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Our dream/intention to live in CR

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It's not typical of foreign residents to have an extended Tico family, but that doesn't influence what other foreign residents could do. My wife's extended family didn't affect what, where, and when we bought those two condominiums.


Her family believes in the value of owning property in CR, and they have the work ethic and discipline to make it happen. Foreign residents could do similarly.


I understand there are reasons why someone would not want to, or be able to own property in CR, but if a foreign resident is willing and able to do it, it can be done well.

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Hi. I come to Costa Rica for several months each year. I love owning. I come back every year and see my fruit trees growing. Also it gives me a chance to be part of a community. I am in the Southern Pacific hills. I'd be happy to message you privately if you'd like to know more. Either way you are on a great path. As for health care, it is inexpensive here compared to other places, but I'm not sure how it stacks up in relation to Canada. Can you get your Canadian coverage back, if you stay out more than 7 months one year? Good luck with your choices.

Edited by nitramenal
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Not sure where you are in Canada and whether it might be the same in your province - BC offers the following:


In some circumstances, while temporarily outside the province for work or vacation, individuals may retain eligibility for coverage during an ‘extended absence’ of up to 24 consecutive months, once in a 60 month (five year) period. To find out if you qualify, more information on extended absences is available on the MSP website.


I spoke with the folks at MSP and it was very easy to get the 2 year absence in every 5 years. It is not counted January to December so it works well - it is just the actual months in a 60 month period. I was told that if you are needing to go over that time they will consider it as long as you call before the 24 months has lapsed.

Edited by BC Gal
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My house is an hour north of Dominical. If you aren't living there full time & do not want to be in a gated community, you are going to require a caretaker to manage your home when you are not there or you will likely have huge issues with being robbed. Our home is in a guarded community & we were still robbed in 2012 during an absence. We have never rented out our home & do not regret being homeowners, but there is a vulnerability in being part-time residents & you will truly need someone you can trust to check in on your house (if not live in it) when you're not physically present. I'd highly suggest that you rent in the area before buying & talk to anyone/everyone in the area about the crime issue (preferably not realtors trying to sell you property!).



Edited by ReevesTribe
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  • 2 weeks later...

We bought and happy we did! This forum is, my opinion, is much more 'renters' vs 'owners' but the questions was asked about who purchased and if they were happy! Our neighbors put their place up for sale and it was under contract in 5 days. Owning is good too for some!!

Are you absentee owners and if so how do you handle security in your absence?

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Hi - My name's Tom -


This is a request for advice on buying or renting as it relates to location...


I've stayed many times with friends in San Ramon, and am now considering a more long-lasting stay.


Because of that familiarity, I've focused on availability there. But I'm wondering if there are other areas with desirable attributes to consider, like proximity to a wider variety of shopping; the airport; transit... while also desiring (relatively) good security!


So what would you say about something around these locations - Cariari; Pavas; the San Pablo or San Francisco de Heredia area?

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There is a Canadian real estate agent we know, Shell Johanson, who lives and works mainly in this area, and he can be reached at shellbp@yahoo.com.

It is a just across from one of CR's finest golf courses and they will allow you golf privileges, if you are interested. Good friends used to own a condo across from the golf course and when they return, they now stay at the Villas.

Edited by costaricafinca
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I'm a sixteen year resident of Costa Rica. I have lived in other countries and consider myself very aware/'street smart'.


I owned a beautiful estate home of 800m for nine years above Alajuela surrounded by coffee in a tranquil Tico neighborhood. I constructed a 3m cement block wall around its 6,000m2. This is THE key security feature because it is difficult to know who might be home if you can't see the home.


I installed warning signs on the walls suggesting wall climbers would be electrocuted. I had motion detector lights and a wireless alarm system. The house windows and exterior doors were barred, the double doors were further protected by bicycle chains and large locks up and down. I had interior gardens and these areas were separated by more ornamental wrought iron gates. I had around 50 keys for all this which I kept in a 'safe room', which showed a solid core wooden dead bolt on the outside opening to a barred double locked door on the inside. The ceiling had rebar above it to keep invaders from entering the safe room by cutting a hole. I locked up the TV, computer, etc there when I left for a few days even though they were behind layers of 'protection'.


Much of the security was in place from a Canadian involved with Teak Plantation Investments from whom I purchased the property. He was a experienced businessman to the crazy ways of the world.


Some of the neighbors were kind, usually the poor ones, the wealthier neighbors looked to borrow money or sell lots/fincas for 'investments'. When I purchased nothing, the 'friendships' faded.


I heard of nearby home invasions, teachers at work returning to bare walls, the local 'mafia' wise guy with fingers in everyones business who had his dogs poisoned, his 4x4 stolen from his garage while he slept (and recovered after he was called on the phone by the bandits, met them and paid a large ransom.)


In nine years, while I was not wealthy, I employed young men to mow the lawn, a six-hour chore for this 55 year-old, a 16 hour, two day chore for various 25 years-olds, one who objected to me complaining about his constant cell phone use telling me, "Can't you see I'm talking!" These workers would forget to mix gas with oil, not show up or call, and one who worked for 15 days over four months visited the Labor Ministery and came back demanding a full alguinaldo which I paid to end the matter.


One neighbor paid to mow the lawn while I was in the USA for three months sub-let the work to a family of Nicas leaving the 3m high, 7m wide gate open all day while they worked. Another (married) guard brought over women to party at night pool-side. When it was obvious that another guard was partying in the house, he was shut out. I considered installing a punch-in time clock becausde there is no certainty that anyone you hire is actually showing up. One by one it becomes obvious that whomever I paid was not maintaining the property, attempting to earn 2-3 weeks pay mowing and hauling palm fronds the day before my arrival. Even with a guard, the pool pump house, although double locked, was entered and the pump disconnected and stolen, quite an achievement since the pool was higher than the pump and required specific knowledge of what valves to close. At night, although home, anything left under the rancho disappeared.


I eventually had a live-in girlfriend. Although she lived unemployed like royalty watching telenovelas on Sky, gifted frequently with new shoes and clothes and cosmetics while watching me do the laundry, cook the jumbo shrimp and mow the lawn, her friends told her I was only 'using her for sex', and grew angry and violent. I called the police who witnessed this and they took her out. The court demanded I let her back in. She got violent many times over issues like, "You have one more chicken wing than I do", "This jewelry you bought in the US is not gold, I want gold if you love me!" I went to the Domestic violence after she tried to stab me for relief, then the court with two atty's and witnesses. I was told that if I were worried, I should rent an apartment, but she was entitled to live in the house once I had invited her in. The solution was to sell the house.


I got 50% of the listing price suggested not by me, but by at least 6 popular brokers. It actually took four years to sell the house, a process I had begun before the woman, and a Tico paid cash. There were no 'Gringo' candidates for a house not 'on the beach' or not in Escazu/Santa Ana (beware where you buy!)


Two years of renting in Santa Ana have passed and I have a good situation. I just painted the interior and exterior of a 2/2 I rent for $750/mo inc all utes. But the landlord was unwilling to provide paint or a 'thank you' because in his opinion it didn't need painting. I change out my own toilet 'guts' because I don't like to wait. I garden and have planted hundreds of $ worth of trees and green things because I enjoy them. I like fruit trees, but the feria has all I could ever eat.


I've 'owned' three homes now, 2 in Florida. I've come to the conclusion that one never 'owns' property, one maintains and improves it for the next guy. Or just in honor of Mother Earth.


I look for another home now, a task I enjoy as much for meeting people, getting out, and hoping for a bargain.


But for 'small' money, money that wouldn't matter should I have to evacuate the country due to my aging mother, a proposed 'wealth tax' on foreign assets or a crazy girl convincing the court that this vasectomy person is the father of her twins.


No one should ever think that owning property here is secure with the registro, from your neighbors, let alone earthquakes and volcanic eruptions :>)

Edited by Marsrox
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