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About MindQuake

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  1. I know of one B&B, at least, that works this way: Vida Tropical in Alajuela. You could try contacting them. I have heard that landlords charge double when you rent their house for a business, and indeed residential rentals are drying up in some San Jose neighborhoods because landlords want to convert them to offices. Our rental contract for an apartment specifically forbade using the place for a business; be sure the lease allows the use you have in mind. Good luck! Rick
  2. MindQuake

    ARCR membership benefits

    As of two months ago, I got the 10% member discount by paying cash at CB. The discount for cards (even debit cards) is 5%. I'm not sure if they offer these same discounts without ARCR membership.
  3. MindQuake

    Renting In Costa Rica

    We recently moved back to Costa Rica and got a new phone line and internet service in our apartment about a week after applying. I think ICE may be getting more responsive. It may have helped the we live in San Pedro, an urban Central Valley setting, so wiring was already established for the building. I compare that with our last apartment, only a few blocks away, when it took 6 weeks to get internet added to the landlady's phone line. My guess is that the landlady may have been responsible for half the delay that time. Your mileage may vary. Rick
  4. Dana, We are in a similar situation to yours, except we are Rentistas. I can share our experience muddling through tax forms for our rental for the first time this year, but please don't take my word for things, as I'm not an expert. At least you'll get a few good questions to ask an accountant from this. We rent our house out through an agent, so the mechanics are pretty simple: we pay the mortgage out of our pocket, the tenants pay utilities, and the rental agents pay a gardener. We get a check each month. As far as taxes, they want you to itemize both your income and your costs. If it comes out to a loss, you may be able to deduct it against other income. Legitimate deductions include landlord insurance, the agent's management fees, advertising for tenants, credit checks on tenants, repairs and maintenance, etc. You can also deduct mortgage interest against the rent, but not against any other income. You can claim depreciation on the building and facilities, but not the land. On the downside, the law changed recently regarding the exemption you can claim on capital gains when you sell your home, as sectorbets mentioned. The old law was incredibly generous, allowing you a $500,000 exemption per couple if you had lived in the house for least two of the past five years. The new law pro rates your deduction based on the fraction of the total number of years that you have owned the house that you rented it out - even if you've owned it more than 5 years. So if you owned it for 15 years, but rented it out for two years, you would lose 2/15 of the $500,000 exemption. Also, I believe the exemption has gone back to once a lifetime, instead of every five years. Lousy timing for us. Anyway, hope this helps, and congratulations on coming to Costa Rica! Rick
  5. Thanks for this update, Dana. I see the firewall I had been using, ZoneAlarm Free, has been eclipsed completely. Rick
  6. MindQuake

    Need to buy a mattress

    I have not found a mattress in CR that beats my air mattress, so I stick with that. I'm picky. We brought it down from the US. We put a little layer of foam on top for insulation in the colder months. It can get cold sleeping on an air mattress otherwise. Rick
  7. MindQuake

    Certified Translator

    I had to have some documents translated for the French embassy last year. If you need an official translation into French (which, to be official, may only be from Spanish), I'd recommend Guytan Bruynen. He was on the list given to me by the French embassy; you can get a current phone from them. If you need something translated from another language into French, you'll have to get an official translation into Spanish first, then translate the translation. Bureaucracy... Rick
  8. MindQuake

    Problemas en El Foro en Español?

    Con gusto. Gracias a usted. Ricardo
  9. Me parece que este foro no funciona bien. Cuando abrí el foro, no hubo temas en la lista. Hay problemas de mantenimiento? Ricardo
  10. Laura, enjoy your trip here . If you ride the local buses around San Jose at all, you'll probably encounter the hawkers who are either promoting a religious group or selling products. One thing you could try, if you want to chance about ¢2000, is to buy a CD of "rancheras", traditional songs of Costa Rica and other Latin American countries. I haven't bought one because I'd rather discourage people from coming on the buses and yelling, but I have to admit the price is right. They could very well be blank CDs for all I know, but I doubt it - the hawkers usually give one free to the driver in exchange for the access to a bus-full of captive audience. They would be out of business fast if the CDs were unplayable. HTH, Rick
  11. MindQuake

    prescriptions again

    Here's a newer site posted a while ago by toms. Still works. http://www.farmaciascr.com/productos.php You can use google to translate the site - try the English and the Spanish names, both brand name and generic, for your meds. If you can't find it, it probably isn't available. For what it's worth, I've brought meds (ibuprofen, prescriptions) and vitamins with me from the US in my suitcase. Nothing was stolen. Rick
  12. Sure doesn't work here in San Pedro - abc.com says "Only viewers within the United States can watch these full episodes." You avoid the restriction using a proxy, but they are too slow to stream video. Plus everyone else using the proxy will hate you for being a bandwidth hog. I guess you'd have to resort to pirate DVDs at your local rental place. Sorry to be bringing bad news. Rick
  13. Hi all, Today I used my newly-minted CCSS card and queued up at 6:30AM at my local Caja clinic in San Pedro to finally take care of problems too expensive to have handled in the States. My halting Spanish and the goodwill of the professionals and patients carried me though fine. Now I have two things, a test and a referral to a specialist, to take care of at Hospital Calderon. My local clinic is just around the corner, but Calderon is a bus ride and five blocks walk, so I want to check: at what time do you show up to get appointments at Hospital Calderon? I'm not usually an early riser, so I'd hate to get there at 6:30 only to find it was supposed to be 6:00 and have to come back again! Thanks, Rick
  14. Shea, Someone posted a link to a search engine for CR-available drugs in response to a question I posted. Try that. If your drug is not found, even when you try putting an "a" on the end of the name and the generic name, it's probably not available in CR. Rick

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