House Hunting in Costa Rica

Sunday morning dawned, the sun was beating down and we got ready to meet Boris in the car park. Before leaving I put a post-up on Facebook that said:

‘Allegedly off to view a house, we are meeting a Russian in the car park at 9 am. If you don’t hear from us again you know we’re probably being interrogated by Putin in a darkened room somewhere chilly.’

We were sat  waiting when a car pulled into the hotel car park, ML got out and went across and spoke to him. I couldn’t hear what was said but when ML got back to our car all he said was Boris was pleased that we had a 4 x 4 vehicle.

Just where was he taking us?

Boris shot off out the car park and turned north so at least we knew we knew that we would be moving further away from ML’s quarries and not closer, hopefully it wouldn’t be too far. After about 8 km we turned off the main road onto a dirt road (now I see why the 4 x 4 was needed).

There were small single storey homes with people outside, it all looked very rural but it brought to mind hillbilly country in the backwoods of America.

We seemed to be driving on the rural roads for a long time but later when I checked on Google Maps it wasn’t very far at all just wiggly. Still I was beginning to feel just a little bit concerned, just where was Boris taking us. Of course my mind went to extremes;

  • He was leading us into an ambush
  • We were being kidnapped
  • He was going to tie us up and steal the car and all our money

ML was of course the voice of reason and calm and talked me back down from the edge and that combined with the fact that we had reached a gateway reassured me. Once inside we crunched along roadways of white stone and pulled up next to a single storey house. Scattered around the house were plants and trees, some of which seemed to be bearing fruit – good start.

Boris to my absolute disappointment turned out to look the absolute opposite of an ex KGB officer, he was small, very thin and in his 60’s wearing loose trouser and shirt and white haired. He ignored me totally and spoke to ML, little did he know that I had the final veto.

IMG_2584The first property he showed us was the one we had seen online, it looked okay from the outside a very fetching shade of pepto bismol pink, inside there was a bright orange 3 piece suite, a small table and chairs and furniture in the bedrooms. There was an extremely small kitchen, it felt dark and dusty and very unlike the photographs but the death knell as far as I was concerned was there was not a single A/C unit in the whole place just one fan on a stand.

ML didn’t even need to ask me my thoughts and told Boris that it wasn’t suitable, so he said he had others to show us. It turned out that he’d bought a large piece of land and has either sold plots or built individual buildings and then sold them off. The one he showed us is the house he and his wife still own and rent out to visitors.

The other buildings owners obviously have commissioned Boris to oversee their houses when they are not there (second homes) and I suppose let them if they can. We saw at least three houses all very similar although one did have a second floor but none of them had A/Cs.

IMG_2586We also got to see quite a bit of the site as we wandered about, there is a swimming pool, it seems to be attached to one of the houses but I am sure he heard him telling ML it was for anyone to use but we will have to wait and see.

There are a number of small streams running through the site, as I have already said there are plants and trees everywhere so I assume there will also be a fair bit of wildlife about. I was also introduced to Boris’ wife who was coming out of their house as we passed, she I believe is Costa Rican.

IMG_2585Finally he showed us a house that is owned by an American, it was fully furnished and had a couple of A/Cs but not one in the main room which consisted of an open-planned kitchen, dining room and lounge and entrance hall or in the master bedroom. A big selling point for me was that all of the other houses either had thick curtains or dusty dark net curtains at the windows. This house had beautiful light wood louvre blinds that can be opened and angled to allow in the light.

We asked whether two more A/Cs could be fitted and if so we would take it for 6 months. Obviously he needed to speak to the owner and an agreement was made that we would pay 50% of the cost and they would pay the rest. The only thing was the owner was coming out to use the house from the beginning of December until just before Christmas so we would have to stay in the hotel until then.

As we hadn’t found anywhere else to rent and we didn’t fancy staying permanently at the hotel we agreed to the wait, so ML and I headed back to the hotel to await his phone call.

One final note on this, ML’s company took over the arrangements for payment etc but Boris’ email to them caused much hilarity in the office. The first line was

‘My name is Boris, three times married and retired’

So for a few days emails to ML had funny first lines until eventually the novelty wore off.

Living in Costa Rica

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