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We hit on 3 more challenges before closing on our property. I apologize for the length of time that has passed since my last blog in late February.
I wanted to let some time go by to digest our house purchase, before writing the last chapter, and wrap up our story.
We have been back home for over two months now from our two-week whirlwind trip to Costa Rica. That trip was dedicated to closing on our property purchase.
What an adventure!
But my adventure didn’t stop at closing on the property. On the same trip, some other adventurous things happened to me. Who would have thought that in a single trip I would commit an amazing amount of mistakes, that were all corrected by helpful people:
I left my laptop bag on a flight. With my wallet, identification, credit cards, etc in it. The airline retrieved it and was paging me in the airport even before we picked up our checked luggage.
Then I left my credit card at the car rental desk in San Jose. I didn’t miss it until I was ready to catch our flight back home – too late to retrieve it. We asked the car rental agent to destroy the card, and we canceled it when we arrived home. The credit card company issued a new card.
My car was “stolen” at the hotel in our departure city at the end of our trip. Fortunately, it wasn’t really stolen, the hotel staff had just moved it up to the hotel entrance, without telling us…
Aside from these incidents, we had pretty atypical weather during our visit – cold and rainy most days (discussing with Ivo, he also commented that the weather had been pretty awful during that two-week period). So much so that we actually rented a hotel at the beach for a couple of days near the end of our stay, just to experience some sunshine. Not very welcoming to newcomers on the part of the Tico weather gods.
Regarding the major focus of our journey – the closing of our property deal in Costa Rica– it was actually almost anti-climactic. It went quite smoothly, taking about half an hour – had the shares of the corporation signed over to us, picked up the keys, and headed off to our new home.
3 More Challenges
Last time, I spoke to you about three challenges on our real estate closing that we were still having at the time:
We cut it very close on the financing for the closing. Actually, this was all completed the day before the closing meeting. I had instructed my bank to wire the funds to my lawyer, for his escrow account. I had to trust that it would come through in time to hand the funds to the seller. Even on the morning of closing, with a couple of hours left, I was sending emails to see if this had happened.
Fortunately, my lawyer confirmed that he had the funds, and would bring a cheque with him. This resulted in unnecessary stress. Next time, I would definitely line up and finalize the funding well in advance. This would mean leaving extra time over and above what I would estimate the process would take. My bank went above and beyond my expectations to assist. I am glad that I had developed good relations with them in previous transactions (another piece of advice).
As pointed out before, we took the recommendations to use our own lawyer’s escrow account to send the funds and have them available at closing for the developer. This was one of those challenges that looked difficult but were easy to overcome. It looks like we did all the right things and we’re happy with our real estate purchase.
Our challenges with the HOA will probably still be there next time we visit our new vacation home. We have realized that having the advantage of living in a secure community has the disadvantage of needing an HOA. Our current plans are to only visit our property for short periods, and make it available for rent the rest of the time. Under these circumstances, it should be possible for us to avoid most of the unpleasantness of any conflicts and only socialize with neighbors whose company we enjoy.
My wife and I are perfectly happy with our decision of purchasing a vacation home in Costa Rica. We hope to enjoy our vacation home there for a long time. Our lawyer is still working on the registrations and we are awaiting the final papers and details.
While being on our “closing vacation”, we tried to wrap up some other things we needed to do and overcome some of those challenges. In the next two weeks, I will tell you about some others, like opening a bank account and getting utilities connected.
By guest blogger John Doe
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