Our Pura Vida in Costa Rica
You would think that moving to Costa Rica from Alaska would be a no brainer. Well, the decision wasn’t that easy for Rene and me. After over 22 years in the 49th state, it was our home. However, in 1990 a fishing buddy of mine convinced me to go tarpon fishing in Costa Rica. First, I wasn’t familiar with tarpon and second, I didn’t even know that Costa Rica was in Central America. That trip changed our lives. It doesn’t seem possible that Rene and I have lived here at Lake Arenal for 21 years
Rene waiting for the big strike.
Rene with Dozer, Ginger, Buddy, Runt, and Dotty. Crouchy and Feisty were abandoned and joined our zoo!
Jim “under cover” with nice catch.
We didn’t have a set plan for making a living here. We owned property in Alaska, but we didn’t have a lot of cash when we moved here. Over the next two years, we lived on less than $700 per month, and a good part of that was used to buy imported dog food for our Labradors.
However, I had a construction business in Alaska, and Rene was experienced in accounting and credit management, and we’re accustomed to working hard. So we thought something would come up. Thus, Rico Realty was born in 1995 – the first real estate company in the area. (Back then, if you wanted to buy real estate, you had to knock on a farmer’s door, or learn through the grapevine of someone who wanted to sell.)
At that time, the going real estate commission rate throughout Costa Rica was 10%. To get listings, we offered a 6% rate that we still use today. Property owners flocked to us with their listings. But there was one problem. People had not yet discovered Costa Rica.
Lake Arenal real estate has proven to be a good investment for us. Our purchase of six acres in 1990 has turned out to be our salvation. Bought with after-tax dollars, the properties were free and clear by the time we retired here in 1995. Since this was before my Social Security kicked in, we quickly realized that putting our money into Lake Arenal real estate was a wise investment. We’ve filled our land with 7 dogs, parakeets, a red-headed Lora, and a myriad of plants, including avocados, bananas, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, mangoes, and vegetables. Twice a year, we watch the migration of howler monkeys around our property. Ours is truly a Pura Vida at Lake Arenal.