Ruthie’s Project

 Posted by on September 21, 2006  Stories  Add comments
Sep 212006

A step by step account of a single, older, woman’s project of buying land in Costa Rica, and then re-locating to that land.

Part I :: Part II :: Part III :: Part IV :: Part V
Living in Costa Rica has been such a life enriching experience in so many ways. Socially, culturally, spiritually, family, and even in a business sense. Of course all of these “life’s categories” have blurry borders and tend to run together like watercolor. But it helps to sort my thoughts out when talking about my experiences here to put things into categories. This is perhaps a strange pre-amble to the account about Ruth and her search for real estate in Costa Rica, an account that I am about to relate, but its what hits me, so there you have it.

Costa Rica is a marvel in itself, and one can write about it’s wonders. Something as mundane as seeing a toucan for the first time, it can touch the soul to see something so strange. Sloths, waterfalls, life-altering sunsets, Costa Rica offers them all. The thing though that I find the most wonderful, strange, fascinating – is being in a part of the world where people come visit, and feel that it is what they have been looking for all of their life. Making the move to Costa Rica involves knowledge. The knowledge comes from research, study, and talking with those who have made the move themselves and are willing to share their experiences. This makes for never-a-dull-moment kind of living, and one that I find intensely rewarding.

One day, I get an e-mail from Ruth. She, like so many others that I correspond with, would like to re-locate to Costa Rica. The unique thing about Ruth, is that she is 71 years old, and single, a widow. I am quickly impressed with the lucid intelligence that Ruth brings to the project of buying land in Costa Rica. She started with the blank canvas of the idea to relocate to Costa Rica, and has proceeded with the initial broad strokes, that of researching, at great length, the Internet’s resources for guidance on buying land here. She then made contact with me as a result of, and then with no hesitation whatsoever, came down to Costa Rica to put her feet on the properties.

Where we are at currently with her project is, a very ambitious pre-construction deal. It may be that, as the drama unfolds, there will be some twists and turns along the way, and that we end up in a totally different destination than what we currently predict as happening. I, and Ruth, are hopeful that in the relating of this account as it unfolds we can provide information that others find helpful in their efforts to buy land in Costa Rica.

Ruth had originally hoped to find an existing house, which in our particular market is not so easy. There is not a lot of inventory to choose from with respect to built houses. So, via e-mail we considered what there was, and decided that there were a couple to consider, but it was starting to lean towards Ruth buying some raw land, and then contracting for the construction of her house for her. It should be noted that Ruth has a health limitation that dictates that she have a single level home. So, this almost demands a custom solution for her when it comes to the “right” house for her.

Ruth and I met at her hotel in Manuel Antonio and headed out to lunch where there was a non-stop stream of conversation about the project at hand, as well as initial considerations of the various facets of moving to Costa Rica. Insurances, health care, cars, importing, phone service, and residency – the topics flew.

We set off for the drive back to Dominical, which we punctuated with visits to various properties along the way. The road is a bumpy affair, but it is currently, as I type this, being repaired and so it is in the best condition that I have ever seen it, but still a ways from being paved. We stopped off at the Hills of Portalon development. Then we stopped by a couple of other options all along the way that feature monster views up to Manuel Antonio, white water, lots of hills and valleys – great views. Ruth decided that these properties were a bit remote or that the accesses were too long for her needs. We felt that having community around was a prudent guideline for her particular situation.

So, with no further ado, I took Ruth to her hotel, Villas Rio Mar, where she discovered that, despite the bristly sheets, and her accelerated level of excitement at having found this part of the world, and the prospect of making it her home, she had a good night’s sleep.

To be continued …

Interested in Costa Rica real estate as an investment. They primarily live somewhere else, but they own property in Costa Rica for the asset appreciation potential as well as possible rental income. Some just buy and hold (land-bank). For developed properties, the investor has a vacation home to visit as desired.

Migrators spend a regular amount of time in Costa Rica during each year.

Re-locators are those that are looking to move to Costa Rica from wherever they are. They will live full-time in Costa Rica.