June 19, 2007 at 12:00 am #184642*LotusMember
I think this site has had and will continue to have an influence on builders in CR. Columbus Heights by Wellington certainly was/is a developer that had been put under the microscope here by Scott as well as many forum members, and perhaps deservedly so as one of there principle’s had serious problems in his past business dealings in the U.S.. But I believe in part due to this site and the power it wields( anyone doing a google search on real estate in CR will find WLCR) they are posting copies of permits they say they receive, photos of construction (as well as more detailed updates for owners via weekly e mails) and now all the folio real #’s and a link to the government site so you can check that your lot has been registered on there web site. I think if all developers provided this kind of transparency all potential buyers would be far better off. I know Wellington does not meet with Scott’s requirements to be an approved developer, but I have to tip my hat to them for following through. And yes I did buy a lot from them and am very very happy I have more than a big gate leading no where!!June 19, 2007 at 11:33 am #184643AndrewKeymaster
Many people have told me that because of the material found here on WeLoveCostaRica.com and in my book that they feel more educated and empowered when dealing with developers and real estate sales people.
That’s great news. The more educated the buyer, the less likelihood there is that someone will take advantage of them…
This has definitely forced many companies to start educating their staff more, to think more about what the customer wants first rather than focusing on teaching their staff the hard sell to earn twice the commissions that would be normal for this industry and not giving a damn about what happens to them afterwards.
We do give a damn.
However, it must be mentioned that I cannot take all the credit, we had a lot of help in writing this book and like a real estate project, it was a combined effort by a lot of different real estate professionals that enabled me to produce that book.
If you have not yet bought a copy of my ‘How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate…’ book and made me that much needed $4 please visit
Scott Oliver – Founder
WeLoveCostaRica.comJune 19, 2007 at 6:52 pm #184644dreammakersMember
I agree this site helps everyone. I have learned alot from it and if it helps keep developers in check-better for us. Thank you Scott for this great aid. And YES, I have your book-it’s awesome. Anyone would be a fool to buy anything without reading it first!June 19, 2007 at 7:29 pm #184645simondgMember
I disagree with what is an overly simplistic take on events. Either these people were always going to take peoples money and run or they were always going to develop properly. In posting Government registrations and the like on their site they made available information they either already had or were in the process of getting; this site did not change their modus operandi, only their website content.
If it were my project i would do exactly the same; provide as many links to verifiable sources as possible; if you have nothing to hide then why not.
To avoid any misunderstanding I agree that any reporting of suspicious practices is generally speaking, useful, provided all companies are treated the same way. The reports on Grupo Mapache were factual, verfiable and very concerning if permits were not applied for; clearly investors need to be informed and the local press and WLCR did a very good job of doing so.
Edited on Jun 19, 2007 14:32June 20, 2007 at 2:37 am #184646*LotusMember
My point was simply because this site exists…developers are going to mind there P’s and Q’s better. If there is no “regulatory” agency watching them, some of these companies may play a little fast and loose with the “rules”, even the “good” ones. Costa Rica is a small country and with sites like this word can get around quickly, look how seriously Bill Gale (Paragon) takes this forum…And I’m sure WLCR had something to do with Wellington posting all that information on there site. I was really amazed last year while in Playa Hermosa speaking with a local Tico builder, when he made a comment about Wellington. I asked where he heard that? He replied welovecostarica.com! It really surprised me.June 20, 2007 at 3:51 am #184647AndrewKeymaster
I would suggest that your response is “over simplistic” simondg.
Saying that “If it were my project” is fine but that’s what you would do, just because you do it does not mean to say that others would consider that important. There are many people at work in Costa Rica who do NOT think like you, some are simply incapable of thinking like you and some do NOT have their customer’s best interests at heart.
I know for a fact that after some ‘exposure’ on WeLoveCostaRica.com some “land developers” have changed their marketing materials, changed their “misleading” maps, changed their “misleading” websites, changed their “misleading” advertising and focused more on customer satisfaction!
Many people/business can have a direction but are forced by market forces, their customers, laws or other factors to modify that direction.
This would not have been done without our VIP Members voicing their concerns in the Discussion Forum and without the various articles put up on this site.
You might also bear in mind that there are NUMEROUS communications between myself, our attorneys and various people involved in the promotion of real estate in this country that you will never be privvy to …
Scott Oliver – Founder
WeLoveCostaRica.comJune 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm #184648guruMember
Education is a double edged sword. It helps the buyers AND it helps the crooks. I work in a different segment of the Internet information business (blacksmithing), but some things are the same. We write articles to help buyers know good tools from bad. However, the crooks use all the key words and phrases (OUR WORDS) that apply to first class products to describe their junk.
I have seen some of the changes in the realestate sites. Many are those of the biggest crooks in the business. They provide lot maps with technical terms and the right key words. . . but no individual registration numbers. They point at articles (including Scott’s) that recommend a corporation to protect their investments and try to insinuate that buying into their corporation (rather than having an actual deed) is the same. Education has just risen the level of the BS and made the game trickier.
On the other hand I am sure that sites like this also help the honest developers do a better job. It just makes it harder to tell the crooks from the honest folk.
The difficult part is that there are far too many people that will get sucked in by the crooks before they get educated. I constantly remind people that in the recent (pre-Internet) past that the VAST majority of people in the world never met a flim-flam man. But since the Internet we (anyone with email) get approached by them every hour in the day (spam). There is a MUCH larger more accessible pool of “marks” or “suckers” and thus many more crooks.
No, it is never as simple as it seems.
Edited on Jun 20, 2007 09:46
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