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Real Estate Newsletter #13

April 26, 2006

Electricity and Life Without it

The peculiar way in which the explosion echoed up the canyon, the thunderous roar bouncing across the pastures near here, and frightening the untethered cows and horses, was unmistakable:  an electrical transformer had just exploded.  It meant that we would be without electricity for some time.

Sitting around the hotel restaurant early that evening, when the power went out, was a very motley group.  A blonde, bearded businessman from Belgium, who is attempting to market eco-tourism in Brussells, had just finished chatting about life with his Mexican wife in Belgium. He speaks a surprising idiomatic Mexican Spanish and in some inexplicable way is more Latin than Belgian.  There are also a Colombian mother and daughter with a great sense of drama who seem perpetually mysterious and who are escaping from something obscure in Bogotá; a California man who, it seems, has spent much of his Costa Rican travels reading Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and who has found his way here, as he says, "by the inexplicable nature of the supra-conscious." Sitting next to him is a very animated Tica, irrespressible, gregarious; two middle-aged Jewish feminists from New York, both natural raconteurs, rhapsodising over their travels, impossibly melodramatic women, who brought boxes of matzohs  and jars of gefilte  fish with them, because they had read somewhere that Costa Rican cuisine consists only of rice and beans; and a quiet, bashful, bear-like ex-California Highway patrolman and his wife, two of the sweetest, kindest people imaginable.

Surprisingly, the first to break the extended silence after everyone had remarked over the exploding transformer, was the ex-California Highway patrolman.  He had said nothing earlier, only smiling occasionally at the other's stories, but seemed moved by the silence that settled over everyone, and began to speak, as an awakened phantom, murmuring there in the half-light of the early evening.  "We would all be so much better off, so much closer to one another, so much more willing to talk to and be with one another, if we were always without electricity," he intoned quietly, kindly. "There would be no television, no blinding lights, no blaring radios, no computers, no VCRs, no this and that..."

His statement, such an honest outpouring of his heart, with such an absence of irony, struck everyone at the breakfast table with its earnestness, its clean truthfullness. Others began to talk of what life was like, without electricity, without power, even without cars.

The Belgian man recalled a week in a small town outside of Brussells, where he was raised, when everyone had to do at times without electricity.  "We found that we had to talk to one another, that, with no TV, and only the quiet light from the fireplace, we discovered things about each other that hadn't been known before, even though we had lived together for years and years..."

One of the New York women began to reminisce about a ten-day period in Brooklyn when a factory fire had left her neighborhood without power. "At first we were afraid that gangs would loot everything, that we wouldn't be able to go out at night. But then we found that it was all OK, that, instead, people in the neighborhood were helping each other, were bringing by food and things, and laughing about it all, and that conversation by candlelight, without the interference of TV, was wonderful. Everything was just sort of...quieter, after a while."

Rebeca, the Costa Rican, remembered the first time that she had left the Central Valley, to ride the old wooden Atlantic train with her family all the way to the Caribbean Coast.  "It was my first week away from the barrios, my first week in the country.  Taking the train to Limón, I watched darkness fall over the coffee fincas, and then over the small towns along the hillsides.  There was no power then in some of the smaller villages. And I remember the feeling of the hot breezes against my face, leaning out the window of the train, into the dark night, chugging through the quiet valleys.  There were these great sheets of lightning breaking, as we got close to Siquirres, just flooding the narrow valleys with light, helping us when we looked for the small house hidden along the banks of hillside that was my great-aunt's home.  And by the light of a single candle my family shared stories of the countryside, and I listened and watched the shadows dance in the tiny house. Never had I felt so close to the mystery of everything, so close even to Costa Rica. Never"

The Colombian woman nodded in quiet, silent, enigmatic agreement.

Some away from the hotel, and of another world, San Jose was being frenetic, crazy, and loud; there, it was absolutely not quiet and gentle. Its million cars and people were deadlocked, and its skies, which had been once, not long ago, balmy and clear, were sullen with exhaust fumes.

And we sat there, quietly waiting in the pleasant darkness; waiting for the electricity to return.

Harvey


More Taxes? Where?

Since the election of the new president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, people here have been in a bit of a fuzz regarding the newly proposed tax plan that was being reviewed in Congress.
 
This new plan presented new taxation that has had more than a few real estate investors worried, especially as regards capital gains. Costa Rica has never had capital gain taxes, and so this newly proposed tax could potentially cut profits by 15%, when reselling.
 
Well, the final word on this proposed tax is that it was completely and utterly killed by the Sala Cuarta (the equivalent of the Supreme Court in Costa Rica) because a couple of the articles in the new tax plan were considered to be unconstitutional.
 
So now, the questions arise: Will there be a new tax plan? Yes, there will be. And one is needed. Will this new tax plan, when it is finally approved, affect the amount of money you make on real estate investments?  There is better than a 99% chance that it will NOT.
 
So, that is the simplicity of it.  Right now, there are no new taxes and there is no capital gains tax.   You might want to take advantage of this current condition while you can and come down for a visit.
 
We’ll be here, waiting for you.

Jack


NEW LISTINGS

Ocean View Properties
Dominical
South Pacific

These individual properties are located within a 400-acre parcel, above Hatillo Beach.  Just a few minutes from the coastal road. Absolutely spectacular views, and the sound of  the distant surf. Abundant wildlife, including monkeys, parrots.

The sizes vary between a half-acre and over three and-a-half acres.  All with outstanding ocean views and each uniquely beautiful and ready for you.

Between $181,000  and  $267,000

And, again, remember that you can build that dream house here, of 2000 sq ft. for little more than $100,000!

Costa Rica Real Estate Dominical


Large, Luxurious Home
Escazu
Central Valley

Tucked away in an area of Escazu that is hidden, yet has access to all of the international amenities of this area, is this magnificent 7000 sq ft home.

On an acre and three-quarters of gardens, with a beautiful pool. Four bedrooms, five bathrooms. Enormous kitchen.  Six phone lines.  Two offices. Two entertainment areas, extensive dining and living rooms.  The best security.  Air conditioning. Absolutely the best of everything, in this, one of the finest homes in all of Escazu, the premier residential area in Central America.

And underpriced at: $1,295,000

Escazu Costa Rica Real Estate


Restaurant and Bar
Manuel Antonio  Beach
Central Pacific

This is an exceptionally rare opportunity.   Located along the main road of highly- touristed, ecologically stunning Manuel Antonio beach. Situated amidst a newly developed shopping plaza, this open air, covered restaurant offers: beautiful jungle vistas, seating for 50, a coral top bar, 6 foot fountain, fully outfitted kitchen &  bar with 4 fridges, 6 burner gas stove, oven, griddle and grill, kitchen extractor (hood), marble top refrigerated prep table, and all kitchen accessories. Fully trained and honest staff, recipes, and a computer system. All permits are in order and the credit card machines accept all cards.

The new owner will sign a new 3-year lease upon taking control of the restaurant. -  Land is leased for $1000/month.

The restaurant and bar are equipped with everything needed to continue this successful business!  The staff of trained chefs, bartenders, waitstaff, etc will remain working at the restaurant.  Plus, the restaurant is fully licensed with all permits, including health and liquor licenses.  The new owner will even inherit the owners' recipe collection.

Other features include:  ceiling fans, skylights, sewer/water system, septic, great view, courtyard, garden area, freezer, gas range, hood fan, indoor grill, microwave,  oven range, refrigerators, security guard.

Owners must  sell because they are moving back to Canada for the birth of their child!

Totally turn-key and ready for you to step into. 

Only  $119,000

Manuel Antonio Costa Rica Real Estate


Island of your Dreams
Belize

Price reduced seriously, to $2 million.

Belize Real Estate Island For Sale


Beach frontage Lots
and Beach Development Parcels
Playa Hermosa
Central Pacific

It has become almost impossible today to find titled beachfront lots on a good beach, at a price that is sane.  In beach areas such as Tamarindo and Jaco, beach frontage is $1000 a sq. meter, or $4 million dollars an acre. Upsetting, isn’t it?  And these are not even nice beaches.  But here and there, there are still a few isolated instances of good beaches with fair prices.  And of course these will only be available for a short period of time more.  After weeks of searching, we have come up with what we consider to be the best deals, and these are on Hermosa beach, just south of Jaco.

Hermosa is considered one of the best surfing beaches in the world and is absolutely beautiful.
 
Anything even roughly comparable to these beach properties, such as the beach lots at Playa Grande, to the north, are three and four times as expensive.
 
It is, as the ads scream:  a once in a lifetime chance to own your own beach front or beach view lot.


Beach Frontage Lots

All utilities available.  Just a few steps from a great beach. Sizes vary, but these are all of ample size for a high end beach home.

Only one lot remaining on the sand, one-third acre:  $395,000.  Second and third row lots:  $165,000 to $195,000.


Beachfront Development Land

Today, Jaco Beach only has two parcels on the beach available for sale. These are $750/sq meter, and have less than 80 meters (250 feet) of beach frontage.

The beach frontage parcels at Hermosa beach, 5 minutes away, are $200 a sq meter, and are on a beach that is 100 times nicer, and they have between 100 meters to 216 meters of frontage!

These Hermosa beachfront parcels have no major building restrictions by the local Municipality.

With the present boom in Jaco, Playa Hermosa is the perfect setting for a developer.  One of the best surfing beaches in the world, and incredibly beautiful…
 
And how many times do we have to say this?  “Do it now.”

4 Acres. 100 meters beach frontage.  $2.76 million
7 Acres.  216 meters beach frontage.  $6. Million

Beachfront Real Estate Costa Rica


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