Jump to content
sunnysadie

Beginning my search for area to possibly make my home

Recommended Posts

Hello -

I am just beginning the process of deciding whether or not I will move to CR. I've been reading this forum and researching on the web and have gotten some great information. I will be visiting within the next week and due to limited time, I would like to focus on the areas that have a temperate climate, year round green, clean air, great gardening and 15-20 minutes to shopping(not necessarily large stores). It gets confusing trying to find which area provides all of these things - and, as I stated, I don't want to wast my time visiting areas that are 90 degrees and dusty.

Can any one offer any suggestions?

 

Thanks -

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello -

I am just beginning the process of deciding whether or not I will move to CR. I've been reading this forum and researching on the web and have gotten some great information. I will be visiting within the next week and due to limited time, I would like to focus on the areas that have a temperate climate, year round green, clean air, great gardening and 15-20 minutes to shopping(not necessarily large stores). It gets confusing trying to find which area provides all of these things - and, as I stated, I don't want to wast my time visiting areas that are 90 degrees and dusty.

Can any one offer any suggestions?

 

Thanks -

First of all I am not a long time resident of C/R having looked around for many years and decided to live in a particular town for the particular reasons you suggest. I have been to C/R a number of times over the past years, have done a lot of research and happy to share with you what I know. Your statement about being in the process of deciding to move to C/R needs some clarification. Are you looking at C/R as well as other countries?If you will be visiting with limited time then it will be difficult as I found many areas of C/R where I think I would enjoy living. Everything (almost) will grow in C/R and if you enjoy gardening then you could certainly pick no better spot. The central valley is cooler....75-80 degrees... than the beaches...10 degrees warmer... and I have not been any area that is dusty. Most areas away from San Jose, even the towns have clean air and you can buy most everything you need. there are several areas I like and have been in touch with some realtors in different areas. There are also some other websites you might look at "I love Costa Rica", "the real Costa Rica" and etc., etc. If i can be of further help message me......john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello -

I am just beginning the process of deciding whether or not I will move to CR. I've been reading this forum and researching on the web and have gotten some great information. I will be visiting within the next week and due to limited time, I would like to focus on the areas that have a temperate climate, year round green, clean air, great gardening and 15-20 minutes to shopping(not necessarily large stores). It gets confusing trying to find which area provides all of these things - and, as I stated, I don't want to wast my time visiting areas that are 90 degrees and dusty.

Can any one offer any suggestions?

 

Thanks -

 

Find a place to rent and stay for at least 3 months. Any suburb around San Jose should give you what you want. The higher in the mountains the better in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Come to Guanacaste!I'm from San José, Costa Rica, and I move to Guanacaste because the life here, it's a good life, no stress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By all means come and visit Costa Rica! But please read every single entry on The Real Costa Rica (TRCR) before considering whether to move. Most important: read both the positive AND negative parts. TRCR is the only truely balanced presentation that doesn't sell C.R. or justify having moved here.

 

Even the really good work done by Andy Browne (boomers offshore) presents the negatives in a humorous manner. It makes it a more inviting production but masks how much a negative experience might really affect you. For instance, are you willing to stand in lines for long periods (hour or more at times), wear insect repellent all the time, wait in the rain for a bus, or drive slowly over rutted or pothole strewn roads? If you move almost anywhere in the country (except San Jose) those are common practices. Some people find them unbearable, others of us shrug them off.

 

If you're a tolerant, positive sort of person (and a Type 'B'), who knows or is willing to immediately learn Spanish, your chances are better. It is a different country and culture, and I enjoy it.

 

Personally, I enjoy every area of the Central Valley and for different reasons. Without more knowledge of your personality, wants/dislikes, and more... I couldn't suggest a particular spot. I echo PV in that you need to spend a few months before you'll have an inkling whether C.R. is for you.

 

If you plan to rent, are you ok with an apartment? close neighbors? noise (car alarms, horns, loud music)? The more "no" answers the higher the cost and difficulty finding a spot. The $200-500 rentals either have those characteristics or are very remote in the country. Otherwise rents zoom up over $1000, with nice Escazu condos asking much, much more... and little room to garden.

 

If you'd share a bit more information perhaps forum members can help narrow your search.

CD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and 15-20 minutes to shopping-

 

Sorry, but I have to laugh at the above. As a long-time anti-car bicycle advocate, I have learned that geography has come to be popularly measured by driving time, and this is what I assume you mean. How can you be 15-20 minutes from anything without assuming (but interestingly not stating) the speed of your transportation? Since you don't state whether it is by sailboat, horse, skateboard, or walking, etc., I guess we are supposed to assume that you mean driving a private-passenger motor vehicle. I'll even go so far as to guess that you are assuming a vehicle with four wheels rather than two. The motorcycles make it much faster than cars here do.

 

But let's not add time of day (another geographic parameter). In my neighborhood and many others, driving time doubles or more during rush hour.

 

Anyway, 80% of Ticos don't have a car, and almost every last one of them are within way less that 15 minutes by foot from "shopping." Since they don't have cars, people open little stores in every neighborhood. They may not have the best prices or have everything you want, but then again they don't have Wal-Marts here either (yet).

 

As for driving, do the math. Figure out how much time you spend working to pay for your car, to fill it with gas, to have the oil changed, to buy tires, to pay for the garage in which it has to be secured, to buy the insurance, then add THAT to your 15-20 minutes driving time. What you will find is that if you hoof it you will go faster. I mean, divide the time spent paying for as well as getting to where you are going by the distance you travel, and you don't go anywhere near as fast as you feel you do.

 

The nice thing about CR is that you don't have to fool with a car no matter where you live. People do, but for Ticos it's generally pretentiousness and for gringos a habit. In either case, it's irrational.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for driving, do the math. Figure out how much time you spend working to pay for your car, to fill it with gas, to have the oil changed, to buy tires, to pay for the garage in which it has to be secured, to buy the insurance, then add THAT to your 15-20 minutes driving time. What you will find is that if you hoof it you will go faster. I mean, divide the time spent paying for as well as getting to where you are going by the distance you travel, and you don't go anywhere near as fast as you feel you do.

 

The nice thing about CR is that you don't have to fool with a car no matter where you live. People do, but for Ticos it's generally pretentiousness and for gringos a habit. In either case, it's irrational.

 

Kenn: This was a really helpful post. My friend, Paul, who lives in Alajuela, says that over a two month period, which included buying some furniture & appliances, he only spent $350 in taxi bills, and that also included his driver waiting for him on several occasions. As you mention, if you add up the expenses of maintaining your personal car, the frustrations involved, etc., I can see that our 2-legged "wheels", the bus, or building a relaltionship with a Tico driver is most practical.

 

You're right, also, about our having a car & driving everywhere being a habit in the U.S. (of course, we live 3-miles to the closest grocery store, and when I was working, I was 23-miles to the office.) Until we get to C/R, it's difficult to imagine the "walking distance from your home" mom & pop stores, but, I am looking forward to it.

 

So... if you want to take a day trip to the other side of the Central Valley, or to the Pacific side to check out properties, would you suggest the Tico driver, renting a car for the day, or....? Thanks again for this post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone, but particularily Sunnysadie and Barb45,

A good decade ago, when we had decided that we would enjoy retiring to a garden, with a house, in Costa Rica, we made a list of requirements for a residence. One of these was that it must be no more than 500m from an all-season road and no more that a 15 min walk from a pulperia.(grocery, convenience store) That was the transportation requirement.

By the way, we did find OUR paradise.

Since then:

..we walk daily to the local village (10 - 15 min) which has a pulperia, a church, a school, a CEN (early childhood education and nutririon centre) a soda (unlicensed restaurant) and a bar that is sometimes open, a bus stop with a bench, a pay telephone

..we have used the public bus to the nearest town and then on to San Jose and other destinations. The busses are comfortable, informative re. normal life in Costa Rica, and cheap.

..we have made friends with a local, unlicensed(pirata) 'taxi' driver, who takes us to unfamiliar locations, picks us up at the airport, collects guests from the airport when it is after dark, and drives us to activities that might include alcohol or returning after dark

..we have purchased 4W drive car which we use for taking trips during the day when we feel like acting like North Americans, ie. shopping at 'box'stores, or trips lasting several days to the beach or the city

When you start out, it would be adviseable to do the transportation routine in that order. However, yoour needs may be different from ours.

Lots of Luck,

AnneLise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello everyone, but particularily Sunnysadie and Barb45,

A good decade ago, when we had decided that we would enjoy retiring to a garden, with a house, in Costa Rica, we made a list of requirements for a residence. One of these was that it must be no more than 500m from an all-season road and no more that a 15 min walk from a pulperia.(grocery, convenience store) That was the transportation requirement.

By the way, we did find OUR paradise.

Since then:

..we walk daily to the local village (10 - 15 min) which has a pulperia, a church, a school, a CEN (early childhood education and nutririon centre) a soda (unlicensed restaurant) and a bar that is sometimes open, a bus stop with a bench, a pay telephone

..we have used the public bus to the nearest town and then on to San Jose and other destinations. The busses are comfortable, informative re. normal life in Costa Rica, and cheap.

..we have made friends with a local, unlicensed(pirata) 'taxi' driver, who takes us to unfamiliar locations, picks us up at the airport, collects guests from the airport when it is after dark, and drives us to activities that might include alcohol or returning after dark

..we have purchased 4W drive car which we use for taking trips during the day when we feel like acting like North Americans, ie. shopping at 'box'stores, or trips lasting several days to the beach or the city

When you start out, it would be adviseable to do the transportation routine in that order. However, yoour needs may be different from ours.

Lots of Luck,

AnneLise

 

I would like to hear more opinions about the taxi alternative to owning a car. I know how cheap taxis are in SJ for local journeys, but how about longer journeys? Has anyone used them for going to and from the resort areas or for generally seeing the country. I am not talking just about day trips but also about using different taxis for the go and return trips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to hear more opinions about the taxi alternative to owning a car. I know how cheap taxis are in SJ for local journeys, but how about longer journeys? Has anyone used them for going to and from the resort areas or for generally seeing the country. I am not talking just about day trips but also about using different taxis for the go and return trips.

Taxis for long trips like from SJ to the beach can be expensive. Like around $100. Unless you can cut a good deal with a pirata. I have a contact who is a regular red taxi driver during the week who, on Sundays, will take me anywhere I want to go, for the whole day for $20. Sundays are pretty quiet for him so this keeps him busy.

 

Don't forget that there is excelent bus service to many resort areas. Although some of the very remote areas might be a very long trip by bus. There is also Interbus and Grey Line who service many resort areas. Not as cheap as a public bus but air conditioned and usually more comfortable. Still cheaper than a taxi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello everyone, but particularily Sunnysadie and Barb45,

A good decade ago, when we had decided that we would enjoy retiring to a garden, with a house, in Costa Rica, we made a list of requirements for a residence. One of these was that it must be no more than 500m from an all-season road and no more that a 15 min walk from a pulperia.(grocery, convenience store) That was the transportation requirement.

By the way, we did find OUR paradise.

Since then:

..we walk daily to the local village (10 - 15 min) which has a pulperia, a church, a school, a CEN (early childhood education and nutririon centre) a soda (unlicensed restaurant) and a bar that is sometimes open, a bus stop with a bench, a pay telephone

..we have used the public bus to the nearest town and then on to San Jose and other destinations. The busses are comfortable, informative re. normal life in Costa Rica, and cheap.

..we have made friends with a local, unlicensed(pirata) 'taxi' driver, who takes us to unfamiliar locations, picks us up at the airport, collects guests from the airport when it is after dark, and drives us to activities that might include alcohol or returning after dark

..we have purchased 4W drive car which we use for taking trips during the day when we feel like acting like North Americans, ie. shopping at 'box'stores, or trips lasting several days to the beach or the city

When you start out, it would be adviseable to do the transportation routine in that order. However, yoour needs may be different from ours.

Lots of Luck,

AnneLise

 

Thank you. This is helpful, and I enjoy the way you write. We, too, are looking for a garden, with a house--that's picturesque! May I ask a (possibly silly) question? Does anyone use golf carts to go to the local village from the house? No, I am not lazy, but my hubby is 94 yrs. old, and has difficulty walking to the corner. Sometimes, just to get him "out" we'll take a ride on the golf cart with our dog. The cart was actually a 'dog transportation' necessity when we moved to the Desert in CA. The pavement was too hot to have the dogs walk to the dog run, and they were too heavy to carry. Thus, the golf cart--which has been a God-send over the last 8-yrs. We're not even golfers....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depending on the quality of the road where you settle, and the distance you need to cover, it might be a good idea to use a golf cart. However, sidewalks in Costa Rica tend to be very uneven, so use the paved road. In our town, we still see people on horseback, so why not a golf cart?

We bought a 4W drive ATV which we use both on and off road, so it has a licence plate and we have to pay annual tax and insurance. We had a trailer built to fit it and enjoy the freedom it gives us.

AnneLise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There was an arrogant old american guy who rode a cart all over rohromoser. I think you would be fine.

 

Now, David, from the "tone" of my posts, do you think I could ever be arrogant?!? More like Aggie Mac!! Besides, I have flowers sticking out of the divit sand holders... "What say you?" :rolleyes: Barb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.