My wife and I moved to Costa Rica six years ago from the frigid climate of Minnesota where we had owned a Costa Rica SEO Jaco agency for fifteen years. So long as we could remember we had worked 12 hour days and spent most of our time figuring out how to stay even...getting ahead was not even yet in the cards.
Then 9/11 happened. As well as for us it absolutely was an epiphany. Life was too short to expend the total amount of your lives on a treadmill that went nowhere. We accelerated our retirement plans by almost 10 years.
And over the the following year we sold everything we owned and eventually found ourselves in Costa Rica (which, mind you, we had only visited once previously...and on vacation at that !).
Stupid? In retrospect, sure. To move to a foreign country where we knew no one, did not understand the language and our only exposure was the world-wide-web? Needless to say, it was stupid.
But...we loved it, even yet in spite to the fact that life here was completely different than the books portrayed or the internet showed. We rented a tiny home about an hour or so outside of San Jose in a residential area that was rural, coffee country and but still big enough to have a hospital and within 45 minutes of this main airport.
And we also purchased land...and we built a house , then went on to starting the agency. And luckily, Rhonda had the temperament to manage the local builders, despite the fact that we didn't understand much Spanish. I still remained a type A and the manana attitude drove me crazy.
And much of this real estate and construction business was definitely not in every "how to..." book that we ever found. And we definitely made mistakes. But luckily they did not hurt us TOO much financially. And we also asked plenty of questions therefore we learned, over time, how the actual estate market functioned in Costa Rica.
And we decided that people wanted to let others know the items that we had to learn the hard way. We started a proper estate company whose sole aim was to present properties which reflected prices that locals paid...because there was a two tier real estate market in Costa Rica...one for "gringos" and one for Ticos (locals, as Costa Ricans call themselves).