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Thinking of buying a condo in Tamarindo - thoughts?

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Looking for thoughts on buying a condo in Tamarindo from anyone who lives here. Looking at Ville Verde. Is buying smart? What is Tamarindo really like? I lead a somewhat active lifestyle and love to eat out and play golf. Thoughts?

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You would be best served by renting first for a few months, then deciding if its someplace you really, really want to live. If you then decide its not, you can easily move someplace else, if you like Tamarindo, you will then know all about the condos that will be the best buy for you.

Unless your condo is really a hot property, it could take you months to re-sell it, perhaps a year or more if the market isn't all that good.

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ng, don't do it! As Dana said, rent first. And I'd contradict him a bit: even if your condo is a hot property, rent anyway. If, after living here, you and your wife decide that you want to stay in Tamarindo, you can always decide to buy later. You'll have a much better sense of what you do and don't want.

 

Real estate agents here don't need any sort of license (many of the expats in the real estate industry are doing it under the table) and there are not the safeguards that are in place in the US and Canada. Disclosure agreements? Properties that have a clear title? Or, for that matter, properties that actually belong to the person who's selling them? Buyer beware!

 

Many agents will tell you what a great deal you'll be getting, and what a hot market it is, but at this point, it's just not true. Just look at AM Costa Rica and look at all the ads they have for coastal/beachfront properties. Some of them have been listed for years!

 

Good luck.

 

regards,

Gayle

Edited by salish sea

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If you are a person who is intrigued by the natural beauty of CR and the opportunities for exploring the many microclimates and Tico culture, then Tamarindo won't be of much interest to you as a place to live for longer than a week.

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I second, third, fourth etc. the advice that you have received.

The beach is beautiful; the restaurants and clubs are exciting; a golf course is not too far away; nature at the back of the town is exquisite.

However, the climate is more moderate (still tropical) farther from the Pacific beach area making it liveable without heat or air conditioning. In addition, nowhere is very far from your location, where ever you pick, in this small country.

Live there for a time, find out if you need a quiet place to relax once in awhile, then look for a place with that experience in the back of your mind.

My favourite beach area is Flamingo (I chose when it still had a marina) but we decided to buy further inland and make trips to the beach when we are in the mood.

Enjoy, and know that whatever you chose....it will be perfect for you!

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Golf is not that popular activity for most expats. The hotel guests may utilize them, but at Tamarindo and many beach areas where they have golf courses, it is simply too hot and/or windy to use them ... and you sure can't play in the evenings when it cools off.

Do not advise you to go with the Investor status via purchasing a home, for $200K+ as you will be 'hit' with a CaJA payment of nearly $700.

 

You may be staying at a vacation resort, not a community.

 

Rent, rent, rent....until you decide that Costa Rica is for you, once you have removed your 'rose-tinted' glasses.

 

Most make the move and stay for 3 years or less.

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I generally agree with all the points above. However, if you take full advantage of what is easily available in CR, then buying property is not as scary as my friends above point out. Title Insurance, video topography/survey, a well-known attorney, seeing the HOA/POA agreements if there are any, looking at electrical and water costs, etc. The tools are in Costa Rica to make sure accidents happen 'almost never' - but many do not do their homework and as this string suggest, bad news travels fast! Enjoy your journey....

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I will add to the advice above to rent first!

 

I have been renting in the Playa Hermosa area, and while I love the community, I have found that the longer I live in the area, the more opinionated I become about what I really want in a home. The first house I rented for only 3 months was nicely furnished and decorated and had a pool in a nice convenient location, BUT it was located "under the canopy" with lush foliage all around it. The mosquitos ate me alive there and I couldn't even use the pool!

 

I'm currently renting a beautiful 3 bedroom condo with a fabulous ocean view, walking distance to the beach. Much as I love this unit, I have found that I would not buy on this side of the building because of the hot sun hitting most of it in the afternoon. The concrete block construction is solid, but it absorbs the heat, and I often find the walls to be still radiating heat well into the evening when the temperature has dropped outside by 20 degrees! This are just a few small examples, but there are many others that you should spend time discovering over a period of time.

 

Good luck!

Vicki

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I appreciate all the advise and agree that we will be renting for a while first. Tamarindo will be our first stop - what is the easiest way to find rental properties. Can a company like Remax help us or perhaps an English language paper?

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Remax here has nothing to do with it's North American counterpart. Check different real estate websites and see if they offer rental properties. Best to visit first , then look around at Tamarindo and other areas while seeing what else is out there. Obviously, if you are not intending to make the move for a few years, anything you find may not be available then...especially at the same price. Long term rentals do not usually include utilities and at the beach, electricity can be expensive, as you will probably want to use AC.

Craigslist is one place to look but the real deals are made when viewing in person.

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