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mediatica

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Everything posted by mediatica

  1. I just closed a day yesterday with owner financing involved. The process was actually pretty easy. the attorney handles the paperwork, deed, mortgage and all of that gets recorded in the registry along with the terms of the loan. The owner, for example, financed with 60k down from my buyers, 100k was the balance payable over 3 years at 7% interest. Owner financing can vary from owner to owner and developer to developer... Good luck.
  2. Hi Rick: My parents as well as 4 of my personal clients have purchased using an IRA. Technically you are not supposed to 'live' in the house, but I know many people who do. Of course, that is up to you, but I wonder how the IRS would know if you live there as a vacation home or not? Either way, it can be done. It's paperwork intensive, but it's a great way to use your own funds to invest in the USA and Costa Rica. If you want to send me a private message, I can email you a 'Guide to Buying Real Estate in your IRA' by Pensco Trust that i have saved in my computer. Most of my clients have used Pensco to buy in their IRA. This may answer many of your questions. Regards, Becky
  3. hatewinter: There are many great deals out there and plenty of Canadians around (Surfside/Potrero is for some reason heavy on the Canadian population, just an FYI). Guanacaste will fit many needs for you. The best location based on what you are speaking of will be Tamarindo/Flamingo areas and points north like Cocos/Hermosa/Ocotal. Come and visit and see which areas fit YOU best. If rental income is a main objective you will have to own property in a more touristed area. We manage properties in many different beach areas and Tamarindo/Flamingo/Cocos/Hermosa are the most popular destinations for vacationers in our area. Best of luck.
  4. I am visiting in the states and was able to watch the show. What a crazy guy...and she wasn't much better for going along with. Quite sad about the people who lost their lives and even more chilling that he would befriend these people and then take over their properties and even have parties there! There seems to be evidence that points to possible other deaths that he caused. Only time will tell.
  5. I was 28 when I moved to CR. Not the norm, but I don't regret it in the least. I had lots of family here, so the move was not as terrible for myself or my husband. Take your time, come and visit and check out as many areas as you can. What you read and what you feel about a place may be very different once you see it for yourself. Best of luck. Becky
  6. albacor: Sounds like you spoke to some not-too-bright agents. Anyone that tells you that we have not felt the effect of the world economy is lying. Plain and simple. You need to just come and see what is out there. No offense, but my brother-in-law is from Arkansas and can you really compare Arkansas to Costa Rica?! People move here or vacation here because they love Costa Rica. Not because it's the cheapest place on Earth nor because the laws always make sense (because they don't as you have noticed). My family is from here and I've grown fond of the country because of the people and the scenery. We used to live in Florida, and decided to come here for a different kind of life. If you are looking for Real estate, you will find deals, You simply need an agent who knows what they are doing or spend lots of time on the web. You realize because there is no MLS (Multiple Listing Service) as I had in the USA, you will see inconsistencies on pricing on different websites. It happens. Keeping up with hundreds of listings is tough, and I try to stay on top of it as I can for price changes. My husband and I shipped our things here and our duties were around $1,200 for a 40 foot container. What do you consider expensive?? I thought that was reasonable considering we moved a 3 BR home to CR. Good luck to you and seeing if CR is for you and yours.
  7. Hi Lee: You may want to try these people (based in Brasilito and USA). I don't know if they lend on Fincas, but it's worth a try. They have done a home loan and condo loan for a couple of our clients. Buena suerte! "No Life Ins. Requirement Not A C.R Bank , U.S Processing Please Contact In Costa Rica In the U.S Philip Eitman Vinnie Alvarez pemortgage@gmail.com vinmortgage@gmail.com philcostarcia@gmail.com C.R cell 8361-1000 U.S. 973-256-5777
  8. The major issue in CR is the complete lack of affordable financing. (Rates are around 13% at many banks). The other issue is lack of credit in the USA (which is our biggest buyer here next to Canadians). Those two things leave a lot less of a buyer pool. Our office is down 50% from last year. That is a big number. Many people leveraged their homes (2nd mortgage, HELOC) and the ability to do that now is much harder. I am happy we are selling at all! Property management is good this year--which is a plus. The buyers that are buying are looking for good deals. The 'good deals' go quickly. There are also many unrealistic people that think their places are worth more than they really are. The only people 'giving' property away are those who are desperate to get out due to their own financial situations. Not everyone is in that situation and that is what dictates the so-called 'fire sale'. Developers are also different across the board. Some are offering financing, which helps in sales. There are also many built projects that are overpriced and have sold very few units. I know of one project in particular that has sold only 3 or 23 units! On the contrary there is another project that has sold 55 of 60, so it all depends. some developers are reducing prices if they have not sold many units. That is the situation at the beach in our area of Guanacaste.
  9. Motivation: I am sorry to hear about your situation. That is really tough and I can only imagine what you are going through. I feel that if you had a Real estate agent that checked every possible problem you could have had with the 'uso de suelo' or land use, would have spared you years of heartache. It sounds you are on the way to a resoluation, but it stinks that it took so much time, stress and money. I am glad you shared your stories, because often times I have to refer clients to the Grecia area and I now know who NOT to send clients to. My parents live in Grecia, and it's a beautiful place. I hope you are able to build your dream home soon and put this nightmare behind you. Your story has educated many, and you should be given thanks for that. As an aside, I am a REALTOR. How? I am licensed in Florida as a Real Estate Agent, Member of NAR, and member of CRGAR as well. CRGAR also has a relationship with NAR, so there are some 'REALTORS' in Costa Rica. Just not many of them. There is voluntary licensing in Costa Rica, but not mandatory, and it pays to ask many questions to your Real Estate Agent or Broker. Google their name and see what you come up with. The web provides a wealth of information these days. Also, ask them if they are legally here or have a work Visa. I guarantee over half of the Real Estate agents here in CR are not here legally. Remember, things are unregulated here, so do your research. I just personally get tired of hearing people compare agents to Used Car Salesman. Not all of us are terrible. There are still a few good, ethical types out there. Becky
  10. As Sabo said, there is NO complete MLS in CR. However, CRGAR (Costa Rican Global Association of Realtors) and Camara Costaricense de Bienes Raices also has their 'version' of MLS. I don't know where Sabo got his figure of 90% of people buying properites without us real estate folks. That seems very high....
  11. I sat down with an investor group from NY today and we discussed the state of the market here in CR and what is going on in the USA. The biggest issue at hand is the complete lack of credit--or should I say reasonable credit. I've laughed when I received emails from the people at Scotia Bank offering 13.5% financing for our clients. Who in their right minds would pay credit card rates for a home or condo loan? Not many people. The one thing that is helping our non-cash buyers is developer financing. More and more projects are offering special financing, which is a plus. The disappearance of home equity lines have also made two of my deals in the last 3 months go south. My client literally showed up to the bank to wire funds and their HELOC was gone or reduced by over half! We have many factors that affect the beach/coastal areas that may not affect the Central Valley. Our property management division has been doing great. I don't really know what that tells me other than people are still traveling to CR and looking to save money by renting a home or condo. Two of our last four sales have involved some sort of private or developer financing. The properties that were sold were being sold under market value. I would like to consider myself an honest Realtor and not the 'car salesman' type that some on this forum refer to us as.
  12. Edf and Travelbumm. In the age of the internet, I can't begin to tell you how much you can find out about a person simply by 'googling' them. Try it. You might be surprised! Having said that, I have a trusted Real Estate attorney by the name of Sergio Solera with Facio y Canas (www.fayca.com) whom I've personally dealt with for many years. The office is located in El Tournon section of San Jose. The office number is: 2258-3880. The best way to find a good attorney is to ask around to trusted individuals and check the attorney's references. I did! A good attorney can tell you whether or not title is good with the property. A good Realtor can help you understand the system here vs. where you are from and hopefully help you located that perfect property. As for a down payment: Without one, as CRfinca said, you risk losing that property if another buyers comes along. If you put up a deposit in escrow with your own attorney, than your interests are protected. The concept of buying property here is similar in other countries: You like a property, you put down a small refundable deposit. That depsit is refundable if title is NOT clear or if you are within your due diligence period. Writing a good, clear contract will also almost always side with the buyer. Buena Suerte!
  13. CRFinca: There are some good shops near my area (I just couldn't tell you in Cocos what kind of furniture stores there are). Also, there area a few shops that will actually build furniture for you if you don't like what you find....so I wasn't trying to forget about the smaller local shop or the possiblity of building custom furniture is there for about the same amount of money for existing...
  14. Ocotalcondocr: I live in Conchal and have helped many clients by pointing them in the right direction for furnishing. So you know, Room Deco is actually La Artistica! I just found this out from a friend of mine who is a designer who let me in on that secret. They are located in the Solarium Development (that huge 100 acre development across the street from the Liberia Airport). Why they are marketing the furniture store under a different name, I am not sure... However, it is indeed affiliated with La Artistica I was told. I thought that things looked familiar! Anyhow, I would check that out because I guarantee you the best prices will come from the stores that can sell in larger quantity and therefore for less. I actually can vouch for Artistica as I bought my newborn son's furniture as well as all of our office furniture for about $2,000. I had purchased in San Jose (this was several months ago) and the transportation fee was $300 from San Jose for all the furniture we bought. Gallo has a good selection of appliances, but personally I liked Importadora Monge in my area near Tamarindo. Buena suerte!
  15. I have to say I couldn't agree with Bob more. I have personally met GB and can say he is a stand up guy. He has no hidden agenda and looks out for everyone's best interests. As developers, the responsibility lies with them to get the job done of making sure that all is legal, recorded, etc. So many people that come to CR think that the purchasing process is similar to their home town, not realizing that things are not 'perfect' in the land of Pura Vida. Remember to ask questions, ask a lot of them, to the developers, your Realtor and your attorney. An honest developer will not have any issues in quickly answering any and all questions of a potential buyer. Becky
  16. What's in a name? Hmmm....some of you are very creative! Me, not so much: 1 parent American 1 parent Costa Rican (Tica) Hence, mediatica or 1/2 Tica. :-)
  17. Hi Tom: Thanks for posting this. I should have thought of that. I hope that no one has to go through what this couple did! Take care, Becky
  18. I agree that we have gotten a tad nasty on here. Let's play nice! I am Mediatica to most, Rebecca L. Clower to others, born 1/26/78, married, legal resident of CR, and baby on the way! No more hiding for me!
  19. WOW. This thread really took a turn for the worse LOL. I'd just like to say the following: There are honest Realtors, and Kahuna is right, finding real estate with Realtors is not (and has not) been the traditional way to look at real estate. As a Realtor, I don't believe that every client needs one. I wrote an article saying if you speak Spanish, know the area, etc, then you may not need me! Pura vida y buena suerte. Honesty first! However, to the average tourist, they have no desire to drive around with a Tico Driver (who may or may not speak English) to find real estate. Who is to say that the Driver is Mr. Honesto? You know what I mean? Not all Realtors are snakes. I've been one for many years, and although I may be the few, I'd like to think I am a good and honest one. I am also one who understands the culture of the US buyer and Tico buyer, afterall I am "1/2" Tica.
  20. Might I add that I am a REALTOR in the US (Florida). That is the only board that actually has an ethics policy that you need to abide by. The CCRBR does not have 'an ethics code'. I could probably say there are only about 10 or so agents in all of Costa Rica who are members of NAR (National Association of Realtors) and are licensed in a state in the USA. I never charge mark up the properites I sell to benefit myself. That is considered illegal (in this case you are only screwing the buyer and definitely not looking out for his/her best interests). Typical buyer agent commissions are 5% to the buyer unless they are higher priced properties (as stated above). At least that is what I have been used to at the beach. Believe it or not, there are some Agents, present company included, that do a great service for my clients. My last client who purchased a property through me: I handled all the contracts, closings, hooking up the electric to his name (it was a new construction), went shopping with my client for furniture, etc. I always aim to go above and beyond because that is what I feel I am paid to do--provide outstanding service.
  21. I am definitely NO celeBRATY, but I am 1/2 Tica! :-) LOL
  22. Hi Jean & Pat: There are some smaller studio, 1 and 2br apartments in Playa Tamarindo that rent out for 300-500 per month. It is called Casa Eleri. I believe they have a direct website and the owners name is Max. I am not sure what kind of beach town you are hoping to stay in, but this is walking distance to town (just 3 blocks) and up the hill away from the traffic off main street. Good luck.
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