And then we also had to find a place to stay! I’ve seen affordable places before Vincent came but usually they where not finished yet because it saves the owner taxes. Some neighbourhoods of La Paz are recognised by the many brick houses. Other houses were to far up the hill – too dangerous for my gringo ;0) … and for me indeed. Or the papers of the apartment were not properly right. There are plenty of places, but few are really acceptable. It was a challenge.
Vincent: We have seen around eight apartments, in three of them we were really interested. We put a bid on these houses – But now comes the thing, you have to have a little understanding about the culture and how it goes here. No matter what you want renting, buying or “anti-cretico”. Most of the time it is is done in an un official way. No securities! For example the “anti-cretico” a Bolivian invention, works like this: You deposit an x-amount of money to the owner of the apartment, this allows you to stay in the house for at least one year, after the year you will get your money back. Now for most western people you will think how is this possible this is basically living for free? The money is used to invest in other projects, other houses. At the end you get your money back. Bolivians like to have control about their money, therefore they prefer not to go to the banks. ….Not a bad idea….? In that case the “anticresist” is basically the bank. If at the end the money can not be returned by the owner, then you have a chance that the house will become yours, because you would not leave until you have your money back! In short: You need pretty much of a good intuition, a good portion of knowledge of humans, for choosing the right owner with the right apartment to find! Luckily MAMA came and together with her we manage to find a nice little place in the heart of the city! Being a Bolivian MAMA, she would not have left if we wouldn’t have found one…! We live in a nice and safe neighbourhood with one little market and two large supermarkets around the corner and we even have a “german-style” bakery in the hood, with great bread! So every morning we enjoy the freshest fruit and bread!