Ivo's Blog

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.

Will property in Costa Rica sell faster on an exclusive listing agreement?

Will property in Costa Rica sell faster on an exclusive listing agreement?

Unless you love to suffer, do not sign an exclusive listing agreement for your property in Costa Rica with any real estate agency, no matter how sexy, famous, smooth, handsome or successful the agent who promises to sell your property next week is.

Why would you put all your eggs in one basket and sign up with only one agency? Will your property sell faster if you sign an exclusive listing agreement with one agency or not and what are your options?

As you probably already know, anybody can be a real estate agent in Costa Rica, some are trained and others are not. Real estate in Costa Rica is not regulated and there is no formally functioning Multiple Real Estate Service (MLS) that covers all the property listings in Costa Rica by real estate professionals, as is customary in other countries like the USA.

Which powers of attorney does your property manager in Costa Rica need?

Which powers of attorney does your property manager in Costa Rica need?Everybody involved in the real estate closing is exhilarated, the buyer most of all. Of course she is, Susan just closed on the purchase of a beautiful vacation home in Costa Rica. 

For years, Susan has been day dreaming, looking online at vacation homes near all the beaches in Costa Rica. She has been looking at pictures of homes and condos all over the North, South and Central Pacific and at the Caribbean side of Costa Rica too, reading descriptions and asking the listing agents questions by email and phone.

Susan did her due diligence and decided it was a better idea to make an investment in a vacation rental in Atenas; she wanted to make sure she would buy her vacation home in the right location at the right price. 

Susan found out it made much more sense to rent her home to snow birds and retirees who take much better care of your property than surfers who live on peanut butter sandwiches do.

7 Luxury homes in the Central Valley worth checking out

Luxury homes in the Central Valley worth checking out

Have you ever wondered how the luxury home market in the Costa Rican Central Valley functions without having an MLS where every agent in Costa Rica advertises their listings?

Before you start making appointments with realtors to see luxury homes in the Central Valley, maybe it is time for you to find out a bit more, so you can save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Online you might find the most mouthwatering pictures of beautiful luxury homes in the Central Valley, panoramic views or images of the golf course. You’ll find photos of imposing hallways, palatial kitchens and plush living rooms.  

All the photos you will find are going to be trying to show all the plusses of the home but how do you know the value is really there?

Unless you are a specialist in property values in Costa Rica, you won’t know how much you should pay for that home, no matter how much you love it.

9 Jaw dropping ways to make things work in Costa Rica

9 Jaw dropping ways to make things work in Costa RicaIf you were born and raised in a developed country, you are so used to go to the store and just buy a replacement for whatever is broken or defective. 

Ticos (someone born and raised in Costa Rica), no matter if they have money or not, are not used to just go to the store to buy new because they might not find it or can’t afford it.

They try to find a way to make things work, one way or the other. Those who also living in Costa Rica, although they’re not born and raised here, quickly learn how to make things work in Costa Rica, out of sheer survival.

The fact that the Costa Rican government taxes everything that is imported makes it not only more expensive, it is also very well possible you won’t find a replacement available. You have a real good chance that you can’t get any spare parts either because the model is not current or the importer went under.

Are appliances included in your Costa Rica home purchase or rental?

Are appliances included in your Costa Rica home purchase or rental?Darling, I love that luxury condo in Escazu; I just sent you the link so you can have a look at the photos. I already sent an email to the realtor if that 36” Sub-Zero side-by-side built in is included in the sale of the condo.  

And you should see the rest of the appliances in the kitchen; imagine they include the GE Profile Stainless Steel Fridge and freezer, GE Warming drawer, built in GE Profile Double Ovens, Gas 6 burner Viking range, 15,000 BTUS per burner and Dishwasher. 

Its wow! I’d buy that place in a heartbeat if it’s true they really include all the appliances in the sale of the condo. 

When you look for Costa Rica home for sale online, it’s usually not very clear if the appliances are included in the sale or not. A smart real estate agent would probably remember to mention it in the description of the home or condo, especially if the appliances are top of the line.

11 Free Apps that will make living in Costa Rica easier

10 Free Apps that will make living in Costa Rica easierMany of us now live with our phone in hand, all day long. Even a lot of us who live in Costa Rica. Some fanatics even do so at night. 

When you are retired, your phone stops being important to you, or it’s supposed to. Your desktop, or your laptop give you all the necessary connections to your family back home, right?

Facebook is one example of technology, which stopped being technology to many. My 83 year old mom is on Facebook, all day long. That is because it’s her connection to the world, her kids and grandkids who all live in other countries. Her friends and cousins live in Spain, Australia, Belgium, France, the US, Canada, England, Germany, and Costa Rica. 

Isn't it cool to have 115 friends from all over the world that you can stay in touch with when your 83 years old? Yeah, my mom is very international and if you are living in Costa Rica, I’m sure you are too. Or you might be as soon as you move away from your family, looking for a better, warmer and exciting life in Costa Rica.

La chilera and the hot sauce in Costa Rica

La chilera and the hot sauce in Costa RicaThe Costa Rican cuisine offers quite a variety of vegetables that you can purchase at any farmers market or grocery store as you all know. What many do not know is that those vegetables are also used in one of the most important ingredients of that Costa Rican cuisine: la chilera. The chilera is an important ingredient in the typical food that you will find in the local restaurants and what local families eat in their daily diet.

Some call it a hot sauce in Costa Rica but it really is not. El chilera is really nothing more than spicy pickled vegetables.

The easiest way to get your chilera is to go shopping; you will find a tremendous variety of chileras in the grocery store. Certain towns in Costa Rica, like Zarcero, are pretty famous for their chileras. You can also shop at any farmers market for the necessary ingredients and make your own chilera and enjoy typical food of Costa Rica whenever you can.

Moving offshore to Costa Rica will save the Americans

Moving offshore to Costa Rica will save the Americans

Moving money offshore is one thing, moving yourself and your family offshore is a whole different story. Costa Rica is not just a place to hide dirty money anymore.
It is also not that sunny place in paradise where train robbers hide and live a wealthy pool-side life with lots of rum ‘n coke’s until they get caught by Interpol. 

The local authorities might think you’re laundering money as soon as you deposit over $10K into your bank account. You can try hiding money, but if you get caught, you’ll be in trouble. Costa Rican jail is not a country club.

Now, with the new ad campaign by ICT that makes clear that moving offshore to Costa Rica is attractive and will save the Americans and not a place hide. Costa Rica is promoted by its governmental agencies as “Essential Costa Rica”. Marketing their location, biodiversity and nature is paying off.

The Costa Rican Bureau of Tourism (ICT) has a very successful campaign with the name “Save the Americans – Costa Rican Animals for Overworked Americans”.