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28197How to lose money while building a house in Costa Rica

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  • alexandra lancaster
    Feb 1, 2005
      1) Give money to a real nice friendly contractor and then leave the country and tell him you will be back in a coupla months.
      2) Take the first bid you get because it seems so incredibly cheap, far cheaper than anyone else. Halfway through, when the Real Price emerges, it is nearly impossible to get a second contractor to come in and finish what the first one started. So, you are stuck with him and half to pay the real price to build but now you are building with someone you don't trust.
      3)Pay no attention to the amount of block delivered.
      4)Live in the city while building in the country and only drive out on weekends.
      5) Give the power of attorney to almost anyone. There is a special lovely trick here for people getting your escritura number and suddenly you dont own the property anymore.
      6) Ignore the advice of experienced people because the taxi driver and the guy on the bar stool are "locals" and must give good advice.
      Non-ironically speaking: I have always built here for time and materials. I buy my materials at local ferreteria direct, get receipts, place orders by phone, and live on the land while building on it. Some people do it by contract: i will build you this entire house for so much. I pay workers once a week, pay my supply bill once a month and use a ferreteria that I know and trust.
      At the end, the contractor supervising gets a bonus, around 10% of total building cost. Everything is negotiable but a good honest contractor is worth his weight in oro. Alexandra Lancaster, The Alexi Company, Real Estate and Economic Rentals, 268 3672




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