“Kathleen, I wholeheartedly agree with your comments on renting a year before you buy property in a country. Not only will it determine where you would like to live but more so if you even want to live in that country. We have lived in Costa Rica for eight years, and in that time I can’t tell you how many people have come down, bought a home, and within a year have determined that this is not what they thought it was.
“Upon our arrival in Costa Rica, we did rent houses prior to building our own. We have stayed away from large cities and rented on the southern Pacific coast (about two hours from the Panama border). Here rent can often be negotiated, as well as your deposit (with one of the houses, our deposit was put toward our last month’s rent). In Costa Rica, the law favors the renters, not the owners, and so a renter is very protected.
“Needless to say, every area is different, and I have found the very best thing to do is ask other gringos what the situation is like where you would like to settle down. We hate to see the dreams of ‘newbies’ shattered because they made the fatal error of buying before trying.”
–Dawn V., Costa Rica
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