By Ivo Henfling
In November 2009, I was introduced by an old client, who by the way didn’t buy Costa Rica real estate from me, to a very unusual couple. I mean unusual because they were much younger than most of my clients who come here to retire because they’re over the age of 60 and this couple was barely in their 30’s. Husband Ethan, the 7 month pregnant wife Antoinette and their 1 year old son Sir were moving to Costa Rica and were looking to purchase real estate. Antoinette and Ethan had been looking at properties for quite a while with different Costa Rica real estate agents and had one complaint: the agents didn’t listen to what the clients were telling them they wanted.
Now Antoinette and her family live in Alajuela happily and work hard at adjusting and learning Spanish. And I love ’em to death because they try so hard adjusting and trying to become full-fledged Ticos. Antoinette even writes a very interesting blog that she calls Pseudotico - Trying to be a decent Costa Rican! Everyone thinking of moving to Costa Rica should read her blog, I definitely recommend it.
So how did they end up buying a property in Alajuela? We all sat down at the Bed & Breakfast they were staying, to chat a bit so they could tell me about their lifestyle and what sort of Costa Rica property they were looking for. They told me how Ethan used to play NFL American Football professionally, first with the New England Patriots and then 3 seasons with the Cleveland Browns when he got injured and wanted to start a new life in Costa Rica. For fun, he was becoming a defense coach for the Bulldogs, an American football team in Costa Rica. Of course the Bulldogs are champions year after year. If you like American Football in Costa Rica and you are on Twitter, you can follow what is going on or the American Football federation of Costa Rica also has a nice website.
I think I emailed them only 4 properties for sale that would fit their bill and Antoinette fell in love with the very first one, even before she saw it. Even though I always like to leave the best property for last, Antoinette insisted on seeing the one she liked best first. I had to really convince them they should look at the other 3, even if it was only for comparison. They didn’t really look during the rest of the property tour. Number 1 was and would stay number 1 on the list.
Since Antoinette was pregnant and she had her baby just after we closed on the property they bought in Alajuela, the whole family was able to get residency because the baby was born in the CIMA hospital in Escazu. They have been remodeling the house and enjoying all the fruits that grow in their garden. Their neighbor, Alfredo has become their trusted gardener and right hand and they have been able to remodel quite a large bit of the house. I really need to get back to see what they have been able to do lately.
If you plan on moving to Costa Rica, read up on Antoinette’s blog, she writes funny and entertaining stories about all the fun things that happen to her and the kids and about the things she misses from back home and how she found better replacements for those things. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her stories.
Antoinette, you're doing an incredible job, keep pluggin' away at it.