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jklewis

Moving and need a reputable realtor.

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My family of 4 is very interested in moving to Costa Rica. Right now my wife is in San Jose and is meeting with some realtors. Our plan is to rent at first so we can find the perfect place to move in. We don't want to rush in.

 

Our problem is finding good realtors who aren't interested in simply turning a quick dollar. We want a true pura vida and we don't want a gated community. We have lived in New York City for years and we want to live more simply. This isn't as important for the rental as it is for the house we eventually buy.

Two questions:

What does a 3 bedroom rental normally go for?

Where can we find a good realtor for Central Valley? We seem to have a problem finding anyone to show us homes in lower Heredia and in Escazú. Many play on fears of safety, but we are not fearful of Tico culture.

Any advice is helpful.

As I said, my wife is in San Jose right now and will be there this week. This is a great opportunity for a realtor to make a relationship with our family that will be very beneficial when we choose our final home.

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I would not go the realtor route if I were you. Look at advertisements in the newspapers, including the on-line English language newspapers and check them out.

 

However, the very best way to rent a moderately priced house, condo, apartment or whatever is to just go to an area and ask around and look around. You might see something in a neighborhood that is appealing to you and you might see a sign on something that is for rent. Ask at hotels also. If you see a realtor in an area that you like stop in and inquire. Realize you will most likely pay more by going through a realtor.

 

You might be able to find a short-term rental where you can get a "taste" of the area before you commit to something longer.

 

It's kind of like trying to find someplace to rent in the Bronx by asking a realtor in Manhattan! You have to "go local."

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My family of 4 is very interested in moving to Costa Rica. Right now my wife is in San Jose and is meeting with some realtors. Our plan is to rent at first so we can find the perfect place to move in. We don't want to rush in.

 

Our problem is finding good realtors who aren't interested in simply turning a quick dollar. We want a true pura vida and we don't want a gated community. We have lived in New York City for years and we want to live more simply. This isn't as important for the rental as it is for the house we eventually buy.

Two questions:

What does a 3 bedroom rental normally go for?

Where can we find a good realtor for Central Valley? We seem to have a problem finding anyone to show us homes in lower Heredia and in Escazú. Many play on fears of safety, but we are not fearful of Tico culture.

Any advice is helpful.

As I said, my wife is in San Jose right now and will be there this week. This is a great opportunity for a realtor to make a relationship with our family that will be very beneficial when we choose our final home.

You're going way to fast - check around and SCOUR these forums before taking ANY action. I'd advise you to stay away from everyone until you have the lay of the land, and figure out what is gong on here!!

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I second what Newman says. WAIT. You do not need a realtor to find a rental. And when it is time to buy, you will know who the snakes are, and there are alot of snakes. Some of my best friends are real estate agents and so are some of my worst enemies!!!

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We are, unfortunately, on a timetable.

 

We have done as much research as we could from the states, but my wife is very likely to acquire a rental this week so that we can move in and start a search for a home and take our time doing it.

 

We need to make the transition because we need to sell our home here in order to afford residency there and of course to buy the new home.

 

So for now we need to know people, meet them and how to get lucky enough not to get biten by the snakes. :-)

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Okay, I'll bite, from all your research, why did you pick Escazu area to live in if you want to live the Tico culture?

And why do you have to buy a house? Why can't you rent? You say you have to sell your home in the states on order to afford to apply for residency so how are you gonna make ends meet? Do you have a virtual job? One that you can do online and work from home? Cuz ya know you can't work here unless you are a permanent resident (takes 3yrs from the temporary residency) - and if your wife is getting a job with a company that is relocating her here - say, Intel, why can't they refer you to a real estate person?

 

There are a number of websites where you can get a general idea of who deals in real estate. And as John said, there are NO regulations for that industry here, so plenty of snakes can get jobs selling dirt. And two snakes, I mean, agents, working in two different companies, selling the same house may have 2 different prices for the same house. There is no REAL MLS here.

Happy hunting. Wear some high boots.

Also remember: in Costa Rica it will be easy to find something to buy (everything is for sale) but if and when you need to sell, it may take FOREVER!!

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We are, unfortunately, on a timetable.

 

We have done as much research as we could from the states, but my wife is very likely to acquire a rental this week so that we can move in and start a search for a home and take our time doing it.

 

We need to make the transition because we need to sell our home here in order to afford residency there and of course to buy the new home.

 

So for now we need to know people, meet them and how to get lucky enough not to get biten by the snakes. :-)

Timetable? Moving to a foreign country should not be done on a timetable - Have you ever been here before? May I suggest that you go to AMCOSTARICA.COM and download/printout everything written by Garland Baker. I wouldn't do anything without going through the ARCR (including hiring a lawyer - also ARCR handles real estate)Realize that by taking the action in the manner you are contemplating you are, quite probably, falling into the "Black Hole of Calcutta"! Don't ever forget how many people left here with a million dollars. The problem is they came here with 5 or 6 million!! Respectfully

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My family of 4 is very interested in moving to Costa Rica. Right now my wife is in San Jose and is meeting with some realtors. Our plan is to rent at first so we can find the perfect place to move in. We don't want to rush in.

 

Our problem is finding good realtors who aren't interested in simply turning a quick dollar. We want a true pura vida and we don't want a gated community. We have lived in New York City for years and we want to live more simply. This isn't as important for the rental as it is for the house we eventually buy.

Two questions:

What does a 3 bedroom rental normally go for?

Where can we find a good realtor for Central Valley? We seem to have a problem finding anyone to show us homes in lower Heredia and in Escazú. Many play on fears of safety, but we are not fearful of Tico culture.

Any advice is helpful.

As I said, my wife is in San Jose right now and will be there this week. This is a great opportunity for a realtor to make a relationship with our family that will be very beneficial when we choose our final home.

If your really serious, PM me - I know of a place. Very good friend of mine, 89 years old wants to sell "yesterday"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Okay, I'll bite, from all your research, why did you pick Escazu area to live in if you want to live the Tico culture?

And why do you have to buy a house? Why can't you rent? You say you have to sell your home in the states on order to afford to apply for residency so how are you gonna make ends meet? Do you have a virtual job? One that you can do online and work from home? Cuz ya know you can't work here unless you are a permanent resident (takes 3yrs from the temporary residency) - and if your wife is getting a job with a company that is relocating her here - say, Intel, why can't they refer you to a real estate person?

 

Also remember: in Costa Rica it will be easy to find something to buy (everything is for sale) but if and when you need to sell, it may take FOREVER!!

 

We want to rent first and have the year to find the right house to move into.

 

I make websites and work remotely. I will continue to do that, which isn't against the law. I may start a business, but obviously I would have to hire Ticos to work it. No problem there, as I have researched the tech community and there are decent web developers in CR.

 

I have been to Costa Rica before on business, my wife and children are visiting for the first.

 

We have done our homework by speaking with people who have lived there and reading like crazy. Sample of what we've been reading:

 

Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica - Christopher Howard

Unraveling the Mysteries of Moving to Costa Rica - Arden Rembert Brink

Costa Rica - D.K.

The Expert Expatriate - Brayer Hess and Linderman

Living Abroad in Costa Rica - Erin Van Rheenen

How to Retire Overseas - Peddicord

GenXPat - Malewski

Getting Out - Ehrman

Costa Rica day by day - Frommers

The Cities Book

 

 

Of these, the first two were most helpful to us in terms to knowing what to expect.

 

We know, for example:

 

  • I can own a business but I can't work at one.
  • Hiring a maid has a lot of strings and you have to know the laws
  • Real Estate laws require due diligence because the realtor can sell at any price, regardless of what the owner is asking.
  • Some scams require diligence in finding out through The Registry who the true owner of a property is.
  • Appraisers are very important.
  • You can't live without a lawyer. The law is Napoleonic and it can take years (like almost everything else in CR) to resolve business.

This is just a snippet to explain that we are coming with our eyes open.

 

We joined here late, unfortunately, and I seriously wish I had known about this site earlier. We don't want to live in a gated community and we don't want to be taken for a ride with our money. We are serious and any help is appreciate greatly. I know a lot of you are probably thinking we are crazy since this is the first time you've heard of us and you've probably seen plenty of people fail to do what we are trying to do. I will listen to every warning you give me and try to find a way to use it, but the die has been cast and we are coming to Costa Rica. :)

Edited by jklewis

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We have done our homework by ... reading like crazy.

 

One other book to read is CHOOSE COSTA RICA FOR RETIREMENT, 9th ed., by John Howells. it's available on Amazon.com and at booksellers like Barnes & Noble.

 

John lives in CR half the year and offers a lot of very useful information.

 

HTH

 

Paul M.

==

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One other book to read is CHOOSE COSTA RICA FOR RETIREMENT, 9th ed., by John Howells. it's available on Amazon.com and at booksellers like Barnes & Noble.

 

John lives in CR half the year and offers a lot of very useful information.

 

HTH

 

Paul M.

==

 

Thanks Paul. We actually have this one, in fact I believe my wife has the digital version with her there right now. You are right, it's a great book and I'd certainly put it in the top three we've read. I only forgot it because she has it at the moment and I was glancing at my bookshelf. There were half a score more we read through and I'm sorry if I omitted anyone's favorites, it was only a sampling.

 

 

 

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I have a hard time trying to figure how part timers here can really be anything more than tourist. Me thinks you must live here full time to really understand the problems with living here. For part timers, they will be back home next month, so done worry about it. For me, I'm home right now.

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lookyloe - I have found that there are also full time residents who don't "get it". It reminds me of something one of my old bosses said to me - "Does he have ten years experience or one year experience ten times."

 

I think there are full-timers who live in a more or less "protected" environment; gated community or high rise; everything around them is like they had it elsewhere (AC, pool, all appliances, etc); they go to Clinica Biblica or Catolica for treatment; does most of their shopping on trips to the US or Canada, etc. This is not the same Costa Rican experience as living in a small town, riding the bus, walking to many places, living like most Costa Ricans live.

 

Obviously, everyone gets to choose how they are to live in Costa Rica but not everyone who lives here full time really understands Costa Rica.

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Eleanorcr, I agree with you 100%. Seems to me, a lot of people on this forum fit into the category you mentioned above. I have never been a fan of the central valley, but that is where most of Costa Rica's population calls home. It's an 8 hour drive for me to San Jose, and it's like a different country where I live full time, for the last 5 years. The point I was trying to make, I lived here part time for a while. When I became full time, everything changed. I didn't move here trying to bring my gringo lifestyle with me, but I do have a gate.

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