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About eskasue

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  1. I am outside CR and need to pay Santa Ana property tax.....I entered my cedula and found the amount due but thought I could pay this via VISA or local Credit Card from my CITI bank account but, do not see that ability offered. Anyone have other suggestions....do you have to be in CR to set up SINPE for payment ? tks
  2. I enjoy reading this type topic. My wife and I have also lived in several different Latin American countries over the past several years. We met in CR (she's a Tica and me a Gringo) and now live in the USA but during the housing bubble built and sold 4 houses in the Escazu/Santa Ana area. We did well and elected not to repat those funds back to the USA....so our current home is in a gated community ( a must as we see it ) in Pozos de Santa Ana and we rent ONLY to a foreign company (no Ticos). We would not suggest any "newbies" buy immediately, rent for a year....look around and find out if you want to be at the beach or central valley or even in Costa Rica. Read other blogs re; Real Estate Agents and be very careful ... no such thing as licensed agent in CR...it is a "Caveat Emptor" market and only "you" will watch out for "you" ! We prefer the Santa Ana area and if we lived there full time would travel to the beach, etc. While the beach is attractive it does not offer many of the basics, schools (if needed), hospitals, medical staff - Doctors, police or protection infra-structure (which is becoming ever so important), shopping, etc. Newbie, don't get caught on living in a rural area (even gated community) where you have to wonder if all your personal belongings will be there when you return from a trip and don't watch HGTV and think it is easy. Costa Rica is not for everyone but, it is a beautiful country. To answer your question re; "current real estate market" - it is slow but doing much better than the USA. For what it is worth, there are better deals in the USA now than Costa Rica...if your move is climate related check out "Cape Coral, Florida" ... some real deals there now and property taxes have come down dramatically in the last year. (we own some vacant land on Amelia Island, Florida...would love to sell it, but the "tax deductions" make it worth the investment). In Costa Rica for $200k...you will find a lot of house but remember Real Estate purchases are "all cash" no mortgages. Our last purchase (3 years ago, now) has appreciated about $8 to $10k a year + the rent income and may have topped out. If CR is your destination....watch our for HOA fees, many gated communities asses by the size of your lot/home size (sq ft), etc., .... meaning if you neighbor's house is smaller he will pay a lesser HOA fee for the same total community services. Cars are not a bargin, buy used, insurance is high, driving skills are limited to poor, gas is higher than the US markets and downward fuel price trends move much slower than North America. Don't rush....take your time, rent for a time before you make your decision. If you wanted to talk more...get me your email or phone and I would be more than happy to provide my experience in Costa Rica.
  3. I guess by now you have been able to read thru the fine print in reply to your question re; the difference between a Real Estate "Agent" vs Real Estate "Broker". Having lived in CR for many years I would identify either of those descriptions as an "extranjero" who arrives in CR who may have the only license (in hand) being a drivers license (valid ??) from the country they departed and "wa-laa" they are now selling Real Estate....ah, but, not only those "extranjeros", Tico's also find that Real Estate invitation rewarding and "Boom" are self appointed "Agents or Brokers", whatever feels comfortable. You may find additional info at www.camaracbr.or.cr/ (Spanish - Camara Costarricense de Corredores)...."CAVET EMPTOR" ... and remember, NEVER - give money on any project unless it is 99% finished (regardless what "this" Agent or Broker tells you). Good Luck !
  4. This topic has been very quiet...but, now the Law has passed (Oct 1, 2009) and "Insidecostarica.com" has reported some 12,000 homeowners will be affected with the luxury tax on homes at 0.25% to 0.55%. I recall this would be on homes valued at greater than $170,000 (may not have this number correct). Would appreciate if anyone has the "value number" and how the percentage would be applied. Specifically, how does the Govt identify or asses the value of real property ?
  5. Kahuna....I have lived (on and off) in CR since 1980. I am a Gringo (fluent Spanish) married to a Tica (and she has fluent English). We are on our 5th house in CR (mostly Escazu or Santa Ana area). We have bought new most of the time, rented, and even built a home with a Canadian builder (sort of) and I must say I your 3 sentence reply has fully identified the Real Estate industry in Costa Rica !...Tks
  6. As you Spanish improves and you begin to learn Costa Rica you will identify EskaSue, et al as a small city outside San Jose where most of the international community have accumulated over the years....the city name is Escazu (pronounced Eskasue)...I just "Gringo'ized" it. Our update since starting this thread...we purchased a small town-house in Santa Ana, which we know the most about and feel comfortable in that area for investments. The unit we purchased was a new (never lived in) home where it is mostly built out. An important factor in investing in CR or any 3rd world country. In fact the builder has a few homes to finish but has not moved on his prices and the home we purchased was "well below" his market price...guess the seller "just wanted out" ! Our interest was to visit a couple months a year and use the home for that purpose. However, my wife (a Tica) talking with some "rental type agents" said they had clients interested in that Santa Ana area who worked at the Forum and long term rentals were offered. No disrespect to the Tico's but we would not prefer to rent to locals and as it turned out we rented to a multi-national companies ex-pat who expects to be in CR for at least 3 years. This met our needs very well and "rented we did". As info, we were ex-pats from a munti-national company living in CR, Venezuela, and Brasil and feel this was our best investment. The supprise we can offer is that the Private Banking community has not reduced their CD rates and still offering more than double that of the USA in todays market. Wish you all the best....we do not know Ecuador but some of those things "I" like the most about Costa Rica is there are free elections, no military, and a government with a similar format to that of the USA. Other qualities are the education level of the Costa Rica population is far greater than other Latin American countires. I'm sure others reading will add to this list of positives for this country. Suerte !
  7. An interesting comment from "undecided" .... I had not thought of the real estate market being impacted as a result of the change in resident immigration laws. I can see now where this may have an impact in the beach areas, as 60% of those purchases are from North America and "yes" agree the spread to the Central Valley market. tks.....and the Khuna coments, I am with you 100%, "it's comming". Unless credit warms up dramatically in CR those builders/developers will be in the "remodel business" on a "cash basis", tks
  8. Although I am new to this forum, I am not new to CR....I became a resident in 1980 while working here for a multi-national company, married a Tica and we built/bought/sold 5 homes in the Escazu & Santa Ana area during the past 10 years, after I retired. (let my residency expire...we only return now to visit family) Sold our last home 3 years ago and now living in the USA and re-thinking of buying again in Costa Rica. We know Escazu/Santa Ana but not sure this is where we want to re-invest $200k (or less). As everyone knows the Real Estate Market in the USA is going thru some really rough times along with the economy in general. As they say, "CR is usually a year behind the USA" yet when we talk with Real Estate Agents (who we have limited time for) they tell us "the USA real estate impact has had no impact to the CR market....I enjoyed one member comments that real estate agents are like "used car salesman" (enough said...lol). Now with the credit markets on "stop" vs "hold" we expect to see a dramatic downturn to an "overpriced" region where many expats have settled, etc. We would appreciate comments regarding how those living in CR see the markets (Beach and Central Valley). We expect he beach would be mainly the multi-national investor vs the Tico and the Central Valley mostly Tico's with the multi-national mix. tks
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