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  • in reply to: Termite / pest control #160057

    however, if you have drywood termites, even Orkin may have a hard time eliminating them. http://www.orkin.com/termites/drywood-termites/

    in reply to: Termite / pest control #160056

    [quote=”costaricafinca”]Really informative article this morning, Mon. May 5th “Expats can be blindsided by injuries to employees” By Garland M. Baker (no separate link at this time, so will add it later) on amcostarica.com details what insurances must be paid for employees.
    Worth saving!

    Anyone who wants or needs to hire staff should ask their lawyers for information regarding labor laws. There is a book called “Codigo de Trabajo” where you find all necessary information. Ministerio de Trabajo (online) provide information about current minimum wages and other labor related issues.
    On top of the hourly or weekly wages, employers have to pay Social Security (CCSS seguro social, enfermedad, maternidad, vejez), Insurance policy (INS riesgos de trabajo), Christmas bonus, Vacations (12 days per year time off or paid), Cesantia and Preaviso (unemployment benefits if the worker gets fired). Some employers agree with their worker to pay him a little more but the worker pays his own social security. This is ILLEGAL

    Sorry to hear that. This is what I think.
    1) if you file a law suit against the burglar, you will have to prove that they did what you say they did. You will need a good attorney, he will cost you a lot of money and it can take 10 years, with no guarantee that the judge will rule in your favor.
    2) don’t bother to sue your contractor, the attorney will cost you another junk of money. Just don’t use him any more and warn you friends/neighbors.
    3) for future repairs etc. you need a reliable person/property manager who in my opinion should not be a Tico. There are good Ticos out there but “when the cat is gone the mice dance on the table”. This person/property manager should oversee any work and repairs done to you home during your absence. We are providing this service at Lake Arenal and we are working with reliable and honorable contractors.

    in reply to: ASADA Water Billing #161893

    The basic fee (tarifa basica) does not include any water and depends on the number of households connected. The fee per cubic meter depends on several things.
    – if water is provided by gravity or if the ASADA has to use pumps (electric bill) from the spring to the storage tanks.
    – if the user is residential or commercial
    – the more water you use the higher the fee per cubic meter ( just like ICE with their kilowatt hours)

    [quote=”VictoriaLST”]We have a caretaker living in a casita on our property. He maintains the lawn (there is a lot of lawn maybe 3 acres) and watches the animals when we are away. He pays his own electric and gas. He does NOT have a key to the main house. We have a gardener for about 30 hours a week and we pay him c2000 an hour which is above the usual wage because he is excellent and speaks English.[/quote]

    When you say you pay your gardener 2000 col. x hour, are you paying social security and insurance policy based on that ?

    in reply to: Costa Rican immigrants #173659

    [quote=”Scott”]I think it’s common knowledge that Ticos like to travel but get homesick quickly…


    Very true, and guess what they miss the most ? YES ! RICE AND BEANS.

    And after that their families. Specially Ticas can’t live without their mothers. Single guys be aware ! If you marry a Tica, you marry a family, not just a wife.

    We have a lot of exchange students in Tilaran each year and we have had no incidents whatsoever, at least not security wise. I only know of 2 students that had problems, 1 ended up in a very primitive home (remote, no running water etc.)and was changed to a different host. The other one was put in a family where they did not talk to her and kind of bullied her. she was moved as well. I don’t understand why such families and homes would even be considered to host exchange students. But other than that, I would feel much better to have my kid in Tilaran than in Puntarenas. However, if the mentioned daughter will be with a group of people, and will not go out on her own, specially at night, then she should be o.k.

    in reply to: Planning our move to Costa Rica – Questions #198888

    Hi there, I may have some answers for you as well
    Building is a good idea. You design your house to your own taste and for you own very personal needs. Building cost for high quality construction here at Lake Arenal run around $ 85 per square foot, but also depends on design and style (Curly Spanish style with lots of wood accents would be more expensive than Straight minimalistic Contemporary). Building a septic system is part of the building process. You can buy land with water and electric at lot line, or “raw land” where you pay for improvements (can be part of building process). Price differences between improved land and raw land are quite large and most times installing power/water is not that expensive (if the next electric pole is not a mile away).

    2) If you find the perfect home on the perfect property at a reasonable price, then yes you will be better off. You save time by not building and not starting the landscaping from scratch.

    3) Land value YES does count ! We have build 2 homes for a client and helped him gather all the paperwork for his residency as an investor. The total property value (land plus completed construction) was included in the value. An important part is that the property is registered at the real value at the local Municipality (where you pay your property taxes) because they will provide the statement.

    4) Legally, yes and yes.

    5) If you comply with one of the requirements for residency then yes. If your investment (land and house) is above the $ 200.000 you are considered “inversionista”, or if your monthly social security check is over $ 1000 you are considered “pensionado”. Or if your son finds a girlfriend and they have a baby……….

    6) Let me know when you are ready to rent, buy and build at Lake Arenal 😀

    Have a nice day

    [quote=”lillianwickram”]I am working toward retirement in CR and have a few questions. I’ve read 15 pages worth of forum boards and am not finding quite the answers I need, so I am posting.

    1 – I have been looking at multiple property sites and find that many properties are “too” North American for me and some tico style houses may not be quite enough. I want something rustic but pretty, lots of natural woods, etc., probably about 1500 square feet. If I consider building, I’m estimating building costs of $100 per square foot, plus property cost. I would look for a property that already has electric and septic or some water system already in place.

    2 – Or might I be better off buying an already existing home for around $200K and just work to renovate it to my liking? Am I right in my understanding that $200K is the number?

    3 – I would work toward residency and understand an investment in property of around $200K is what is needed as a good start. I did read in the forum here that I build a house, land costs do not count toward the $200K. Does that sound right?

    4 – And until I’m a resident, I need to travel in and out of Costa Rica every three months? So this could include visits to Nicaragua, Panama and the US? I expect to have my son with me for a couple years and he will be 18 so the same is required of him?

    5 – If I have $ to last me 15-16 years (assuming I have no debt and my house in Costa Rica is paid for), plus gain social security well before that, am I wrong in assuming I’ll be ok with residency with enough passage of time?

    6 – I’ve been to CR five times and will go back again by the end of the year. My plan is to choose my three favorite places and then live in each of them for three months, then choose the one I most like and spend another 6-9 months before buying property/a home. I’ll rent during this time. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks so much

    in reply to: Electricity Prices in Costa Rica #199375

    I pay around $ 60 for electricity.
    No A/C necessary at Lake Arenal 😀

    in reply to: Hiring a Home Builder Question #200132

    Fixed Price Contract ………. to determine the price of each item to be included in the contract. Additionally, each fixed-price item must be specified in an addendum to the contract in order to determine the exact value and scope of the entire project…….

    This sounds like buying a car and expecting that the value of every single car part such as the tires, steering wheel, seats, every part of the motor etc. …are listed in the sales contract?

    We do turnkey projects and add a list of details, but not the price of every single screw that goes in the roof. Yes changes are possible during the construction process, they however may cause an extra cost, or even a deduction of the original price, depending on what was taken out of the contract.

    in reply to: Hiring a Home Builder Question #200124

    Careful with those who want 50 % down and then go and finish their last job with your money.

    in reply to: Hiring a Home Builder Question #200123

    Any type of arrangement can be negotiated, we have built homes with 3 to 5 installments, depending on the owners income.

    in reply to: Real, real estate prices in Costa Rica? #199074

    [quote=”costaricafinca”]Many [i]Ticos[/i] will place their property for sale, but don’t [b]need[/b] to sell it, so if someone pays the high price they’re asking, good for them. On the other hand, ‘Gringos’ are often desperate to sell, and have realized that to do so, they must ask a reasonable price.[/quote]

    Well yes, they don’t need to sell and that’s what we tell them, stay on your land and keep growing your frijoles. But they still get pretty upset when we tell them that they can not get $25 per meter for their 500 acre farm out of nowhere, or $ 150,000 for their 500 square foot “Bono Vivienda” home on a postal stamp size lot squeezed in between neighbors. At least not in this market, maybe in X years, if maybe another real estate bubble will grow somehow.

    in reply to: Real, real estate prices in Costa Rica? #199072

    [quote=”johnnyh”]I have looked at quite a number of properties on the web (houses)in Costa Rica, both on the Pacific as well as the Caribbean side. In talking to one of my Tico cousins down there, and referring him to the properties, he was flabbergasted by the pricing, and he mentioned that these are inflated gringo prices. Any truth to this? Any experiences?[/quote]

    What we experience, Ticos are charging “Gringo” prices while “Gringos” who want to sell are getting more and more reasonable about their prices. We have seen homes selling way under current construction value while we see Tico homes priced like luxury U.S. homes. Same for bare land, “gringos” selling for $ 7 per meter while Ticos still want $ 20 for the same type of land.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 287 total)