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dbarton62

Our dream/intention to live in CR

135 posts in this topic

Hello all,

 

My name is Dave Barton, my wife and I reside in Ontario Canada ,have dreams, apirations, intentions of buying a home in CR and living there for the winter months within the next few years.

I have researched some of the ins and outs of this type of scenario but wanted some real life experiences from others who have done this.

The property would likely not be in a gated community nor would we rent it out.

 

Please post your experiences abd opinions however minor they may seem as too much information is never dangerous in this situation I think.

 

Regards Dave and Michelle

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If you only want to spend winters for a few years then I don't think that I would recommend that you buy a home. There are plenty of vacation rentals available by the month and you won't have the hassle of first buying and then later trying to sell. You also wont have to worry about returning to an empty shell of a house with squatters living in it when you return for that 2nd vacation.

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As Mark advises, you will have to pay someone to maintain the house, yard and possibly to live in your home to keep your investment safe. If you really want to purchase a home, suggest you buy a condo....but my advice it that you don't do so until you have decided the area is suited to your taste.

Lots of really nice vacation condos out there.

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We have only lived in Cost Rica (via Suitcases) 16 months. Of our new friends, 5 are homeowners and 2 of them are still awe struck over owning a home. Both couples have lived here less than 2 yrs. The other 3 couples who built their beautiful GRINGO homes with views to die for have their homes up for sale (with no luck). They have been here for over 5 yrs. We chose to rent because we like the freedom to explore. We may decide to move to the beach next year, or move on to Panama, or Nicaragua, or even Spain. Nothing is more important than knowing YOURSELF - your GOALS - your DREAMS.

PURA VIDA

RON

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We have only lived in Cost Rica (via Suitcases) 16 months. Of our new friends, 5 are homeowners and 2 of them are still awe struck over owning a home. Both couples have lived here less than 2 yrs. The other 3 couples who built their beautiful GRINGO homes with views to die for have their homes up for sale (with no luck). They have been here for over 5 yrs. We chose to rent because we like the freedom to explore. We may decide to move to the beach next year, or move on to Panama, or Nicaragua, or even Spain. Nothing is more important than knowing YOURSELF - your GOALS - your DREAMS.

PURA VIDA

RON

Why are your friends selling?

 

We are aware of the squatters and the need for a caretaker.

The reason for only a 6 - 7 month(winter stay) is because of the health care rules in Canada ".....you .can only be absent for 7 months in 12 in order to keep your health care benefits active.

If healthcare is affordable in CR we will live there full time.

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There are many reasons for leaving leaving Costa Rica. If you decide to leave, it's easier without a house. There is no compelling reason to buy a house.

 

We have been here 3-1/2 years and don't plan on leaving. We still rent and have no intention to buy.

 

Who knows what the future will bring? We lived in CA for 25 years and thought we always would.

 

T

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dbarton62

AKA: Dave & Michelle

 

"WHY ARE YOUR FRIENDS SELLING"

 

It is not a easy question to answer for others, but there are a couple of common themes,

1} I don't want to be tied down-I want the freedom to pick up and go.

2) I will never own again - I will only rent. I don't want the headaches

3) Disilusioned with Cost Rica - the government - the rule changes - cost of living - etc.

A couple examples - The wife and I just returned from 4 days on the beach at San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. During a dinner party our friends voiced envy over being able to pick up and go like that. It' not the cost involved as it is securing your property. And if you have pets, it's even more complicated.

A couple of months ago we had a spectacular 4 hour lightning show over the Central Valley. I commented about it and asked if they had watched it from their mountain top vista. The response was "No, after 5 years you don't even notice it."

 

All 5 homeowners are the kind of people you should be "interviewing" before making major decisions about Costa Rica. Should you decide to visit, let me know and I'll try to arrange a meeting with these friends.

Best of Luck

Pura Vida

Ron

 

Please Note: I have yet to find the "Spell Checker" on this site. OH WEL

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I guess I've only been here 2.5 years, but I still marvel at the beauty of the mountains every.single.day. And the sunsets. The sunset two days ago was amazing.

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The owner of the website above had originally posted his intentions to purchase property and was advised by members of this forum to rent first. He did decide to rent in the area he felt was perfect for him ... then moved to the beach a few months later.

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My husband and I have been 'snowbirds' between Ontario, Canada and Costa Rica for 10 years. We enjoy both societies and would not give up the colours of September and October in Ontario. A white Christmas with grandchildren is also a pleasure.

I have been picking fruit from trees that I planted and watched grow in Costa Rica. The enjoyment of gardening is one of my reasons to buy rather than rent. Other reasons include the ability to participate in village activities and to meet young people from the village who remember me from the English practices during their grade school days.

The health care here is excellent. We have only needed emergency care as we have been free from chronic diseases. We have used opticians and dentists as well as stitches for minor accidents.

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There are owners who are very happy with their properties. However, I have never met anyone or seen any posts from anyone who is sorry they are renters. I can't say the same about owners.

 

Is anyone out here sorry they didn't buy?

 

T

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Well, yes, I wish I could buy, but financially that's just not in the cards, especially with the interest rates here. But my situation is different than some though, being married to a tico. I'm not sure I'd want to buy if I were in a gringo-gringa relationship, or single. At least not yet. The esposo is about 5 years out from retirement, and the idea of paying rent with the little pension he'll get so our landlord can continue to go on cruises to Argentina and vacations to Italy, and continue buying more rental properties so he can have more renters ... sigh. Rent goes up every year, salaries don't; at least nowhere near the rent increase rate. We're lucky that our landlord does not take advantage of the full 15% he's entitled to every year, but it still goes up. So yeah, I'd like to buy. I would not, however, advise it as something to do early on. I'd recommend living here for at least a couple of years, if not more.

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I think it depends a lot on where you buy, the reasons you buy, how you buy, and why you're in CR to begin with. If you buy in most areas of the US you will either make at least a decent return on your investment, or break even over the long haul (excepting 2008-2010). If you don't buy really smart in CR, you might never break even, and if you buy dumb you will probably lose badly. Examples of that are easy to find in CR.

 

My wife and I have significant experience with real estate in the US and CR and we've done well in both places. In her extended Tico family, everyone over 25'ish years old owns their own house, and/or a finca that generates income. As two examples of rent vs. own, we own two condos near San Jose, CR, and both of them have no problem getting annual rents that are 6-8% of their value-a ratio that is more than we get in the SF Bay Area in NorCal-an area known for its high rents. As far as the issue of not wanting to buy because you're not sure where you might want to stay, we've never lived in one of our condos in CR, but the income it generates is enough to rent a place somewhere else full-time, or much more than we'd pay in rent during extended visits to CR.

Edited by ciclista

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