These Expats Discovered Their Paradise in Costa Rica

“We found our paradise in Costa Rica,” says Beaty Fomby.

But it wasn’t where they thought it would be…

They looked at condos and homes in the city. (“But we’re not city people,” she said.)

They also looked at the beach, her husband, Ed, chimed in. He’s a fisherman and he loves the warm beach climate…but his wife, “not so much.”

They’d almost decided to cross Costa Rica off the list… but then they paid a visit to the Lake Arenal area. And there…they found it.

The paradise they found is a 30-square-mile sparkling silver-blue lake where Ed can swim, kayak, and fish for wide-mouth bass to his heart’s content. (And the weather – not as hot as the beach – is perfect for Beaty.) The majestic Arenal Volcano sits at the far end of the lake. Ed and Beaty can see it from the terrace of the beautiful new dream home they built overlooking the lake.

“Best of all,” says Beaty, “I have a cook, a cleaner, two gardeners, and Melissa…a wonderful bilingual assistant who can get anything done in about two minutes.”

“We found our paradise and we hope you do, too.” And then Beaty extended an invitation to everyone in the audience to visit her and Ed at their happy home.

And she means to invite you there, too…

What You Need to Know to Find Your Own Costa Rican Paradise

I’m Suzan Haskins, your eyes and ears here on the ground at International Living‘s 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica: Lifestyle and Opportunity Conference, taking place in San Jose.

This has been such an eventful day with so much information shared that, despite an overwhelming desire to play hooky in the gorgeous Costa Rican sunshine and the big blue swimming pool outside, no one could tear themselves away from our meeting space.

Today we drilled down into even more of the nitty-gritty details that can make or break your experience here. The critically important ‘need-to-know’ stuff…

For instance, most of the world (like Costa Rica) functions according to the civil law system. But not so in the U.S. or Canada where we adhere to the common law system. So legal issues in Costa Rica don’t always proceed in a familiar way. And that can present problems. But it doesn’t have to…

We also learned about some of the top places in Costa Rica that make the most sense for expats to live: to rent, buy real estate, become part of a community and have access to all the amenities that make life comfortable and enjoyable.

Are you a pioneer? Then you may be interested in an area along the country’s Caribbean coast that’s just been designated for a huge multi-billion-dollar investment. Looking for opportunity? This is just one place you’ll find it, says international real estate expert Margaret Summerfield.

Prefer to live in a lush Pacific Coast region where you can buy a lot overlooking the ocean or in the lush green jungle a stone’s throw from the beach? We learned where today’s best deals are.

We learned where to find 35 acres with waterfalls and bromeliads for $139,000…where to rent an upscale, fully furnished apartment within walking distance of modern luxury malls and hospitals…for less than $500 a month…

Rent before you buy…and buy to rent… We had an entire session today on rental properties. Local expert, Hannah Rico Fletcher, explained what you need to know if you’re going to rent a home or apartment in Costa Rica and what you need to know if you’re going to be an absentee owner and rent your property when you’re not here. The laws are a little different, as I’ve said, so you need to be sure to understand your rights and obligations.

(Hannah also offered up seven places to look to find a local rental.)

A good portion of today’s discussions centered on real estate, as you can tell. And nope, no one was trying to sell anything. Today’s speakers explained how to go about properly and safely buying property in Costa Rica – where, what, how much, and how.

And thankfully, with all the ways we discovered to make (and save) money today, international tax experts, Nick Hodges – from the U.S. – and Doug Hendler from Canada, explained how to keep ourselves out of trouble with the tax man.

“I teach avoidance rather than evasion,” Nick said. “Evasion gets you free room and board. I can help you avoid paying taxes.” And explain how, he did. Doug did the same for the Canadians in the audience.

If you want to start a business, there may be no better place than Costa Rica. Starting a business in Costa Rica is easy enough. As a longtime expat destination, you’ll find lots of opportunity – and lots of support. But you need to understand the laws and your obligations. We spent a good deal of time today talking about this. I learn something every time we do this.

(Did you know, for example, that Costa Rica’s educational system is ranked higher than the U.S.? That’s why so many locals here are bilingual – they speak perfect English – and why it’s so easy to do business here. Just ask IBM, Amazon, HP and other corporations that have all established operations here.)

Nothing to Fear (and Much to Gain), But Proceed With Eyes Open…

As mentioned, much of today’s discussion was devoted to real estate – although we also heard from some other experts in all matters of topics and from some very entertaining expat speakers.

Margaret Summerfield took the stage twice – once to offer up an insider’s overview of the Costa Rica real estate market (including the many places to get bargain-priced opportunities right now) and again to share her hard-earned tips and strategies for protecting your real estate investment.

Margaret has been living and working in Latin America for years now…and she’s been keeping her eagle eye on the Costa Rica market for even longer. No one knows the ins and outs of the real estate market better than she does.

Today it’s a buyer’s market in Costa Rica (as both she and attorney Roger Petersen explained).

“What’s the number one rule of buying real estate in Costa Rica?” Roger asked. “There are no rules. And what’s the number one rule for selling real estate? Get as much money as you can.”

And, he stressed, “Do not overpay! That hurts everyone.”

Thankfully, he explained how much to offer and counter offer. “You may offend someone but you won’t offend your own wallet.”

It’s this kind of real, valuable, and actionable advice that we’re getting at this conference. Well worth the price of admission – the kind of advice that can save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of headaches if you’re thinking of moving to Costa Rica.

Margaret, for instance, revealed the locations in Costa Rica where you’ll find today’s very best real estate bargains.

Her most valuable advice, though, came in the form of her “11 Tips” list.

Word to the wise: Do not buy or rent in Costa Rica without these tips and strategies.

Here’s just a sample of Margaret’s “Costa Rica Smart Real Estate Buying/Renting 101” course:

  • If you do nothing else, get the right attorney working on your behalf. Margaret explained how to choose one, the four traits they absolutely must have – and where to find one that meets all these criteria.
  • What you don’t know about title insurance can come back to bite you. What issues are not covered by title insurance? Margaret outlined six exclusions – knowing what these are can save you from a world of hurt.
  • There are three issues that absolutely must be addressed in your sales contract.  And five steps that must not be neglected during your title search.
  • Did you know that the number of legal permits required for real estate projects in practically every country has recently increased? What are the five permits, approvals and processes you must verify? Margaret covered it all…as did Roger Petersen.

They explained how to perform your own due diligence on any real estate agent or developer you meet, how to ensure you won’t get the shaft from your neighbors, how to protect your escrow money, and much more.

How Can You Get Your Hands On these Tips and Secrets?

As you can see, there’s far too much information being shared here at the conference for me to include in an e-mail. (You’ll hear from me again tomorrow…but I’m just one person – and there are 33 presentations here – it’s hard to keep up.)

If you’ve an interest in Costa Rica…but you couldn’t be here… that doesn’t mean you have to be left out.

There’s a way for you to quickly get up to speed with every one of the solutions, secrets, good-value ideas, money-making techniques, wealth-protection details, retirement recommendations, real estate advice and contacts, and everything else our attendees are gathering here live at the International Living Fast-Track Costa Rica Conference

We’re putting together a complete package of nearly everything that’s happening at this event. We’re making audio recordings of all 33 of the presentations.

You can have all of it… everything we’re learning here… including how to find a rental… a true real estate bargain… what to look for in a local attorney… how to protect your nest egg though tax planning… and for a fraction of what the folks here in person spent to be in this room with us in Costa Rica…

For instance, you’ll learn why it may make sense to bring your household goods to Costa Rica – and how best to do that. It can be far less expensive than you might imagine. And by all means, bring your car, too. But be sure you understand the import duties and taxes. Barry Wilson is “the man” when it comes to navigating the ins and outs of all this. Listen to and learn from his presentation. (And by the way, his contact info is in the accompanying materials you’ll get when you reserve your conference recordings package.)

…You’ll get all the countless pointers, tips and contact info that you can use right away…

Because in addition to the audio recordings, we’re also making copies of the handouts, PowerPoint and visual presentations. And you get the complete dossier (with bios and contact info) we gave to each attendee when they showed up here in San Jose for the Fast-Track Costa Rica Conference.

We’ll send you everything from the conference, in fact – two and a half days’ worth of detail-packed information. Put it all together and it’s more than 14 hours of recordings.

We call it our 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package. And we guarantee it will help you fast-track your plans of moving to… or investing in… Costa Rica.

Reserve the 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package at the lowest price available.

The full price to attend this sold-out event was $1,095 – but you can secure yourself a copy of the 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package for only $199… a mere fraction of what attendees paid to join us here in San Jose, Costa Rica.

And to sweeten the deal, we’re throwing in a $100 voucher toward International Living’s next conference. Use it to attend next year’s live program (or any future conference you may be interested in).

But, this is a limited time offer only.

Once the 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package is available for download and the initial orders have been placed, we’ll increase the price to $349.

The discounted price includes:

  • Audio recordings of all our Costa Rica experts’ presentations
  • Copies of all hand-outs and slideshows
  • Plus a special bonus report, titled: Costa Rica On Your Terms: High Style on a Low Budget. (This report is only available to conference attendees and to you…when you order the Fast-Track Costa Rica Package.)
  • And a $100 voucher toward any of our future conferences anywhere, any time. There is no expiration date on this voucher!

Reserve your copy today by completing our secure online form and save $150 on the 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package.

But remember, we’ll only offer this low price until we have the recordings ready to deliver to you. And then … we’ll charge the full price of $349.

Point is: there won’t be a more affordable time to reserve your copy. This special conference discount is only available until we’re ready to deliver the recordings to you.

I’ll send the information about how to obtain your 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package as soon as we’re finished uploading all of the recordings, the handouts, the PowerPoint presentations, etc.

Our Promise to You: If This Information Doesn’t Help You, You Pay Nothing

This is your best chance to fulfill your dreams in Costa Rica, whether it’s to:

  • Enjoy a comfortable, secure (and utterly relaxing) retirement
  • Own a second home on the beach, or in Costa Rica’s glorious countryside
  • Start that business you’ve been dreaming about, or
  • Successfully invest in one of the world’s most sought-after retirement markets…

We guarantee that the information in our 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package will help you make your Costa Rica dreams come true…whatever they are. If you don’t agree, we’ll return every penny you paid.

You have nothing to lose: You can call us within 30 days of receiving the 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package and tell us the information didn’t help you. (Or don’t tell us anything. Just ask for your money back.) We’ll give you back your $199. And your $100 voucher, good toward any future event, is still yours to keep.

So if you’re serious about tapping into the opportunities still available in this well-established retirement destination, I urge you to reserve your 2012 Fast-Track Costa Rica Package now.


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