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jklewis

Moving and need a reputable realtor.

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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.

 

 

I think this is how we want to live. The only real restriction would be internet, which I need for income.

 

 

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jklewis: Internet access varies from place to place with the best and fastest, of course, associated with cities or larger towns. I have internet access through my telephone and have found a max download speed of 1.6 mbps. I don't have the fastest and best computer so take that into consideration. It kind of depends on what you need to do for your online work. If you just need constant and reliable access that is one thing. If you need really fast download and upload for big chunks of data, that's another thing.

 

I use a "box" provided by ICE for internet which, unfortunately, is not usable during a power outage. However, a good UPS will take care of that.

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I think this is how we want to live. The only real restriction would be internet, which I need for income.

 

But you say you're looking at lower Heredia or Escazu...? Those are not "small towns". Escazu is about as different from the place Eleanor describes, and lives in, as one can get in CR. To put it in context, I suspect she would find Escazu to be a rather unpleasant example of CR living, as I do. A similar (relative) comparison that you probably know is comparing NYC (Escazu) with the quieter parts of Litchfield county in Connecticut.

 

I don't know whether or not Escazu is right for you, but in many ways it would be a much nicer version of NYC, yet still a very big change too.

 

I think it's unlikely that a person who chose to live and work in NYC would be satisfied with a typico Tico small town.

 

I suggest renting with no more than a 3 month lease until you've been in CR for at least several months.

Edited by ciclista

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I have to agree with ciclista. Many people dream of living in the country, having the simple life, but forget the things that go along with it - namely - isolation, reduced shopping options, not much for entertainment, few English speakers, homes with fewer (or no) North American "amenities", fewer options for medical care, etc.

 

Renting in various places for a while is really the best way to go and you will be able to make a good decision about what "fits" for you.

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Hey everyone- thanks for your replies.

 

I would like to say that we have no problem testing out various areas- this is our plan. when we find a plot of land or a house after a year or so we'll buy or build. If we don't like it, we'll go to panama or belize or cuba. Who cares as long as we like it?

 

I would also like to know what the big deal is about living someplace with more expats and amenities to gradually ease into the culture while we explore? I am very seriously discouraged by what I perceive to be negative judgment by most of you and I don't say it to be antagonistic. Is it not a good point that easing into the culture would facilitate the adjustment period?

 

We actually have no time line, no problem with paying for a rental while we sell our condo in NYC and are working word-of-mouth. contrary to what my husband said, I found a place via a taxi driver. Tico Times gave me a few snakes. La nacion is alright. I am not done looking yet.

 

The important part is that 3/4 of us escaped the united states and are not going back. If you can help us, I appreciate it. I did not expect any help, so please keep any nay-saying to yourselves. I have lived in many places across the globe and am very excited about Costa Rica. Just because you did it differently doesn't mean we are doing it wrong.

 

Thank you.

Your new neighbor (whether you like it or not), Aggie

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The big deal is that we have seen so many before you come and go with attitudes just like yours. Hell, I'm one myself. I was sure that we would not be among that majority of folks who come here thinking that I was indeed moving to paradise, and that everything would be just fine for us. Well, it isn't, and now, after ignoring all the advice of the nay-sayers, I feel trapped here because I made the mistake of buying property that I now cannot sell. So, go ahead, ignore what wiser heads advise you to do (or, more correctly, NOT do)........

 

and, btw, what does that mean, "3/4 of us escaped the united states and are not going back?" Upon what do you base your surmise that 75% of expats fit into your category? I hope you do not seriously think that those of us who chose to move here did so to escape anything, because I think your percentage is way off. You say you did not expect any help, so then please tell why you asked?

You are absolutely correct!! I'm sorry to hear that you feel trapped - however wwhen I came here almost nine years ago, I immediately felt at home - never felt like that before in my life - good friend of mine (Pearl Harbor survivor) wants out yesterday, due to medical problems (89 years old)! He woulodn't be leaving except for that - been here over 25 years and living in the house he built for more than 15! Is selling his place and everything in it including the car - In my opinion, this may be the deal of a lifetime - I'm taking the opportunity of running it by all visitors to the forums to help him out!! Every cloud has a silver lining - Would you please be willing to enlighten us on your "Camino de Calvario"? Respectfully

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I'd give it more than a year before buying. I lived in Escazú from March 2010 until yesterday (officially). I grew up in a smaller beach community in FL, then lived for 3 years in a very small/rural beach community in Costa Rica, so Escazú was very different for me. I loved it for the first 6 months, particularly the convenience factor, but in all honesty I find the noise, traffic, & sheer volume of people in city life to be more than I enjoy in my day-to-day life. I've explored many of the surrounding areas & feel the same way about new Santa Ana, Pavas, Rohrmoser, San Jose, Belen, Heredia, Alajuela...but found the area between old Santa Ana & Ciudad Colon to be more to my liking. We'll probably gravitate that way in the future. THANK GOODNESS we have been renting in Escazú so we have this option - it can take years to sell things in Costa Rica! My experience was that most landlords want a 1-year lease minimum. I think it takes that long to figure out if you really like an area (or at least for us it did).

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The big deal is that we have seen so many before you come and go with attitudes just like yours. Hell, I'm one myself. I was sure that we would not be among that majority of folks who come here thinking that I was indeed moving to paradise, and that everything would be just fine for us. Well, it isn't, and now, after ignoring all the advice of the nay-sayers, I feel trapped here because I made the mistake of buying property that I now cannot sell. So, go ahead, ignore what wiser heads advise you to do (or, more correctly, NOT do)........

 

and, btw, what does that mean, "3/4 of us escaped the united states and are not going back?" Upon what do you base your surmise that 75% of expats fit into your category? I hope you do not seriously think that those of us who chose to move here did so to escape anything, because I think your percentage is way off. You say you did not expect any help, so then please tell why you asked?

 

3/4 of our family members... not all expats. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old; then there is me and my husband. I am not my husband (who was well-intentioned but misinformed, slightly)- he is the one who asked- not me. We have several personal a business connections here and are by no means alone.

 

we are not trapped- we still have our home in NYC and can go back at any time.

 

I do not have the attitude that we are moving to paradise, although it is certainly more relaxed than new york city. Where did I say that? We are looking for political stability and peace. No military, a woman president, the country is neutral. These are important things to me. CR is #1 on the Happy Planet Index. We want happiness and i have a feeling we will find it here- if not, as i said, we will try something different. 3 years of research means nothing? I'll let you know in 6 months if i regret what we are doing, ok? Until then, I do ask- once again- to please back off. If you cave a friend with a used car or some advice on daily life, great.

 

We are not buying property until we are 100% certain we want to stay and can always . We will not be trapped. I am sorry you are. Perhaps you should have done more research and rented for a bit.

 

A

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I think she meant by 3/4 of us have escaped means that she and her 2 sons are here, her husband is 1/4 - still back in NYC. With that said, Aggie, the folks here have been helpful, IMHO. It may not be what you were wanting to hear. Kinda reminds me of the person who kept shopping his idea around until he found someone who finally agreed with him 100%. I am sure you will find that person, too.

I had been to CR numerous times over many years before my BF and I made the permanent move. One of the visits was for 1 month where we went all over the counry - still didn't see everything. Then we spent 6 months here. Went back to the states and got our ducks in a row before jumping off the cliff. Would we do it again? Yes, but maybe a tad different approach. We had done research (visits, online, reading, forums, etc) since 2004. Moved here the end of 2009. That was a better part of 5-6yrs of research. And it still wasn't enough, really. But, we are happy, we are adaptable, we have friends and 9 dogs to keep us sane (!?!?!).

You and your husband are gonna do what you are gonna do - to me the only thing really scary for you is the kids. You don't say how old they are and so far, other than mentioning them; they haven't played into any of the questions - like education, socialization, etc, etc.

In my short time here, my observation has been that those that are "escaping" the US because they can't stand it, or can't make it there, or also not likely to stand it here after awhile. In other words, if you are an angry, bitter, whiny person in the states you will be a whiny, bitter, angry person here, or in Panama, or Belize or Cuba. And personally, I can't fathom why you would pick Cuba as an option. Especially, if you are an US citizen, I can only imagine, that you will have burned the bridge of ever going back to the states. That might be okay for you but you also burned that bridge for your kids.

The longstanding members here are not being mean or mean-spirited or dream killers, they are just saying what they feel.

And everyone has the right/privelege to feel what they want - same as you.

If you read/hear something that you don't agree with or like, then just erase it from your mind and move on.

 

Whatever you decide, I hope it works out for you, all 4/4 of you. :)

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When moving with children, this is a whole different scenario! Schools, should be your priority when you choose to either rent or own.

 

Actually, we are homeschoolers, so although it will be nice to be in an area with other children who are well-educated, schools are not important.

Thank you, however, for telling me what my priorities SHOULD be.

 

I am pretty much done with this - anything but Pura Vida on this forum. You should be ashamed of yourselves. How about supporting people instead of implying naivete and comparing us to everyone else? How about camraderie? Ticos are supposed to be nice. You are not a Tico (not specifically replying to you here, but the majority of replies here).

 

Also... we're from New York - we have seen all the cons and are anything but gullible. Escazu is a suburb as far as I am concerned. San Jose is only slightly grimier than NYC and feels quite safe. You have no idea where we are coming from.

 

Feel free to PM if you like- unless it's criticism. I apologize my husband gave the wrong impression. His intentions were good. I am sure he will be continuing on the forum. I will not.

 

A

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I think she meant by 3/4 of us have escaped means that she and her 2 sons are here, her husband is 1/4 - still back in NYC. With that said, Aggie, the folks here have been helpful, IMHO. It may not be what you were wanting to hear. Kinda reminds me of the person who kept shopping his idea around until he found someone who finally agreed with him 100%. I am sure you will find that person, too.

I had been to CR numerous times over many years before my BF and I made the permanent move. One of the visits was for 1 month where we went all over the counry - still didn't see everything. Then we spent 6 months here. Went back to the states and got our ducks in a row before jumping off the cliff. Would we do it again? Yes, but maybe a tad different approach. We had done research (visits, online, reading, forums, etc) since 2004. Moved here the end of 2009. That was a better part of 5-6yrs of research. And it still wasn't enough, really. But, we are happy, we are adaptable, we have friends and 9 dogs to keep us sane (!?!?!).

You and your husband are gonna do what you are gonna do - to me the only thing really scary for you is the kids. You don't say how old they are and so far, other than mentioning them; they haven't played into any of the questions - like education, socialization, etc, etc.

In my short time here, my observation has been that those that are "escaping" the US because they can't stand it, or can't make it there, or also not likely to stand it here after awhile. In other words, if you are an angry, bitter, whiny person in the states you will be a whiny, bitter, angry person here, or in Panama, or Belize or Cuba. And personally, I can't fathom why you would pick Cuba as an option. Especially, if you are an US citizen, I can only imagine, that you will have burned the bridge of ever going back to the states. That might be okay for you but you also burned that bridge for your kids.

The longstanding members here are not being mean or mean-spirited or dream killers, they are just saying what they feel.

And everyone has the right/privelege to feel what they want - same as you.

If you read/hear something that you don't agree with or like, then just erase it from your mind and move on.

 

Whatever you decide, I hope it works out for you, all 4/4 of you. :)

 

Thank you. I would like to comment that we are not bitter or angry but do disagree with the political situation in the united states. I am much more scared there than I am here. We make it just fine in the USA- but I had to fly out of canada because I won't deal with the TSA. That is just one example.

 

We have options now and the time is right. I feel good about this. I will let my husband reply from now on (unless he gets info wrong again:).

 

A

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Hey Aggie

 

I'm a fellow New Yorker living in NJ/CR at the moment, and eternally optimistic. CR is a pretty cool place, and you are right that San Jose is only a tiny bit grimier than NYC, and a heck of a lot better than NYC was back at the time of the movie Needle Park--remember those days--you might be a bit young, but maybe you saw the movie. I suspect many on this web site might run from NYC living just as they aren't captivated by SJO and its suburbs like Escazú

 

In any event, CR is like anyplace else to me--I like big cities, and wish that SJO were even bigger and faster paced. yeah--I know--not everybody's cup of tea, but I'm not going to live in the middle of the rain forest--nice to visit, but give me the city life. Our house is in Alajuelita which is certainly not a fancy suburb like Santa Ana or Escazú. Once we have a better outlook on the future, a condo in SJO is the most likely habitat--we'll probably buy two and rent one out.

 

So, please don't go away even if hubby stays. The knowledge base is large, and while many of the experiences are small town in nature, there is much to be learned--maybe even a little from a big city guy like me. Oh yes, my wife grew up in Mexico City which is almost three times as large as NYC, and she thinks SJO is really just a small town--all depends on what our eyes see, eh !!

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For the record, homeschooling is illegal in CR. I've homeschooled the last 4 years & have kept my kids "out of the system" so far. I say "so far" because I'm friends with a family who lived in Jaco & while there a disgrunted employee turned them in to PANI for homeschooling. Their daughter now attends the local school to prevent further consequences (beyond the gov't agency's interference in their lives).

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