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  3. Brand new (still in their boxes) Amana washer and dryer imported from the US. I purchased them before buying a completely furnished house here in Costa Rica. Purchase price in the US was $399 each and had to pay full import duty. Price for both: $882.77 Washer: Large capacity top load washer, at 3.5 cu. ft. Porcelain Tub 8 wash cycles, including Bulky/Sheets, Casual, Clean Washer with afresh, Deep Water Wash, Delicates, Drain and Spin, Normal, Rinse and Spin Rear panel controls Automatic Load Size Sensing Technology Late Lid Lock gives you extra time to throw in any missed items before the Spin Cycle starts 6 Temperature Settings Feedback-Status including Done, Fill, Rinse, Sensing, Spin, Wash Dryer: 6.5 cu. ft. capacity 11 dryer cycles Dryer drum's powder-coat finish resists chipping and abrasion Front panel controls Automatic Dryness Control uses sensors to end the cycle at the right time to help prevent overdrying Wrinkle Prevent Option tumbles clothes intermittently without heat to help prevent creases and crinkles from settling in Cool Down cycle gives clothes time to cool off, which helps prevent wrinkles when clothes are left in the dryer after the cycle ends Reversible side-swing door Timed Dry Cycle up to 60 minutes
  4. " Mango Wood Chips are an excellent choice for smokers. They are suitable for smoking products such as fish, chicken, beef, lamb, as well as pork and vegetables. Even fairly hard meat of wild birds (geese, ducks, partridges, etc.) becomes soft and juicy, acquiring a special flavor and slightly sweetish taste. "....https://polusglobal.biz/products/bioproducts/mango-wood-chips/
  5. We looked for smoker-appropriate wood a number of years ago but came up empty-handed. At a combination appliance and grill store in Escazu, we were told that Costa Rica requires that any wood product that's imported into the country be legally certified not to have originated in a virgin forest anywhere in the world. At the time, he was having problems importing kitchen and laundry appliances because the pallets they were shipped on weren't so certified. We resolved the matter by doing the gringo thing -- brought it in in our luggage when we returned from a trip to the States. No problem there.
  6. Nance is said by foodies I know to be good, also Guava. Mango might be nasty. I have small branches of apple wood to trade, and I do know my scrap pile! Thank you for your kind words, Paul M!
  7. Thanks Paul, although I've been to Costa Rica a couple times before I've never had to deal with any business or administrative offices before...I've never made an international call...just booked flights, rented cars and started driving(with relatives addresses). I've always made a point of driving around both the Osa and Nicoya pinininsula areas(via costal and cerra de la Muerte)for a week or so before relatives, so I have a good sence of CR life. I'm an 'Administrative' foreigner...so I'll work on that. 😁 Thanks for the advice...I'll check out the call times and Skype. Pura Vida, Alan
  8. Try this alternate number: (506) 2220-0055 If you're calling from the US try using Skype. It's fairly cheap though you would have to first sign up (free) and then buy some SkypeOut Minutes. BTW, the number I pasted in above is the one I use to reach the operator at ARCR. Also check their office hours on the ARCR website and remember that CR is on Central time but does not observe DST. Also there are quite a few holidays in CR and you may have inadvertently called them on a day that they're closed. And, no they may not answer emails promptly -or maybe at all if you're not a paid member. (This non-response to emails seems to be epidemic in CR, tho not sure why.) OK – HTH Paul M. ==
  9. Thanks...I'm aware of that law, I'm not under twenty five(I'm almost retired) and my mother didn't think to give us dual citizenship when she left Costa Rica. ☺️
  10. Can't help with the contact info, but thought I would ask if you are under 25, to allow you to benefit by applying through the 'Immediate Relative' status?
  11. I just realized this is an information only area...maybe a moderator could move it to the next area? 😏 Thanks, Alan
  12. I have a general question about contacting the ARCR through their information. First off, I've called their new number 506-4052-4052 from the US without respsonce...is there a specific area code I'm missing? (001?). Second...do they ever answer their emails? (info@arcr.net) I've emailed them twice without response. I'm new to ARCR but not Costa Rica...my mother was born there, I have hundreds of relatives that I've visited over the years, and my aunt has already given an application to Immigration a few years ago.(l was told I have to show up in person after the Consulet in LA said I needed to do it from here and charged me $500 for the privilege 😒 💸) I understand the choices, cost, waiting period, geography and Culture...I just can't reach ARCR to get the Immigration process started...what gives with them? Alan, San Diego
  13. My understanding is that the Collegio of Architects sets the rates (expressed in percentages) for the various services an architect can offer. That is, s/he can charge a specified percent for initial rough plans, a specified percent for finished blueprints, a specified percent for getting permits, a specified percent for recruiting a builder and soliciting bids, a specified percent for . . . <all the other steps in the process through to completion>. With that, the client can choose just which services s/he wants from the architect and can know what those services will cost. The Collegio of Architects uses a "reference cost" per square meter of the building project to compute the architect's fee(s) for each service to be provided. That reference cost has no basis in fact; it's just a number they dream up and it's much less than the actual cost of building. Its only relevance is for computing the architect's fee(s). For example . . . Let's say you're building a 100 square meter house (that's about 1,077 square feet). And let's say that the Collegio's reference cost is $500 per square meter. To the Collegio, the project should cost $50,000 (again, only a reference cost for the purpose of computing the architect's fees).The Collegio might specify one percent for initial rough plans - $500. Finished blueprints - 2% or $1,000. Getting permits - 0.5% or $250. Soliciting bids and selecting a builder - 1% or $500. Supervision of the actual construction with weekly inspection visits - 4% or $2,000. (Understand, please, that the numbers in this paragraph are strictly for illustration and are not meant to be actual, real world figures.) You could ask your architect what the basis is for the services s/he's proposing to provide and how those costs are computed. Perhaps s/he can give you a contact at the Collegio of Architects who could verify these costs.
  14. Erin, Sounds to me like your architect is playing the old 'bait & switch' game with you. Do you have a signed contract with him which specifies the work he was to do and for how much? ¡Puena Suerte! Paul M. ==
  15. Hello! Our architect has flaked out. We’re 2 months into a 5 month building project in Tamarindo. He suddenly wants an exorbitant amount of money to do very little. I’m not against paying, but would like to find someone else to step in. Does anyone know of a good construction project manager in Guanacaste?
  16. If you are still looking for a house in San Ramon. we have one for sale...3 bed 3 bath plus office. Secure garage. 1 1/2 acres. Totally private and secure. Has solar heated pool with solar powered pump. Also has solar hot water in the house. Totally modern kitchen, all appliances stainless steel. Fully furnished. A truck is available for purchase as well. House is about 5km from central San Ramon with an all weather road which will be finished paving to the gate over the next few weeks. If interested in more information, private message me.
  17. Hmmm... I think I'd rather stand in line than have blood drawn! But then again, they took out all the chairs at our branch, so I may reconsider! Well, they still have chairs if you're waiting for the platforma. We don't usually have urgent business to conduct, so if there's a long line, in most cases we can return another day. The same goes for the post office. Some days there's nobody in line, and other days, I turn around and leave. One place I never mind waiting is the bakery!!
  18. You're absolutely right, seaturtlewoman, about the accessibility of local bank branches, but there is another way to look at the matter. For example, Banco Nacional in Grecia is renowned for its long lines and thus long waits at both the teller windows and at the service desks. Their branch in Sarchi, about ten minutes or so away, is almost never busy. And and the Sarchi branch has a parking lot which the Grecia branch does not. So the question may really boil down to where one prefers to spend one's time. Standing in line in the nearest branch may have it's allure, but for us, we'd prefer to get our business done and move on to more enjoyable pastimes. Given the choice, I'd rather go have blood drawn than stand in line at the bank.
  19. Think about where you are going to live and what banks are in that area. To reference David Murray's statement about Banco Davivienda, if they have no branches near you, it would make no sense (in my humble opinion) to open an account with them. Our former neighbor didn't like the long lines at our local bank, so he joined another bank 45 minutes away. I am not willing to drive that far to conduct business with a bank unless I absolutely have to.
  20. Kim, in order to open a bank account, regardless of your tourist or residency status, you will have to document your identity either with your passport or your cedula (if you're a resident) and you will have to document the source of your income. The bank might accept your Social Security letter, but we have always provided them two years of our U.S. federal income tax returns. They'll also want to know your residence address here in Costa Rica, your local phone number (your cell number will suffice) and your email address. Banks may differ in terms of their policies for deposits both initially and after your account has been open for a while. If that's an issue for you, you might want to shop around. We have found Banco Davivienda the easiest to work with and their policies and practices have been the easiest to comply with. Your mileage may vary.
  21. Yes, the first account we opened we were restricted to $1000/month. The second account, $1500. But before our residency applications were approved (and I'm talking 1 1/2 years), we were allowed to up the ante to $5000/month. So we didn't have our cedulas yet.
  22. Once you have managed to open an account while a tourist, know that a maximum amount per month, approx $1000, without a DIMEX card (cedula) will be permitted to be transferred electronically into the account.
  23. Hi Kim, I chose to maintain a checking account in the US (where my SSA pension was deposited) when I went to CR. I eventually opened an account at Banco Nacional (BN) and after six months I was allowed to deposit personal checks from my US bank (credit union, actually) in my BN account. In the beginning there was a 3-week float before the funds were released to me so I just deposited it far enough ahead of time that the money would become availabe to me at the time I needed to use it. After about three months I went in to the Plataforma in BN and spoke to a customer service person at that desk about shortening the float time. He went into the back and after about 20 minutes came back out and told me that my checks would now clear in ten days. After that my checks were clearing in 5 to 7 days. I was told that I could deposit up to US $900 per month via my personal check with no charges or fees assessed. Over that cumulative $900 amount per month there would have been a deposit fee of around US$40. I never deposited more than US$700 per month and could retrieve my monies using my International BN Servibanca Debitcard which BN issued to me per my request at the time I set up my account. (BTW - You will absolutely wantto specify that you want an International, not Domestic Servibank Debitcard if you decide to go the BN/personal check route. That's because the domestic card can only be used for things purchased inside Costa Rica.) As far as needing an apostilled SSA statement of earnings, you can get one in spanish by making an appointment (by email) with the US Embassy in Pavas. The SS Desk will issue you a letter on official SS letterhead, in spanish. That will be suitable for La Migra, especially if you were to go to the primary office in La Uruca. I pointed out (very nicely of course) to La Migra that the letter was issued by the US Govt on the official US letterhead which made it as official as humanly possible so that it did not need to be apostilled and they finally accepted the letter as true and official without me having to arrange for an apostille. BTW, you can have the SS letter apostilled at the Embassy but they charge US$50 to do that. OK – HTH Paul M. ==
  24. Kim, we got all our documents apostilled in the States before we left. I don't know if you can even do it here. The Embassy might be able to do that, but I don't know. You'd have to call them. Also, we got our wire transfers set up before we left, too. We had to do that in the States with our bank. They sent us PIN numbers in the mail. My best advice to you is to consult with ARCR as far as residency. We used ARCR to get our residency, and I used them to help me get my CR driver's license. In my opinion, it was money well spent. I would call your U.S. bank to see if you can set up wire transfers from here, but I am thinking you probably will have to return to the States to do that.
  25. In my experience there is no such thing here as automatic bank transfers between a US bank and a Costa RIcan one. You have to do that via wire transfer and there is a rather significant charge each time. Check with your US bank so see what their procedure is.
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