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About Johnhw2

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  • Birthday 11/23/1947
  1. My vet recommended giving my dog a bit of turkey to eat before flying. The ingredients that make us sleepy as humans help them get sleepy and enjoy the trip sleeping soundly.
  2. I had a good experience in trusting Marriott and National car rental. In a recent trip to CR, I rented a car and had it delivered to my hotel. The day before my morning flight out, National was to meet me at the Residence Inn at 5pm to return the car. The National employee was running late, so I had the Marriott desk clerk call them for me. National car rental advised they would be able to pick it up until the next day (I had an early morning flight and took a taxi to the airport before the National office was open for the day). So National advised I leave the rental car keys with the Marriott desk clerk for them to pick up after my departure. My US trained instincts were to find another solution but I couldnt think of one without changing my flight, so went with the flow. The bill from National reflected my return of the car the day before my flight and the vehicle in the conidtion I received it. My US training was not to trust, but both the National car person and the clerk at the Marriott seemed trustworthy and were in this case.
  3. Another way to see if your home market is stable rather than have a second dip down ahead as some markets may see, is to look at the affordability index. This index measures how home prices compare to salaries in a market area. The theory being to support a certain price level depends upon the ability of typical buyers to afford a home. An experienced realtor might know where to find this. Check the so called affordability index for your market now versus what it was before the big price bubble many markets saw. Another way to come at it is look at rental rates relative to market price. If one can get a fair return on investment at the rental rate, then the market price is probably stable. I believe a reasonable ratio of annual net rental to market price is 5%. Probably more than you wanted but it costs a good bit to hold a home if it goes unrented, so if the market price doesnt rise to make up for some of that cost, holding might not be a positive outcome.
  4. NYT article a few days ago confirms expats will not have to carry health insurance under this so called health care reform bill. The specifics of how long etc were not addressed however, but I feel certain there is an exclusion for those living outside the US. My two cents is health care costs are out of control and this bill doesnt do everything it could to control them. US health care for drugs or a procedure seem to run about 3 times the CR cost. Health insurance, which seems to be Obama's focus on selling this, are about 5% of the total cost of healthcare costs in the US. So eliminate it totally and we are still about 3 times more expensive than CR. Also US runs roughly twice as expensive as other developed countries as a % of GDP. All this cost adds up to a non competitive cost of living and jobs now wont be competitive without a dramatic addressing of the fundamentals behind this high cost of health care. I do not have all the answers but would prefer a more enlightened accurate fact based discussion by both sides before this bill is change I can believe in. Cost of living is the huge issue in the US. I never hear a politician address that issue. We demonize companies for sending jobs overseas without discussing why our cost of living is so high. Politicians agendas do not address reducing it...more likely policies increase is such as cap and trade etc. CR living and cost make sense to me, although home prices are as high as they are in the Texas in my experience. But I digress.
  5. In 2009, I visited CR three times. Estimates varied about how much tourism was down but a 40% drop was commonly reported to me. The housing market was stronger when the US was having its housing boom. The boom was focused on higher end second or vacation homes for tourist rental, now the boom is more moderately priced homes for middle to upper middle class Americans to retire here. Development has slowed overall in part due to tougher financing to build a spec home etc, also due to lower demand of course. So existing homes available has not increased significantly in my view. I'm sure others will have a different view but that is my two cents worth. Been going to CR for 15 years so that is my reference point.
  6. I assume that it makes no difference if the property is in a corporation or directly owned by an individual. Correct me if that appears incorrect or isnt know yet. ==
  7. has not set their status

  8. I just returned from CR and saw plenty of places in Escazu/Santa Ana area offering that brand of dog food. So should not need to take it...Auto Mercado food store had it if I recall correctly as well as Pricesmart...have to be a member there to buy it... Good luck and enjoy your trip.
  9. I think the popped bubble is beginning but not fully accepted yet. You are correct there isnt a lot of property for sale there last time I looked. One antidote, I had been looking online at a home with an incredible view in Escazu, it was put under contract at close to the asking price but when it didnt close, the sellers cut the asking price in half to sell in a hurry. It still hasnt sold after 1 plus month at the lower price and they have moved to Sweden. At half the asking original price it was a fair deal and perhaps a bargain in Escazu. One property doesnt a market make but the signs of a cut in pricing are there clearly to me, but will depend on the depth of the sellers pockets to hold on and wait or take it off the market if the seller doesnt really need to sell it. .
  10. I not live in CR at this point but have spent time in Escazu looking at real estate to buy for 10 years. I agree it is in a bubble now, there is a limited supply of remaining land sites to build upon which sustains the bubble. I do not think its home construction cost that is driving the] bubble at all in Escazu, it is land cost. I believe it may take some time, a year or two or three but in due time the value of land, whether vacant or built upon will drop to a more realistic level for incomes and cash available to buy at the prices offered. I think you are correct about construction cost in a couple of respects... one is that homes in Escazu tend to be larger on average which makes them expensive even at the same cost per sq meter to build, also they tend to have more high end features in homes, that drive up the cost of construction as you well know. But I like the area, climate and views and location relative to things to do and that I need. I think in due time there will be a orrection, especially in land prices, first in available lots as well as existing homes for sale.
  11. Im of the same generation as you two but guess that IMHO might mean "in my humble opinion".
  12. Thanks for putting faces with the cast Laura. Good looking family there Id say. Loved the CR shirt you wore. How was the exchanged student experience...my mom and one cousin do that a lot and really have had great experiences with it. Very rich culturally.
  13. I am coming down in August for my 5th trip to CR. I've looked at property in the past with a couple of realtors, but now use Ivo at Go Dutch. He always takes me to the home and shows it to me as well not just give me keys. One of my trips was at the end of a cruise that finished in CR. We did not get a rental car in CR this time, Ivo picked us up at the hotel and took us to homes or land.
  14. I think most cruise ships do not allow pets other than seeing eye dogs. However some ships used primarily for moving freight also carry a few passengers. This type ship might well take a dog along if there are such ships from Costa Rica to the US. She might have to drive to get him back if no proper home appears to keep him in CR.
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