25 January 2015

Common Sense is Not So Common.

I collect orchids. Now there are orchids, and there are orchids! I collect the latter. Not only the buy-'em-at-Whole-Foods Phalaenopsis, but exotic Oncidiums, Vandas, and corsage-quality Cattleyas. Ironically, it was after our first visit to Costa Rica that my orchid collecting began. Now as we're moving to orchid-land, it is time to say goodbye as they cannot be imported. Yesterday I sold 10 or 12 orchids, and a large plumeria in a beautiful pot, to a very nice woman from Hawaii. This gal knows orchids, so they'll be in good hands.

Today I cleaned-up the greenhouse . . . having all that extra space in the absence of all the orchids. I re-potted, divided, and tidied-up the other blooming plants that will come out after all danger of frost. Our back yard is lovely, year-round, with a variety of winter-hardy tropicals (palms) and seasonal color. But since the home will be listed for sale in just over a month, it must be especially breathtaking this spring.

23 January 2015

And Thus Began Our Longest Journey Together

Now what?!

As of a few hours ago, 23 January 2015, we own a home on 1.65 acres, more or less, in MontaƱa Samara Estates, Samara, Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Lock, stock, and barrel . . . or perhaps in Costa Rica one says Surf, turf, and bats! We even have a name . . . Rusty's selection, though I certainly have no objection. As for truly, finally being the owners of a property outside the United States . . . I'm paralyzed. We're about to be expats, again.

No Wire Hangers, Ever!

No wire hangers? Goes without saying. But perhaps there are to be no wooden, satin, or velvet hangars, either. Why? Because we have no closets. We actually purchased a home with nary a closet. I ask you: who does such a thing? Foolish? Well, as my darling friend, Becky, would say with a broad sweep of a slender arm, "one word: simplify."  The absence of clothes closets isn't an issue for me. But I'm married to a man who is more married to his ostensibly rare t-shirt collection than he is to me. Did I mention his cowboy boots and hats? And I'm not talkin' 'bout foldable ball caps. For the love of God, man, we're moving to the beach; and you don't even like horses.

22 January 2015

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

We're buying a home in Samara, Costa Rica. It is not a new home; but no one has ever lived in it; and in that sense it's new (warranties and all that). Our home has been nearly complete for over two years. We're working with its developer/builder, who didn't exactly build our home on spec; but that has been the effect in that the home was on the market for many months.

Back in October 2014 following more than a week of daily house-hunting over hundreds of kilometers of Costa Rican roadways (some were roadways only in the academic sense), we chose a home that was 99% complete, but whose builder was still putting on finishing touches. And it was those finishing touches that we got to select. Let's take a little tour starting with the exterior, because for me, for now, the photos are the stuff that dreams are made of.

Need to Know Basis . . . More or Less

We did it! More or less.
Finally, a contract came on my DFW home. Finally . . . it took 8 days after listing the home in December 2014. Eight whole days. Eight days that seemed like eight months. And so we were back on schedule and might even close on Lot 6 by its original close date sometime around January 4th, more or less.

But just in case we didn't close timely, on the Samara end we would put in place a back-up plan . . . an Amendment to the original Costa Rica contract extending the closing date through early February. But from our cold North Texas home, who was there to put in place said amendment? The world's best realtor.

On the near-opposite end of the spectrum, more or less, I believe that my Texas realtor held the erroneous assumption that I wanted updates only on a need-to-know basis. Bill Knight, and his charming and helpful wife Donna, are the exceptions that prove my rule of there is no such thing as a perfect realtor. Except for Bill and wife/team-mate Donna! Without Donna, I'd have lacked an expat woman's perspective of the three-dozens homes we viewed. Cheers to Donna!

Why is this important in our saga of buying a home in Costa Rica?