What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I wish I had brought my small appliances like bread maker, ice cream maker and deep fryer.
I wish I had left my books, formal dresses and jacket at home.
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Do lots of experiential travel and due diligence. It is easy to get rose colored glasses because Costa Rica is so beautiful and the people are so nice. Gringo's are viewed as wealthy and easy targets for getting taken advantage of, plus the legal system is a jungle as well. Do your work upfront, get lots of advice from others and reference everyone, even if you think they are honorable. If you want to enjoy Costa Rica, don't learn by trial and fire or it will taint your experience and enjoyment.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
I live in a luxury home minutes from the beach, ferry, and a multitude of activities and shopping and dining. This is a typical expat home and lifestyle on an upper scale.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
I traveled all over Costa Rica after purchasing a home in Ostional and not being happy. I stayed in San Jose, Arenal, and along the beach towns of the Pacific coast. I then went to an area that was not revealed in all of the social media and publications to see what it was like and stayed at an all inclusive in Tambor. This area was like a diamond in the rough to me. So, I "stumbled" upon it, just traveling around and getting to know Costa Rica.
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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Housing costs are about the same as The States however, the taxes and expenses related are less except luxury taxes. VAT taxes are high but you can easily avoid them if you choose to manage your lifestyle.