Pura Vida

Dated: January 24 2021

Views: 346

Corcovado Park CR

Stay at home orders, ski hills closed, limited groups of 5 or less, vaccine shortages, closed schools, gyms, restaurants and bars, bylaw enforcement officers, an annual dose of doom & gloom feted by the media and our leader claiming he is so terrified he may fall off his chair! 

Who wants to live in that oppressive and censored environment! Life is about choices. I chose to escape the oppressive Ontario lockdown and remove myself from drinking the juice of fear and paranoia served daily by the media and our political leaders. This is why in early January I was on a plane and flying to Costa Rica. If I am working virtually from home, I may as well work virtually from beautiful surroundings. 

 

Working virtually has now been accepted and almost enforced as a new way of doing business. Stay at home orders leave most with no choice but to work from home. However do you really have to work from home? As long as there is wifi, you can work from anywhere. Much of my work this past summer was successfully managed from my laptop while situated on the stern of my boat. Once the sailing season was over, I felt rather hemmed in with darkening skies and gray days. I wanted to test my own ability to stay focused and achieve my business objectives. 

 

I scoured online for places to stay in Costa Rica. I could not find anything I felt comfortable committing to so decided on a low brow B&B for the first 3 nights. I planned on finding something better pounding the local pavement. Several friends had suggested Playa Coco as it was considered a beautiful quiet town with some wonderful restaurants. Costa Rica requires a health form be filled out and pre-purchased health insurance. I packed two light backpacks and was ready to go. I do confess, the morning of my departure I was suddenly filled with anxiety about my decision and if I was risking my life due to all the Covid issues. The media scare was in fact affecting me. I overcame it, threw fate to the wind and headed to the airport. I would rather go, than live with regret for not going. The airport was morbidly vacant, as if the world had ended and all humans were no more. Eerie, to say the least, yet surreal. The flight was filled with people of the same mindset. Let’s get the hell out of here and go somewhere beautiful!

My first night was something that certainly questioned my decision. The room looked dark and sad with two old twin beds and hand me down furniture. This was complemented by hearing every human sound emanating through the paper thin walls from a man next door who clearly was not a sound sleeper. The next day, I was committed to changing my living situation. I walked into a few property management offices. After a tour of a few available condos I scored a stunning studio place overlooking the bay with an infinity pool. I negotiated them down to $50/night. Typically it rents out for $150 however there were no tourists whatsoever. I stayed there for a full week. I could not be in a better place to social distance, I was literally the only guy at the beach, the bar, the restaurant or swimming in the pool. While the surroundings were stunning, I was in fact going slightly stir crazy. I rented a car and decided to explore some other places. Through social media friends reached out and invited me to where they were hanging. So I ended up couch surfing. I got lost one evening on some roads that were more like donkey paths up the mountain side in dense jungle looking to meet friends at a yoga retreat. I did finally find them and stayed several days. It had all the stereotypical trappings of a Hari Krishna training camp; vegetarian food, people clad in haute couture bohemian,  using combs or razors was clearly frowned upon. I am now in a more civil setting, staying at a friend's place who moved here several years ago. He built a beautiful home in Ojachal with his wife. Tomorrow I am driving to San Jaun to connect with a friend from McGill. Afterwards I will continue exploring some other places along the coast as I return North. 

Now the real estate part. How much is land? How much does it cost to build? Is it safe to live here? 

Land can be purchased for very little. For an ocean view or partial ocean view can run for 150US to 250k US. On either side of that spectrum I saw land for under 50k off a jungle rd with stunning lush views. Or on the more expensive side, a building lot with a 180 deg epic view of the dramatic shoreline and ocean for $600k US. If you spent $500k building a house on this view you could likely sell it for close to 2 million. Most of the homebuilders are labourers from Ncuaraga and get paid $2.50 per hour. There is money to be made here in buying land, building a home and selling it. As the market here has not really appreciated in the last ten years it is not a place where you would invest to build and grow equity. 

 

Thus far, my experiment to work virtually from a gorgeous setting has proved to be a success.  My lifestyle is considerably healthier here. I am up earlier, do a morning yoga routine, drink a lot of coffee and then sit down to work. If you are working virtually, I encourage you to follow in my footsteps. If you decide to come to Costa Rica a wonderful site for preparing your trip is https://mytanfeet.com. I would recommend only booking your first few nights online. Then once you are here you will find accommodations for far less by negotiating directly with property management offices. If you stay in one place for a week or a month the rate drops dramatically. All the restaurants and shops are open and everyone is respectful of sanitizing and social distancing. When indoors everyone respects the need to wear a mask. 

I do intend to return here next year and rent a place for a longer duration. If you would like to know more about Costa Rica, the Real Estate here or are planning a trip I would be happy to answer any questions. Pura Vida!

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David Johanns

Why do people consider purchasing or selling a home? There is always a reason. Usually a life changing event, a new chapter in their life or the ending of a previous one. Your home is a place of war....

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