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  3. If you don't install whatever solar equipment you plan on for later, at least put in the "infrastructure" as you're building. Running the plumbing for solar water heating or the electric cabling for photovoltaic is much easier and cheaper as the house is being built or remodeled. BTW, I'm a big fan of building from scratch rather than trying to accommodate others' ideas and mistakes. I can wax on and on about that, if you wish.
  4. That is the way I am leaning, but since I don't have a house yet and haven't even sold my US home, I can't really budget for the solar until I have all the figures to do so. But even if solar is an add-on down the road it is pretty definite that I will do that.
  5. sweikert925, I'm with you on the issue of the environment, but I can also tell you from a number of years of actual experience that both solar water heating and photovoltaic electricity generation come with very high initial investment costs and very long payback times. And they do require some maintenance. When we built our house, which you have visited, we installed two solar water heating panels and an 80-gallon storage tank with electrical coils for backup when there isn't enough solar exposure. That cost was about $2,300 in 2006. Ten or eleven years later, the whole shootin' match had to be replaced. Then, about eight years or so ago, we installed six and then six more photovoltaic panels in a "grid-tied", "net metering" system. When we make more power than we're using, our meter runs backward and, in effect, we get a credit. When we use more electricity than we're making, the meter runs forward and we create a bill. To be sure, our electricity bills are less than they would be without either of these two systems, but they're still hardly zero. (Our home is all-electric -- range, dryer, backup water heating, etc, and we're not bashful about using them all.) To plan to heat anything larger than a small hot tub by direct solar water heating or photovoltaic electricity generation would require a breathtaking initial investment. (As an aside, George Lundquist, who runs the tours and is a retired engineer, has calculated that it would be less expensive to install all photovoltaic panels and heat water with electric on-demand water heaters. That would be a simpler build-out, too. Wish we'da thought of that . . .)
  6. I understand having the independence of your own solar installation. But in Costa Rica, that has little to do with "ecology and sustainability" since electricity is generated by "renewables." Depending on the area where you live, a solar installation may not be that effective. I used to live in a rainforest area where a solar installation would not be the thing. I now live in Guanacaste where using solar is more realistic. I'd get your property first and then figure out what would be the best way to generate your own electricity. Who knows, it might be wind or hydro or a combination of all three! Location would also be important in deciding whether you need a pool heater or not. And.... of course..... just how warm you want that water to be! Probably cheaper than a pool heater would be a cover that you could put on at night in order to retain some of the day's heat overnight.
  7. It is my intention to make use of solar power either for heating water alone or potentially the whole house. Yes, I know it is less of a matter of economics to do so since the break even would be quite a long time. But ecology and sustainability are things I have strong opinions about. I've already gotten an estimate from one of the solar installation contractors here and will eventually get others.
  8. . . . but pools can have heaters. Both the foregoing quotes are totally accurate, but neither addresses the matter of operating costs. Pool heaters may be powered by either bottled gas or electricity and a filtration system and vacuum would be powered electrically. Regardless which you choose, the operating costs will be very high. Water absorbs a great deal of heat energy and, unless the sides and bottom of the pool are well insulated (not very likely, actually) and unless the surface is covered by an insulated cover, much of that heat will be lost and will have to be replenished. That much heat energy garnered from either electricity or gas will be very expensive. In areas where ICE provides electricity, the first 200kwh per month are fairly cheap, but beyond that, the price approximately doubles. And 200kwh won't heat the water in much of a pool. Gas is cheaper but hardly cheap in the quantities which would be needed, and the cost is based on the world market which can vary.
  9. And pools can also be enclosed, of course, and a filter and vacuum should be standard equipment.
  10. Noted, and thanks for your thoughts. Can't do much about noisy monkeys I suppose, but pools can have heaters.
  11. 'My' monkeys often howled all night... Having a pool in your aforementioned area, you may find it too cold to use at this higher elevation, plus may experience dirty water in the rainy season.
  12. Sooo.... you have no problem with howler monkeys waking you up at 4 am?
  13. Not fond of them at all. As they are technically birds, my previous statement needs to be amended: ...and being out of earshot of any neighbors unless they are either a) birds* or b) monkeys. *except roosters
  14. A pool? You'd probably be better off to ax that from the list, get the house you want in the area you want and put in your own pool. Houses with pools are not that common. Also -- with only 1/2 an acre, I doubt you will be out of earshot of neighbors. I once lived 3 km from the highway through town but could sometimes hear the tractor trailers as they slowed down for the speed bumps. For neighbors, one of the best ways is just to ask the other neighbors what it's like. They can tell you if people stay out late and come home in a loud car at 1 am or if there are teenagers playing loud music or if the have big BBQs with lots of people and cars. For better isolation from neighbor problems, I think you'd be looking at a larger property - more like 2 or 3 hectares. (And start thinking in terms of hectares because that's how land is described here.) If you find a place you like, visit it during various times of the day. Walk around the neighborhood and you can learn a lot. Be sure to visit after dark. Hey, good luck! Hope you find the place you want. The area around San Ramon is gorgeous.
  15. I have begun to look for a house to purchase and would welcome any leads. My area of interest is within 50 km of San Ramon. I would like a house of at least 2 br/2 ba with US style kitchen and secure parking. Also wanted is at least a half acre of land. Preferences include being reachable with minimal travel on dirt roads (<1 km), a pool, laundry room, pantry and being out of earshot of any neighbors unless they are either a) birds or b) monkeys.
  16. Fully custom home designed by the owner/artist to exact standards in 2017. Under roof at 2,200 SqFt and with the two decks it's at 2,690 SqFt. Elevated off the ground by 24 steel columns, the home sits atop a mountain ridge at 3,500 feet of Elevation featuring stunning views of the Gulf of Nicoya to the west and the city/valley lights to the east. Video: Photos: ReMax listing: https://www.remax-centralamerica.com/costa-rica/puriscal-barbacoas/alta-vista-001631136028 The home features 2 large bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms complete with walk-in live-in-the-view showers and an office/study. The fully open living room, dining room, and kitchen concept create a warm and inviting atmosphere that easily lends itself to fantastic entertaining possibilities. The large laundry room holds a washer, dryer, and freezer, has a built-in sink and plenty of counter space and numerous cabinets for storage and pantry use. The home has 2 deck/patio areas – one large deck facing the Gulf at 425 SqFt and a smaller deck off the 2nd bedroom which faces the eastern sunrise at 65 SqFt. Between the main deck and the dining room is a bar that can be utilized from inside and outside with an accordion-style window that fully opens to create a pass-through bar area - perfect for additional seating/eating area during large parties. There is a huge floored attic space above the laundry room and kitchen which provides a tremendous amount of storage space. It is easily accessible via pull-down stairs in the laundry room and has several lights to illuminate the area. Below the house is a large bodega (workspace/storage) complete with a workbench and a large number of shelves and storage hooks along the walls. Below the house is ample space for parking. Parking under the home allows you to go from your car to the house via the inside stairs and not be subjected to a Costa Rican rain shower. You can also close in the entire bottom area or just half to make additional living areas or workshop. The yard is fully landscaped and terraced with numerous flowers, bushes, and trees – some popular species include orange, banana, lime, avocado, and almond as well as several palms, rainbow eucalyptus, hibiscus, coral plants, passion fruit, and morning glory. There are several items being included with the home with a full-priced offer – Major appliances: Washer/Dryer, upright freezer, stove/oven, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, dishwasher Living room furniture: Large leather sectional and 4 tables King bedroom set: Headboard/foot-board, dresser and 2 nightstands (mattress does not convey) Patio furniture: Sofa, 2 chairs, ottoman, table 10 bar stools Full-sized grill with 2 propane tanks (all burner/grate components recently replaced) Several shelves/storage cabinets currently in the 2nd bedroom 3 dehumidifiers plumbed into the drainage system for easy use during the rainy season FULL ALBUM OF HIGH-RESOLUTION PICTURES IN LINK BELOW:
  17. Costa Rica retirement bound 2023!!!...Any advice would be appreciated.

  18. If 'someone' has provided information on the property, leading to a sale, the law says that this person is legally entitled to be paid a 5% 'commission.'
  19. JCP, This is critically important advice from David. Do not ever use the seller's attorney; you want your own attorney who's working for YOU! And still, you do need to thoroughly vet any attorney whom you intend to use. OK — HTH Paul M. ==
  20. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about the transaction fees, taxes, etc. A practical approach would be to get your attorney, not theirs, to give you a firm estimate of what all the costs will be to sell/buy the property in question. Then you can negotiate an arrangement with the other party.
  21. If there is no realtor involved what fees does the seller pay other than attorney fees? What is the common percentage for attorney fees for the seller?
  22. When I asked 1) Is there anyway to avoid / reduce this tax burden .... I of course mean the Legal and legitimate way of avoiding Tax burden - I am not looking for advise to do anything illegal or immoral. Naturally like all good upright citizens I fully accept that Tax Evasion is wrong, illegal and immoral. mbtico
  23. I am a long term lurker on the board and have learned a great deal about CR here. As plans to retire to CR have evaporated for various reasons I am now getting ready to sell a plot of land in Guanacaste which I have owned for over 20 years. To my horror I have just learned that a Capital Gains Tax regime (15%) comes into effect in July this year. The amount of tax would be retained by the buyer from selling price and paid over to the government !! I am unable to find much information about what happens when I sell up either before July or more likely after July this year. I did see some reference to a transition arrangement whereby gains on assets owned before July 2019 could be exempt or pay only 2.5 %. Any such Tax My question to the knowledgeable sharers of CR wisdom is as follows: 1) Is there anyway to avoid / reduce this tax burden ? Does anyone know how all those who own land today will be affected? 2) If indeed there is a transition arrangement of ‘only’ 2.5 % capital gains tax on assets owned before July 2019, is there any impact of the real estate market, I.e.is there a rush to buy / complete transactions before July ? Thanks to all share knowledge - empowering all. mbtico
  24. It looks to me that you are not leaving enough time for the other dog to get their required vaccines as needed to leave thr USA then enter Costa Rica.
  25. Hello everyone. My wife and I are in the process of moving to Costa Rica. We have two older, medium size dogs. The thought of having any sorta of issues with them being cargo on a flight was something that we are not willing to let happen. So, we have managed to figure out funds for booking a charter flight out of Miami-Opa locka Executive (OPF) - Miami International Airport. We have room left for one person and one medium size dog or possibly two people with minimal luggage. The flight will be leaving the morning of February 18th. We are looking for someone to share the cost with. Serious inquiries only, please. Thank you. Buddy
  26. Hi, Newman. Hope things are going well for you. I have to say, when I first read the title of this post, I imagined property with 10,000 electric meters. Haha. Good luck and hope you get a quick sale!
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