Close

New members of the Costa Rica forum, introduce yourselves here – June to December 2017

Hi all,

Newbie on the Costa Rica forum? Don’t know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Costa Rica if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

PD : The thread New members of the Costa Rica forum, introduce yourselves here – 1st quarter of 2017 continues below!

My husband and I are retired US military and looking to move to Costa Rica. We are interested in learning more about moving and the different locations.

Redokieus :

My husband and I are retired US military and looking to move to Costa Rica. We are interested in learning more about moving and the different locations.

Hola Redokieus,

Welcome to Expat.com!  Hopefully you can find the information that you're looking for here.

I would suggest that you first peruse through the many post in the Forum section.  You can get a lot of information here.  After that, if there are questions that you still have, feel free to post your specific questions.

The first step is doing what you're doing now.  Obtain as much information about any country that you are considering relocating to.

Just my personal observation from your saying that you are both retired military.  Many ex-military people are a Type A personalities.  And no, I am not saying this as a negative in any way, just how we are all wired differently.  Costa Rica being what it is, can be very difficult for this type of personality.  You have to change for it - it's not going to change for you.   Very difficult to explain, it just has to be experienced to "understand it."  🤓   At the same time, there are Type A people who do live here - including retired military. 

Good luck on your quest! ☀️🌴

- Expat Dave
Expat.com Team Member

Best to come an check it out for an extended vacation, prior to making any decisions. The one complaint I hear most from ex-military personnel, is that they are not permitted to bring/have firearms until a Permanent Resident which takes 4-5 years after initial application.

We are planning on coming for a visit in December for 3 weeks. Thanks!

What information in particular are you looking for?  Examples?
Cheers .... Terry

Hi there,
My husband and I have fallen in love with CR (we're birders and have toured all over the country the past few years. We are wondering if it's worth it to buy a property in Tamarindo as a rental property and stay there, now and again. I read on this forum that it's easy to buy and hard to sell. Also, we were there in May, and didn't have the best experience with our real estate agent, and then we were told conflicting info about whether or not to buy a property as a corporation. Needless to say, we're considering backing off of the whole thing, because it seems over complicated, which is a shame, because we retire in a few years, and were thinking of semi-retiring there.

Is buying property really as complicated as it seems, and are there good agents who would have our best interests in mind?  Thx!

If you are 'uncomfortable' with your agent for any reason ... definitely 'back off'.

Take time and make a decision at later date.

We researched Mexico / Belize for five years before deciding on Costa Rica.  We did buy property in 2010 and realized at that time (from our lawyer and ex- realtors in other countries) that there is no such thing as a realtor in Costa Rica as they are not licensed.  There are many knowledgeable and good "agents" out there nut they are not governed by any regulations.)  Take your time, talk to those that have gone through this.  DO NOT be scared just be informed !!!!  PM me regarding a corporation and I will give you my opinion ONLY.  One thing I can say for sure is that buying (AND HAVING YOUR PROPERTY TITLED) is golden in Costa Rica). I have power of attorney for my friends house here and you are right, it is hard to sell a house over $200,000 (IN MY OPINION)

OR...don't lose interest due to a dummy real estate agent there are many Dumbos here ...
Find a more competent realtor..they do not have licensed here in CR..there are a FEW  with brains..However I would not recommend buying and leaving property alone HERE OR in ANY COUNTRY.... Tamarindo is not a very safe area ..you should check out the Central Valley areas around Heredia am WAIT  until you can rent for a while and see if it is for you..Beach areas are less safe and HOT and humid ..and A?C cost $$$ as in anyplace..I moved here from California 26 years ago..and bought 3 acres and it is gorgeous in a FINE location ...but not everyone has a 6th sense like me...Slow down if not sure...

Everything I have read, leads to me say that if you are going to rent out a property you are best to put it in an active corporation.  This will help protect you (supposedly) in  case of an accident on the property. Once you have paid for the setting up of this S.A., the cost of this is approx. $375 per year. It also facilitates  the transfer  of  the estate to persons named in the S.A. in the case of death, whereas it could be held up for years in probate. Years ago, residents were encouraged to even place their phone in an inactive S.A. but recent changes have had most of them dissolved.

The law in CR now says that you are required to pay tax on rentals of 30 days or less and register said property, although they are still trying to sort this out of how to do it... :/

It is not advisable to leave any property vacant.

In some countries you are required to advise them that you do own property here...

Please check with a reputable lawyer .

whats an S.A. ?
We are still planning on being in country in August hope to find out more about CR and renting a place.

More detailed info on an S.A.

Hello to all.  I've been in Costa Rica for two weeks today and am looking for a place with strong sunshine and few mosquitoes to raise children.  My sweetheart is having our first baby in August.

Hi, would you be interested in 2 weeks in San Ramon?  I need a house sitter and someone to watch/take care of my cats.  This would be in early August.  Please advise ASAP as I am rapidly running out of time.  Thanks.

Please contact me.  I would like a house/pet sitter for about 2 weeks in August.  Please let me know if you might have an interest.

Hi.  I'm Judy and have been here (in San Ramon) since May 1.  I love it here and have found both the expats and the Ticos to be welcoming and very helpful.  I came from Houston, retired early, and am just here to enjoy life.  So far, so good.

Thanks everyone for your help and great advice!

Hi Judy,

Thank you for your interesting offer.

The problem with having babies is that they don't let you know exactly when they are going to come out and be adored!  I'll be hanging out with my sweetheart close to the CIMA hospital in San Jose for an undetermined amount of time in August.



Have a great trip,

Brent

Hi,
My husband and i are coming to Costa Rica again in August to look around and see if we can find a spot to spend our winters in.  I am retiring this Dec. 2017.    We have been to Jaco with our family, and traveled to a few other areas when we came back with our friends last year.  It is my favorite country, just beautiful, and the people are very friendly.  I would like to live in an area with a lot of other ex pats that are active and play tennis and golf and things like that.  Is there anyplace that some of you would recommend?  We have not been everywhere, so it is difficult to know.  We both really liked Jaco area, but are not familiar with much else.  Mt Ariel was just beautiful as wel, but kind of touristy.  We intend to travel around when we come in August this year, but we only have a week.  So it is difficult to decide in that short amount of time.  If we had some input from other people, it would be so helpful. (so don't be shy, input away)  (english porfavor, my espanol es no bueno. ; (
We live in the country now.  And after going to the city in San Jose to the airport, we decided we don't like it there much at all.  But, i would like to be "near" the beach, not on the beach, but would like to see the water from a distance.  We rented a place in Jaco that was on a mountain, the roads were pretty bad, and quite scary, but i have to admit near the end of the vacation i had become accustomed to them.  And was not hanging on for dear life quite so badly.  lol.  I wouldnt want to be using those roads in the rainy season though.  I think that would be really scary!  But the view was breathtaking... 
Any input from you folks would be greatly appreciated, and i thank you for your advice!!  have a great day, i am jealous sitting here in rainy upstate NY dreaming of the day i can absorb some vitamin D the old fashioned way in Costa Rica, learning spanish and having a mojito...by a pool. 

All the Best!
Brenda Woodford

Most facilities that offer golf and tennis will be found in an expensive resort area....although, there is the Cariari Country Club in Belén, where there is some nice rentals. available while you look around for long term accomadations.. It is in a safe area.

Thank you so much, we will check that out when we come in a couple of weeks! I am so excited to have suggestions now instead of just blindly roaming. 
Brenda

A good combination of both Costa Rican;s and International expats live in this area.

Thanks!   ;)

Single guy, planning to spend a 1 - 2 months in Costa Rica, probably the Central Valley, no clue where, think I'll use a dart and a map, to figure out if it make a good fit to move/retire there. I have so many questions but main on is, instead of trying to find a furnished apartment before I come, would I be better to just stay at a local hotel till I can find a rental for the rest of the time I'm there. Thanks to anyone who might have some thoughts on it.

Doing like you said, is the best way to go...and I think it is what most of us who actually live here, would suggest. :top:

We are a retiring couple interested in living in the Southern Pacific region.  We are moving from California and bringing our cats.

Hello! My fiancé, Priscilla, and I are planning to visit Costa Rica long term. We are both from Pennsylvania, USA. We are looking to rent a place short term (1-2 months) while we scout out where we will attempt to settle.

I'm looking for any suggestions on inexpensive realty & regions to look into.

We would like to rent a small home with privacy in a rural area.

Finding decent and inexpensive accommodations in a rural area, could make it harder for you to get reliable internet connections which I am guessing you require, according to your 'name' however it is no longer cheap to live here....and you can't legally perform physical work.

kohlerias :

Finding decent and inexpensive accommodations in a rural area, could make it harder for you to get reliable internet connections which I am guessing you require, according to your 'name' however it is no longer cheap to live here....and you can't legally perform physical work.

I have noticed internet connection is scarce in rural listings.

While still a 'tourist' it is unlikely that you can sign up with ICE for a landline, and the cable companies don't offer service unless in town, so  you may have to use  Kolbi or one of the other companies that offer  mobile connection, but you will be limited and the cost will be more expensive for possibly lousy connection.

I have recently tried Movistar SIM card as a back up for my Kolbi phone service and my CRwifi internet service.  So far, Movistar out performs both in a big way.  Download speed on Crwifi is 2gb per second.  Movistar has been at 5.25 gb per second.  I've experimented with the phone as I travelled about and the phone service is also superior.  I paid ¢1,600 up front and I've been using it for two weeks.  That includes watching movies on Netflix.  MUCH cheaper than CRwifi at $65 per month.  And CRwifi is out of service for a bit every single month.

I will be traveling to the new property in the next few weeks.  It's "very" remote and Kolbi does not work there except for one bar.  So I'll update how Movistar performs there afterwards.

- Expat Dave

kohlerias :

Finding decent and inexpensive accommodations in a rural area, could make it harder for you to get reliable internet connections which I am guessing you require, according to your 'name' however it is no longer cheap to live here....and you can't legally perform physical work.

My name is actually a reference to reverting to a time before everything was digitized.

That being said. Limited service will be fine for us as there will be needs to communicate. We just want to be sure a message or a phone call is never far away.

We have decided we are going to airbnb around the country for a few weeks/months looking at homes and sampling all the regions.

Thank you ExpatDave, you seem to be a reliable source.

Hi All,
Lori and Bill here. We will be coming there next month to pick our location for us moving there. We are extremely excited and hope to meet fellow expats while down there. Looking forward to living a slower paced life!!

Hope to talk to some of y'all soon.

We would like to be able to walk to the markets, restaurants etc, any suggestions on where to look?

HI there,   Michael and Lori here from South Carolina USA     Looking to retire in Costa Rica.    After 33 years as a hospital pharmacist we are ready to retire.   I'm 57 and Lori is 55      We enjoy the beach and love the water.    Enjoy tennis and being outside.   Looking for  an area on the beach or Very close to it.    We would like to be around or close to other expats as well.      Any suggestions of help is appreciated.   Thanks

Hi. My name is katie. My family and I are relocating to San Ramon Costa Rica on august 24th. We have three kids age 6,4, and 2.

Hello..I moved from Georgia December 30, 2016 retiring from the public school system and teaching here.  I actually bought a home that is 300 meters from the beach.  Be very careful with housing for the following reasons:
1.  Not all realtors are actually realtors and will sell you ANYTHING to get a commission.
2.  Most homes under 300,000 are Tico homes which are concrete and very basic.  No P-traps so your bathrooms stink, and a list of ongoing upgrades required.
3.  There are no plumbing codes or plumbers
4.  There is no guarantee that your home is in the condition stated, so "buyer beware".

How do I know this?  I bought a home and, while it is only 300 meters from the beach, it is in constant need of upgrades.  We have been fixing and repairing each month and are actually considering selling because it is too big for us.  Four bedrooms and two bathrooms and a fenced backyard and it is just the two of us.  Anyone interested in moving should really rent and give yourself time to really find an honest realtor and the best buy.

ssmith338 :

Hello..I moved from Georgia December 30, 2016 retiring from the public school system and teaching here.  I actually bought a home that is 300 meters from the beach.  Be very careful with housing for the following reasons:
1.  Not all realtors are actually realtors and will sell you ANYTHING to get a commission.
2.  Most homes under 300,000 are Tico homes which are concrete and very basic.  No P-traps so your bathrooms stink, and a list of ongoing upgrades required.
3.  There are no plumbing codes or plumbers
4.  There is no guarantee that your home is in the condition stated, so "buyer beware".

How do I know this?  I bought a home and, while it is only 300 meters from the beach, it is in constant need of upgrades.  We have been fixing and repairing each month and are actually considering selling because it is too big for us.  Four bedrooms and two bathrooms and a fenced backyard and it is just the two of us.  Anyone interested in moving should really rent and give yourself time to really find an honest realtor and the best buy.

So, we sound a bit bitter, understandable in cases like yours but not all of what you state is actually factual.
First, I'd agree on realtors.  But to be fair, there are no licensed realtors here.  There are no requirements to becoming a realtor.  So if you feel the need for a realtor - BEWARE.

Homes for less than $300,000.00 are Tico homes?  Again, understand the frustration, but this depends entirely on the area that you select.  Yes, if you choose a high end resort area along the beach you will be paying for it.  If you buy a home inland you'll pay significantly less.

There are actually are plumbing codes - now.  With the construction of older homes there may or may not have been plumbing codes but they certainly were not enforced.  When I built my home the requirements for meeting the codes were right there in the planno/blueprints.  Here, it is up to the architect to make sure those codes are followed.  I actually disagreed with some of their codes and went by San Francisco code as it's more applicable, and strict, for earthquake prone environments.

You are SO right about buyer beware.  Just the same as you should be in your home country.  The big disadvantage here is if you need to sue someone, it will take several years to reach an actual hearing.

As SSmith states, RENT BEFORE BUYING - please!  Over the years I've heard many stories like this.  If you're not familiar with construction, find someone who is to inspect the building, the electrical, the water, the plumbing, the walls, etc., etc.  AND, there are no "licensed" home inspectors here either.  My recommendation would be to find an honest Gringo who was a contractor or a Tico who worked in the States for a number of years to inspect the home before considering purchase.  I would not depend on a Tico who has only done construction work in CR.  For lack of a better way to say it, Ticos simply do not understand how picky North Americans are.

An soon-to-be expat purchased a house down the road from me.  The realtor used her "home inspector" to inspect the home...a Tico that charged the buyer $400.  I somehow managed to get involved and agreed to inspect the home after he did.  The "inspector" missed every single thing that I pointed out.  None of it too serious but it still cost her about $4,000.00 to correct all of the minor issues.

Good luck to you Mr./Ms. Smith.  I sincerely hope that it all works out.   :cool:

Did not mean to sound bitter, just learned a hard lesson.  I wish there were a "halfway house" for expats! : )  A place a person can stay that is "the real thing" and not a hotel or resort where you can stay while observing and taking in the surroundings.  Costa Rica is a beautiful country with so much to do and see but moving here is definitely not like moving to another state; you are moving to another country.  I thought I had read enough about the area before moving but found out the hard way a lot of things.  How about an "adopt an expat" program?  Ha!  The thing is, rent before buying, know thoroughly what you are getting into and, preferably have a couple of trustworthy friends living here.  Good to hear from you, ExpatDave!  Wish you were available to help with my plumbing! :0

"I wish there were a "halfway house" for expats!"  Oh so true.  Thanks for the laugh.   :lol:

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Costa Rica

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Costa Rica

Moving to Costa Rica

Find tips from professionals about moving to Costa Rica

Travel insurance in Costa Rica

Enjoy stress-free travel to Costa Rica