the wood because if you do not use local materials like parota,amapa and primavera, they may not be pest resistant. Research thoroughly any wood not from the area. Also remember the extra high humidity when storing food items and building spaces for them.
Salty air, high humidity, and elevated mineral content in the water will affect all appliances. Stainless steel in Mexico is not the same as it is in the US - and may not necessarily be the best choice. If you will not be living in your Mexico home full-time, remember the environment will affect motors, hoses and plastics. Dishwashers, garbage disposals and washing machines are particularly vulnerable.
There are lots of possible kitchen arrangements. Take some time to look at other kitchens in the Banderas Bay area and online to fine tune your remodeling plans - before you begin.
For more information, you can contact Anita at the Ron Morgan Properties office in Bucerķas at (329) 298-0492, or by calling (314) 723-5187 from Canada or the US.Ron Morgan Properties specializes in luxury real estate in the Marina Vallarta area and beyond to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta de Mita, as well as along the southern shores of Banderas Bay, from the Romantic Zone, Amapas and Conchas Chinas down to Mismaloya and even Costa Alegre. For more information, visit RonMorgan.net.
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