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About ticotomasino

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  1. The advent of affordable financing in CR has opened up the housing market for the last several years. With ScotiaBank, HSBC and now CitiBank purchasing Costa Rican financial institutions the competition will drive the market to its limit. The limit is difficult to envision however for many years the Costa Rican market did not offer mortgage financing and now it's booming. A downturn or correction as it's referred to in the USA is an inevitable part of life. As long as the banks stay healthy this market will continue to grow and these large financial institutions are just beginning to compete and offer their loans at lower rates. Remember what it was like to get your first new car and borrow the money from the bank. I for one was very honored to be accepted into the adult financial world. Over the last few years the Tico's have been offered financing for cars, homes, etc at affordable rates. This economy is like any other and is driven by financial investment and borrowing power. With these new banks just now beginning to do business here the local economy is just getting started.
  2. The advent of affordable financing in CR has opened up the speculative housing market for the last several years. With ScotiaBank, HSBC and now CitiBank purchasing Costa Rican financial institutions the competition will drive the market to its limit. The limit is difficult to envision however for many years the Costa Rican market did not offer mortgage financing and now it's booming. A downturn or correction as it's referred to in the USA is an inevitable part of life. I have been inspecting land development projects in Guanacaste this week from Samara all the way north to Papagayo and in every community that I have been in the major hotels are FULL. This surprises me as we are now in the low season and before you had your pick of where you wanted to stay and at very low rates. As long as the banks stay healthy this market will continue to grow and these large financial institutions are just beginning to compete and offer their money for housing purchases.
  3. CR Expertise, Garland Bakers view of Title Insurance in CR 11/27/06 Categories: Property and Real Estate, Property Protection Title Insurance Here Can Cause Misunderstandings Skeptic's view of title insurance - an insurance policy stating not allowed, not covered, no way, no how By Garland M. Baker Special to A.M. Costa Rica Is title insurance legal in Costa Rica? An Instituto Nacional de Seguros ruling Sept. 29 says that title insurance was not legal in this country but that now it is and has been since July of 1997. However, insurance officials say the legality could change in the future. The decree from the legal department of the insurance monopoly explains title insurance is not insurance but a guarantee or a bond. This finding is a flip flop of the insurance monopoly's last ruling in 1976 that said title insurance is an insurance and that no company in Costa Rica can sell it except for the monopoly known as INS. The national insurance company became a monopoly with law No. 12 of Oct. 30, 1924. Only INS can sell insurance. INS further stated that title insurance is an Anglo-Saxon creation and is not necessary in Latin America or Costa Rica because Roman law governs Latin countries. According to INS, the Registro Nacional and licensed public notaries make property transactions safer than in the Anglo world like the United States. In 1997, a representative of a Stewart Title Guarantee Co. asked INS for a new analysis because the company wanted to sell a product called "Guaranty of title for land located in the territory of the Republic of Costa Rica." The legal department of INS ruled in a decree dated July 30, 1997, that a title guarantee is not regulated by the monopoly. The legal opinion said Article One of the Law of Fidelity Insurance of 1931 precludes fidelity guarantees, also referred to as fidelity insurance, from the insurance monopoly. In other words, warranties and guarantees of all types are insurance but excluded by definition from the domain of the national insurance monopoly. The fine print goes on to explain that a title guarantee is really a bond of fulfillment and not an indemnification. Most people in Costa Rica believe title insurance is an indemnification. This is incorrect because indemnifications cover unknown futures losses where title insurance is to cover something from the past. The cornerstone of title insurance in the United States is the chain-of-title. Chain-of-title means the history of all of the documents that transfer title to a parcel of real property, starting with the earliest existing document and ending with the most recent. Different variations of title insurance exist around the world. However, it is principally a product developed and sold in the United States. Title insurance protects an owner or a lender against a financial loss in real property due to title defects and other issues. Title insurance gets a bad rap in the United States because creditors require it to protect lending interests and force borrowers to purchase it even if they do not want it. Many believe it is overpriced. Legal regulators criticize the market because it is full of commission schemes and kickbacks. The industry mimics other business structures paying high commission to brokers and/or resellers. Affiliated business arrangements attempt to legitimize kickbacks or commissions to brokers, real estate agencies and attorneys. Affiliated business arrangements exist in Costa Rica too, and that is why almost everyone is hit with the "buy title insurance" spiel when purchasing property here. In Costa Rica, title insurance is not necessarily insurance over the title of a property but legal insurance to help pay the legal bills to protect the title of a property. In theory, title insurance according to the INS ruling guarantees one's right under Article 1038 of the country's civil code. Many factors can limit a payoff. Knowing the "what is not covered" is more important than knowing "what is covered" with any policy. Is it worth it? Title insurance is full of hype and it is not the same kind of policy as most North Americans purchase in the United States. Read the fine print and understand what the warranty truly guarantees in Costa Rica. Good homework and due diligence can save buyers the additional expense. Garland M. Baker has been a resident of Costa Rica since 1972 and is now a naturalized citizen. He provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community. Lic. Allan Garro provides the legal review. Reach them at info@crexpertise.com Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica. Copyright 2006, use without permission prohibited.
  4. Title insurance is commonly sold in the United States but not in other countries. For instance in Canada the lenders do not require Title Insurance. Title insurance in the states usually protects an owner or a lender against a financial loss in real property due to title defects and other issues. It is almost universal in the United States because lending institutions require it to lend money. Title Insurance in Costa Rica does not cover acts of fraud. The Notary who handles the transfer of the title, is charged with the conduct of the necessary due diligence to determine the state of the property title. The Costa Rica Notary Directorate manages an insurance fund, paid into by all practicing Notaries, which is used to pay proven claims of negligence arising from these circumstances. A Notary is personally liable for any shortfall, in settling such a claim. About the only thing Title Insurance is good for, is encroachment/lot boundary problems arising from a faulty land survey. If a person had any doubts about the reliability of an existing survey, a new one could be obtained from a professional land survey for less than $500.00 US, for a regular building lot.
  5. Isn't there only one legally authorized insurance company in Costa Rica? According to the CR constitution the government guarantees the accuracy of a certified copy of a property title extract, issued by the Registry. The particular law that states this is Article 73 of the Public Registry Regulation. (Reglamento del Registro Publico, Artículo 73, Responsabilidad del Registro por la información contenida en las certificaciones. El Registro dará fe de la información contenida en una certificación hasta el momento de su expedición. Las variaciones ocurridas con posterioridad a la hora de su expedición no acarrearán responsabilidad alguna al Registro). If a Notary/Lawyer conducts the correct due diligence for the property title research, no Title Insurance would be necessary, as the true state of a properties history will be revealed. I have heard that if a Notary/Lawyer is negligent in such a title search, there is an insurance fund administered by the Dirrecion Nacional Notariado (Notary College), which all Notaries are bound to pay into, which would pay proven claims for negligence arising in this instance.
  6. Some replies on other threads have asked to desribe the Covintec system or provide websites with info. I am reseraching this product because the Covintec system sounds great and makes sense on paper but here in CR all the input I have received from contractors who have used the system over the last 10 years has been negative. I am looking for some positive input as this product makes a lot of sense with the advent of "Green Home Building". This construction system from Mexico has been used for years and is a totally different method than typical concrete block and column construction. Because of the Covintec extruded polystyrene (EPS) panels energy efficiency there is now new interest as related to "Green Home Building". EPS foam products whether used for insulation or packaging are lightweight, versatile, sanitary, energy efficient, and most of all cost effective. The manufacture of EPS foam uses less energy than that used in the manufacture of paper based alternatives. According to The Midwest Research Institute study on special packaging applications, the total energy requirements to make plastic containers (including both processing and materials energy) were lower than or equal to the energy consumed to make competing materials. Covintec is a building system that replaces traditional block, column, and beam construction. Covintec comes in 4-foot-by-8-foot panels of steel wire mesh that surrounds expanded polystyrene, which is then covered with traditional plaster. Benefits include structural resistance to hurricane-force winds and earthquake activity; quick installation; great versatility (the panels can be used in a wide array of architectural styles); transportation cost savings because it weighs less than block; improved insulation that reduces noise from outside and between rooms; and protection from humidity damage. Plus, Covintec is relatively seismic-proof, and with eight times the thermal insulation of traditional block systems, tests have shown that it provides electric energy savings for homeowners of 23 percent to 27 percent. And because there's no wood and the panels are embedded with steel, bugs and critters can't eat it or chew through it to live inside.
  7. Searching for anyone who has had experience with construction using the COVINTEC products. Please share any good or bad experiences with this system of construction. Gracias
  8. The El Lagar Building Supply Outlets in the last year have offered me the best prices and they have the following locations throughout Costa Rica. I recommend this company as they stand behind what they sell and they are happy to take returns and refund the money for unused materials. 1- Lagar Desamparados tel. 217-9400 2- Detalles y Acabados Villarreal tel. 271-9552 3- Lagar el Cruce tel. 219-1111 4-Lagar San Francisco de dos rios tel. 226-1111 5-Lagar Moravia tel. 245-6959 6- Lagar el labrador san isidro de Heredia tel. 268-8382 7-Lagar Heredia tel. 441-1818 8- Lagar San Antonio de Belén tel. 293-2626 9- Lagar Pozos de Santa Ana tel. 282-8686 10- Lagar Santa Ana tel. 282-4451 11- Lagar Orotina tel. 428-9000 12- Lagar Barranca tel.663-7898 13- Lagar Jaco tel.643-3054 14- Lagar Liberia, tel.667-0667. 6kms south of the Liberia Airport on the main road to Santa Cruz.
  9. COATS OF PAINT = "MANOS DE PINTURA" I will offer some cultural insights pertaining to Latino construction standards that will be helpful for you to understand. 1. A common Latino standard is that paint is a concentrate and should be diluted to create more paint. Wrong. The dilutants, "diluyentes" including a product known as "agua res", which consists of nasty chemicals that turn white paint yellow as well as dilute the quality of the paint, should be avoided. 2. Another typical standard is that if you will not see a primer product then why purchase the more expensive, higher quality product. Therefore the primer, "sellador" should be the cheapest product available. Wrong. The cheaper paint is manufactured to lower standards, is not as thick and will not adhere as well or last as long. The paint manufacturers here offer interior and exterior grade paints. The same 2 or 3 coat application process works for both. The primer paint, "sellador" they sell is an inferior quality of paint. I use the same high quality SUR paint for the 1st, prime coat and the 2nd, finish coat and if needed a 3rd coat. On the exterior walls of concrete or exterior siding I apply SUR GOLTEX (100% acrylic with fungus protection) and on the interior drywall on stud walls I apply SUR ACRILATEX (100% acrylic latex with fungus protection). Interior concrete walls I treat the same as exterior walls and apply the SUR GOLTEX. On the wood or masonite type doors and trim I apply SUR ESMALTE (oil base) UNIVERSAL. If I have potential humidity issues then I apply the more expensive waterproofing "Impermeabilizante", SUR, FASTYL which is designed for metal, clay and fiber roofing as well as concrete roofs and exterior walls. They also sell SUR PEGA PATCH crack filler for use with the SUR products. You apply the elastic crack filler product into the cracks with a putty knife, then wait 24 hours for the curing process and then lightly sand the material prior to painting. LANCO offers a wide range of crack filler "siliconizer" "products that are available in small containers to be applied with a putty knife or in tubes to be applied with a caulk gun. The LANCO paints are acceptable but have not been manufactured here in Costa Rica for as long as SUR. The building supply company, El Lagar stands behind both products equally. Remember the SUR products have been made in Costa Rica for many years and are guaranteed by the largest manufacturer of paint in the country. Keep in mind that is the 1st thing you and everybody else sees is the front of your project. Curb appeal is very important. If you look at houses on which the exterior walls appear faded and you can see cracks, more than likely they did not use quality products or knowledgeable tradesmen. Imagine what is involved with removing the old inferior products, re-preping the surfaces and then applying the new coats of paint. I have learned after working in CR for over 15 years to use quality products and do it right the 1st time thereby saving myself and the homeowner the headache of call backs. Most Latino contractors do not understand the concept of guaranteed work and you will more than likely not receive a call back in the event of a problem. You will need to find someone else to fix the problem and pay them accordingly or if you're really desperate, pay the original contractor to re-do his inferior work again. If you select a builder with whom you can communicate and someone who understands the manner in which you're accustomed to living, chances are you won't be inconvenienced by the inconveniences that happen here in paradise.
  10. I have built condos and homes and remodeled existing housing in Costa Rica since 1992. In the course of conducting my construction business I have purchased and installed hundreds of gallons of paint manufactured by SUR, Protecto, Glidden, Lanco and GreColor. When considering the quality and price of paint you also need to calculate the labor to prepare the surfaces and apply the paint. If you use a quality product and have experienced painters the you should be able to finish the work and not have to re-paint for a good many years. If you use inferior products and have problems with the paint or the surface was not properly prepared prior to applying the paint the work will need to be re-done. Keep in mind that when working with a improperly prepared surface or poor quality paint you will need to scrape and sand off the first application then re-prep the surface properly before you can expect a good finished product. So if your job needs to be done a second time you are looking at the initial labor, then the labor to remove the initial application and then the labor to re-prep and paint the second time. With painting it is advisable to buy the best quality materials and use experienced labor with references. If I were painting my own house I would purchase the best quality of SUR and have the colors mixed all at the same time by a reputable retailer like El Lagar who will stand behind their products. Always order at least a gallon extra because most jobs run short and you will need extra for touch up after you move in.
  11. Vinton Gray Cerf; (born June 23, 1943) (last name pronounced just like the English word "surf") is an American computer scientist who is commonly referred to as one of the "founding fathers of the Internet" for his key technical and managerial role, together with Bob Kahn, in the creation of the Internet and the TCP/IP protocols which it uses. He was also a co-founder (in 1992) of the Internet Society (ISOC), which is intended to both promote the views of ordinary users of the Internet, and also serve as an umbrella body for the technical groups developing the Internet (such as the Internet Engineering Task Force) Mr. Cerf obviously is a brilliant computer scientist and yet was equally concerned about the views of the ordinary users of the internet. "The internet was designed with no gatekeepers over content or service" Being a new participant in this on-line neighborhood http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/neighborhood, I am curious to know who these perceived "gatekeepers" were and if his prolific statement has evolved into what he originally intended for his collaboration?
  12. July 3, 2007 Panama City, Panama In case you were selling the farm to move to Panama you might find this info interesting. The second of two highly publicized real estate projects in Panama City has been officially cancelled. In January, Panama First Alert reported that the 1,150-foot Palacio de la Bahia tower had been scrapped. The Palacio de la Bahia and another development, Ice Tower, were vying to rank among Latin America’s tallest buildings. Now, the developers of the 1,250-foot Ice Tower have also called it quits. Top engineer for the Ice Tower project, Veronica Ng, says that buyers are being reimbursed, but has not elaborated on the reasons for the cancellation. However, José Batista of the Ministry of Housing (MIVI) said that studies pointed to “technical difficulties” that would have hiked costs. Local media say that Ice Tower developers have already laid foundations at the construction site on Balboa Avenue and plan to erect a smaller tower there. Industry insiders speculate that the rising cost of construction materials and gas may have something to do with the project’s demise. Urban specialist Alvaro Uribe said to Panama’s La Prensa: “We knew from the beginning that this project couldn’t be built, because Panama doesn’t have the technical capacity.” Representatives from the Association of Real Estate Brokers (ACOBIR) say that, although buyers are being reimbursed, the project is leading to a great deal of disappointment and could have “catastrophic” repercussions in the local market. ACOBIR President Ivan Carlucci adds: “This generates a climate of mistrust on an international level…affecting Panama’s credibility as an investment
  13. Specifications of the expectations you have imagined for your dream home in paradise. We all have expectations. But some of us are not able to clearly envision how all the components need to be assembled to achieve the end result we have imagined. Photos help but detailed construction specifications are the best means you have to get your dream home completed to your expectations and the way you imagine it to be. It is a good idea to thoroughly communicate your expectations of how you imagine your residence to be to your builder so he can include the items you need in your construction specifications and provide you with the accurate cost to install them in your new residence. If you don't have a good building contract, with detailed construction specifications you may end up spending more than you anticipated and perhaps get disappointed. With a good set of specifications you can be sure that you are getting the total cost for all the work to complete your residence the way you imagine it to be. Plus if you select a builder with whom you can communicate and someone who understands the manner in which you're accustomed to living, chances are you won't be inconvenienced by the inconveniences that happen here in paradise.
  14. Hi Kahuna. RE: your request for current building costs. I've been remodeling existing housing and constructing new homes and condos in CR since 1992. The basic building materials cost has increased about $4.00 per sq. ft. and the labor cost only $1.00 over the last five years. Presently I am building homes with installations up to US Standards for $42.00 per sq. ft. in the central valley. I am in regular contact with many construction professionals who work in Guanacaste and out there the costs are higher.
  15. A complimentary report is available that will help you understand all the details involved with acquiring land and building a residence in CR. In addition to answering questions regarding general information that most investors want to know, the Land Acquisition and Home Building Report provides the planning and detailed analysis needed in order to determine all costs involved when purchasing real estate in Costa Rica. The following subjects are discussed in detail: CONSTRUCTION PERMITTING PROCESS LAND TITLE AND REGISTRATION PROPERTY INVESTIGATION SURVEY APPRAISAL FINANCING TAX STAMPS CLOSING COSTS TRANSFER TAXES REAL ESTATE COMMISSION ATTORNEY AND NOTARY FEES ESTABLISHING A CORPORATION PROPERTY TAXES - LAND AND MUNICIPAL OFFSHORE CORPORATIONS - BANKING PRIVACY If you would like a copy of the report select "documents" on the menu at www.costaricahomebuilder.com
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