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CR Retirement Relocation Tours

Hi All  :D

I posted in the Healthcare forum first -- sorry about that.  I should have done the PC thing and posted here first.

It appears that advertising is strictly prohibited here (love that) so I will try not to mention names or a specific company.  Still, my burning question is:  Has anyone here had in any experience with the C.H. tours?  Can you please PM me if you have? Many years ago I read several books by this person and I got the distinct impression I was paying for knowledge, and nothing more.

I know people make money because they have knowledge they have spent a great deal of time to obtain.  I'm perfectly fine with that.  Knowledge is power, and if you have spent the time to gain knowledge I see no reason why you shouldn't get paid to teach what you know.  I understand everything we learn from other's is subjective; good information and the information that isn't quite as useful.   However, there are people who make money through sponsorship:  that is R.E. developers, attorneys, etc.  pay you to point people in their direction, plus they make money on the people who sign up for the seminar/tour -- big scam.  I don't want to pay for something that is extremely biased and will point me in a specific direction to make $$$.  I want to learn about the options in CR, and the people/professionals that have a proven track record, etc.  I'm hoping that is what the retirement relocation tours will do.

Hi please pm me the info on which health tour you are talking about. I might be able to comment on it.
Healthcare forum? I didn't even know there was one here!

I've never been on a healthcare tour so can't comment but I do know some tour givers, maybe they're giving a health tour now?

I went on a tour by George L years ago and although he sells real estate, he didn't really push it, and my wife and I found the tour very fun and informative. In fact some of the real estate he showed us was not even for sale, it was a guy building on his own lot and the idea was to be able to ask questions about building and such which was good. And then, yes, he did show us some lots and houses for sale but they were in nice locations with views and I found it worthwhile to see them and price them even though I had no intention of buying anything at that time.

He took us to CIMA hospital for a tour which was very interesting - how nice and luxurious and modern it looked! (looks?)

He mostly gave us a lot of info and I took notes and they were helpful. As to the health tour you ask about I don't know who's giving it; let me know by private messaging here, and I'll see if I can pm you back with any info.

As to health care here I can tell you this re dentists:
My best friend is here now and getting 3 implants / teeth replacements. He has had a tooth pulled already and some tests done etc and he says he's very impressed with the dentist which is near San Jose. San Pedro? I think...

He says - assuming the work is done right and lasts - he is saving thousands of dollars, enough to pay for 3 trips back and forth to California and still have much savings left over! He priced the implants in CA at $5,000 each. Granted, he probably could have found a better price but they were $3,500 per tooth, when I had mine done in the USA. Here you'd still save substantial money especially if you were getting 3 or more.

If C.H. is Chris Howard, I don't know how his tours are.

I wouldn't be surprised if anyone giving a tour has it set up to get commissions on bringing in clients to the clinic or what-not, but I don't see that is necessarily bad IF the clinic or whatever is indeed good and you get the same price(s) anyone else would... In fact I would think the health giver would want to provide extra good service to the tourists on the tour so as to continue to get the referrals from the tour giver. But that's just my take on it.

Thank you for responding.  I'm sorry my post wasn't very clear (my bad). I posted my original, first post in the healthcare section of this forum.  This post, the one you replied to, is in the newbies, or introduce yourself section.  I did it backwards (typical for me, hehehe). I should have introduced myself first.

Yes, I was referring to Chris Howard and his tours.  They are not specific to healthcare.  I presume he provides residency and health insurance information, but I don't think it is the central focus -- at least I hope it isn't.  Seeing CR and obtaining reliable geographical information while exploring housing options/prices is important to me.  I need the visual, tangible element to make an informed decision.  I am more interested in finding a legal professional to hire, and a realistic price to pay, so everything is "according to Hoyle", so to speak.  The "DIY" of residency and buying a home is not something I feel completely comfortable with.  The legal world is full of loop holes and a trained professional would make me feel much more comfortable.

Once again, I would advise to rent first to see if the location really suits your needs. Very easy to buy...and often, very difficult to sell. Much easier to pack up, and change locations.

kohlerias :

Once again, I would advise to rent first to see if the location really suits your needs. Very easy to buy...and often, very difficult to sell. Much easier to pack up, and change locations.

One of the things that we all agree on.  Rent first.  Soooooooo many people make the mistake of buying when they first come down. They then regret it down the road when they are stuck in an area they don't like or that they want to return to their home country and cannot - simply because they can't sell.

- Expat Dave

4theloveofsun :

Thank you for responding.  I'm sorry my post wasn't very clear (my bad). I posted my original, first post in the healthcare section of this forum.  This post, the one you replied to, is in the newbies, or introduce yourself section.  I did it backwards (typical for me, hehehe). I should have introduced myself first.

Yes, I was referring to Chris Howard and his tours.  They are not specific to healthcare.  I presume he provides residency and health insurance information, but I don't think it is the central focus -- at least I hope it isn't.  Seeing CR and obtaining reliable geographical information while exploring housing options/prices is important to me.  I need the visual, tangible element to make an informed decision.  I am more interested in finding a legal professional to hire, and a realistic price to pay, so everything is "according to Hoyle", so to speak.  The "DIY" of residency and buying a home is not something I feel completely comfortable with.  The legal world is full of loop holes and a trained professional would make me feel much more comfortable.

As to the "tour companies," personally, I hold a low regard for the majority of them.  Like lawyers, there is maybe one in fifty that are caring and are good people.  Yes, you are paying for their knowledge and experience.  At the same time the cost of knowledge and experience is less in CR than in North America.  I've always found their fees to be ridiculously high.  Shop around and definitely talk to people who have used that particular service.  Personally, I would trust Ticos before I would trust Gringo.  Just my personal opinion.   :D

My other point that I like to harp on, if they just happen to sell real estate as well, RUN AWAY!  If they are trying to sell you real estate when you first come down then they are not being honest with you.  Anyone who is honest with you will tell you as stated above, rent first - always rent first.

- Expat Dave

I have some real estate for sale BUT I agree: rent first! IN THE AREA you want to buy in. i.e. don't rent in one area then buy in another.

However Expat Dave and I disagree on the tours - which I have NO part in, no connection to at all.

My wife and I took George Lundquist's tour 4-5 years ago just for fun and knowledge (I'd already bought here) and found it very worthwhile. Not sure even if he is still giving them as he is getting up there in years.  Yes, George offered his properties and some he got/gets a commission on, but in no sense did he ever push anyone to buy when I took his tour. He simply showed us a few examples of what was available in various areas, including Puriscal and San Ramon and a couple other areas.

But also the tour we took with George in no way focused on real estate.  It focused on showing us the layout of the central valley by visiting various locations, and showing us towns, talking to us about things like health care and residency, and sharing many stories and knowledge about Costa Rica. As mentioned my wife and I were very happy with the tour in all aspects. Even the hotels and bed and breakfasts we stayed at were nice experiences.

Some other tours I've heard about, I could not recommend, because I have not taken them myself nor heard a lot of glowing reports.

4theloveofsun :

Thank you for responding.  I'm sorry my post wasn't very clear (my bad). I posted my original, first post in the healthcare section of this forum.  This post, the one you replied to, is in the newbies, or introduce yourself section.  I did it backwards (typical for me, hehehe). I should have introduced myself first.

Yes, I was referring to Chris Howard and his tours.  They are not specific to healthcare.  I presume he provides residency and health insurance information, but I don't think it is the central focus -- at least I hope it isn't.  Seeing CR and obtaining reliable geographical information while exploring housing options/prices is important to me.  I need the visual, tangible element to make an informed decision.  I am more interested in finding a legal professional to hire, and a realistic price to pay, so everything is "according to Hoyle", so to speak.  The "DIY" of residency and buying a home is not something I feel completely comfortable with.  The legal world is full of loop holes and a trained professional would make me feel much more comfortable.

As already mentioned by many of us here, your "informed decision" to move here should not be based on ANY tour whether by a tour service or private professional but on your actually renting here first.

That said, I think you're kinda going about it the wrong way. Finding a "legal professional to hire" to determine the prices of real estate etc is just as risky - if not more so - than using a highly regarded tour service. IMHO.

As to what price to pay for property, first determine the type of property you want - beach, mountain, Central Valley, Caribe, or etc - and then do searches on the internet. This will give you a good idea of prices. Since it's a buyer's market here you can assume the sellers may come down in their prices. Go five pages deep on Google looking at various real estate sites and for sale by owners pages and that will give you a good idea of prices.

You can always rent here in an area you think you might like and then ask around. You very well may find a bargain that way via Ticos with land for sale. But it takes a lot of time and patience to do it. Been there, done that, and it didn't work out for me. Ticos often give you a gringo price higher than the gringo realtors! But then again you might get lucky and find a Tico with good land at a good price.

What I did in fact was set up appointments with realtors - Ticos and Gringos - and try to see 3-5 properties a day. i.e. set up 3-5 appointments in one area for one day, 3-5 another, etc. Some realtors want you to pay for gas and I think that's fair as gas is expensive and they don't want to just spend the day giving people a free tour. Some may still do  that but if I were them I wouldn't. I've seen too many people who are just "looky Lou's", time wasters just being curious without any real intention of buying.

Anyway I set up appointments to look at properties, came down for a visit of a week or two and spent that time looking for the specific type of property I wanted. By doing this you get the lay of the land and learn a lot about the people you interact with, and you can ask a lot of questions. 

For buying a home here, the main thing is to have a good honest attorney. The realtor is not so important but just don't use the realtor's nor the seller's attorney for the purchase - get your own. Getting a good honest attorney is difficult but if you pm me I can give you an English speaking one but he works for American millionaires so he isn't cheap. I can also tell you one to stay away from at all costs, from my experience and in my opinion.

A good, honest attorney: how do you find one? Ask people, but ask more than just a couple; get good references.  It's hard to know who to trust and who not to, and you have to base it on good references and in part on personal contact and how they conduct themselves before you start using them. Ask a lot of questions, ask them for references. At some point you gotta just trust someone. You're buying property in another country so it's a bit scary but just remember thousands of others have done it. And you've gotten good references!

As to residency, if you can at all afford it use a good attorney, it will save you time and hassle.  Look on this forum for recommendations.

I agree that renting first is best, but I doubt I will find a *nice* rental that will accept dogs -- yes plural.  That is one challenge I'm not sure I will overcome.

Being a woman and "head of household" so to speak, I naturally have many concerns about safety.  Woman are targets for predators anywhere; and the US isn't any different.  I've been researching safety issues and I came across some statistics; intentional murder rates by country.  You may find the statistics about CR vs US rather interesting.

Many places will accept multiple dogs and cats, but it will limit your choices.

"That said, I think you're kinda going about it the wrong way. Finding a "legal professional to hire" to determine the prices of real estate etc is just as risky - if not more so - than using a highly regarded tour service. IMHO." samramon

I'm sorry my post wasn't clear.  The price or cost of an attorney, not the home, is what I was trying to say (write).  I'm interrupted so many times while writing and reading it is difficult to say (write) clearly.

"As to residency, if you can at all afford it use a good attorney, it will save you time and hassle.  Look on this forum for recommendations."
samromon

Yes, an attorney for residency and housing contracts is needed -- not home prices.  I'll try to spend more time proofing my writing -- operative word "try"   :joking:

kohlerias :

Many places will accept multiple dogs and cats, but it will limit your choices.

Ideally I can find one -- that would be my first choice.  Like you said, it will limit my choices.  Given there are mobility issues in the household, and health concerns, housing is a challenge.

I was going to ask if mobility is a concern? The sidewalks here are awful!!  So a wheelchair is usually used 'on the road'.
Read the other recent posts here

kohlerias :

I was going to ask if mobility is a concern? The sidewalks here are awful!!  So a wheelchair is usually used 'on the road'.
Read the other recent posts here

Thank you so much for the info!  Very much appreciated.  I was aware mobility issues can present problems in CR -- heck I deal with them here.  In my experience, or in our situation, the mobility challenge is problematic when people try to live independently and/or need to be active within the community.  People who spend most of their time at home typically don't experience many problems; assuming the home environment is appropriate.  Both are mobile but cannot walk far.  Stairs and bathtubs are deal breakers due to fall risks, but one-story homes with a step-in shower are fine.  I wouldn't mind utilizing a second floor for me :)

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