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Everything posted by eleanorcr

  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....).
  14. Yay for good news, Dennis! So great you are finally caught up and don't have to look over your shoulder for the corporation tax police. haha One more hurdle crossed and out of the way.
  15. Patty: I am curious as to why you call Golfito the "Land of Broken Dreams." If you don't want to share your experiences, I understand. But really, adding that last sentence to your post is hard to pass by without wondering just what you meant by that.
  16. What is it about San Jose that is appealing to you? (I'm kind of playing devil's advocate here... ) If you are looking for Spanish classes, they are available in many many areas. If you are looking for public transit, this is available everywhere. And yes, you can live out from San Jose or in a small town and still be less than 3 km from a tienda to buy coffee or whatever. I live in a very small town where toucans nest across the street and howler monkeys are moving through this morning but I am only 200 meters from shopping: hardware, supermarket, "department store" (clothes, sheets, towels, school supplies, umbrellas, etc). If you are "city people" and don't mind the noise, traffic, pollution and love the "action" and the many restaurants and shops available, then it could work great. But just like New York City is not New York, San Jose is not really representative of the rest of Costa Rica. Santa Ana or Escazu are the two that pop to the front of my mind. Paseo Colon, definitely no. Way too busy. As for what type of place to live in; condo, apartment, etc -- that's entirely up to you and what kind of surroundings you feel comfortable in. Just keep in mind that in the San Jose area, security is always an issue. Others will have other opinions but these are mine. My advice would be to come here and spend a couple of weeks looking around and visiting various areas before deciding where you want to live long term. Making that decision without "boots on the ground" is not the best idea. If you have applied for residency, where have you visited before in Costa Rica? What are your goals for living here?
  17. Sorry, Dennis, but your first post was not clear. Thanks for providing some pertinent details. If you buy a car in your name, you can certainly register it in your name and your tax situation with your corporation has no bearing. They don't "punish" you for being behind in your taxes by not allowing you to buy and register a car. Good to know you are clearing up the old taxes. I know you will be relieved when that is done.
  18. Is your car currently registered in the name of your corporation? If so, I seriously doubt you could just register it in your name. It is an "asset" of the corporation and you would probably have to get it changed through the registro. This is something a lawyer needs to do for you. Have you not paid the marchamo for your car? You're not driving it, are you?
  19. That's so good, CRF! I love doing that also, especially for the police who are working on Christmas day. It's a really nice surprise for them.
  20. Greetings to all my "friends" on this forum. It's like sitting on a comfortable sofa, having a nice cup of tea or coffee with friends and talking about anything and everything. We don't always agree, but that's OK and leads to a lively and informative forum. Best to you all for 2017 with my dear hope that it is a better year than 2016!! I don't celebrate Christmas, but this Christmas was probably my best ever since I got to participate in handing out parcels of cash to families who lost everything in Hurricane Otto, thanks to generous donations. Each of the 28 families got 200,000 colones and we have another distribution in a couple of weeks. We divided "the list" and being able to hand this cash to these 14 precious families made the year less painful for me and some of the most rewarding experiences ever. I'm a lucky guy! Lucky to be living in Costa Rica and lucky to be able to be a conduit for helping these people. And yes, I get ALL the hugs and the people who made it possible - the donors - just get a "thank you!" Feliz año nuevo!
  21. This assumes that if you are not in the area, you have a REALLY GOOD property manager. Otherwise, things could go South in a hurry. Making money or even breaking even from rental property is tricky and there are a lot of places where it can go wrong. There are many elements to the whole thing and all of them must be positive for it to work. And yes, location is everything. You can own a place somewhere in Costa Rica and AirBnB or VRBO are good options for renting to tourists, but if your home or condo is not in a location where people want to go, then that's a problem.
  22. There is some excellent legal information about real estate in Costa Rica here: http://costaricalaw.com/category/costa-rica-legal-topics/real-estate-and-property-law/ My reaction is this: You want to buy property in a foreign country and use it for income purposes? A country that you really know nothing about and have never been there? (If this is the case....) Frankly, that sounds kind of nutty or naive. Buying and renting property in Costa Rica is not just like in the US (or wherever you are from). The culture is different; the laws are different; things are just.... different. In addition to being overcharged because you are a foreigner, there are few laws governing realtors, there is somewhat widespread title fraud, there are many incompetent attorneys, squatters have rights, etc. In addition to buying and financing this property, you would also need a good property management company which may not be easy. Plus -- how will you pick a place to buy property if you know nothing about Costa Rica? If you are a stranger to Costa Rica, how are you going to find people you can trust? A good lawyer, a good builder, a good property management company? You don't really need a realtor. Once you settle on an area you want to buy, then just look around and ask around. Going through a realtor will pretty much guarantee that you will pay more. Without a good Costa Rican friend, you will probably pay more anyway because of the "Gringo Price" factor. People routinely raise the price of anything once they figure out they are selling to a "rich gringo." I hope you don't think I am rude because that is not my intention. But with so little information from you as to your situation, I am just throwing out all the "things that could go wrong" and trying to be a frank and realistic as possible which is what I think you need right now.
  23. Great question! I am wondering: Why Costa Rica? Really with a bit more background information, we might be able to advise you better.
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