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Everything posted by sectorbets

  1. You mostly have to wait until you get here, but it's really no big deal...there are typically more properties than you can deal with, and you don't generally need a broker--local or gringo. Just find a B&B in the general area, and then work from there for a few days, and you will be all set--REALLY !!
  2. Amen--it is never simple and falls on the shoulders of many, and let's not forget that the Clinton administration wanted to push home ownership to the 67% level from the 60% or so where it was at the time and then that same goal was adopted by the Bush administration's ownership society strategy--the simple and noble goal of getting more folks into owning their own home led I think to all the things you identified above--as always, be careful what you wish for since the unintended consequences can be broad and deep
  3. Every region is different of course, but all I did is look at the Case Schiller data which is the only national data on home prices in major metropolitan areas, and is the generally accepted metric on Wall Street where I work. Take it or leave it--it is still the base metric used by investors. Everything you say about mortgages is correct of course, and some areas are rebounding and others are still falling. And I don't care even a little bit whether it was Bush or Obama in office--neither of their administration policies had much to do with home prices except maybe at the margin during the attempted stimulus. And I have no doubt there is still downward pressure on prices in CR, but just like in the US, some areas are better than others. And the most important comment I think is this whole thread is from Jim--NO ONE should consider borrowing their way into CR.
  4. Let's try some facts and then the opinion can fly: 1) Housing measured by prices peaked in the first quarter of 2006--did Bush make it peak--you chose. 2) Housing bottomed temporarily in the first quarter of 2009--did Obama make it bottom being in office for just a couple of months?? Chose again 3) Housing actually picked up modestly until the second quarter of 2010 until the various housing stimulus programs started to run out--couldn't be Bush that made it pick up a little--maybe Obama ?? 4) Housing slid again until it made a lower bottom in the first quarter of 2011--must be Obama. 5) And it is grudgingly trying to claw its way up again, but it is still well below the temporary peak set by the stimulus programs. 6) And the biggest drop by all measures was from the first quarter of 2006 until the first quarter of 2009. Do you really think that either president "caused" any of this other than the weak stimulus plan backed by Obama and watered down by the Senate so that the impact was fleeting. Alright...enough facts...I'll leave all the opinions up to you. But let's get back to CR...all that we should really learn from this situation once again is that the financial rules are different and trying to tackle everything by yourself can be very difficult, and sometimes impossible.
  5. I know that owning a home is part of the North American gene pool, but you might consider renting--you will be pleasantly surprised what is available, and that in general the prices are not out of sight. Owning seems to satisfy something deep in our North American souls, but renting can often be significantly better financially both short term and long term, but most of us from the North never take a serious look at how much better off we would be having all that extra cash to have fun rather than putting it into a house. Particularly if you are entering your seventh decade of life. Whadya say ?? Think about it for at least five minutes ??
  6. If you are saying $2500 per month for an apartment, you will be pleasantly surprised that you can find terrific accommodations well below that, and month to month shouldn't be a problem at all. While you can probably do better locally after you get here, take a look at at craigs list to get an idea of what is available targeted at gringos.
  7. I haven't asked this question before, but it nags at me--why are so many Norte Americanos so hell bent on pouring a big chunk of their net worth into a retirement home? Rents are cheap. Properties are abundant. Flexibility is at its maximum. Now, I have to admit I did the homeowner thing for much of my life in the States, but the freedom we have by renting in CR, not to mention the substantial amount of cash that we have not dumped back into a house gives us even more security and freedom. Don't mean to hijack this thread, so if the moderators want to move me, please do, and I have no axe to grind--just curious.
  8. Same offer as before--I will be traveling ot the States Sep 11, so if you haven't found anyone by then, I'd be happy to take it, although I am in the SJ area so not too convenient for you.
  9. We are in Alajuelita which would scare away most gringos, but the condos are typically three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a great room style for LR, DR, and kitchen, and bigger than most Tico homes and smaller than NA homes. There are maybe 200 units in a row house style--realtively new--less than ten years, and some amenities like a pool, armed guards, etc. Very pleasant environment inside the gate. Almost always something for sale and quite reasonable since almost all Ticos in the development. I just checked and there are a couple for rent for about 300,000 colones, but don't have a good handle on what a sales price would be.
  10. Don't waste your time trying to change this--it is a done deal. It will add 3 - 6 months to the time to get a spousal based visa versus filing directly with the embassy, assuming you met all the residency requirements of CR for US citizens (this has NOTHING to do with CR permanent residency)(or any other country), but other wise there are no changes.
  11. Very important point--when I got my first carry permit many years ago in NY--I never did carry except to the shooting range--I had to go through an orientation with the local sheriff department, and after proving I could hit a target without shooting myself in the foot, the sheriff gave me an overview of the laws, and he ended the session with "never just point a gun at a person--just pull the trigger." Then, and only then is your weapon actually a defensive tool, and as jagsoul said so well, are you ready for that?? If not, don't waste your money on a weapon.
  12. Ozzie--these people want help and you respond with a grammar lesson !! ptt--Lo siento, pero la mayoría de la gente aquí habla Inglés por lo que obtendrá una mejor respuesta si se puede escribir en Inglés. Buena suerte.
  13. Hey Aggie We all have a bias or two, and they travel with us wherever we go--some hurt us and some help us. But I can tell you that I react differently to things in CR than I do in NYC and different yet when I'm home in Michigan with my aging parents. Anyone that tries a one size fits all lifestyle misses out on way too much fun and new things. I would never suggest for a moment that you or anyone on this site are anything but interesting--just gotta keep an open mind when another person's bias start taking control--it's hard sometimes, but I have no interest whatsoever in changing you, but if we have a discussion and I adopt some of your views, and you some of mine, I'll betcha we are both better for it. And why are we in a pissing contest at all--strong words, strong biases--mostly a waste of time. Much of what has been stated here are opinions, and opinions can and should be debated, but some of these things are facts--and facts are facts whether any of us like to hear them or not. We all might consider helping to sort out the facts from the opinions and then we can all have a productive conversation. For example, it is presumptive that Aggie will have a tough time in CR--she sounds like a pretty smart cookie to me, and certainly a survivor if she thrived in NYC, and that has the makings of a very adaptive person and that's what it is all about living in CR or anyplace for that matter that isn't just like home. It's a good place to be, Aggie--parts of it you will love and parts you will hate--pretty much like anyplace else you have lived or visited. You the adaptable survivor I think you are ?? Come on down, rent a place, it will be fun. You rigid and have a one size fits all approach to life ?? It could be tough. Hope to see you--seriously, very seriously. I'll be in the San Jose area from late July through late August, so let me know if you want to squeeze in a coffee with me and my wife--we aren't shy and it could be fun--maybe your husband will be in CR as well by then ??
  14. You got it, Paul. All we have to do is rescue one more person along the way, and we can all smile. If we rescue two or three or more--then it is a God send.
  15. Hey Aggie I'm a fellow New Yorker living in NJ/CR at the moment, and eternally optimistic. CR is a pretty cool place, and you are right that San Jose is only a tiny bit grimier than NYC, and a heck of a lot better than NYC was back at the time of the movie Needle Park--remember those days--you might be a bit young, but maybe you saw the movie. I suspect many on this web site might run from NYC living just as they aren't captivated by SJO and its suburbs like Escazú In any event, CR is like anyplace else to me--I like big cities, and wish that SJO were even bigger and faster paced. yeah--I know--not everybody's cup of tea, but I'm not going to live in the middle of the rain forest--nice to visit, but give me the city life. Our house is in Alajuelita which is certainly not a fancy suburb like Santa Ana or Escazú. Once we have a better outlook on the future, a condo in SJO is the most likely habitat--we'll probably buy two and rent one out. So, please don't go away even if hubby stays. The knowledge base is large, and while many of the experiences are small town in nature, there is much to be learned--maybe even a little from a big city guy like me. Oh yes, my wife grew up in Mexico City which is almost three times as large as NYC, and she thinks SJO is really just a small town--all depends on what our eyes see, eh !!
  16. Absolutely agree. I have seen so many heart breaking cases--people who either didn't know the impact of their actions or who got really bad advice from friends, family, and incompentent lawyers==sometiems we can undo it, and sometimes there is absolutely nothing that can be done. And I forgot this all got started with issues about race--I have to say that not one time--not once--have I seen race be an issue in the immigration process.
  17. There are a zillion immigration lawyers, and they are all going to tell you pretty much what is in the links above--they are very nice summaries. It can be very easy or extremely difficult as pointed out in the blog, but what it doesn't tell you is how good the lawyer is. Most immigration lawyers are quite specialized, and if you decide to move ahead with a difficult case, you need to seek out a specialist--you wouldn't have a brain surgeon work on your heart, and you shouldn't have an employment visa lawyer work on getting you a waiver of inadmissibility overturned. And it isn't cheap. Without getting into the gory details, a waiver of inadmissibility can easy take a year or more and $7K - $10K in legal fees, with no guarantees that the waiver will be issued.
  18. Let's not air our dirty laundry here, but if you daughter would like to talk about her situation in email or on the phone, I'd be happy to listen and see what it looks like--it might be easy or it might be impossible, or someplace in between. This isn't a business for me, but rather a passion. I won't be back in CR until late July--maybe our paths will cross then.
  19. Oh, gambler-- I have worked with illegal aliens in the NYC area for the last few years, and perfectly legal folks as well and unless there is an immigration infraction--and there are MANY ways to do that--filing for a CR-1/IR-1 visa which is for USC spouses to petition for their alien spouses is falling off a log easy--it usually takes 8 - 10 months unless the alien spouse is in a high fraud country like Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, and a dozen others where there is extra scrutiny and it can stretch out to a couple of years. I work with countless folks who have NO immigration infractions every single day, it ain't hard or expensive or invasive--just a bunch of paperwork that 99% of the time doesn't even require a lawyer. As to being deported, like I say, I work with folks who have gotten sideways with immigration, and deportation is not taken lightly--and race?? Here you are so far off the mark I don't know where to start. I help people from every corner of the world, every race, every religion, and except for high fraud countries, there is no difference whatsoever. There are also plenty of ways to get it done quicker depending on the circumstances, so unfortunately I think your personal experience absolutely does NOT reflect the bigger picture.
  20. Paul, you said it so well--moral superiority almost always gets one into trouble.
  21. It's kinda like the CEO of a cigarette company saying that smoking is good for you the way they did not so many years ago. There is virtually no way to know what a politician really believes since their job one is to get elected. I could pick on any one of them at random, but let's pick on Gingrich--he has a two decade track record of supporting pretty much what Obama's health care program looks like, not to mention countless other Republicans over the years, but none of that matters now since it is the party's position that they should all oppose it since they collectively believe that will help them get elected--doesn't matter if it is good or bad--just gotta follow the party line. Oh, except look what happened when Gingrich called the Republican plan for Medicare what it was. Not sayin' Gingrich is right or wrong, just that we all know what's goin' on so it's not worth a whole lot of electrons in my mind--in fact I'm already over my daily limit. What do they really care about?? Who knows, and unfortunately, who cares since job one is simply to get elected.
  22. It looks like WalMart has sent in a team of its Mexican executives to run things in CR. If you have never been in a WalMart in Mexico, you don't know what you are missing. I like HiperMas very much, but really look forward to having Mexican management from WalMart with their feet on the ground here.
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