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Posts posted by Epicatt2

  1. So "Any Property For Sale or Wanted - Including rentals or other items " is not the appropriate place for sales pitches?


    I read the description of this forum carefully.


    To me her post does not look like discussion at all.

    It's a commercial announcement, which is not permitted in the other RE category, so it would go here.


    The suggestion was made to combine these two similar Forums. I'll pass that along to the honchos.




  2. More gorp for the mill!!

    Newman, and others...


    Not sure what the problem is here. The Forum, "Real Estate in Costa Rica", was set up for this sort of post/discussion. As such, yesterday's post to this topic was appropriate to this Forum. (Might do to read the description provided for this particular Forum.)


    If a member does not care for a post perhaps it is wiser to just scroll past it. No one is forcing members to read posts they do not care for.


    Let me also remind the membership, in passing, that attacks on other members are not permitted.




    Paul / Moderator


  3. Laura,


    This will corroborate the previous reply somewhat, but I was nosing around and found the sites on Google, so...


    There is women’s soccer in Costa Rica, tho it seems to be mostly played in rural areas. But that sounds like it would be right up your alley.


    Here are a couple links I found that relate to CR women’s soccer:


    Women’s Soccer in Rural Costa Rica



    women’s soccer competitions





    ¡Puras Pelotas!


    Paul M.


  4. I live in costa rica and would like some info on obtaining heath ins. anyone with info please contact me.



    I would encourage you to contact ARCR. Here is the URL for their site:




    Go to the 'contact us' tab and phone them for info on INS and CAJA insurance.


    They will have info about how to apply for those types of insurance and the benefits and types of policies that are offered.




    Paul M.


  5. Isn't the title Realtor an official title through the Board of Realtors in the U. S.? As such, it is always capitalized.

    Hi Shea,


    You are correct. There are no Realtors in CR, only sellers of real estate or real estate agents.


    I don't think Realtors exist in CR because from what I hear there is not governing board through which agents must go to qualify.

    Again true. There is no governing board to oversee such licensing of agents in CR and there are no Multiple Listings services either, although some agents imply that there are. There has been talk for several years with regard this end but so far no real, universal multiple listings service has eventuated.


    Is that true or not? People selling Real Estate here are agents, and from what I hear they are not licensed and many of them who are expats are not even legally working as agents. I certainly would do a lot of homework and research before dealing with anyone selling Real Estate.

    You or anyone can come to CR and start selling real estate, even as soon as you can catch your breath after deplaning. You don't even need any prior experience in selling real estate -or selling anything else for that matter! In CR it is always best to deal with the owner.


    Please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong about this. I would really like to know.

    Here's a little scenario to illustrate. Due to no ML service there is no way to know who is selling what properties. So, let's say agent A approaches seller B and tells him that he will look for buyers for his house, how much does he want for it? Seller B says $30,000. Agent A then offers B's house to various potential buyers, but prices it at $50,000, unbeknownst to B. Now let's suppose that A sells B's house to buyer C for that amount; he then charges B a percentage selling commission, and gives B the balance of his asking price of $30,000 and A gets to pocket the difference.


    But since there is no ML service, another agent, D, can come to B and tell him, I can sell your house, how much do you want for it? B again says $30,000. Let's say that D shops B's house around for $75,000 and sells it for that amount to buyer E. Again seller B would get $30,000 less E's commission and E pockets the difference. Also, A is unlikely to be aware that E is also trying to sell B's house, likewise for E not knowing about A.


    The scenarios above are probably the best reason to deal with a seller yourself. Also it is imperative to get your own attorney, who is knowledgeable about real estate transactions in CR, to handle all the legal aspects of the sale, and DO NOT use the homeowner's attorney as he will be looking after the interests of the homeowner.


    This is a very basic explanation, I know, but it is information I got from the ARCR seminars. Granted there are some honest and reliable real estate agents operating in Costa Rica, but there is still no universal ML service in CR as of yet, so it is imperative to shop wisely for both a house and an agent (if you choose to use one).


    Even though you will see the logos of some of the big names in real estate that are prevalent in the US, like Century21 or Re/Max, there are no Realtors licensed in CR and no ML services that allow them to show you everything that other realty offices may be offering even though it might appear that way t first glance.


    I hope this is useful info for you. I'm a retiree in CR and have no 'ganas' to work in CR, least of all for selling property!




    Paul M.


  6. I'd also like to attend orchid, bromeliad, heliconia shows where ever they exist. The big one in San Jose is usually well advertized, but others may be more convenient.



    There is an orchid show somewhere in the country usually every month. They are sponsored by the regional orchid groups. There are groups in Alajuela, San Ramón, Palmares, Naranjo, Cartago and, I think, Heredia. There may be a couple of other ones I don't know about. The big show in March is sponsored by the ACO (Asociación Costarricense de Orquidología) in the SJ area.


    If you hear of a heliconia show, I'd like to be made aware of it.






    Paul M


  7. First, Laua K, thanks so much for being a sweetheart.

    I agree with you Kenn. Hoo-Ray Hoo-Ray for Laura K . . .


    Plus a dentist who gives out free tooth brushes. Now, whatever happened to these? I finally bought a new tooth brush, $3. In the old days the dentist used to give you a new one at checkups.

    My dental hygienist give me a new toothbrush each visit. (Plus a travel sized toothpaste and a sample roll of floss.) In her hygienist-sort-of-way she explains that it is best to start with a new, clean toothbrush several times per year to keep from re-introducing bacteria from an old brush into your mouth and gums.


    So, some dentists' offices are still giving out toothbrushes.




    Paul M.


  8. Hi M & J,


    I would suggest that once you get to CR that you look for listings (or ask, if you speak spanish) at the local pulperia, or on the bulletin boards at the main grocery stores (like Mas X Menos, Palí, MegaSuper) in town. A lot of 'finding of rentals' seems to depend upon networking, which is how I found my apartment after haunting the listings on CraigsList, in The TicoTimes, etc. Actually La Nación Dígital's economicos.com can be pretty good.


    Unlike owning a home though, renting can be a better deal. The laws in CR favor the renter over the landlord.


    But in my case I found a place when my friend (who was living in the apartments) cued me at the right moment when another tenant was about to leave and I immediately contacted the landlady (with whom I had spoken with several months before) and made my interest known which got me the apartment. Fortunately, my landlady is a treasure and the place was a real find.


    A suggestion I once heard was directed at a gringo who was preparing to sell out in the US and bring his money to CR and buy a big house. It was suggested to him that if he were to bank the proceeds from the sale of his home and property, he could live on the interest and afford to rent a really nice place in CR with money enough left over on which to live quite comfortably -plus his principal would remain intact in the bank to produce the interest each month.


    Also when you rent you can pick up and move if need be, for whatever reason, whereas selling a property may take who knows how long, Costa Rica not being a seller's market.


    When you first go to CR, stay in a B&B for a month perhaps, and look around, make friends. Many times the people that run the B&B may be able to locate you some suitable leads. Then once you have found a suitable place, live in it for a few months or longer and since you will then have no big urgency to find a place, somehow you'll seem to have people start telling you about other places. That is what happened to me.


    Anyway, some thought to ponder on....




    Paul M.


  9. ... It's a shame that what I think is research is interpreted as obsession.

    ... Most people are criticized for not taking enough time to prepare. I get criticized for preparing too soon. Go figure.



    Don't let the turkeys* get you down? I started researching CR way back in '91 or thereabouts. So, when should one start researching? -That's a perfectly good question, for instance...


    In '91 I got to spend a month in CR and the reason was to see the big eclipse of that year. Since I had a whole month there (my longest visit to date up until that time) I decided to 'play at' being retired 1] to see if I could afford it and, 2] to see if I liked it. At the end of the month I saw that I could, on both counts. Plus being 20 years into a 30 year tenure with the State of Florida University System it was looking like I was actually going to retire with a reasonable pension that would allow me to be a Pensionado in CR eight years before I wold be eligible for my SS$$! And eventually that is what happened, tho maybe not quite as soon as I had expected, but things actually worked out better the way they unfolded.


    But from that point (July '91) forward, I studied and read everything that I could about Costa Rica and what I would need to do to retire there. That was 15 years' worth of study. I was still visiting CR during those intervening years and that, too, was equivalent to studying, as I snooped around the Central Valley seeing what places I liked. Oddly enough I never ever went to Alajuela 'til once in '95 but didn't really like it and left after only 30 minutes. Now I really like Alajuela and have an apartment there. Go figure...


    So Laura, don't worry about having started researching CR so far in advance. All that information gathering will pay off in the long run. But so will the intervening visits you take there before you can finally move down. Being familiar with CR long before I was able to move there has been a big help in that I don't think I have had any real culture shock, and that's a very good thing.


    And you will be glad you have started studying Spanish long before you expect to move south. I hope your hubby is studying it some, too. That way the burden of translating for everyone won't fall solely upon you once you get there permanently. (The kids will pick it up fast, though.)


    So keep on keepin' on and the years will fly by faster than you think. My last five years seemed to take forever and then voof! they were suddenly over!


    ¡Pura Pensionarme!


    Paul M.


    * Nothing personal JDO, CRF, really!


  10. ... I will attend the ARCR seminar February 2009. We are ARCR members but I would like preparation information before I attend the ARCR seminar.

    Hola Laura,


    Generally speaking the others gave useful advice for you for how to plan ahead for your move: Read, read, read. And do whatever you can wihle still there where your are now to learn Spanish. There are many online options and also purchasable computer study courses for that, so... Study, study, study.


    And I know you are doing the above, so good for you. Just keep at it.


    As for attending the ARCR Seminar, the first day is mostly about Moving to Costa Rica. The second day covers Living in Costa Rica. You can go to the top of this page and click on Calendar in the upper right and then look towards the end of the month where the Seminar is listed. Click on either of the two entries for it and it will open up some info about some of the topics that will be covered.


    Now my advice here is to look at those topics and start writing down questions that you have about them. Also any other questions about moving to or living in CR. Buy a yellow legal pad and write all the questions you have on it and take it with you to the Seminar. Leave space to jot in the answers. Take the whole pad with you; you will have more questions, some of them sparked by the other attendees there. You will want something to be able to write all that stuff down on and there won't be enough paper there, just a few handouts.


    I've been to the Seminar so far five times. (Apparently that is approaching some sort of record.) That has been spread over six years' time. But what has impressed me is that I learned something new each time, as the information is constantly updated, or the attendees ask things that I had never thought of asking. So it wasn't like sitting thru the exact same thing over and over again.


    But the most important thing I would say, is to go prepared to ask questions and that you have those questions written down so you won't forget to ask them. You can keep the pad handy somewhere and write new stuff down on it up 'til the time you go to CR. Then be sure to not forget to take the pad to the Seminar!


    ¡Puras Preguntas!


    Paul M.


  11. Mapache,


    CRF is right about Finca Leola. It's a successful and viable operation. Fred Morgan came to CR around ten years ago or a little longer. He bought several large farms and began reclaiming them by replanting them with trees. As the trees have been selectively thinned the forest gradually has been seen creeping back into the tree-farmed sections. Eventually when most of the crop trees are harvested that will be secondary forest well established in its place.


    The Finca Leola website has a lot of practical information on it.




    Paul M.


  12. How and in what places in Costa Rica is Halloween celebrated?

    Hi Laura,


    Halloween in the US has evolved into a commercial holiday, far from it's original pagan roots.


    But in Costa Rica instead of Halloween, they celebrate All Souls Day and All Saints Day.


    All Souls Day is also known as Day of the Dead and is observed on November 2nd.


    All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows Day is observed on November 1st.


    From this latter we can see that the name Hallowe'en was derived from All Hallows Eve(ning).


    In Costa Rica if you pass a cemetery on All Souls Day (Nov.2) you will find the monuments and graves to all be decorated with masses of flowers and also food and drink is sometimes set on the graves. Families go to the gravesites of their departed relatives to visit them and pray for them.


    That is radically different from the way we in the US celebrate what we've turned this holiday into. Not trying to knock Halloween, tho. It's just that it's vastly more of a Gringo celebration. It hasn't caught on that way full tilt in CR as yet.


    Costa Rica DOES participate greatly in Halloween, although in a rather indirect fashion: No costumes, but plenty of sugar cane, which is turned into sugar to sweeten all those trick'r treat candies with. Betcha didn't think of that . . .


    ¡Puras Pantomimas!


    Paul M.


  13. Thank you.

    Remember, your import duty will be based upon C-I-F, plus perhaps the age of the scooters...


    And C-I-F = cost + insured amount + freight.


    I got this info from Charlie Zeller at the ARCR Seminar.


    People often are not aware that Customs adds on the shipping amount and the insured value to the cost of the item when figuring the dutiable amount.




    Paul M.


  14. And, that, my friends, is one more reason that this "bail-out" is such a really lousy deal for the American Sucker, er, uh, taxpayer!

    Well JDO,


    I wrote to my elected officials (as I am sure did many others) and instructed them to vote against the bail-out, for all the good THAT did...


    ...Or our instructions were ignored... (Which was it, I wonder.)


    ¡Puros Políticos!


    Paul M.


  15. Hi Tibas9,


    Tri-Rail, for some incomprehensible reason, does not service MIA, I was told. So, it's possible that if you do not have a boatload of luggage it might be practical to hire a taxi to the nearest Tri-Rail station and use it to go on up to FLL, saving the rest of the cab-fare. Last I heard Tri-Rail cost about $3.00, but may be a bit more now.


    The other suggestion, to rent a car at MIA, may have some value and a one- or two-day rental may be worth it for the mobility it would allow. And no drop-off charges if you are going airport to airport would make it a better bargain still.


    In any event, either one sounds do-able, to me. [Or, mayhap I don't know from where I speak.]




    Paul M.


  16. From your personal Experiences, Historically do you think that the Colone increases or decreases against the value of the US dollar.

    Generally, over the years the colón, in my experience, has seemed to decrease slightly against the dollar. But when the dollar has strengthened, so have the prices for things in CR, to accommodate that strengthening. Of course presently there is at least some uncertainty as to what is going to happen with the dollar, so we must wait and see.


    Need to make some decisions before end of October renewals.

    Tom/Laura, could you please clarify what it is that you mean by 'renewals'?




    Paul M.


  17. Just a note to say I recently saw on the 'net advertising mangosteens for sale at Package: 9 -13 Mangosteens for $39.99. We bought some at the ferria yesterday for 200 col each...

    Wow, CRF!


    Figuring on an average number of 11 in a package that comes to nearly $3.65 per mangosteen or ¢1999 per each!


    BTW, how did you like them? How would you describe the taste?


    I bought some a few weeks ago and they were nice but I didn't find them to match up to all the hype about them that I had heard.


    Ill prolly try them again to be sure I didn't miss something.




    Paul M.


  18. I eat fruit already but thanks for the advice.

    It's far nicer to eat fruit in CR as the selection is far more ample than it is generally in the US. And it's fresher, more ripened (without chemical forcing like in the US), less expensive, and far tastier, too.


    I buy and eat fruit when I'm in Florida but it is not the same. Doesn't have the excellent flavor of the fruit allowed to mature and ripen naturally like in the tropics (especially the bananas), so I quickly become bored with most of it in Florida. We can regularly get great citrus in Florida though.


    Just a few observations, here....






  19. Yesterday myself and three friends were having lunch at Los Huaraches just west of La Garita and the Freedom Torch went by on the road out front followed by a trail of bicycles, motorscooters, cars, and pickups all honking and waving flags.


    The whole affair was headed westbound but I'm told it was routing thru Grecia and up into the hills north of town with an ultimate destination of Cartago. How, I did not try to figure out.


    When we were leaving Alajuela for the restaurant an hour or so earlier, I noticed that the police had just finished setting up roadblocks on Calle Ancha next to the Courthouse. I did not know why at the time, but apparently the run started there. At least, I think it must have...


    What a treat - we had front-row seating!


    Paul M.


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