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my experience is as follows:

We got in contact with an agent they showed us many places yet most were more expensive than realistic. Eventually we were driving in an area which we liked and began just asking the locals if any rentals were available in the area. And we got one much cheaper than the agent was showing us and actually nicer too. Maybe there are agents that are great, but they need to make a living and it will be at YOUR expense. I ended up near Guacima, Alajuela. I like it.

Cheers

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Hey Pete,

 

Skipdingo's experience as he reports just above is pretty much evocative of what both CRF and I were trying to convey to you.

 

It's part of that 'networking thing' that exists in Costa Rica. I would encourage you to use it to your good advantage.

 

Buena suerte!

 

Paul M.

==

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I found the ad for the place where I live on the bulletin board at the local Mas X Menos. Boots on the ground is the best way to find the best deals in any area of CR. I can think of no reason why I would ever use an agent to find a rental in CR.

 

As has been suggested, book yourself into a B&B or other economical accommodation for 2 to 4 weeks and spend your days scouting the neighborhoods you like. Look for ads posted at supermarkets, pulperias and other commercial areas and ask local shopkeepers, street sweepers, taxi drivers, etc. if they know of any homes for rent in the area. You can also drive around and look for the Se Aquila signs.

 

Everyone in CR is a real estate agent. Or at least they think that they are.

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Thank you all. I accept your advice and will take a B&B for a while in the high area of Escazu. Would placing an ad in Tico Tines or La Nacion help?

 

 

Peter,

 

Yes... It will help... It will help all the so-called Real Estate Sellers find you and beleaguer you with offers from them that, as others here have explained to you, will almost certainly be higher rent amounts than if you were to deal with finding a place by yourself.

 

If you take a B&B as suggested for a couple weeks to a month --and for weekly and monthly rates you can get at a discount; also buy paying cash up front you should get a 10% discount right off the bat-- then you will have a place to stay which it makes it easier to check out the nearby neighborhoods in town to see if you can find someplaces with a for rent sign in the window. Or you may run across a 4 by 5 card at the local pulperia or grocery. (BTW, ticos, being as money conscious as the are tend to NOT buy ads in the newspaper cuz if the place doesn't rent by the time that ad expires, then they feel they have wasted their money. So they'll put ups a for rent sign or do the 3by5 card on a local bulletin board.

 

Also, just ask around of people you encounter, like the waitress where you have lunch, clerks at the farmacy, or even people you encounter on the street in a neighborhood.

 

This sounds VERY different from how we go about finding a place back home (and it IS), but you will be in CR and that's how it's very often done there, unless you want to rent from ads which are almost always higher priced cuz they're aimed at the gringo pocketbook.

 

OK, hope this helps.

 

Paul M.

==

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Sonja, the lady at my neighborhood pulperia, just informed me of a house that will be coming up for rent in my neighborhood. I walked by the house today and there are workmen remodeling the place. But I have advance intel and can seek out the details of the house before it hits the rental market. Networking is how things work best in CR.

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Sonja, the lady at my neighborhood pulperia, just informed me of a house that will be coming up for rent in my neighborhood. I walked by the house today and there are workmen remodeling the place. But I have advance intel and can seek out the details of the house before it hits the rental market. Networking is how things work best in CR.

 

Thanx for reinforcing my argument for networking in CR, Mark.

 

It's hard for some newbies to CR to accept that this is a useful and bona fide method to use here.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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Just to say it one more time: This is how things are done here.

 

It's how I found the house I'm living in now. (And paying $140 a month for a tiny, 2-bedroom house. And yes, it has indoor plumbing, a roof and a concrete floor before you ask......) A Costa Rican friend started passing the word around and asking around for me in addition to my own inquiries. We took an afternoon and just rode around town looking for places. We found one place that looked just about perfect (not far from the center of town but still convenient and quiet with a beautiful view of the volcano) but ultimately, it didn't work out. Later, a lady called and said she had some renters that were moving out and did he know of anyone looking for a place. We showed up just as the renters were hauling away the last of their stuff and once I had a look at it -- I paid the first month's rent then and there and moved in about a week later.

 

This is how things are done here.

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I believe it really had to do with the type of rental the renter is looking for. For the budget rentals, yes word of mouth is better. But for the luxury rentals, most owners have made agreements with an agent to handle the hassle of marketing and the legalities and payments. So it really depends on the type of rental.

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Jesselongworth, I was thinking along similar lines. We obviously have no idea what CanuckPetes budget is and what type of property he is looking at, apart from being an ground level, I think he said.

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Jesselongworth, I was thinking along similar lines. We obviously have no idea what CanuckPetes budget is and what type of property he is looking at, apart from being an ground level, I think he said.

There is a very common theme in most of your answers, for which I thank you all. I will try local postings and word of mouth, as I'm not looking for a luxury rental nor to live in a fancy "Gringo" community. If I can find something decent in the $880 to $900 range, I will be happy. Don't need a swimming pool, love to garden and "fix" things, but don;t want to be too far from San Jose for the National Theater, bridge club and friends. Loved the hill area north of Alajuela, with easy access to the local market by bus.

Thank you, all.

Peter

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There is a very common theme in most of your answers, for which I thank you all. I will try local postings and word of mouth, as I'm not looking for a luxury rental nor to live in a fancy "Gringo" community. If I can find something decent in the $880 to $900 range, I will be happy. Don't need a swimming pool, love to garden and "fix" things, but don;t want to be too far from San Jose for the National Theater, bridge club and friends. Loved the hill area north of Alajuela, with easy access to the local market by bus.

Thank you, all.

Peter

For what you are looking for, you can probably find something nice for less than what you are posting above. Never mention while you are looking that you are willing to pay that much. See what you can find for $3-400, you might be surprised.

 

Dana

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Thank you Dana, on both threads -- have decided to buy wheeled duffels (3) and fit everything there as extra baggage. As to your notion about housing prices, I never respond when someone asks "what are you willing to pay". Bargaining 101:-)

Edited by CanuckPete

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CanuckPete, also don't rule out gated communities, since there will always be many more Costa Rican families than expats. Most of these are just subdivisions...and while you may like to garden, everything grows much faster here, and the staff do maintain the shared spaces.

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I agree with Costaricafinca, some nice gated communities that are full of tico's too. Also prepare to haggle. I offered 400 bucks less than what they asked, and they took it. Also if your prepared to pay 6 months in advance that goes along way for dropping the price. ( my experience)

Anyways happy hunting

Cheers

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