Ivo's Blog

Costa Rica ~ Pura Vida

“Costa Rica ~ Pura Vida!”

I always enjoy it when the expats who moved to Costa Rica have a good time, especially when they tell others about it. There is already enough negativity in this world. Costa Rica ~ Pura Vida!

Those, who are able to adjust to their new home country and learn the language, have a better chance to have such a good time. Ned Nossaman, is one of those who did and who does. Because Ned adjusted to Costa Rica and never expected Costa Rica to adjust to him. 

Of course there are things that are not perfect and you can learn how to accept them and live with them. Ned describes, in his poem, what his feelings for Costa Rica are. 

Thank you Ned, for taking the time to write this beautiful poem and sharing your thoughts with us. Thank you for your beautiful gift.

Señorita Bonita – trendy and charming Atenas boutique

Señorita Bonita – trendy and charming Atenas boutiqueAre you a high-end shopper who worships BCBG, Chico’s or MK or looking for a great deal on sunglasses? For sure there’s something for you at Señorita Bonita, the new charming Atenas boutique.

Watch it now, ladies in Atenas! Fed up of driving all the way to Escazu or Alajuela to buy trendy women’s apparel? Now you can do your shopping in Atenas and buy a handbag, accessories, lingerie, perfume and dressy casual women’s clothing in an Atenas boutique. Ladies who live in Escazu or anywhere else in Costa Rica, are of course also very welcome to check them out.

Why am I writing about it? Because Jenny O’Neil and husband Joe Allen moved to Atenas this year and Jenny can’t sit still. Jenny was done refinishing the home in Atenas that they bought from GoDutch Realty agents Marian Veltman and Rudy Matthews. So she had to move on to the next project Señorita Bonita, a trendy and charming Atenas boutique.

20 Genius household hacks that work in Costa Rica

20 Genius household hacks that work in Costa RicaMy blogs are meant to make things easier for you when you live in Costa Rica. That’s why this time I have tried to find 5,555 genius household hacks that should work in Costa Rica.

I decided to start with only 20 of them and leave a few for some other day.

I have told you in other blogs about how famous MacGyver is in Costa Rica. Often, you need to try to make things work. 

In this article you will find 20 MacGyver’s or household hacks that work.

I have added some funny and ingenious ones and even a video so it's a bit more entertaining and you can share them with your friends and family on Facebook. Enjoy yourself using them, here we go.

12 facts that everyone living in Costa Rica takes for granted

12 facts that everyone living in Costa Rica takes for grantedWhen you first arrive in a new country, there are concepts, habits and unique facts that everyone notices. They might be the reason you move to Costa Rica or not, but you assume you’ll do all you can to enjoy them. After a while of living in Costa Rica, you get into the rhythm of living your life, doing what you do and you forget. You forget about those unique facts because up start taking them for granted. 

You don’t really notice that you take them for granted until you get visitors or when you travel. I invite you to join me on a fact finding tour. Please do not take those facts for granted, once you are living in Costa Rica. 

These facts will give you the opportunity to live the pura vida.

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. 

How to save money on liquor in Costa Rica

How to save money on liquor in Costa Rica ⌂ photo by Signbiblio

If you don’t drink any liquor before you move to Costa Rica, there are several reasons you could start doing so pretty soon. 

It can be pretty warm some days and for many there is nothing nicer than a piña colada when you’re sitting next to your pool. 

Others, like me, prefer a rum ‘n coke when I have great company.

Depending on your ability to adjust to your new life in Costa Rica, or on your personality type, you might be needing a stiff drink, because you can’t put up with it anymore. 

Of course there are other reasons to start drinking if you’re not already an alcoholic when you move here, but then I suggest a visit to a bilingual shrink. 

Alcohol, or liquor, can be quite expensive in Costa Rica, depending a lot on what you drink and how much. 

The death of a landmark in Costa Rica

The death of a landmark in Costa RicaFew things are as hard as directions or finding an address in Costa Rica if you have recently arrived, even if you are fluent in Spanish.  

Our addresses are weird and even if you use Waze on your phone, you might need to know about a landmark in the area you are visiting, so you won’t get lost.

Costa Rica is full of landmarks, even though they change once in a while. I have been living in Escazu, for most of my 36 years in Costa Rica, we just lost one of the most important landmarks: the Mango Tree. Escazu News picked up on the happening and allowed me to the photos.

Most of you probably say “what, a mango tree is a landmark?”

There are places in Costa Rica that has thousands of mango trees. I actually did a blog a while ago about mangoes and a tenant who complained that the mangoes where keeping her awake.  

Adjust to food in Costa Rica

How to adjust to food in Costa Rica

The plan to move to Costa Rica is a winner for many. Most who start looking and homes for sale or for rent in Costa Rica will not get any further than dreaming of such a big step. Moving to another country is a much bigger step than most think it is, especially when it's about trying to adjust to the food in Costa Rica. 

Although there is so much information available online, I find that only a few future expats take the time and make the effort to learn as much as they can about their future home country, the reason for the existence of Ivo’s blog. 

In the past, in December 2014 to be exact, I wrote a blog about the traditions from your home country that you will miss when you move to Costa Rica. Food in Costa Rica is not only different than what you are used to, it is also cooked different and they use different spices than you do. But don't worry, it's not so bad that it should stop you from moving to Costa Rica and I'm sure this article will help you adjust to the food in Costa Rica well.


10 steps on how to buy a building lot in Costa Rica

How to buy building lot in Costa Rica in 10 stepsNot necessarily do you need to have an eccentric taste to prefer buying a building lot for your future custom house in Costa Rica. Even the budget for your future house should not matter.

There are quite some reasons you might want to purchase a home lot in Costa Rica. Some buyers have their ideas well organized and know what they want (or they think they do), others don't have a clue until they walk into the right house.

A few of the reasons to buy a building lot in Costa Rica usually are:

•    You are not ready to move to Costa Rica yet, but you're looking to get a foot in the door for a future move or retirement.

•    You have some money set aside and want to invest this money. Instead of investing it your local real estate market, the stock market or just handing it over to your banker, you're looking for something more promising and exotic. 

•    You want to custom build your custom home to very detailed specifications to suit your own needs.

Before you start looking to buy a building lot in Costa Rica, first find out where exactly you would like to live. That of course, depends on your specific needs and lifestyle, such as beach, mountains, rural area, city, golf courses, hospitals and other amenities that are important to you.

Is moving to Costa Rica with a dietary problem or a disability smart?

Is moving to Costa Rica with a dietary problem or a disability smart?Do you have any health problems? Are you afraid to move to Costa Rica because you have a dietary disease or because you are disabled? Let’s try to cover this important question for many who are not sure they can make this important step because of their disability or dietary problem.

Costa Rica can be a perfectly delightful retirement destination for everyone but it depends a lot on the location you choose moving to.

Especially If you have a disability or a need for special requirements, it is important you find out if your destination can accommodate your needs or not before you take the wrong decision of moving to Costa Rica.

In other words, you need to find out if Costa Rica fits or doesn’t fit your picture.