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  1. There may also be rate variations, based on what electrical equipment you have in the house. It might be that the rate is higher with more "stuff." Even if the rate is not higher, you can count on a significant electric bill because of the necessity of using AC when you live at the beach. The heat and humidity are daunting! Some people use AC only in one room -- such as the bedroom, in order to sleep comfortably at night. Of course, your use of AC will depend on your tolerance for the heat and humidity. Ceiling fans and other fans can help, of course.
  2. TeAmo - you might also contact the place in Jaco where you stayed for a week. They might have some ideas for places you can look at. But yes, I do think a trip and a few days in Jaco is in order.
  3. Perhaps you have gotten some answers to your request, but if not, here goes my "free advice." First off, I think that you are rather ambitious with what you want to rent and what you want to pay. Of course, it will depend on just where in the Jaco are you are wanting to rent. But the nicer areas will cost more, I think. You might consider renting a bit out of town - inland - which should make your goal more possible. It will also depend on what type of house you are looking for. A decent "Tico-style" house might be a possibility in a Tico neighborhood. But a "North American style" house in a more upscale neighborhood would probably be out of reach. It will also depend on whether you want a long-term (6 months or more) rental and if you need something that is furnished. Second, your very best way to go about this is to go to Jaco and rent a room in a B&B or an apt or condo from Air BnB and then look around and ask around. I'm not talking about going to realtors to ask around; I'm talking about asking taxi drivers, waiters/waitresses, security guard at the bank, people in shops that you come in contact with. Most of the reasonable rentals are handled this way. "Word of mouth" is king! You can also just ride around the area and look for signs that say "Se Alquila" or if you see something that is empty, ask the neighbors. (Sometimes there will be a phone number.... sometimes not.) The other advantage to this is that you get to actually see the neighborhoods where the rentals are located to make sure that great condo you rented for $800 a month is not above a machine shop. This assumes, of course, that you speak Spanish. If not, then you will have to find a Costa Rican friend to help you.
  4. James, this is the main reason I moved closer to town. I lived 3 km up a very steep hill on a very bad road and it just became too much after a while. I now live about 300 meters from the center of town on a very quiet street that features toucans across the street, parrots nesting in my back yard and monkeys moving through from time to time. I have fruit trees and a few plantings for the kitchen. So really, the best of both worlds! Yes, I have to put up with the thump of my neighbor's bass and the occasional very loud truck, but that's not really a big deal. In return, I can easily walk to shopping and banking and the bus but use my car when the huesos viejos are acting up. Edit: About an hour after writing that, I was doing some laundry and the hose to my washing machine flew off and sprayed water all over the porch and everything in it, including ME! hahaha I thought about you James. Yes, I had to sweep and mop and clean off the water and change my clothes and then make a note to buy a hose clamp and fix the hose to the washing machine.
  5. I think you've gone off the rails a little bit, Paul. Plant grass to feed a horse/mule/burro? I guess you would then need to construct a corral, make sure your property is fenced, see that there are no plants that are poisonous to the animals, build a shelter for them to keep out of the rain, bedding for the shelter, vet calls (8 miles out...or more....), medicines, grain, vitamins..... it's complicated looking after a living thing. If having a Plan B for transportation is a real worry and a real need, then so much easier just to buy an inexpensive used motorbike. It doesn't eat when you don't use it and can sit on blocks under a tarp while not in use. I feel your pain, James! I've lived in a remote area like yours and while it's truly a blessing with all the wild around you, it can sometimes be a curse. I'm sure you will figure it out.
  6. I am really late to this party, I know, but I saw this the other day and have given it some thought. I was in a similar situation after an accident where my little truck was in the shop for 6 weeks. (Yes... six weeks.) I lived only 3 km from the bus line, but it was either straight down or straight up steep hills. I would sometimes walk down to the bus stop and taxi back up but sometimes I just didn't feel like walking. So here are some things that might be useful to you if you are ever in that situation, James. 1. Local taxis -- use these to pick you up and take you to the bus stop or take you to some local shopping. 2. Friends and neighbors -- people in Costa Rica are really good about giving rides to other people. But if where you live is truly remote, that could be a problem. Would it be possible to walk to a more-traveled road and pick up a ride there? 3. Talk to local shopping - supermarkets, hardware stores, etc, and see if they will deliver. Almost all of them will, for a fee. And you can call the supermarket or other stores and put in an order and they will send it to you, either by their own transport or by taxi. 4. Car rental -- rent a car for a week and get as much done as possible during that time. Some bus travel might be involved in picking up the car, of course. 5. Be as efficient as possible. Look ahead to see what needs to be done in the next month that can't be done via internet or phone and try to get all that done in one fell swoop, if possible. This would limit your need to use the bus to get to town or need for a rental car. 6. Cheap car rentals. This one is tricky! I own a 7-passenger van and some friends rented my car for a couple of days when family came to visit and they only had a small truck. This is definitely some "under the table" type of thing, so must be very careful. But it might be possible to find a local person who would be interested in letting you rent their car for a while. One also must be very careful when renting from some official rental car companies that offer really cheap rates. They are really cheap for a reason: Things don't work right and there is essentially no customer service. Like... windows don't work, horn doesn't work, tires slick, car breaks down strands you and they do nothing about it. Let's hope that none of us is ever in the "car totaled" situation but if that happens, perhaps some of these suggestions will work if one has to wait a long time to get a replacement
  7. True, newman. But Costa Rica is not "lawsuit happy" like in the US. Although, if it's a "rich gringo" haha. I guess it's just another reason to drive carefully and soberly and a bit slower than you'd like. I do drive a bit slower than people behind me like, but I have avoided at least two potentially deadly accidents by doing so.
  8. I have lived here in Costa Rica in houses that have bars and houses that don't. After a little while, the bars just don't bother me and they become kind of "invisible." It's kind of like having tinnitus: You have noise in your ear(s) all the time, but it is prominent only when you think about it. I do live in a town that is pretty crime-free and safe but some people do have bars, including me. My windows have jalousie openings and the bars let me keep them open most or all of the time without fear that someone will remove the panes and grab something or come into my house. Does that happen here? Not really -- but you just never know. There is a lot of wildlife around my house and those bars never seem to interfere with my view of them. I know people who also have bars around the outside of their porches and this comes in handy if you have small children or like to keep stuff on your porch. It also keeps unwanted vendors at bay and keeps that randomly drunk guy from entry into your house when he thinks it's his. It's also handy when you are working in the back of the house but still want to keep the front door open for the air flow. Mostly this is used with people who live in a town or small city. My only worry (and its a small one...) is if a fire starts that is between me and one of my doors. My Plan B is that I live in a Tico-style house where the walls don't go all the way up and I would just climb over the wall! haha
  9. Wouldn't it be less complicated just to get liability insurance? I know people who have a B&B and it is not in a corporation but they do have liability insurance.
  10. Phil, you are looking for the value of a piece of land in Zarcero in 1993? Twenty four years later? In my mind, whatever you paid is what it was. Why would you even undertake a quest to find out how much that land was "really" worth? My advice would be -- if you are determined to pursue this -- to contact a local real estate agent or a real estate agent that handles property in Zarcero. They might -- MIGHT -- be able to help you. But property values can vary widely based on specific location so "farm land 1/2 a mile from the highway" is probably not good enough. The other option would be to go to neighbors of that property and see if you can find out anything from them. Someone might have bought/sold similar property in that neighborhood in that time frame.
  11. I have used Trusted Housesitters to find a house sitter and it works really great. You can at least register there and see what happens. But as Jeffery pointed out, January is a very busy month in Tamarindo so you might not find much of anything. Consider renting something for that month that is a little out of town. You might have better luck in Villareal, for instance. Not sure why your house will take 18 months to build unless it is Tom Brady/Mel Gibson mansion type or there's a maritime concession involved. That seems like a really long time. Good luck with your quest and I hope your move and construction don't make you too frazzled.
  12. Wait... Ambassador Haney is Jewish? Who knew? I know he is black so I thought that would be the "racist rant" of choice. Why would anyone care? His religion (or race or sex) should have nothing to do with his Ambassadorship. And yeah, I would NOT want to be associated with ANY website or forum that allows any kind of racist or "religionist" posts.
  13. There's lots of math to do to get a handle on the information in this website. It would have been a lot easier if they had just put price per kilo or price per each, if that is appropriate. Here are some recent prices from my shopping expeditions: eggs - 30 eggs for 2,000 colones. (Haha - this is kind of a trick since I live near a big egg farm.) Eggs - are sold by weight and not by the each or by the dozen. A typical package has 15 eggs (mixed grades and sizes) and costs around 1,000 to 1,500 colones - mas o menos - depending on the weight. I bought some recently at a supermarket for 1,127 for 980 grams. 18 roll toilet paper supermax (Maxi Pali) - 6,500 carrots - 550 kilo 2 liter club soda - 1,160 bunch of spinach - 700 Pkg Jack Mejitos corn chips - 710 pkg of 6 gala apples - 1000 Tuna in chunks, in water - 930 sweet potatoes - 800 / kilo Lizano mayonnaise - 1,575 400 grams cantaloupe - 600/kilo Heinz Barbecue sauce (my luxury!) 1,500 purple cabbage - 1200/kilo Ketchup - 875 (about 350-400 grams) Blackberry jam - 935 Chunky salsa - 1,150 (about 400 grams) Package of pasta - 1,050 Assortment of Twinings black teas - 3,100 Tosh limon/green tea cookies - 1,325 Badi ground cinnamon - 625 Whole wheat flour - 1,000 (Bioland 1 kilo) Brown rice - 940 - (900 grams +-) I don't pay a lot of attention to meat prices. I buy meat from a local butcher who is a young man that was my English pupil many years ago. His meats are very good quality and I just buy what I want and don't really look at the prices. Sometimes he gives me an itemized receipt..... sometimes not. He grinds his own ground beef every morning and it's so lean, I usually have to add some fat of some kind. I NEVER buy meat at the supermarket! All you have to do, mostly, is just smell the meat department and you will then be saying, 'nononono'. The only meat I ever buy at the supermarket is for my dog (sorry sweetie....).
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