International Real Estate Listings – My Podcast Interview

Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

by Taylor White

The IREL Podcast by Taylor White > Dominical Costa Rica real estate > Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

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I had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Joshua Kanter from Properties in Costa Rica in Dominical Costa Rica – and we will get down and dirty with the Dominical real estate scene – and have you coming away wanting to investigate it’s local property market further – or, cross it off your short list entirely and continue listening.

Right now from Josh you will learn:

  • Why he passed on the more well known expat communities of Jaco and Tamarindo – and why he believes you could do the same.
  • What constitutes properties located inside the Maritime zone – and then how those are different than fee simple titled properties.
  • Where the heck Dominical is even located on a map of Costa Rica – and what lies all around it.
  • The exact types of properties Josh is recommending today – and explains what “suitcase ready” means and how you can profit.
  • Breaks down strategies to get money together to buy Dominical real estate – and shares data on what percentage of buyers pay with cold hard cash.

Josh’s contact details:Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

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Marcharmo

The “Marcharmo” is the annual minimum liability insurance you are required to pay for all vehicles, motorcycles, or ATVs in Costa Rica.  You can pay the Marcharmo from November 1st to December 31st each year and the value is based on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

Marchamo

The Marcharmo is not cheap and for a 2008 SUV I will pay around $800 this year, ouch!  Even an older car, motorcycle, or ATV can pay around $200.  This is a requirement and no way around it.  In fact anyone caught after January 1st without the new decal on their front windshield will be subject to hefty fines and even getting your car impounded and towed.  Best believe the “Traficos” / “Transitos” or Transit Police will be out in full force around the entire country stopping cars at various check point searching for current Marcharmo stickers.

Transito Check Point

You can pay your Marcharmo online, at any local bank, or insurance office.   You can check how much you owe for Marcharmo and pay for it on the INS website.  In order to pay your Marcharmo you have to have all traffic tickets and parking tickets paid and if not; they will be added to the total cost of your Marcharmo.  You also have to have a current Revision Technica Vehiculo (R.T.V.) inspection sticker, which is the annual inspection every car, motorcycle, and ATV must pass to prove it is worthy of the road.

So pay your Marcharmo on time, or else your New Year will not start out too well!

Paradise Pic of the Week

This picture of a beautiful end to the day in Lagunas, Dominical was taken from our back porch.  If you have not seen a sunset in person on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, then you are missing out!

#paradise pic of the week - #sunsetCheck out our Dominical Property Facebook page and “Like Us” for more updates and Paradise Pics of the Week!!

Costa Rica Offers Baby Boomers a Second Chance at Retirement

This is Dominical Property’s first Press Release and it got a very positive response and even made Yahoo! News and many other online news outlets:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/costa_rican_real_estate/baby_boomers/prweb10102981.htm

Costa Rica is a natural choice for Baby Boomers due to its year round temperate climate, lower cost of living, advanced medical sector, and a short flight from most of the continental U.S. Joshua Kanter of United Country – Properties in Dominical discusses current retirement trends in Baby Boomer retirees.

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica (PRWEB) November 06, 2012

Costa Rica has historically been a retirement haven for ex-pats and will be one of the top destinations for Baby Boomers to retire. The Southern Zone and Playa Dominical area are fast becoming more popular with retirees due to unparalleled natural beauty, laid back healthy lifestyle, easier access, plus convenient hospitals and clinics. Dominical Property, S.R.L. is a local real estate and property management expert that specializes in making the transition to Costa Rica as smooth as possible.

Baby Boomers Facts
-76.4 million Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964 (U.S. Census)
-A Baby Boomer turns 60 every 8.5 seconds (U.S. Census)
-More than 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire every day for the next 19 years (Pew Research Center)

According to Mary Furlong’s book, Turning Silver into Gold the top 3 financial concerns of Baby Boomers are as follows:
1.) Having enough money to retire
2.) Overall financial well being
3.) Having enough money for health care

So what will Baby Boomers look for in a retirement destination? Basically somewhere they can make their savings last and enjoy an active lifestyle, while staying fit and healthy.

The quality of life in Costa Rica is some of the best in the World and it has been ranked #1 on the Happy Planet Index (New Economic Foundation) for two consecutive years. The medical care in Costa Rica is also some of the best in Central America; as many travel here specifically for medical tourism. Most all fruits and produce are grown locally; meat and poultry are fresh; and seafood is plentiful.

Costa Rica has many micro-climates, but more and more Baby Boomers are exploring the Southern Pacific Zone. This area is best known for Playa Dominical, which was 18th on CNN Go’s list of the “World’s 50 Best Beaches”. The Playa Domincal area offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, an abundance of wildlife, miles of secluded beaches, numerous waterfalls, and tons of outdoor activities from adventurous surfing, hiking, rafting, and zip-lining to more relaxing hobbies such as; bird watching, beach combing, fishing, and whale watching.

The Dominical-Uvita area, also known as Costa Ballena, has experienced recent growth and popularity due to the new Caldera Highway and paving of the Coastal Highway from Quepos; now only a 3 hour drive from San Jose. Also the Quepos Regional Airport is 30 minutes from Dominical and services daily commuter flights from San Jose.

Costa Ballena has all the amenities a retiree wants in casual and fine dining restaurants, banks, shopping, supermarkets, mechanics, pharmacies, and clinics. There are also 3 hospitals with in 30 to 45 minute drive in Quepos, San Isidro, and a new hospital in Cortes. The city of San Isidro is 40 minutes from Dominical and is one of the fastest growing cities in Central America. Modern conveniences mixed with a laid back lifestyle and lush rain forest surroundings make this one of the most desirable areas of Costa Rica.

Joshua Kanter of Dominical Property, S.R.L. (http://www.dominicalproperty.com/) says, “Our most common clients are those nearing retirement looking for a second home to eventually live here full or part time. Or those seeking ocean view property to build their dream home. Plus the Southern Zone still has very affordable real estate prices compared to other regions of Costa Rica real estate and this allows an investor’s dollar to go a long way.” He continues, “We have also seen an increased trend in retirees renting long term prior to a purchase in order to make sure the Costa Rica lifestyle is truly for them.”

Dominical Property, S.R.L assists Baby Boomers in retirement relocation with a wide array of Dominical real estate listings for sale and rent. The company can also manage a second home, recommend real estate and residency attorneys, and help facilitate the building process. The Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica is becoming a World class retirement destination and allows Baby Boomers a second chance at retirement.

Contact:
Joshua Kanter, Agent
United Country – Properties in Costa Rica
Website: http://www.DominicalProperty.com
Blog: http://www.DominicalProperty.WordPress.com/
Toll Free: 1-888-679-1227

How to Catch Fish and Shrimp with your Bare Hands

This past weekend in Silencio, a small local town where my in-laws live, it was a beautiful clear sunny morning on Saturday so we decided to take the kids to splash around in the river.  There happened to be an excavator digging a trench to re-direct the river because it was beginning to erode one of the banks near the road.  We went for a swim with the kids and watched as the huge machine did its work.  When we were just about ready to go the excavator headed upstream and at that moment dug out the temporary dam it had made and the river instantly changed course.  Well, talk about being in the right place at the right time.  A large section of about 200 feet of the river dried up and created small pools everywhere with river shrimp and fish splashing around.  I grabbed a bag from the car and we got all the shrimp and few large fish we could find; literally fishing with our hands! After bringing the catch back to the house we cleaned it up and prepared some fresh fish for lunch and saved the shrimp for lunch the next day. 

The fish was really tasty and river shrimp are like craw fish, but taste like lobster here!  Fun experience for us and the kids; as it is not every day you get to fish with your hands!

How to Make “Chorreadas” (Corn Pancakes)

The Costa Rica specialty, “Chorreada” is basically a corn pancake and a very tasty for breakfast, lunch, or mid afternoon snack with coffee on a rainy day.  Corn is a staple in the Costa Rican diet and eaten daily by most locals in one form or another such as; tortillas, tamales, corn on the cob, and many other forms.  If you are like me over 7 years ago, you probably have only seen corn in the supermarket, peeled and ready to cook.  Well, now I have experience in the corn fields and picking fresh corn to eat the same day; not just buying some at a grocery store that who knows how ago it was harvested.  Today we will show you how to make one of my favorite dishes; “Chorreadas” literally from scratch.

Step 1) In the Field – When eating the freshest ingredients it is not easy and involves a bit of work, and the first step is to go to the corn field and pick the corn.  So the day starts before dawn and in order to make plenty of “Chorreadas” you need at least one sack of corn.

You pick the corn that is almost ripe; the younger corn is still soft and makes the best “Chorreada”.  You can tell by the size of the husk and the hairs on the tip of the husk are purplish, where as when completely ripe they are black and dried out.

Once you have picked a sufficient amount you have to peel as much of the husk as you can while leaving enough to transport it without damaging the kernels.  This also allows you to fit more corn in the sack and reduces some of the overall weight.  Remember you have to carry this sack of corn back to the house.  This is the hardest part and if you do not have access to a corn field or do not want to pick corn, just buy a bunch at your local Farmer’s Market.

Step 2) The Preparation – By now you are back at the house with your sack of corn and it is about 7am and you still have a long way to go before you taste your first “Chorreada”.

You will need to peel the entire husk from the cob and get all the hairs off that you can.

Next you have to cut the raw corn from the cob so just the kernels are ready for the grinder.  At this point you may want to cook a few cobs of corn on the side to eat as a snack while you finish the rest of your work.

Now comes the hard part, hand grinding all the kernels into a “masa” or dough like substance. At least you will get your arm strength exercise for the day.

Step 3) Cooking – Now its about 8:30am and you are ready to start cooking the “Chorreada”.  You take the corn “masa” or dough and mix in a little sugar and salt, plus a little flour if it is not thick enough and mix it all together.

Then put tiny bit of oil onto a hot skillet and spread out a pancake sized portion of the mix.

After a few minutes flip it to the other side and cook both sides until golden to dark brown in color.

Step 4) The Taste Test – By now it is around 9am or later and you are finally ready to enjoy your hard earned delicacy. The “Chorreada” is best served with a side of sour cream or “Natilla” and a cup of coffee or cold glass of milk.  This entire process is best done by the whole family; as one person can peel, one can cut off the kernels, one can grind, and one can cook.  Otherwise it will take you half the day to do it all solo.

 If all this seems like too much work, then the next time you see “Chorreada” on the menu at your local “Soda” order it with a side of ”Natilla” and a cup of “café con leche” and enjoy!

Learning Spanish…. “Donde esta la sopa?”

Learning a new language is very challenging and overwhelming at times, but if you can speak some of the local language it will help you transition to a new culture more smoothly.  This is true around the World and Costa Rica is no exception.  Although many locals speak some English and I know many foreigners that have gotten by for years without any Spanish skills; I still feel learning some of the language will only benefit you in the long run.  The locals will appreciate any effort to learn their language and are very helpful; often times they will want to practice their English while you practice your Spanish.

When I first moved here I enrolled in a Spanish school in Playa Dominical for 3 hours per week and for 3 months total.  This was not much in reality, but was a good base and I was constantly practicing with locals and of course my girlfriend at the time, who is now my lovely wife.  She helped me tremendously and that is the best way to learn by immersing yourself in the language and speaking it as much as possible.  I realize not everyone can fall in love with a local and learn that way, but before moving here you could get Rosetta Stone or go to Spanish class upon arrival.  Plus there are plenty of daily interactions and opportunities to practice.

One of the most important aspects of learning any language is to not be afraid to make mistakes and practice daily.  True story: after living here just a few months I knew enough Spanish to be dangerous and went to a local store looking for some soap.  I proceeded to ask the person helping me if they had any “sopa” (which was my way of saying words I did not know, just add an ‘a’ at the end and it may sound Spanish enough).  She then toke me to the soup aisle and I said no, “sopa” and begin to make motions like I was in the shower soaping up.  She began to laugh historically and then toke me to aisle with soaps, shampoos, and personal hygiene products.  Turns out the word for soap is “jabon” and my made up word for soap, “sopa” was way off and actually the word for soup.  But be careful not to ask for “jamon” when looking for “jabon”, because you will get some slices of ham instead of the soap you are looking for.  The moral of the story is: if you are too scared of saying the wrong thing, you will end missing chances to practice and learn from your mistakes.

The process of learning Spanish fluently will take a year or even more; so be patient, immerse yourself in the culture, and most of all have fun.  And if all else fails know that 90% of communication is non-verbal and good old hand signs and acting things out can go a long way!  Feel free to share any funny stories about when you learned a second language!