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Real Estate Newsletter #5

Sometimes it is Not Easy to Talk of Buying and Selling

The woman from Belgium smoked a small, pungent, black cigar. Each acrid puff permeated the air of the coffee shop just outside the entrance to Hot Tropics, overwhelming everyone. In her own way the woman was winning the war of "look at me." You could not ignore her, could not ignore the cigar, could not ignore the way in which she sucked at it and then drained the thick smoke into her lipsticked mouth. Opposite her at one of the round tables on the terrace were two young women from Santa Cruz, California. One wore loose white clothing with no underwear, and espadrilles; the other was barefoot, in shorts, and wore a black Peruvian derby. One sported gold nose rings. They were both blonde, both strikingly pretty, both well tanned and both with perfect teeth. They discussed with the Belgian woman, half turning around to her table, the virtues of a pipe over that of a cigar.

"Well, that does it," said Gabe, "I'm going to have to shave my head. No one is going to notice me in the company of this crowd..."

And just then, just when I was begining to feel as though all who visit here must feel as though they are required to be eccentric, unconventional, or at least working on it, the front door buzzer rang, and entering the office were two smiling, ordinary-appearing middle-aged North Americans. They introduced themselves as Jonathan and Marianne, and said that they had just heard about Hot Tropics Real Estate at the B and B where they were staying nearby, and had wanted to come by and talk about what would be involved in owning property here. Jonathan, with glasses, thin, light brown hair, and a pleasant demeanor, had eyes that appeared to be well- wrinkeled from perhaps millios of hours of smiling, and possesed a gentle, self-composed manner, and was from Minnesota. What one noticed immediately and wich was most extraordinary about Marianne was that she looked you absolutely directly in the eyes when she spoke and when she listened to you. She was from a small town in New England, had short straight hair, dressed in solid-color soft cotton clothes, and immediately gave you the impression that she was profoundly interested in everything that you were saying.

Jack and I and Jonathan and Marianne sat at a table on the terrace of the coffee shop on a surprisingly warm December afternoon. The oter, infinetely more extravagant visitors, seated at their round tables, paused for a moment in their dramas to observe the arrival of newcomers, looked up, said cheery Hellos, and returned.

One of the young blonde California women glanced up from a book that she was browsing, looked towards Marianne, and said, out of no particular context, "Did you know that planet earth contains ten to thirty million species of plants and animals and that we are only one of them." Marianne responded, "Yes, and isn't that something?"... then, immediately appearing very interested in the young woman and the subject at hand, continued, "A good friend of mine recently wrote, that as the dominant species, the most important thing that we can do as human beings is to hear within ourselves the sounds of the earth crying. And when we do that, our compassion is everywhere, and we feel our connection with all things, and we're then in a position to do something about improving conditions. Without that viewpoint of connectedness, our ideas, our lives, our dramas are not enough to move us to act in the ways that matter."

The Belgian woman stopped chattering, and put out her cigar in the hardwood ashtray, the two young blonde California woman turned their perfect heads, and said, "Whoaoww..." All looked at Marianne. She, in turn, looked at each of them and smiled, and then continued, "Planet earth can not support six billion human beings all aspireing to be individuals, all working towards having what they believe is a larger sense of self and a higher standard of living, all cutting down and digging up everything to turn it into microwave ovens and faster automobiles. I don;t believe that our species real desire is for these things. We are thaught to believe, particulary during this time of year, that we can find joy through buying things, but that is just not true. If we experience joy from being alive here on earth, here in this beautiful Costa Rica, and from being related to all this... all of it, and from experiencing that interconnectedness, then we will do just fine."

With that, Marianne picked up her glass of ice tea, again looked everyone directly in the face, one by one, and then nodded to her husband, Jonathan.

And for a second we were quiet, had nothing clever to say, and were all aware of the silence, and were aware of each other, and of a very few of the ten to thirty million species of plants and animals that were around us, there on the patio of the coffee shop, there in that moment.

Harvey Haber

Three-Bedroom Beach House
Hermosa Beach
Central Pacific Coast

What is unique about this house is that it is in a community of homes that are fully titled and yet within 100+ meters from the beach. Only 3% of all beach front property in Costa Rica is titled and this is among thatsmall percentage.

Just 2 hours from the capital city of San Jose. Located in a very exclusive ocean front community, gated and with full time secutity. Only a 3 minute stroll to the clubhouse and pool, and minutes away from world class surf at Hermosa Beach. Hermosa has phenomenal surfing conditions. with surfable waves 320 days out of the year.

Though the beaches here can be crowded during certain times of the year, the restricted acces to the more than 300 meters of beach front of this community, means that you can be surfing some of the most consisten surf in the world, almost by yourself.

The house consists of two stories with an expansive third story terrace and enjoys beautiful mountain views and a small ocean view from the terrace. One side of the house is bordered by green zone and backs onto a quiet unpaved access road to the project. For this reason, the house can only have a neighbor on one side, and so has exceptional privacy.

The house has a spacious front terrace, covered parking for two cars, laundry room, two outdoor showers, a surfboard storage room, and two smaller storage rooms.

Beachfront homes in this project are selling for $1,400,000. The asking price is substantially lower than the current price to purchase a similar home anywhere in this community. Additionally, the house has air conditioning, ceiling fans, landscaping, granite counter tops, jacuzzi tub, and curtains. This is by far the best buy in this very nice community of beach homes, and is being sold because of a distress situation.

The elegant furnishings, including Maytag appliances in stainless steel and custom made wood furniture, may be purchased for an additional $25,000, which means that this house can be a turn-key vacation home that doubles as a rental unit when you are not using it yourself. Similar homes here rent for $1,500 per week in the low season and $3,000 per week in the peak rental periods. Also, this project is currently expericencing appreciation of 40% per year. Recent sales of beach-front units well in excess of $1 million have substantially raised the property values of all homes in the project.


House size: Interior Space: 1,856 sq. ft.
Terraces and balconies: 718 Sq. ft.
Carport: 387 Sq. ft.
3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths (Jacuzzy tub in master bath.
2 central air conditioning units (upstairs and downstairs).
Modern kitchen with granite counter tops.
Ceiling fans in kitchen, living room and each bedroom.
Curtains, Alarm, Satellite TV.

If you have ever dreamed of a beach house in the tropics, at yeterday's price, this is it. Finally:

Selling Price (firm) $399,000

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