So, I'm going to fast forward a little bit to September of 2016...Why? Well, this is when things became real with our dream to have our own tropical oasis in Costa Rica. We were on a plane, and making our way to the surf town of Tamarindo to meat up with a real estate agent we had been chatting with over the previous few months. We had a list of houses we wanted to check out and were ready to get this done.
We meet up with our realtor Chad, an American who's been living in Costa Rica for about 20+ years. Now, let me tell you about real estate in Costa Rica, you have to watch out who you deal with, as there aren't a ton of qualifications required...As luck would have it Chad was simply amazing; during his time in Costa Rica he had learned the lay of the land very well, and new what the heck he was talking about.
A few days into our real estate search, my wife and I were curious why Chad had not brought us to see any of the houses we had put on our list, and he simply said that they were not going to be what we were hoping for...not exactly as shown on the internet. Just to appease our minds, he brought us to one of the houses, unannounced (it's typical in Costa Rica for the home owners / renters to stay in the house while a showing is going on....kinda weird). Anyways, we pull up to what was one of our top picks from the internet site, and sadly, Chad was bang on, the house was quite well used, there had just been a flood of muddy water in the pool, and ya...that was it...off to the next house.
We went to see the house of an elderly man from the USA who was packing up and moving back home. We arrive at the house and before we get out of the car, Chad tells us not to comment on the smell of cigarette smoke at all, this home owner gets very annoyed when people comment about the cigarette smoke...Gee, I wonder why? We walk into the house which was very nice from outside, well manicured front garden, looked promising...the door opens, and bang, the smell of cigarette smoke hits us like that dodge ball that came out of nowhere....Whoa, it was a little much, but my wife and I said nothing. We looked around the house, which was well built, full of the typical American luxuries (dishwasher, garburator, trash compactor, and gas operated back-up generator that could probably supply power to all the houses on the block for a month), this place was ready for a global event of some sort..) Needless to say, we came, we saw, we weren't interested in buying a home that had been smoked in non-stop for the past 15 years...no thanks.
By our 3rd or 4th day of looking at houses we were starting to become a little discouraged that we weren't going to find what we were hoping for...But, here comes Chad to the rescue; have you ever thought of buying an empty lot and building a house?...a bit of a pause from both my wife and I, ummm...were not opposed to that idea, but we've never built a house before, not in Canada, not anywhere, let alone in Costa Rica..Let's go check out some lots, I have a few in mind...
We looked at a lot of lots, some that were overlooking the beach, others that were kind of in the middle of nowhere, and a few in various gated communities. Lots to think about, and a decision to make before the end of the week...There's a lot to know about purchasing houses in Costa Rica, and even more that you need to know about buying a lot that you want to build a house on...So, the decision was pretty simple in the end, we purchased a beautiful wooded lot in a well-developed gated community in Villa Real, a small town just out side of Tamarindo...far enough away from the tourist scene, but close enough to it that if you want to partake you can...
Here are a few pictures of the lot we purchased.
Stay tuned for the next blog, all about getting things ready for construction...eek!