interesting comment about Real Estate in Canada I found on Benson Wong´s Blog when surfing the internet.

re: http://www.openrealestate.ca

Looks like the site indexes only FSBO (For Sale by Owner — fizzbo) properties. I don’t see how it will have a significant impact on real estate in Canada. I for one would always use a realtor (that I trust) when buying or selling a home.

Here’s my view on FSBO, and much of this opinion is influenced by the book Stumbling on Happiness. For the most part people generally suck at predicting what would make us happy in the future. The result is we have expectations that are often out of sync with reality.

Why do a lot of FSBOs wind up, and are happier switching to a realtor? Because beforehand they underestimate how hard it is to sell a home and overestimate how happy they will be saving the commissions. After they list, expectations change, and a lot of FSBOs wouldn’t mind paying somebody a commission to do all work for them. Check out Stumbling on Happiness, it gives a lot of great examples of how we suck at estimating happiness and how we’ll fall into the same trap over and over again.

Will FSBOs go away? Probably not, actually I expect lots more FSBOs in the future. Not because it’s the next great thing, but because a lot of people will make the same bad predictions on happiness: going FSBO would make them happier. Some will luck out, a lot won’t, and there will always be a realtor around to help those who don’t.

Costa Rica en Lego

April 24, 2010

This is a very creative and fun way explained in English even kids will understand why to come and invest into Costa Rica. A great positive perspective and guideline, enjoy this short video:

New Lolita in town !

April 13, 2010

by Gary and Jolene

There’s a new girl in town, meet Lolita. Lolita is the new mascot for Lola’s Restaurant and she is absolutely adorable! The restaurant is named after the late Lola, the mischievous, big pig who used to bathe in the surf out front. These days, Lolita can be found frolicking in the surf or taking a siesta under the trees in the afternoon. If you go to Lola’s just ask one of the wait staff where she is and they will point you in the right direction.
Lola’s is one of the nicest beach restaurant and bars in Costa Rica. It is also my favorite place to frequent on Sunday afternoons or on any day of the week for that matter. Lola’s in on the beach in Playa Avellanas, a short, 20 minute drive south of Tamarindo.  It offers stylish, comfortable beach furniture under the palm trees with spectacular front row views of the beach. The setting is semi Robinson Crusoe, a place you just can pass up.
The owners, Don and Christy, have done an amazing job attracting tourist and locals alike. The food is fantastic and has something for everyone on the menu. The wait staff is friendly and attentive making sure all your dining needs are met. You are never rushed and can lounge all day in either the hammocks or in a beach chair enjoys their menu of tropical fruit drinks.
Lola’s is a great place to watch the sunset, enjoy swimming in the gentle surf, or just kick back have a drink and watch the surfers. If you have been to Tamarindo and never been to Lola’s put it on your list of things to do when in town.
Lola’s is open Tuesday through Sunday 8:00am to 6:00pm, remember to bring some cash, they do not accept credit cards.

See more Lolita pictures

by: Roger Peterson/www.costaricalaw.com

The Costa Rican Legislature is currently evaluating a proposed law which would completely overhaul and regulate Real Estate Transactions in Costa Rica.   The law, “Regulation of Real Estate Contracts and Real Estate Agents” is quite ambitious in its goal and if passed would create significant changes in the way real estate transactions are carried out in the future.

According to the proposed law the purpose is to provide confidence in the real estate marked and increase the legal security in the transfer of real property.   To do so the intent of the law is to regulate Real Estate Agents and the requirements and obligations of those agents.   And, regulate the types of contracts and participants in the transfer of real estate in Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica it has often be said that “everybody is a realtor”.  The reason for this has been the lack of regulation and the ease with which one can put on a realtor hat and begin pitching real estate.  The problem with this in the past has been that many of those out there calling themselves realtors do not have a clue of what they are doing.   Under the proposed law only licensed realtors would be able to call themselves real estate agents.  In order to be a real estate agent the law requires that:

1.  The agent must be a member of a Real Estate Association which is recognized and registered.

2. The agent must be a Costa Rica citizen or a Foreigner with legal residency in Costa Rica and a work permit authorizing them to work in Costa Rica.

3.  The agent must be registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Costa Rican Institute of Drug Control.  This is the agency charged with investigating Money Laundering activities.

4.  The agent must be registered with the Costa Rican Department of Revenue.  This is to ensure compliance with Costa Rican tax laws.

5.  The agent must be bonded.  The amount of the bond and procedure would be determined after the law is passed.

The law also introduces protections and legal procedures which would facilitate the real estate agent to collect their real estate commissions. Any dispute regarding the commission agreement must first go to binding arbitration.

With those added protections also comes further responsibility for the Real Estate Agent.  Any Real Estate Agent that acts with “bad faith”, negligence, carelessness or recklessness which causes harm to their client or to a third party shall be liable for the damages caused.  If any of the actions are of a criminal nature of course the agent would also be subject to criminal action. If the real estate agent works for a Real Estate company then the company will be jointly liable with the agent as well.

In addition to regulating Real Estate Agents the law also intends to regulate the real estate transaction process as well.  It does so by modifying certain provisions of the Costa Rican Civil Code regarding the Real Estate Option and Real Estate Purchase Agreement and the ability to record those agreements on title to the property pending the actual transfer of title.  The law also recognizes the concept of Escrow and sets for the regulations for the management and administration of funds held in Escrow including the requirement that Escrow agents be bonded in the future.

Costa Rica experienced and expansive real estate boom in the past couple of years.  The country was not prepared for the development and transactions which flowed during those boom years.  The reaction to the chaos caused by the lack of planning and regulation is the proposal of laws such as this one.    If passed by the legislature the law would become effective and everybody involved in the real estate transactions process will have to adapt and comply if they want to stay in the field.

by:insidecostarica.com

Costa Rica is fast becoming a main destination for medical tourism, as foreigners seek out professional medical attention at a price lower than in their country of origin. The list of services sought out include elective procedures, as well as specialized surgeries.
Medical tourism is a us$60 billion dollar industry worldwide and expected to almost double that to us$100 billion by the year 2025.
And the principal market for Costa Rican medical tourism is the United States and Canada.
Lets take a look at some of the numbers. In the US, some 11.000 people turn 50 years of age daily; almost 50 million Americans do not have a doctor, double that do not have dental coverage and in 2007, 750.000 Americans traveled abroad to obtain medical attention. The expectations are that this year that number will grow to 6 million.
Countries already heading the list of destination for medical tourism are Mexico, Panama, Brazil, India, Thailand and South Africa.
Costa Rica wants to make sure it doesn’t get left behind in this important sector and as such will be holding this month the first Latin American congress on medicine and welfare.
Promoting Costa Rica’s medical tourism is Promoción Internacional de la Medicina de Costa Rica(PROMED), private non-profit organization that coordinates the efforts being undertaken to ensure the quality of services provided by the healthcare industry in Costa Rica and and to promote them internationally, in order to consolidate the country as a centre of international medicine and leading destination for health tourism.
PROMED groups health care providers, health professionals, providers of tourist services, the academic sector and other marketers of goods and services related to medical tourism.
Some of the affiliates of PROMED include, Hospital Clínica Bíblica, Hospital CIMA San José, Universidad de Ciencias Medicas UCIMED, Hospital Hotel La Católica, the Costa Rica Association of Medical and Dental Recovery Inns and Hotels, Hotel Ramada Herradura, Hilton Papagayo, DoubleTree Cariari and HOMEWATCH CAREGIVERS Latin America.

The World Health Report 2000 – Costa Rica ranks 36th on the world’ s health systems Health systems: Improving performance; Highest ranking in Political Stability and Absence of Violence in Latin America World Bank, 2007; and, Educational Best system in Latin America, 36th worldwide World Economic Forum Global The Competitiveness Report 2007-2008.
In addition, San José ranks 4th among the cities with the best quality of life of Latin America. San José is also the first among Latin American countries in the Worldwide Business Trip Index The Economist Intelligence Unit 2006 Costa Rica Health System National. The health system includes the Ministry of Health, which has taken leadership for the sector; the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS), which delivers care in the event of disease and maternity.