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Hello, I have found a site on realestate and they have a forum but wanted to get any scoop on this company. They are Cr-home.com and they are in Grecia, central valley. Owner is Randy Berg. thanks. Good or bad I want to know if they are trustworthy.

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Hello, I have found a site on realestate and they have a forum but wanted to get any scoop on this company. They are Cr-home.com and they are in Grecia, central valley. Owner is Randy Berg. thanks. Good or bad I want to know if they are trustworthy.

 

 

In general, you cannot fully trust any realtor in Costa Rica. They're kind of like used car salesmen.

Make them prove what they say, in writing, and get yourself a good attorney to help you make sure everything is in order as it should be.

I have sent you a private message.

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In general, you cannot fully trust any realtor in Costa Rica. They're kind of like used car salesmen.

 

Anyone that has been around this forum for awhile is aware that I have very upfront with a similar message to the displeasure to many a particapating real estate agents.

 

(anyone remember the agent that got so upset with me because I challenge his statements that Costa Rica real estate market was unaffected by the US real estate market collapse?)

 

I would like to add a qualifier.

 

I would say that you can not trust any real estate from afar. I have met some agents that are pretty good people, but honestly I would say that they are by far the minority. Doing business here successfully is all about being here and building your own relationships over time!!!! Do do anything quickly here or you will surely get burned.

 

This is particularly true in Real Estate and doubly true with Real Estate agents. Real Estate agencies are completely unregulated by the government. So buyer beware!!!!

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Thank you both so much. Getting burned is not what we want to do!!! I have heard many horror stories about land purchases in CR that would make me sick if it was to happen to us. There is so much at stake and it seems that the "unregulated realtors" done care enough to do their homework before calling themselves REALTORS. I am a realtor in the states and plan to travel to CR soon but am very nervous as to who and how far to trust someone with my hard earned dollars. I have heard of the water and electric issues and the latest was issues with natural water springs. I have been reading about people buying land that turns out to be either on or near a water spring and did not get the soil use permit with their purchase so their "piece of heaven" turned out to be a piece of unbuildable farm land. Also some stories of thinking you own one piece and it turns out the piece of property you really own is further away or down in a low canyon with no view. Can these really be true stories? This would never be able to happen in the US. and people get away with this.

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Thank you both so much. Getting burned is not what we want to do!!! I have heard many horror stories about land purchases in CR that would make me sick if it was to happen to us. There is so much at stake and it seems that the "unregulated realtors" done care enough to do their homework before calling themselves REALTORS. I am a realtor in the states and plan to travel to CR soon but am very nervous as to who and how far to trust someone with my hard earned dollars. I have heard of the water and electric issues and the latest was issues with natural water springs. I have been reading about people buying land that turns out to be either on or near a water spring and did not get the soil use permit with their purchase so their "piece of heaven" turned out to be a piece of unbuildable farm land. Also some stories of thinking you own one piece and it turns out the piece of property you really own is further away or down in a low canyon with no view. Can these really be true stories? This would never be able to happen in the US. and people get away with this.

 

These are all very true stories. Rent for a long time before you consider buying. Pay attention to what happens in your neighborhood. There are no secrets here. Make friends, ask lots of questions and you too will learn who the thieves are and who you can trust. Expect the process to take a year or more.

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San Ramon wrote "In general, you cannot fully trust any realtor in Costa Rica. They're kind of like used car salesmen.

Make them prove what they say, in writing, and get yourself a good attorney to help you make sure everything is in order as it should be."

 

This should apply to developers as well, not only real estate agents.

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Isn't the title Realtor an official title through the Board of Realtors in the U. S.? As such, it is always capitalized. I don't think Realtors exist in CR because from what I hear there is not governing board through which agents must go to qualify. Is that true or not? People selling Real Estate here are agents, and from what I hear they are not licensed and many of them who are expats are not even legally working as agents. I certainly would do a lot of homework and research before dealing with anyone selling Real Estate.

 

Please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong about this. I would really like to know.

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I certainly agree with all of these comments, particularly the one regarding take your time, don't jump, visit Costa Rica more than once before thinking of purchasing property, make sure you select the area you are interested in, climate, proximity to the airport, towns, hospital, etc. There are no requirements imposed on those marketing real estate in Costa Rica and there are many taken in with promises by both agents and in particular developers of communities in Costa Rica. As someone involved in this area for some years now, I have seen examples where property was purchased with no electric and water and/or very poor roads with promises they would be there "shortly". Don't believe it, in Costa Rica you will have to do it yourself because the municipality or government does not have the funds to do it. Proceed with caution is the byword.

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Isn't the title Realtor an official title through the Board of Realtors in the U. S.? As such, it is always capitalized.

Hi Shea,

 

You are correct. There are no Realtors in CR, only sellers of real estate or real estate agents.

 

I don't think Realtors exist in CR because from what I hear there is not governing board through which agents must go to qualify.

Again true. There is no governing board to oversee such licensing of agents in CR and there are no Multiple Listings services either, although some agents imply that there are. There has been talk for several years with regard this end but so far no real, universal multiple listings service has eventuated.

 

Is that true or not? People selling Real Estate here are agents, and from what I hear they are not licensed and many of them who are expats are not even legally working as agents. I certainly would do a lot of homework and research before dealing with anyone selling Real Estate.

You or anyone can come to CR and start selling real estate, even as soon as you can catch your breath after deplaning. You don't even need any prior experience in selling real estate -or selling anything else for that matter! In CR it is always best to deal with the owner.

 

Please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong about this. I would really like to know.

Here's a little scenario to illustrate. Due to no ML service there is no way to know who is selling what properties. So, let's say agent A approaches seller B and tells him that he will look for buyers for his house, how much does he want for it? Seller B says $30,000. Agent A then offers B's house to various potential buyers, but prices it at $50,000, unbeknownst to B. Now let's suppose that A sells B's house to buyer C for that amount; he then charges B a percentage selling commission, and gives B the balance of his asking price of $30,000 and A gets to pocket the difference.

 

But since there is no ML service, another agent, D, can come to B and tell him, I can sell your house, how much do you want for it? B again says $30,000. Let's say that D shops B's house around for $75,000 and sells it for that amount to buyer E. Again seller B would get $30,000 less E's commission and E pockets the difference. Also, A is unlikely to be aware that E is also trying to sell B's house, likewise for E not knowing about A.

 

The scenarios above are probably the best reason to deal with a seller yourself. Also it is imperative to get your own attorney, who is knowledgeable about real estate transactions in CR, to handle all the legal aspects of the sale, and DO NOT use the homeowner's attorney as he will be looking after the interests of the homeowner.

 

This is a very basic explanation, I know, but it is information I got from the ARCR seminars. Granted there are some honest and reliable real estate agents operating in Costa Rica, but there is still no universal ML service in CR as of yet, so it is imperative to shop wisely for both a house and an agent (if you choose to use one).

 

Even though you will see the logos of some of the big names in real estate that are prevalent in the US, like Century21 or Re/Max, there are no Realtors licensed in CR and no ML services that allow them to show you everything that other realty offices may be offering even though it might appear that way t first glance.

 

I hope this is useful info for you. I'm a retiree in CR and have no 'ganas' to work in CR, least of all for selling property!

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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Very interesting thread ! The person selling land says not to trust ANY realtor .... hmmmm.

 

As a person who has been involved with real estate here for over 11 years, I would like to clear up some of the misinformation in the thread.

 

Realtors vs. real estate agents vs. licensing

There are two associations here that foment professionalism in real estate. The CCCBR and the GAR. Both are affiliated with NAR and members of either may use the term Realtor. It is true that there is no formal licensing here. So I tend to prefer the term real estate broker or real estate agent in order to avoid confusion. Now given the mortgage meltdown and the way many agents, mortgage companies and banks operated in the US, I am not convinced that licensing is such an important factor. Licensed means that an individual has gone through all the process, but it doesn't tell you anything about their ethics or interests. In any case a person making a big investment, such as purchasing property, has to make judgements about all of those involved in the sale: the owner of the property, all lawyers involved, and any other parties like mortgage brokers, real estate agents and mortgage insurance companies. If any of the parties are not transparent you will run into trouble.

 

Horror Stories vs. reputable brokers

A vast majority of the horror stories I have heard come down to 3 principal factors, and none of these involve people who have held themselves out as established brokers or professional real estate agents.

- Buying property sight unseen (like from a telemarketer or on eBay or any other web site)

- Buying property direct from the owner or developer and without adequate knowledge of the local procedures.

- Buying property inadequate for the intended purpose.

 

Sobreprecios

I couldn't quite follow the A vs. D vs. C example, that was a little complex for me. However any reputable broker is earning a specified percentage from the seller. It will run from 5 to 10% of the market value of the property. In general homeowners pay 5 or 6% commission, while farmland pays 10% to the broker, because of the lower value additional efforts required. Professional brokers and agents do not engage in the practice of selling a property that is price over the market value as described in this example. It is not good business. The fact is that the old Tico saying is true: "there is nothing hidden between heaven and earth". There is always a very strong possibility that the owner who buys a property on a "sobreprecio" will find out that they paid too much. It may be as simple as their circumstances changing and they suddenly have to sell the property and they learn what the true market value is when they try to list it.

 

FSBO vs. Brokers

If you are ready to invest the time and energy to get the connections you need to learn about the area you want to buy in, then you may consider going through a for sale by owner web site or look at properties from La Nacion or The Tico Times and contacting the owner yourself. After all, you can pocket the money the broker will earn right? Except that the seller is probably trying to pocket that money too! So who will get it? Plus, how did the seller price the property? In our experience, owners tend to have an inflated idea of what their property is worth. After all, if they have owned it for any length of time they have probably made improvements and have fond memories of good experiences they have had there. One of the first jobs of the listing agent is to discuss with the owner the question of setting a realistic price for the property.

 

On the other hand, working with a reputable broker will save you time and money from the beginning. You get instant access to their experience and knowledge, not just of real estate in general but all the ins and outs of relocating to Costa Rica, plus invaluable advice on the area you are moving to. They are listing properties that they know will meet the expectations of an expat buying property. A big problem with classified ads is that you have very little information to go on, and you have to believe what the owner tells you on the phone. You will waste a lot of time seeing properties that don't have enough closet space, bathrooms or bedroom area when you look at classified ads. By comparison a good agent will pre-screen properties and won't list those that don't meet certain standards.

 

Finding a reputable broker

There are a lot of questions that you can ask of and about any broker to find out what their experience is and how they run their business. Here are a few to get you started:

- How long have they lived in Costa Rica? In the area they specialize in?

- How long have they been an agent? Have they owned other businesses in Costa Rica?

- Do they own property themselves?

- Do they have a web site? An office? A land line?

- Can they give you references?

- Do they work real estate full time?

 

Also trust your instincts. Does the person have more than one property they can show you? Do they seem more interested in making the sale, or more interested that your needs are met? Do they work with other agents and brokers?

 

In summary, an experienced real estate agent can be an invaluable resource for you when you buy property in Costa Rica. While you cannot trust ALL brokers, it is totally unfair to say you cannot trust ANY agents. Good brokers aren't so hard to find and you will be amazed the resources they can bring to bear to help you make a smooth transition.

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Russ, thanks for an interesting and hopefully helpful insight to agents here in Costa Rica.

Especially this paragraph

"Finding a reputable broker

There are a lot of questions that you can ask of and about any broker to find out what their experience is and how they run their business. Here are a few to get you started:

- How long have they lived in Costa Rica? In the area they specialize in?

- How long have they been an agent? Have they owned other businesses in Costa Rica?

- Do they own property themselves?

- Do they have a web site? An office? A land line?

- Can they give you references?

- Do they work real estate full time? "

 

One other point you mentioned, " You get instant access to their experience and knowledge, not just of real estate in general but all the ins and outs of relocating to Costa Rica, plus invaluable advice on the area you are moving to."

I think this is most important as many new 'agents' who arrive in Costa Rica have no clue to what is happening in the area they are now trying to sell.

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I started the post to see if I could locate others people that might have had similar experiences as us when dealing with real estate in Cr. Below is our story of buying property in CR from Cr-home and the nightmare the whole thing has been. Since this story was posted on their site Randy has deleted it twice and then he did away totally with his FORUM on the Cr-Home website to try to cover up this mess. The latest news on top of what you will read below is that they have decided to not pay for any of the lawyer fees, lost time or other expenses we have incurred during this buying process.

 

 

"My wife and I, like many of you, found CR-Home through the internet while looking for “our piece of heaven” in Costa Rica. We were in contact with Randy via email for the following two years and followed their website looking for the perfect property and follow what was going on in Costa Rica. We were very fond of their “two story cabina” and the published price of 35-40K seemed to be in our budget. After making our final decision to make the dream happen and move to Costa Rica, we contacted Randy and set up a few days to visit properties we had seen on the internet and some that were not published. We were invited to stay at their cabina while we were going to be in the Grecia area, and so we did. We traveled with Cr-Home employees for three days and after some debate, made a decision on what we thought would be “our perfect fit”. We went back to the office to discuss details and future plans. We were shown the plans of the property and were told at this time that the property had all utilities on it and it was a buildable lot because it had a “visado” stamp among others official looking stamps. After over two years of talking with Cr-Home we felt comfortable believing what they were saying and trusting that they had done all the checking in to the property that was needed to buy it and build on it. This is what we were told at the time by Randy. After this meeting with Randy, and confirmation that everything was final with the land purchase we began to design our future home with the help of Rhonda and their architect, Gerald. We were sent ideas that we liked and my wife and I altered the plans to match our liking better. We were using their “cabina” template to work with and felt that if we did so, the price would be close to what they advertised on their website. A few months passed and we had become official landowners in Costa rica with blueprints to build. The architect for Cr-Home had our plans and finished them in 6 weeks, we were ready to build…or so we thought. I then planned a five week trip to Costa Rica to oversee the land development and to begin the construction process on the home design we had chosen. First thing that was set up to be done on the land was back hoe grading work, excavation and road gravel delivered and installed where the future driveway would go. Everything was moving forward SLOWLY but surely. It is Costa Rica and this is the way things move, slow. THEN, the bottom dropped out! It was on the third week of my time here when I was approached by a Grecia Municipality worker who had seen us doing work on the land. He advised me that we needed to check for an “uso de suelo” on the land because he felt like it was very close to a “tapped water well”. I then called Randy at CR-Home and told him this news and he once again assured me that with the “visado” we could build there. He also stated once again, “I have done everything prior to you purchasing the lot to ensure you could build on it.” A request was made for a map from the CR-Home topographer to show these “water springs”. Four days passed and we were told and shown a detailed map of our Carbonal property and it was confirmed that there were indeed two active springs that were capped and supplying water to Grecia right next door to our property. I emailed Randy while he was on vacation in the states, and told him of my frustrations and my feeling that we had been let down, misrepresented and lied too. He replied and once again told me that, “he had done everything in his power to ensure we could build and that there are a lot of grey areas in Costa Rica now with the regulations on construction changing over the last few months.”

Have any of you ever read anything on his site or in their newsletters that addresses’ “new regulations and these changes that cause grey areas in construction in Costa Rica.” In fact, when I talked to the Cr-Home attorney, he said that there were no “grey areas” as long as the proper steps are taken, and there had been no recent changed to the regulations.

I was then advised by one homebuilder and a CR-Home sales rep to go to the municipality of Grecia and request the official “uso de suelo” on the property. I did so and was told it would take 8-15 days to hear the outcome. Have any of you heard the term “Uso De Suelo” or of an organization by the name of the MINAE? After living here now in Grecia and meeting people, hearing similar sounding horror stories, knowing how things here work, I know that many of you that have purchased land and don’t have an Uso De Suelo and have never heard of the Minae. So let me do the honors and tell you about the MINAE and the “use de suelo.” The MINAE is an environmental group that does all it can to regulate and control deforestation, protection of the land, locate sensitive environment zones, protect water ways, locate water springs, create water caps on springs so that Costa Rica can have great drinking water, and the list goes on. The MINAE has been around for a long time, you can GOOGLE search MINAE and get more info. The municipality and the MINAE issue the Uso De Suelo, which means the “use of the soil”. This letter from the Municipality is your ticket to know what you can do on your own land. Without this letter the “perfect property” you own might just be farmland and never be able to be built on. Recently we were told that the MINAE was finding up to 10 “water springs” a day on Cajon De Grecia. These water springs stop all construction within 100 meters if it is not being used, or “capped” and no construction allowed within 200 meters if it is being used for supply to the municipality. If I only knew then what I know now, we would not be in this situation. Also, about the “visado” stamp, we were told by Randy this was all you needed to build, this is not the case at all. It is just one of many stamps needed prior to getting the green light to build. Oh and the stamps all expire after THREE years, not NEVER, like we were told. As for the “35-40K cabinas they advertise, I showed the plans to three of their own builders and the bids were not even close to what they advertise. The first bid was over 90K, second one was 65K and the final one was from a guy that would build it but take a lot longer. We never actually got a final bid from the last guy because he would build and get paid weekly until the home is done. Kind of shady HUH?? What you will learn if you plan on building here is that all the good builders you would actually trust your future investment to, will only bid on “contract” like they do traditionally in the states. If you do choose to build without a contract and pay week to week, good luck! I personally want some warranty on the labor and materials of my investment as there is little in terms of home insurance here.

So here we are now 8 months after we closed on the purchase of our land in Carbonal. We have hired an attorney to represent us and our interests in this nightmare. We in fact should be moving in to our dream home in Cost Rica this month but instead are still dealing with this mess and still living in a rental home. One way or another CR-home has an attorney that has supposedly gotten this resolved yet we still don’t have the new “uso del suelo”. This is a direct quote from an email Randy sent to me after his attorney “took care” of this part of the situation. “Thanks to Luis and the connections he has in the municipality, it has been handled. It is unfortunate that things have turned out to be as frustrating as they did. But you are in Costa Rica and much of the time the areas are gray instead of black and white.” There again is this “black and white” term he uses with me but never cares to bring up in his newsletters. Just when you think things couldn’t get worse, they did. This past month we found out that the property “that had all utilities and services” already in place does not. I had a meeting with the water director for Carbonal and he advised me that our property has no water at the road but it is in the works to be put in with in the next year. By this point you probably think this is a joke but it really isn’t. The water director said they have been working on getting the money to supply municipal water to this part of the hill for over 5 years but no funding has been available. Turns out that our neighbors have been there for a long time and have wells for water for their homes. The water director did give us the option to try and “experiment” and bring our own pipe and connections to try to run a line from a lower holding tank some 150 meters away up the hill to our property. He really did not have to allow this “experiment” but after he heard our story he felt bad enough to allow this to be done. This whole time I am of course remembering just how many times I have read the words due diligence, transparency and integrity in Randy’s news letters and articles.

 

This is our experience that we are dealing with now. Please let me know your comments and thoughts if you have them. Good or bad, I want to know what you all think. If you have questions or need additional information that I might know after having to go through this nightmare please email me. Thanks for your attention and opinions.

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I started the post to see if I could locate others people that might have had similar experiences as us when dealing with real estate in Cr. Below is our story of buying property in CR from Cr-home and the nightmare the whole thing has been. Since this story was posted on their site Randy has deleted it twice and then he did away totally with his FORUM on the Cr-Home website to try to cover up this mess. The latest news on top of what you will read below is that they have decided to not pay for any of the lawyer fees, lost time or other expenses we have incurred during this buying process.

 

 

"My wife and I, like many of you, found CR-Home through the internet while looking for “our piece of heaven” in Costa Rica. We were in contact with Randy via email for the following two years and followed their website looking for the perfect property and follow what was going on in Costa Rica. We were very fond of their “two story cabina” and the published price of 35-40K seemed to be in our budget. After making our final decision to make the dream happen and move to Costa Rica, we contacted Randy and set up a few days to visit properties we had seen on the internet and some that were not published. We were invited to stay at their cabina while we were going to be in the Grecia area, and so we did. We traveled with Cr-Home employees for three days and after some debate, made a decision on what we thought would be “our perfect fit”. We went back to the office to discuss details and future plans. We were shown the plans of the property and were told at this time that the property had all utilities on it and it was a buildable lot because it had a “visado” stamp among others official looking stamps. After over two years of talking with Cr-Home we felt comfortable believing what they were saying and trusting that they had done all the checking in to the property that was needed to buy it and build on it. This is what we were told at the time by Randy. After this meeting with Randy, and confirmation that everything was final with the land purchase we began to design our future home with the help of Rhonda and their architect, Gerald. We were sent ideas that we liked and my wife and I altered the plans to match our liking better. We were using their “cabina” template to work with and felt that if we did so, the price would be close to what they advertised on their website. A few months passed and we had become official landowners in Costa rica with blueprints to build. The architect for Cr-Home had our plans and finished them in 6 weeks, we were ready to build…or so we thought. I then planned a five week trip to Costa Rica to oversee the land development and to begin the construction process on the home design we had chosen. First thing that was set up to be done on the land was back hoe grading work, excavation and road gravel delivered and installed where the future driveway would go. Everything was moving forward SLOWLY but surely. It is Costa Rica and this is the way things move, slow. THEN, the bottom dropped out! It was on the third week of my time here when I was approached by a Grecia Municipality worker who had seen us doing work on the land. He advised me that we needed to check for an “uso de suelo” on the land because he felt like it was very close to a “tapped water well”. I then called Randy at CR-Home and told him this news and he once again assured me that with the “visado” we could build there. He also stated once again, “I have done everything prior to you purchasing the lot to ensure you could build on it.” A request was made for a map from the CR-Home topographer to show these “water springs”. Four days passed and we were told and shown a detailed map of our Carbonal property and it was confirmed that there were indeed two active springs that were capped and supplying water to Grecia right next door to our property. I emailed Randy while he was on vacation in the states, and told him of my frustrations and my feeling that we had been let down, misrepresented and lied too. He replied and once again told me that, “he had done everything in his power to ensure we could build and that there are a lot of grey areas in Costa Rica now with the regulations on construction changing over the last few months.”

Have any of you ever read anything on his site or in their newsletters that addresses’ “new regulations and these changes that cause grey areas in construction in Costa Rica.” In fact, when I talked to the Cr-Home attorney, he said that there were no “grey areas” as long as the proper steps are taken, and there had been no recent changed to the regulations.

I was then advised by one homebuilder and a CR-Home sales rep to go to the municipality of Grecia and request the official “uso de suelo” on the property. I did so and was told it would take 8-15 days to hear the outcome. Have any of you heard the term “Uso De Suelo” or of an organization by the name of the MINAE? After living here now in Grecia and meeting people, hearing similar sounding horror stories, knowing how things here work, I know that many of you that have purchased land and don’t have an Uso De Suelo and have never heard of the Minae. So let me do the honors and tell you about the MINAE and the “use de suelo.” The MINAE is an environmental group that does all it can to regulate and control deforestation, protection of the land, locate sensitive environment zones, protect water ways, locate water springs, create water caps on springs so that Costa Rica can have great drinking water, and the list goes on. The MINAE has been around for a long time, you can GOOGLE search MINAE and get more info. The municipality and the MINAE issue the Uso De Suelo, which means the “use of the soil”. This letter from the Municipality is your ticket to know what you can do on your own land. Without this letter the “perfect property” you own might just be farmland and never be able to be built on. Recently we were told that the MINAE was finding up to 10 “water springs” a day on Cajon De Grecia. These water springs stop all construction within 100 meters if it is not being used, or “capped” and no construction allowed within 200 meters if it is being used for supply to the municipality. If I only knew then what I know now, we would not be in this situation. Also, about the “visado” stamp, we were told by Randy this was all you needed to build, this is not the case at all. It is just one of many stamps needed prior to getting the green light to build. Oh and the stamps all expire after THREE years, not NEVER, like we were told. As for the “35-40K cabinas they advertise, I showed the plans to three of their own builders and the bids were not even close to what they advertise. The first bid was over 90K, second one was 65K and the final one was from a guy that would build it but take a lot longer. We never actually got a final bid from the last guy because he would build and get paid weekly until the home is done. Kind of shady HUH?? What you will learn if you plan on building here is that all the good builders you would actually trust your future investment to, will only bid on “contract” like they do traditionally in the states. If you do choose to build without a contract and pay week to week, good luck! I personally want some warranty on the labor and materials of my investment as there is little in terms of home insurance here.

So here we are now 8 months after we closed on the purchase of our land in Carbonal. We have hired an attorney to represent us and our interests in this nightmare. We in fact should be moving in to our dream home in Cost Rica this month but instead are still dealing with this mess and still living in a rental home. One way or another CR-home has an attorney that has supposedly gotten this resolved yet we still don’t have the new “uso del suelo”. This is a direct quote from an email Randy sent to me after his attorney “took care” of this part of the situation. “Thanks to Luis and the connections he has in the municipality, it has been handled. It is unfortunate that things have turned out to be as frustrating as they did. But you are in Costa Rica and much of the time the areas are gray instead of black and white.” There again is this “black and white” term he uses with me but never cares to bring up in his newsletters. Just when you think things couldn’t get worse, they did. This past month we found out that the property “that had all utilities and services” already in place does not. I had a meeting with the water director for Carbonal and he advised me that our property has no water at the road but it is in the works to be put in with in the next year. By this point you probably think this is a joke but it really isn’t. The water director said they have been working on getting the money to supply municipal water to this part of the hill for over 5 years but no funding has been available. Turns out that our neighbors have been there for a long time and have wells for water for their homes. The water director did give us the option to try and “experiment” and bring our own pipe and connections to try to run a line from a lower holding tank some 150 meters away up the hill to our property. He really did not have to allow this “experiment” but after he heard our story he felt bad enough to allow this to be done. This whole time I am of course remembering just how many times I have read the words due diligence, transparency and integrity in Randy’s news letters and articles.

 

This is our experience that we are dealing with now. Please let me know your comments and thoughts if you have them. Good or bad, I want to know what you all think. If you have questions or need additional information that I might know after having to go through this nightmare please email me. Thanks for your attention and opinions.

The way I see it, you have maybe a couple of options! Try to sell it to some other unsuspecting person, or, let it sit and hope some squatters sit on it for a year or so! It seems to me that if this lot sits empty, and someone claims that he got injured on it, (for some made up reason, or real reason), an if you don't have liability insurance on it, you could possibly be in big trouble. One other thought; if you could con a "gavilane" into transferring the title in the national registry to himself, you may be home free!

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Ultimately, it looks to me as if you waited too long to ask these questions. Did you not have a CR attorney to represent your interests at the time of purchase? That, unfortunately, is the first and foremost rule in buying property in CR.

 

You say you now have hired an attorney, so I would guess your best bet is to hope like hell he/she is a good one. Meanwhile, from everything I have read and heard, to win out in any litigation, you will need the patience of Job, and a not inconsiderable sum of money. Personally, I am not at all impressed with the advice you have received from my friend, Newman, because his outlook is totally negative. Keep talking to your future neighbors, and consider trying to find an attorney who knows the local municipality/politicos, 'cause your best hope of defeating this "realtor" is going to be to beat him over the head with the power of 'who you know vs. what you know,' if you know what I mean (no pun intended).

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You have got yourself a problem!

Can you build on the property at all? In a different location from where you were intending to build?

If so, consider drilling a well. Or can you access the water on it, via 'ground seepage?

Power, how accessible is it? Does it pass by your entryway? How much to get hooked up?

Phone, more of a problem, but with cellular you could live with it.

In regards to the home pricing, if you went on pricing two years earlier, you must have know the prices have risen.

By the way, we used a Tico for a total renovation and we paid him by the week plus we bought construction materials. We were pleased with both the work and the cost., so it really may not be as scary as you think.

Maybe, the builder Randy was taken in by the seller, and 'thought' everything was fine. But in that case, he should at least reimburse you for lawyer fees etc.

 

Everyone should really check when someone subdivides farmland. Wait until all the permits are in place and have them checked by an unaffiliated lawyer before you sign on the dotted line

 

Send a copy of your letter to the Tico Times, and other 'on-line newspapers informing Randy beforehand, but realize you can be jailed for slander in Costa Rica.

 

A good example of being too good to be true, but at your expense.

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