Property

Do not overlook the final walk-through on closing day

Do not overlook the final walk-through on closing dayClosing on a property is usually a pretty nervous occasion. Sellers become desperate to receive their settlement check and buyers want to move in. In the middle is a diligent real estate agent who will lead the way if you are lucky. That’s why we insist on a final walk-through on closing day.

Most parties involved only look at the finish line and forget about all those details that should be taken care of.  It is for example customary to deliver the house on closing in broom clean condition, although that is rarely mentioned in an option to purchase – sale agreement. I have seen houses being a total mess where lamps were removed, boxes all over and garbage everywhere.

I never forget one of the first homes I sold in my real estate career.  A Cuban – American builder and his wife had built a home in Cariari. Open floor plans were very unusual at the time that they would fully furnish with North American imported furniture.  Oswaldo and Maria would live in the house until it sold, rent another one in the neighborhood and build the next one. Is sold the house to a retiree from Huntington Beach – California who was flying in for the closing. Oswaldo and Maria had already moved to their rental home a week before. 

7 Costa Rica Real Estate Contract Killers You Should Know About

7 Costa Rica Real Estate Contract Killers You Should Know About

You think that as soon as the real estate contract is signed, you can take the day off and celebrate?

I’m sorry but unless you have the perfect real estate contract and everything else falls in place, you will not be able to celebrate until after closing.

I know quite a few real estate agents who, as soon as the real estate contract is signed start booking their family vacation or even purchase a new car. I have seen sellers go crazy spending their savings in their celebration that their house was sold. Well, don’t do that YET. 

A signed offer is not a legal commitment. Our agents use a written offer so there won’t be any disagreements later on. 

The buyer’s attorney uses that written offer to write up the formal real estate contract, which we call option to purchase – sale agreement. Others in Costa Rica call it a buy – sell agreement, a property purchase agreement or sometimes a promise to purchase. 

Selling your house in Costa Rica showing collectibles or war trophies

Selling your house in Costa Rica or collectibles and war trophiesLast week, I received a surprising call from a seller who I had not seen or heard from in over 20 years. The seller wanted me to give them an idea of what their house in Escazu can sell for.

The house is quite beautiful, well-built, well designed and very well maintained. There was one little problem: there are collectibles all over the house. There are collectibles in the hallway, in the living room, the kitchen, and all the bedrooms and there are even collectibles all over the master bathroom. You can hardly walk anywhere without crashing into a collectible.

This reminded me of a house for sale that my partner in the spice business we owned was planning to buy. I was not even a real estate agent then, so it’s been a few years now. It was owned by a gay couple and there were phalluses all over the living room, of all sizes, some even taller than I am.

I thought it was crazy the realtor didn’t tell the sellers to put them away because some buyers (actually most buyers) might be quite shocked when they walk into this surreal landscape, and not buy the house.

The unkempt house for sale in Costa Rica

The unkempt house for sale in Costa RicaDick and Jane del Valle – Springfield called me to come over and check out their house for sale. They needed help in getting the house priced right because they have to move to another country next month.

Unfortunately Dick and Jane’s house is 32 years old; it’s very unkempt and needs a lot of work. It’s a super fixer-upper, it’s not a home, but it’s a project. Few buyers are looking for projects, even if you would offer it way under market price. Dick and Jane expect their property to sell quickly and at a great price.

Some sellers are sometimes just amazing. They hire a real estate agent to sell their house in Costa Rica but do nothing to keep it presentable at all times. Unkempt homes decrease in value, but why even listen to your real estate agent’s advice?

I have made a compilation of some motivated sellers responses (which they say they are) given to our agents. Some are hilarious and others you’d sit in a corner and cry about, I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

Corporation Tax Costa Rica 2016 - wondering what will happen with it?

Corporation Tax Costa Rica 2016 - wondering what will happen with it?Is your property in Costa Rica owned in a corporation? You might have heard some stories about the Corporation Tax in Costa Rica but you don’t really know what is going on? Do you want to know what will happen to the corporation tax in Costa Rica for 2016?

Some owners of property in Costa Rica don’t even know that a corporation tax (impuesto sobre sociedades mercantiles) was created in December 2011 through tax law No 9024. I have written some articles about this tax earlier.

The existing corporation tax law No 9024 was declared unconstitutional in the Costa Rican Constitutional Court in 2015, annulling the collection of this tax for 2016.

The corporation tax funds usually go to the Public Security Ministry, the reason we already knew the government was not going to let it go so easily.

2 Ways to not get hit by the train in Costa Rica

2 Ways to not get hit by a train in Costa RicaThe train was such a wonderful way of transport for a country like Costa Rica. Costa Rica does not have any heavy industries at all, but for a few agro-industries, so everything is important, which makes the two ports in Costa Rica very important.

Driving in Costa Rica is easy to learn without getting scared and by reading my blogs about what can happen at the traffic light, no passing zones, the road obstacles, the different sidewalks, what to do when you have an accident and how we drive over the dead, you will be aware of the dangers.

Coffee and bananas were the main export products and almost everything that is shipped in and out of Costa Rica went through to the ports of Limon (Atlantic) and the port of Caldera (Pacific). Before containers became fashionable, everything was transported by train, a situation that has now changed tremendously.

Before that happened, there was still space in the streets on San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela and Heredia. Now you can get hit by a train, if you are not aware there is one.

How to reduce mistakes when buying mountain property in Costa Rica

IVO HENFLING | NOVEMBER 13, 2015

How to reduce mistakes when buying mountain property in Costa RicaBuying mountain property in Costa Rica is not difficult at all, as long as you do your homework.

Many buyers do not realize that Costa Rica is famous for its micro climates and that every mountain in Costa Rica is different. You will find a huge influence to climate preferences, what crops you can grow because the soil is different or what kind of legal limitations the property might have or the bad neighborhoods you might have to drive through to get to the property, so you want to reduce the mistakes to the minimum.

We sell a lot of mountain property in the Central Valley locations of Atenas as well as in Grecia, the reason for this article.

To be able to reduce any mistakes you might make when buying mountain property in Costa Rica, I have put together 5 tips:

12 Noisy reasons to terminate an Atenas lease agreement (or anywhere else)

12 Noisy reasons to terminate an Atenas lease agreement (or anywhere else)At GoDutch Realty we don’t do a lease agreement very often. The main reason for this is that many tenants feel that the agents are responsible for every detail until the tenants pass out or pass away.

There is not much money to be made in rentals; especially the low budget rentals and an agent can only hope the tenant will be sufficiently satisfied about living in Costa Rica so they will purchase a property from them at one point.

In Atenas, one of the most beautiful communities west of San Jose, there are a lot of beautiful homes that are rented, mostly short term to snow birds from up north trying to get away from the cold, so our company does get involved in quite a few rentals in that particular location. A lot of snow birds move to Atenas for just 6 months and love it so much, they end up buying a property in Atenas to retiring there.

7 reasons to live in El Cajon de Grecia

IVO HENFLING | SEPTEMBER 26, 2015

6 Reasons to live in El Cajon de GreciaCajón what? El Cajón de Grecia!

Few imagine that is the name of one of the nicest communities to live in the Central Valley.

I know El Cajón de Grecia reasonably well myself because I’ve joined Brooke Bishop, our Grecia agent many times on showings. I’ve also had a few housewarming parties there because most clients who look at buying a property in Grecia  and specifically in Cajón de Gecia will take the instant decision about not having to look any further. They definitely want to live in Cajón de Grecia.

Cajón de Grecia is located on the north-side of the city of Grecia on the slopes of the Poas (see map below).

Since Brooke knows Cajón or El Cajón as they call it, much better than I do, I asked her to come up with 7 good reasons to live in El Cajón de Grecia.

Does your Costa Rica listing agent pay attention to the bathroom listing photos?

How important are good bathroom photos in Costa Rica real estate?I’m a Costa Rica listing agent myself but I am always surprised about the bathroom listing photos some listing agents post on their website.  Is the listing agent really interested in selling the property advertised or is it a joke?

When you hire a Costa Rica listing agent when in the market to purchase a property in Costa Rica, you want to make sure you hire one who cares about you and looks out for your interest. One who will come up for you when wheeling and dealing with another agent or a seller, to get you not only the best deal, but one who will pay attention to the details. A listing agent who pays attention to the listing photos, usually pays attention to all the details of the transaction too.

I have seen bathrooms that are open and pleasant to be in and I have seen bathrooms that are claustrophobic. Some are elegant with chandeliers and marble while others have enough toilet paper rolls stacked on the toilet to last the rest of the century.

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