Does anyone know more about Bellazo/Kalia?

Other than their own website I could only find information about them on Trip Advisor which had the same question I had, whereupon one poster criticized us for posting on Trip Advisor as it was not a travel but real estate question and advised us to go to  http://forums.arcr.net/, the only problem being is that I could not register. I heard it might be a problem  for those who use the chromebook browser (as I have a chromebook and not a laptop I am unable to use another browser,)  but often times when I sign up, I have to go through this infuriating captcha process where I have to click on photos of various subjects, street signs etc. and although I am careful to do it right, it says it is incorrect and after two or three tries I give up, fortunately THIS site does not require it so I could post here.

The sales man Louis, is VERY informative and persuasive (after speaking with him I was ready to sell it, LOL) but one of the posts on Trip Advisor was very cautionary, and no one who was on there had a house built only bought lots there.  Hope someone has done both can tell experiences.

Have heard nothing about it. Suggest you visit in person, and perform the 'due diligence' it requires, if really interested. The country is full of 'developments' where they have a very fancy gate and where people have purchased lots that will never be built on.

Suggest you read the requirements for living here, if that is your intent.

jenn garden :

Other than their own website I could only find information about them on Trip Advisor which had the same question I had, whereupon one poster criticized us for posting on Trip Advisor as it was not a travel but real estate question and advised us to go to  http://forums.arcr.net/, the only problem being is that I could not register. I heard it might be a problem  for those who use the chromebook browser (as I have a chromebook and not a laptop I am unable to use another browser,)  but often times when I sign up, I have to go through this infuriating captcha process where I have to click on photos of various subjects, street signs etc. and although I am careful to do it right, it says it is incorrect and after two or three tries I give up, fortunately THIS site does not require it so I could post here.

The sales man Louis, is VERY informative and persuasive (after speaking with him I was ready to sell it, LOL) but one of the posts on Trip Advisor was very cautionary, and no one who was on there had a house built only bought lots there.  Hope someone has done both can tell experiences.

Hola Jenn,

Welcome to Expat.com!

Well, first I'd have to say, from the bit of information that you provided, me, I'd run the other way.   :idontagree:

I would strongly advise anyone and everyone against purchasing property without physically being here.  Same applies to building a home.  IF you are not physically there during construction - don't do it.   Next, hire a lawyer that is not in anyway connected to the property to research the title.  AND make sure that the price that you're paying for the property is what they sell for in that area.

Example:  There is a so called "eco-developement" going in down the road from me.  First thing they did was cut down all the trees.  Next pave the roads and put in a bunch of street lights so that you won't have the incredible view of the stars we have here.  (Yep, "...cut down the trees and put up a parking lot.")  And finally and most important, they are charging a "minimum" of $150,000 for about 5,000 m2.  Well, if you walk across the street the cost will be $30,000.00 for a private 5,000 m2 lot.  But I guess if you feel the need to live in a "gated community," you will have to pay the price.

You cannot buy over the phone, online or anything short of being in person and face to face.  Many, many, many people have been screwed when it comes to land purchases here.  And you will find little recourse after the fact.

So if you are interested in any property, finca, house, etc., it's imperative that you be here, in person, and with a good lawyer behind you.

There are many great deals on land and housing here - as well as good, honest people.  But people need to use common sense.  Don't assume that things are done here the same as in your home country.  Do not assume that people here are the same as in your home country.

As is said or recommend by many of us here - do your due diligence.

Okay, that my two cents worth....   :joking:

- Expat Dave

LOL. Dave, I know that property of which you speak and I found out they were selling lots for $175,000 for the same as mine which are $65,000 only a little further down the road. I couldn't believe they actually sold one, but then some gringos have no sense of what things are worth or not worth, here.

I agree with what Dave said. "Developments" are sometimes a scam and you have to be very careful, and chances are you'll pay dearly for that GATE.
If money is no object and you want to live only with other gringos behind a gate (which sometimes means you're a target for thieves!), then go for it.
But at least check it out very closely with a non-connected attorney of your own choice and then compare prices in the area very closely if money matters at all to you. Also do a very thorough web search for the people's names involved in creating the development.

BTW I know nothing of the development you speak of, I'm just saying in general you need to check on these things closely, development or a finca of your own.

The same is true for builders. You can't assume just because a builder is a gringo that he is a good guy or going to give you the best deal. Often the opposite is true. But there are good Tico builders and good gringo builders... and bad ones of both types.

I came very close to employing a builder - a Canadian - who had a very informative web site and seemed like he really knew how to build. I think he actually does know building.
But then I did a google and found out he had been sued for creating a development, taking people's money and not delivering the goods. Then he came back to me with a price for building my house which was DOUBLE what I had told him I could spend. Bottom line I used a Tico builder who built twice the house for half the cost and did a great job. On the other hand, you gotta watch for Tico builders who have no idea how to build a good house to what I will call "American standards", especially plumbing and electricity.

Good advise.

Glad I took  the time to read your post. Thank you for the head up about Contractor . We should be in Costa  Rica in October, and we  are considering  to interview a few Contractactors / Builder’s for our project in Heredia.  You speak highly
of  a builder who  build your project , is there any way you could give a name and contact information for that individual. Much appreciated.

I am learning a wonderful life lesson. Currently in the middle of a TOTAL nightmare with my boyfriend in purchasing from this company who has several names: Belazzo, Kalia, Black Beauty...

It is going on four years, house almost done, more surprises and excuses than we could have ever imagined. IF you choose to purchase from them, you will most likely be held hostage to their shady business practices and lose time, money, peace and more.  When this is over, if it ever is, we will be out more money and time than we could have ever dreamed of and it nearly destroyed our relationship.

Be warned. GET AN ATTORNEY INVOLVED FROM THE FIRST DOLLAR.

We love Costa Rica but wish we would have done much more due diligence

justagirl, that is a sad story for sure! Sorry you had that happen.
But thanks for posting the info here so others can learn from what happened to you and your boyfriend.

One must be EXTREMELY careful in signing a contract to buy into a development where the houses are not built yet and where they are responsible for building them.

In my opinion the very best option for building  house is to use a SIP panel place like Panacor to help you design and build your house, then hire a team recommended by them to do the building, or a team recommended by someone you know who have built with SIPs. Another option I could recommend is using a company like Concrepal who have a lot of experience building with concrete blocks. The cost is going to be less with the SIP's from what I found and those who are accustomed to building with them will have the house up in a very short time. Maybe 3 months or so ... which saves a lot of labor costs!

Also there are many houses  and lots available  for sale (I know because I have them myself) at very fair prices. But if you want a custom house built I'd buy a lot, and check it well with 2 (not just one!) of your own real estate attorneys (not the seller's attorney(s) to make sure it has no debts against it, no problems with the title at all.

Then research and find someone who's had experience building with SIPs or Concrepal concrete blocks. You have to be there ON SITE almost every day (preferably EVERY day!) when the house is being built, to make sure they don't make mistakes and they don't loaf around. Our experience building with SIPs was a breeze and we love our SIP house, it's very well insulated and stays cool on very hot days with just a couple fans.

Someone asked about a recommended construction supervisor. Unfortunately mine is no longer building houses, he is doing big government projects as far as I know. Although once someone for sure decides to build and if it's near San Ramon I'd be happy to check to see if he'd be interested. But one can check with the seller of the SIPS (such as Panacor) and they can recommend people who know how to build with them and you can even go look at examples of their work.

We were taken advantage of as well with our "so-called" builder.  He wasn't Tico, but cuban.  He did complete our home but at a price (double our budget) which I think is very common in Costa Rica.  He definately had a VISION for his development and couldn't create it unless he had these big honking homes so he spent our money creating it.  Much larger than what any of us wanted but it was excuse after excuse of why "it had to be that way".......placement of homes, streams, not being allowed to remove trees - the list goes on and on.   We did speak to others in the community prior to committing to building and were terribly misinformed by them.  Afterwards we come to find out they are all friends with this guy so of course, their references were excellent.  Very sad situation for all of us gringos - just trying to live a peaceful life.  Unfortunately though we look like millionaires to these people - I guess they don't think we have worked hard all of our lives to get to where we are today.  Just saddens me as it really has put a dark light on this beautiful country.  By the way to the post about your home being "gated" - some gringos have a certain lifestyle they are used to and prefer to keep some of that even though they are living in a different place.  I would rather have this than barring up all my windows and just because your home is in a gated community doesn't mean you will be robbed.  We know of someone who has a lovely home NOT GATED and does have decorative bars on windows and guess what, they've been robbed 5 times..........you are simply a target if your gringo and that's the honest truth!

cratedivision :

We were taken advantage of as well with our "so-called" builder.  He wasn't Tico, but cuban.  He did complete our home but at a price (double our budget) which I think is very common in Costa Rica.  He definately had a VISION for his development and couldn't create it unless he had these big honking homes so he spent our money creating it.  Much larger than what any of us wanted but it was excuse after excuse of why "it had to be that way".......placement of homes, streams, not being allowed to remove trees - the list goes on and on.   We did speak to others in the community prior to committing to building and were terribly misinformed by them.  Afterwards we come to find out they are all friends with this guy so of course, their references were excellent.  Very sad situation for all of us gringos - just trying to live a peaceful life.  Unfortunately though we look like millionaires to these people - I guess they don't think we have worked hard all of our lives to get to where we are today.  Just saddens me as it really has put a dark light on this beautiful country.  By the way to the post about your home being "gated" - some gringos have a certain lifestyle they are used to and prefer to keep some of that even though they are living in a different place.  I would rather have this than barring up all my windows and just because your home is in a gated community doesn't mean you will be robbed.  We know of someone who has a lovely home NOT GATED and does have decorative bars on windows and guess what, they've been robbed 5 times..........you are simply a target if your gringo and that's the honest truth!

I personally think - based on observations of people I know or know of - that gringo communities are more of a target for burglary. I've seen it happen at every gringo community I know about here.

However, of course you can get burgled living in Tico communities or no community at all, as well.
I'll just add that plenty of Ticos get robbed too. Many destitutely poor people - or perhaps just ne'er do wells - certainly do break into houses and steal whatever they can. But I have known more than one gringo development where the guard was the major suspect in helping people rob the residents!

That's very interesting.........yep it always seems to be someone "connected to the community" for sure.  The guard, the builders' workers, gardeners, etc......shame!

Wow I wish I would’ve found you sooner but I just appreciate that others will. Overall I love Costa Rica and have been coming for years to vacation. So much to see. It is true, the Costa Rican’s are so nice and the culture is relaxed and so positive. This too shall pass.

What do you know about internet, mail delivery and address lol. Some things that we encounter are trying to tell people our address, we did find the post office and cost of renting a box...can you get amazon here?  Internet has been daunting at the house because so far I haven’t found a provider except through the developer which, I must say, if you choose to build in Costa Rica and you put all of your lifeline through the developers bloodstream you may feel completely helpless if they don’t fulfill their expectations and promises. I have the contact for SUTEL so if that isn’t right and you know something better, please do tell❤️

Thank you for taking the time to reapond with so much information. I “second” your be there everyday so they don’t loaf around but quite frankly, whatcha gonna do about it???

CR Wifi is a great internet provider.  Try and get yourself loosened from using your developer to help you with stuff.  Renting a post box is not expensive and No I don't think Amazon will deliver there.

Justagirl8870 :

Wow I wish I would’ve found you sooner but I just appreciate that others will. Overall I love Costa Rica and have been coming for years to vacation. So much to see. It is true, the Costa Rican’s are so nice and the culture is relaxed and so positive. This too shall pass.

What do you know about internet, mail delivery and address lol. Some things that we encounter are trying to tell people our address, we did find the post office and cost of renting a box...can you get amazon here?  Internet has been daunting at the house because so far I haven’t found a provider except through the developer which, I must say, if you choose to build in Costa Rica and you put all of your lifeline through the developers bloodstream you may feel completely helpless if they don’t fulfill their expectations and promises. I have the contact for SUTEL so if that isn’t right and you know something better, please do tell❤️

Thank you for taking the time to reapond with so much information. I “second” your be there everyday so they don’t loaf around but quite frankly, whatcha gonna do about it???

Internet: depends on exactly where you live. One person can have such and such internet and a person literally 500 yards away might not have any or might have only the option for a different internet service. Micro climates and also micro-internet-regions.

My neighbors 500 meters away have ICE but ICE won't provide it to me. (Long story as to why... they just won't basically.) Meanwhile I do have Claro and they suck as a company but their service is pretty good. CRwifi is pretty good but I know people who didn't like them, too; and they are not available in all areas. In some areas NO internet is available. Again it depends on the micro-"pocket" you are in.

Amazon will not deliver anywhere in Costa Rica as far as I know. You can get amazon via aeorcasilla or whatever it is they've changed their name to now, but they are EXPENSIVE. Basically 50% more to twice the price. If money is no object, then it's no problem. Most of us for whom money is an object, wait to have friends bring us stuff, or if you're placing a big order, like to buy a laptop or something it's actually cheaper to fly to Florida to get one than to buy one here. Plus here the keyboards are Espanol and believe me you don't want one of those even if you speak Spanish.

The best way to find out about what internet might be available is to call around or shop around and ask. Some can be found out via email. There are Kolbi/ICE, Claro, Movistar (I hear they suck), Empresario, and several others. Do a google and ask around.

With a Developer, I don't know "whatcha gonna do about it", but if you're contracting a builder yourself there's a lot you can do about it. You can fire them. You can tell threaten to fire them. You can tell them to get on the ball. You can tell them they are doing something wrong if you pay attention. You can note that the window guy left 1 inch gaps at the top of the window where rain can get in (this happened to us because it was up high and we didn't go check. We asked a worker, "Are those windows up their good?" He called down "YES!" and 6 months later we found out during a tropical storm about the 1" gaps they left ...)

I would never buy from a developer unless the house was DONE and I could SEE it, Inspect it etc before buying. It is just too risky here to buy a house that is yet to be build from a developer.

Love the advice of Sanramon about never buying from a developer!  They have hit the nail on the head.

Thanks!  Ya we checked Cr WiFi and they are a great company but not available to us

I have heard horrific things about this company and in doing more research have found out even more troubling stuff. I would love to hear from others who have actually built or deposited with kalia/bellazo/black beauty. Their website has the only (all positive of course) reviews you can find. It all seems very manufactured and phony. Nothing anywhere else to speak of. Justagirl8870, sent you a PM regarding this.

Since there are so many risks and so many bad experiences buying and building, AND there are so many fantastic properties lingering on the market for years without selling, I advise renting.  Multiply your annual rent x 10 years and see how that compares to what you would spend in fees, permits, lawyers, contractors, and aggravation if you built your own.  Then crunch the numbers on your costs x 10 years if you try to sell once you have built.  Rent.

Blue ridge boy, good advice. Looking back, when you see a red flag, call it!  And, remember that just because someone says it’s so, and publishes something as truth, doesn’t mean it is. Honest companies are transparent and honorable.

I am headed down for the Discovery Tour at Bellazo in late April. Since you have been working with them, can you give me some specific information, pointers, or red flags?  thanks I appreciate any help you can give me.

Review them online and make notes, then ask questions. Make a list. If you get more on the answered and clear side then on the evaded and foggy side, maybe you’ll have a different result.

Always take a contract home and read it very carefully and perhaps even have an attorney look at it for any red flags, before signing anything.

One time I signed up for one of those timeshares, in Mexico, based on what the salesman told us about it.

But when I got back to my room, I read the contract and found that half of the things I was promised were not in the contract. So I had to go back the next day and cancel the contract, which luckily I was able to do.

BlueRidgeBoy :

Since there are so many risks and so many bad experiences buying and building, AND there are so many fantastic properties lingering on the market for years without selling, I advise renting.  Multiply your annual rent x 10 years and see how that compares to what you would spend in fees, permits, lawyers, contractors, and aggravation if you built your own.  Then crunch the numbers on your costs x 10 years if you try to sell once you have built.  Rent.

I agree that it is a good idea to rent for a while first, before buying in Costa Rica.

However, if you really have decided to live here, it is much more economical to buy a house, or buy a plot of land and build on it.

Renting for 10 years is probably a waste of money in any case. And what about after the 10 years is up? If you rent for 10 years at $800 a month that's about $100,000 down the drain. For just a little more you could buy property, build a house and pay no rent.

Once you decide to live permanently in Costa Rica, it makes sense to buy or build. And if you do your homework as I did, building is not that difficult. For us it was actually very easy.

I went and had experienced a few “developers” in the nosara area. There is nosara hills, costa dorado and ours. Interestingly, the business owners know a lot about the area and although they don’t experience first hand, they experience the customers.   Costa Dorado is very impressive. They are upfront, show you everything, take you to other homeowners living there, have no local “horror stories” and even offered a free stay for our family to see what it’s like. Their restrictions and requirements are simplistic and one homeowner uses Airbnb to rent out. The owner was available and doesn’t try and sell you a dream. They have a community pool, are minutes from the beach and town in Marbella and there is a restaurant/bar and surf board rentals near the entrance to the gated community which actually has a gate. Lol. Prices were so reasonable. $45000 for a lot we looked at that was great size and 180 degree ocean view. So, here is a superb option from a builder who lives there and kids go to school there and homeowners speak highly of their experience. He doesn’t have several homes under construction so you know your money is going to build YOUR home.   Again, hindsight is 20/20.  And blindsight can really hit you hard. Pura Vida!💛

justagirl, I am a little confused about which builder/development project you are unhappy with? Are you praising one but built with the other?

Good question. This is a long string so you’d have to probably read the whole string but just to give you a “quick”, yes-built with one, very trusting, appeared on the up and up and turned out -still turning- to be a very big mistake. So. Actually looked into places doing the same “type” of thing and found that after doing the due diligence found that Costa Dorado is safer. STILL recommending an attorney whenever you buy in CR as do many real estate professionals, but they are very transparent. I did not choose Kalia/Bellazo/Ruby sky/Diamond Cove/black Beauty, my boyfriend did. I just get to ride the roller coaster with him. Hoping no one else has this experience but know there are several who have, and may still. 😞

Thanks.

I do hope that anyone interested in the group mentioned please perform your due diligence and do not rush into signing or committing to anything until you have really considered the mess you may end up with.

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