Your first days in your home in Costa Rica

Hello everyone,

Do you remember the first time you set foot in Costa Rica? One of your main concerns must have been the settling down process in your new home.

Share your experience and tell us what it was like to find your new home in Costa Rica and how the moving-in process worked for you.

How did you find it (with an estate agency, your company, social networks, friends) and how long did it take?

At that time, what were the most common housing options available in your area ? How did you narrow down your search?

Did you opt for a temporary housing solution during your first days in Costa Rica?

What are the main differences you noticed with your home country when it comes to the type of housing and formalities to settle in, etc.?

What struck you the most when you first moved in? Were there any challenges that you faced? If yes, how did you overcome them?

Is there any piece of advice that you would like to give to future expatriates to make their new place feel like home?

Thank you for your input.

Cheryl team

after 32 years of living in paradise the following is the advice i would give

  1. do not live in remote areas since almost all of the services you will need are in the central valley
  2. the price of land has risen so far that development has moved to areas 30-50 miles from escazu which is where the smart expats long ago decided was the place to live
  3. if escazu is too expensive consider close in areas like santa ana or ciudad colon
  4. make sure you consider living in a gated complex
  5. price smart and walmart and multiplaza and epa(like home depot) are important to new comers
  6. recognize that this is not your country until you have been here for at least ten years
  7. half the locals resent the expats who do not speak spanish and the 20% who speak english want to impress you with how well they speak english
  8. do not buy property unless you find a perito (appraiser) who works for the court of one of the local banks to advise you     see angela jimenez rocha certified appraiser for 32 years in costa rica
  9. i always look for the best value in a gated complex ---the best one is in concasa where 2 bed 2 bath condos with pool, tennis, lake, supermarket rent for $600 up


I vacationed in 1998 in Manuel Antonio for 10 days. After 3 other fact finding trips, I took the plunge in May of 2004. There were no smartphones or Facebook. Very few English speakers. I learned Spanish first thing, attending an immersion program for 2 months. I cannot recommend that enough. Why invest part of your life if you cannot communicate with Ticos ?

Rented for about a year and bought and remodeled a house in San Joaquín de Flores in Heredia.

When I finally retired I moved to Grecia where I live with my Tico husband of 3 years, Francisco.

Glad to talk to newcomers.

@mail66 nice

nice place to live if

  1. you have financial secure income above $1500 month sometimes more if you need a car
  2. find someone to trust which is almost impossible in this country but maybe it is same for any expat in new country
  3. costa rica is no longer inexpensive but from what i have been told neither is north america
  4. all in all the only place i ever knew with the climate of the central valley in the states was certain parts of california like napa, or the town clint eastwood lived in but the houses there were in the millions
  5. food security is better here since most food is local not being transported from one coast to the other like the states