Real estate

Think hard before your rent on VRBO in Costa Rica

Think hard before your rent on VRBO in Costa RicaMy office phone is ringing while I’m on my cell phone with an attorney discussing some details on a real estate closing. I’m alone in the office and the office phone is ringing off the hook, a local call. You never know how you can miss out on a buyer, so I told the attorney I’d call him back as soon as I could and picked up the office phone.  

“Buenos días, GoDutch Realty, en qué le puedo servir?” is my usual introduction and the lady at the other end says in English “do you speak English?”. This is very customary in our office because if I’d answer the phone in English, the Ticos who don't speak any English generally hang up on me, not knowing what to say.

The lady on the other end started telling me that she knows it’s a very unusual request but she rented a house in Sarchi and it has a solar heating system on the roof. The solar system is leaking and if I know a plumber to get it fixed.

I answered the lady “I assume you’re calling because you rented the house from Brooke Bishop, our agent who covers the Sarchi area, I can give you Brooke’s phone number and I’m sure Brooke can help you”.

The lady answered “no, Brooke had it also listed but we rented through VRBO in Costa Rica, directly from the owner.”

Be aware of Costa Rican real estate developer marketing tricks

Dream with your eyes open when you buy Costa Rican pre-constructionSome Costa Rican real estate developers sell pre-construction dreams! We’d like you to dream with your eyes open.

In the past, I have written quite a few articles about buying real estate in a residential development, like 9 steps to stop a developer from deceiving you and a real estate development quiz. Some Costa Rican real estate developers that sell pre-construction homes are full of marketing tricks.

Today, I’d like to touch base with you on what seems to be going on with residential developer “Casas Vita” and marketing tricks that are quickly becoming a model of selling real estate in Costa Rica to unsuspecting buyers by a few unscrupulous Costa Rican real estate developers.

A new money-making machine, very little investment needed! We all know the famous boiler room sales made during the boom by Paragon Properties and Hermosa Highlands all directed at the gringo market and now they’re doing it to the Ticos.

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.

Absolutely trying hard to adjust in Costa Rica

Absolutely trying hard to adjust in Costa Rica

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.