Exploring Rental Houses

A new friend who visited Atenas once and is coming back for 3 months to find if this is really where he wants to retire and maybe find a specific place to live long term. He asked me to check out a rent house he found online listed by owner and I made him a temporary Photo Gallery of the House. I just sent him the link and then thought that others might like to see what you could rent in Atenas for less than $600 a month! Just click the gallery link above. It is 3.9 km from the center of town.

His possible rental house overlooks a beautiful valley and is
surrounded by nature and a mountain resort next door he can use.
Atenas, Costa Rica
Having butterflies is important to me and there were
several right in front of his potential house.
Red-Spotted Patch Butterfly
Atenas, Costa Rica

Flamingo Beach, Sunset & Tamarindo Visit

We finally find the good beach in Flamingo Beach!
It is public, 4 times this long, and with very few people!
And no hotels along here!  🙂

The occasional person even has the choice of a tree for shade,
but alas, most are sun worshipers!

And tonight at the end of this same beach we watch the Sunset!
While eating our best meal yet at Coco Loco Seafood Restaurant on the beach
in Flamingo Beach.

And our midday and early afternoon was spent exploring Tamarindo Beach and being taken around by a Realtor to see several possible rental condos for John to consider purchasing. We ended up not looking in Flamingo Beach this time because of the lesser demand and higher prices. He is waiting on some promised data before making a decision. But soon you may be able to rent a vacation condo within walking distance of the beach and lots of restaurants in Tamarindo.

Tomorrow we go to Palo Verde National Park looking for birds! My day!  🙂

Is This My Colonial Town?

We started at our day of looking for rentals at 9:30 AM and went to 5:00 PM. My driver/helper is Alex Palma who drives a cab, serves as a concierge mainly to tourists, Realtors and for tourist transportation (506-8846-6868) and was very helpful after I finally made it clear I wanted to see furnished apartments only and got to his computer to show him what I had found online. He was pushing his town of Santo Domingo partly because he lives there and then I found he has what we call a “Mother-in-law’s Apartment” in his house that is available. Nice but not what I wanted. I did fall in love with Santo Domingo though.
We looked at a very nice condo in Santa Rosa neighborhood of Santo Domingo that I loved and it was right beside the INBio Park which I see myself volunteering at sometime in the future. It was wonderful condo for only $600 a month but not furnished! I may later get an unfurnished place because I like to decorate, but not for a year at earliest. So we move on!
 In another adjacent community (all suburbs of San Jose) named San Pablo we saw a wonderful furnished condo with pool for $900 which is more than I want to pay at first and it did not include utilities beyond water. We saw a brand new simpler and modern condo in Belen that was $750 plus utilities but it was another unfurnished one even though listed with the furnished ones. I could easily live there but I must start with a furnished apartment.
Finally our contact was able to meet us at 4:00 PM to show us a two-bedroom, one bath apartment just 5 blocks from the Santo Domingo plaza and church where everything is located and just what I wanted to be near. It is a colonial Latin American town that centers around a full block plaza with a big Catholic Church facing it. There are several needed businesses including a supermarket, the weekly farmers’ market, and a smaller 7-day a week fruit and vegetable market. There are several Sodas for a variety of lunch choices (we ate at one) and my favorite, a POP’s Ice Cream right on the square. I felt I had found my place! It rents for $600 a month furnished and with all utilities except electricity which will probably cost $40 month even with some a/c use says Alex.
I’m going to sleep on it a few days and then may offer a retainer if they will hold it for me until January to begin a 12-month lease then. Pray that I make the right call. This could be the first step in the decision to really do it! To really move to Costa Rica!
Earlier in the day we got ice cream at POP’s and ate it on a park bench in the Plaza. I hastily took a couple of photos on my pocket camera that are not very good, but must show them now!   🙂
Iglesia del Rosario, Santo Domingo (built between 1838-1844)
In another part of town there is a larger church, Basílica de Santo Domingo de Guzmán (built in 1856)

Central Plaza, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica

Focusing Day

Hotel Autentico, My Home Base for Two Weeks

First thing after breakfast this morning was walking the 5 blocks to the ARCR office and meeting with my new Costa Rican lawyer, Jose Pablo Carter. He helped me put together the important items from the seminar and create a checklist of what I need to do to gain residency and get moved to Costa Rica. I will include it below. I walked back to my hotel (above) where they know me by name now and the waiters are trying to teach me Spanish. Fun! I did a review of it on TripAdvisor last night. Worked on list and had a sandwich.

In the afternoon I walked down the street again to two banks and only one of them had English as a choice on their ATM for the cash withdrawal I needed to make. Got to learn Spanish!  Then at 3:00 my two-day driver came to show me the city and learn of my housing interests for our all day trip tomorrow to look at apartments and rental houses. I’m not renting now, but I want to see what they look like in different areas and get a feel for what I will try to nail down in 4-6 months maybe. Howard’s tour only showed expensive houses and tourist condos which was my biggest disappointment with his tour. We stopped for afternoon tea at a little neighborhood Soda, a small Tico cafe. Before and after this I typed up my checklist of things to do and had a bowl of mushroom soup and Tres Leches for dinner. Here is timeline:
Step by Step Timeline for Costa Rica Residency
As I understand it from ARCR Seminar and personal conference with Jose Pablo Carter, Lawyer
At Association of Residents of Costa Rica, September 1, 2014
Send to Jose. I must then arrive within 6 months of earliest date on any of the following documents.
1. Authenticated Birth Certificate with Apostille from State of Arkansas
2. Apostille letter from Social Security proving lifetime pension over $1,000 a month
3. Police Report on me with Apostille and if possible fingerprints
4. U.S. Embassy/State Department Online: Do a Consular Registration for Costa Rica, then save as a PDF file. Print one for this packet of documents & email the file to Jose.
1. Provide Spanish translations of all the above documents as required
2. File my application with the Caja Office
1. Review my rental contract
2. Get my fingerprints and physical exam that can be turned in after the Caja application is filed
3. Help me open a local bank account
4. Prepare a Costa Rica Will and powers of attorney from copy of my U.S. Wills, etc.
1. Contact Juan C. Calero of Pricose to start INS insurance policy by day I arrive
2. Contact the young doctor from Metropolitano about my sleep apnea and meds
3. Get budget worked out
4. Contact mover, Charlie Zeller
5. Learn more Spanish
6. Get online business settled before the move and ask lots of questions about doing it from Costa Rica
7. See if X or X will let me establish a U.S. physical address with them for my TN Driver License, maybe mail forwarding, and maybe something else.
8. Renew TN Driver License which now expires in 2015
9. Rent PO Boxes from ARCR in San Jose & Miami before I move.
NOTE: I ended up not getting an address with ARCR but signed up for Aeropost.com and got a Miami address directly with them and use it now for all shipping and internet orders. I use postal service for most letters but new credit cards can be sent to the Miami address.