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Everything posted by Shea

  1. Thanks, TG. Good idea. I don't have an attorney and I'm not sure I can afford one, but I'll look into it.
  2. I pay in U.S. dollars and am subject to the 15% increase each year. The attorney who collects my rent says there is no legal restriction on raising the rent if paid in dollars, it is only a "courtesy." If someone has access to a law that says it cannot be imposed I would like to show it to the attorney.
  3. Isn't the title Realtor an official title through the Board of Realtors in the U. S.? As such, it is always capitalized. 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. 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. Please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong about this. I would really like to know.
  4. When I was working in Seattle I had excellent dental insurance, well worth the cost. AND I got a free toothbrush! So yes, there is such a thing as good dental insurance.
  5. So sorry to hear about all the pets you have lost. I know how hard that is. But I had a dog years ago that was bitten twice by rattlesnakes and survived both. His skin turned black but that was the only lasting effect. They happened in California, but I imagine the rattlers here are similar. I hope this provides some encouragement.
  6. My good-for-living places are not going to be the same as your good-for-living places. I suggest reading more books on the various areas. For instance, I live in Atenas, which is supposed to have "the best climate in the world." I think it's hot and way too humid. Others don't find it to be humid at all. Will you have a car? There's little shopping here in Atenas and I have to go to Alajuela or Escazu to find groceries, and I still haven't figured out where to buy clothing, since I like to wear clothing that covers at least part of me. On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be much crime here, so I feel safe. You really need to decide what is important to you. If you want to see wildlife around you, that's different from wanting to be near arts and cultural events. So much to consider, and some of the good books available will address these issues. Other than that, just come down here and investigate in person, renting on a short-term so you can move around. Don't bring all your stuff until you know where you want to land.
  7. I pay out-of-pocket for doctor visits and meds. Haven't used the hospitals. My rheumatologist at CIMA charges $50 per visit. A local GP charges $20. Last year I was having trouble breathing due to mildew during October. Cruz Roja sent a doctor to my house. He checked me over, wrote a prescription, gave me a shot to open my air passages and charged me $20. One medication that I pay $120 for here would cost me $600+ in the U.S. without insurance. Here is definitely significantly cheaper, and I've had excellent treatment.
  8. The Real Estate attorney you used when you bought the property should be able to answer your questions. Try contacting him/her. In the meantime, maybe one of the developers who post on this forum will reply to your post. I'd start with the attorney.
  9. I found coverage in the morning on WNBC, channel 69 on my CableTica. I'm watching it right now (8:00 a.m.). Still don't know about evenings, because I'm house-sitting this week where there is no cable.
  10. Thanks, Laura. Interesting info on CR medal winners! I finally figured out where NBC is on CableTica, although it doesn't come in very well. I love the Olympics!
  11. Does anyone know if there will be English-language coverage of the Olympics on CableTica? If so, what channel(s)?
  12. Before I moved to CR I subscribed to the Tico Times online. Just go to their site to find out the price. They have a few free articles and features, but most of the paper is not available online unless you subscribe. Well worth it in my opinion. If you buy it directly from a vendor it's 600 colones. It has a page with all the events, exhibits, etc., for that weekend. I also read amcostarica.com, which is free. If you want a Spanish language paper I recommend La Nacion, also online. Not sure of the price; at least the classified ads are free online. amcostarica is only 5 online pages, with one to 3 articles each page. There are links to international news.
  13. I renewed my passport here and was told to return in two weeks to pick up the new one. I went there exactly two weeks later and it was there waiting for me. No problems, no delays.
  14. Hi, Ed, Just a bit of info about attorneys and notaries. All notaries must first be attorneys, although all attorneys are not notaries. Unlike in the U.S., notaries here interpret the law, so they must first be attorneys. I believe I learned this at the ARCR 2-day seminar. You might wish to attend one of the seminars if you plan to buy Real Estate. There's a wealth of info on this subject and many others dealing with moving to and living in Costa Rica. Write down all your questions so you don't forget to ask when Q & A time comes.
  15. Although I don't have a car (and shouldn't be giving any advice, for sure), my friends here in Atenas have a Toyota 4 x 4 and have had excellent service from the Toyota dealership in Uruca. Fast, too! My caution was about picking a vehicle than can be properly serviced here, and it sounds like you already knew that. I own a Saturn in the U.S. and have never seen one here, so I don't think I'll ever be tempted to bring it down here. Good luck on your journey. I hope you'll post some notes about your adventure after you get here.
  16. Before you buy your car you might want to find out which cars have available parts here. I don't see many American cars. In fact, I don't remember seeing any. Lots of Toyotas and Nissans, with corresponding dealerships for maintenance and repairs. Have you read about the high cost of importing cars to CR? Many people wait and buy one here.
  17. I live in Atenas, which is just less than an hour from San Jose and 1/2 hour from the airport (WSW direction). It is very popular with North Americans. I believe the population is around 23,000. Grecia, Sarchi, Palmares and San Ramon are also very popular. They are all on the map. Palmares and San Ramon are a bit farther away to the north, but they probably offer more in the way of services and shopping so there's less need to go to San Jose or Alajuela. Do a search on the Internet for each of these for basic info.
  18. Amen! We're creating world-wide starvation so we can drive our over-sized fuel guzzling vehicles a bit cheaper. Whatever happened to ethics and morals? Oh, yeah, we're Americans so we're the only country that matters.
  19. So many of the expats I know call themselves real estate agents. Based on what, I don't know, except for the fact that they have a car and time on their hands. Obviously most of them are working illegally, since most people I know here don't yet have their residency, and some have never even bothered to apply. Who knows how they get away with it.
  20. I'm not sure but it's possible that when they remove the fat from the descremada milk they add sugar. That is what is normally done in the food industry to replace fat in any low-fat foods. Be sure to read the label. Of course, if you are buying a non-U.S. brand they might not be required to list sugar as an ingredient. Not sure about that. As for condensed milk, it's loaded with sugar. (I'm not referring to evaporated canned milk, only the condensed.)
  21. I went there but I can't figure out what the image is on all your stuff. Perhaps you could add a very large close-up of the artwork. Just a suggestion.
  22. If I were you I would ask my local grocery manager if it is available. Maybe he can order it if it isn't carried in the store. I know I have seen shelf stable milk in Seattle but I'm not about to go back there so I'll never know for sure. lol The local brand here is Dos Pinos. I know they export their ice cream to various countries but not the U.S. (according to the guy who works in the pulperia next door to my house), so it's doubtful they would sent their shelf-stable milk there. Good luck.
  23. My SS check goes directly into my U.S. bank account. Each month I take my ATM card into Banco Nacional and ask to transfer money down here to my BN account. For this I get charged 1% by my U.S. bank, and $1.00 by BN (for a $700 transfer). I'm not sure why it is so low, but I had a friend check my receipts and my online bank statement, and that's the only charge we could find. We went back to previous transfers and this was consistent. Don't tell anyone, okay? I don't want the bank to get wise and start charging me more.
  24. HI, Laura, This is just a suggestion, but I would think it would be time better spent to study conversational Spanish than to translate songs, which are going to give you sentence structure and wording not used in the everyday world. My own studies have consisted of several language books, including a very good one on verbs, and listening to language CDs. I also watch American television while reading the Spanish subtitles, and listen to Spanish television as well to get the pronunciation and accent. When you are here living in the language everyday, take advantage of every opportunity to speak to the locals in their language. I do that, and sometimes I don't even know what I said (lol) but no one has ever made fun of me to my knowledge. If I really blow it, they will help me say what I mean. Lots of good help here from store clerks, taxi drivers, passengers on the buses, etc. And, yes, from us other norteamericanos. Might be good help, might be bad, but you can count on our two cents worth. Good luck. Shea
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