By Ivo Henfling
When you move to a new country or a new city, you tend to look for somebody or something that feels comfortable, feels safe and helpful in your new environment. Everything is new and even though you welcome the adventure, you like the security of what is known as the Human Thermal Environment.
You are moving to Costa Rica and you need help because you don’t speak any or very little Spanish. So you look for help from those who speak your own language. But can you trust them? Will they connect you with the right and trustworthy people? Of course it is more comfortable to have someone to talk to in your own language, it requires no effort. The most successful people to retire in a different country are those who have travelled a lot and are more open to other languages.
Things are done differently in Costa Rica then you are used to. Every country has its own culture, its own food and its own customs. The way we say things, the way we act and the way we dress, it’s all new when you arrive here. Which are the places you can walk the streets, which are the places to hang out safely? Where to do your grocery shopping and where to shop for your clothes? Of course you are moving here to start a new and different life. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your own customs behind, nor the lifestyle you are used to.
Since we grew up, we got used to a certain lifestyle. As life went on, we adjusted our lifestyle to what we could afford and what made us happy. Some have had to adjust their lifestyle because of a divorce or the loss of a job, or even the loss of most their capital during the last crisis. What sort of lifestyle are you looking for? Are you looking for a beautiful country with great weather, to be surrounded by people who have the same interest as we do? Are we looking for wining and dining out every day? Are we looking for great shopping? Or are we looking for a cheaper place to live?
When we moved to Costa Rica 30 years ago, the internet didn’t exist. Tour operators and realtors didn’t have websites and real estate blogs didn’t exist. On the internet you can find vacation rentals, moving companies, immigration attorneys, realtors and retirement tour companies. Every one of these can do his/her share in your due diligence. Who are the professionals to help you do your due diligence? You can surf the internet and check on people, like you can ask us to connect you to those who gave us these testimonials.
When you went to school that first day, you were starting your education and your mom and dad probably paid a lot of money for this education. Now you are ready to take an even larger step in life, your retirement and you should get the best paid education available to you. GoDutch real estate agents are relocators, not free tour guides. It’s amazing how some people think we should tour them around for free. Be honest to your realtor, if you just tell us you’re doing due diligence, we will give you a short tour and tell you all you need to know. But don’t look at 50 homes, trying to find the right one that you’re not going to buy anyway because you won’t retire for another 2 years.
On the internet, you can find hundreds of realtor websites and all offer the same: Costa Rica real estate. But the web and email allows you to find out who knows each area better, which one is better qualified to introduce you to your new environment and help you get going in your new life, someone who is available way past the real estate closing.
By Ivo Henfling, your Costa Rica realtor who is qualified to sell you a home in the Central Valley but not to do free tours. If you are looking for a knowledgeable realtor who can give you a lot of great information about properties in Costa Rica and many other issues, feel free to contact me.