Costa Rica Fuel Strike

No Gasoline Deliveries in Costa Rica because of Fuel Strike

Today starts a strike by the drivers of the fuel delivery trucks in Costa Rica. So smartly I went to the nearest gasoline station, bomba in spanish, and filled both my vehicles and an extra 10 gallons of fuel in containers. One never knows how long these fuel strikes might last. A few months ago the drivers had a Costa Rica Fuel Strike and threatened to last over 30 days but they resolved their complaints in less then 48 hours. That fuel strike did not seem to cause any big problems in Costa Rica. Now we have a  new strike, and while i have no idea what the drivers are complaining about, they certainly mean business.

Small towns survive the Costa Rica Fuel Strike

I can tell you that I am glad I live in a little town today because there were vehicles from as far away as Tilaran and la Fortuna in my town of Nuevo Arenal filling up because there were no fuel deliveries this morning as expected and those towns have no gasoline to sell. Arenal on the other hand has plenty of gas. The owner of the gas station, affectionately known as Queen, was on hand to deliver my purchase and stated that already by 10 am that morning he had sold more gasoline then he sells in an entire week. I suggested that he limit sales to stretch his supplies but he replied that was illegal. He is required by law to sell fuel to anyone who asks.

Real Estate Price per meter

When looking to purchase real estate anywhere in the world we want to know a few things about the property in question. What is the neighborhood like? Are there zoning restrictions that would prohibit my building and use plans? is water and electrical power readily available? Do I own the land and buildings freely or are there weird government or condo restrictions in place that in all practically mean I am merely a renter? How much does the property cost per square meter (or square foot if you live in the stone age)?

I would like to address the square foot question here.

When purchasing a small plot of land, big enough for a house garage and small yard, the cost of the land is going to be relatively high because the costs includes all kinds of taxes, service fees, survey and paper work costs that are the same if you have a small plot or large farm. Lets say you want to buy a 1000 meter lot (that’s a 1/4 acre for you old timers). You are probably going to be paying between $10 and $50 / meter depending on location and quality. If you want to buy say 10,000 meters (a full hectare or 2.47 acres) would you consider paying the same price per meter for that additional land that will be used for trees, grazing, and privacy? Hell no! yet that’s what a lot of the Costa Rican farmers think when they price their land for sale to the gingos. And that’s why its very important to understand this price per meter cost structure here.

While desirable real estate in costa rica costs in the hundreds of dollars per square meter, land for grazing cattle certainly does not. Why should a farmer think he can expect to sell his pasture land for the same price as ocean front? Because they are stuck on the meter price and not the overall consideration to which one prices real estate world wide.

I have a neighbor who has a single hectare of pasture land that has a hole in the middle thru which runs a stream. There is zero development on this property and she rents it to a farmer for $10 / month for grazing. She has consistently asked top dollar for this land thinking that it has value to a stupid gringo who has tons of money to throw away. There is no view. Electrical power and water are touching the property edge but there is no phone line. The asking price is $10/meter but there are no buyers and never will be.

If she sincerely wanted to sell this land, and stopped acting like a selfish moron, she could ask say $20 / meter for 1000 meters and $0.50 / meter for the rest. Instead of $100,000 dollars for a tiny bit of pasture, we now have a reasonable asking price of 24,500 for a building lot and additional land for farming and animals.

Perhaps she thinks that because some of her neighbors are gringos who have developed their land into beautiful home and park sites that she can benefit from their hard work. She has never put a dime into her dilapidated property, never helped with the road repairs, never participated in community actions and yet she wants to reap the rewards of the hard work of others. Personally I am glad she is asking an outrageous price for her property. For one nobody will be stupid enough to buy it thus keeping me from having a neighbor there and two if someone does buy it I hope they have a friend to buy my property too!

Lake Arenal Home For Sale

Custom Lake Arenal Home for sale by builder

My friend Luc builds awesome homes in Costa Rica and this year he had some time and resources to build a custom spec home on lake arenal which he is offering for sale at a very reasonable price, especially when one considers the cost of building anywhere today. This is a brand new home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and an awesome kitchen complete with appliances. All that’s missing is your personal touch!

Lake Arenal Home For Sale

Lake Arenal Home For Sale

The views are spectacular and you have full access to Lake Arenal and the Turtle Cove floating dock to keep your boat moored. 24 hour security and coming soon the community center featuring swimming pool and hot tub. Turtle Cove is the premier lake side development in Costa Rica and this is an opportunity to own your dream home built by a quality custom builder.

To learn more about this awesome Lake Arenal home for sale visit the Turtle Cove web site.

lake arenal boat dock

lake arenal boat dock

While there are may lake view properties in the area there are only a few lake arenal homes for sale like this one.

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica a land of contrast and enjoyment

Costa Rica offers an outstanding array of lifestyle opportunities for expats looking for a tropical paradise to call home. From cool highland mountains, warm and exciting central valley city life, low land farms to hot sexy naughty beach life, there is something for everyone in Costa Rica.

Life in the tropics, where days and nights have the same time year round, is where we loose all sense of time. Where one day leads to the next in an endless pattern of mornings, afternoons and nights. Memories blend together such that time overlaps, melts, disappears and new friends become old and all is as if it has always been so.

Costa Rica has many different areas that provide such variety in climate, activities, people, shopping and nightlife, that to read an online guide and then decide where to go would be difficult unless the writer had spent much time in all locals and was not under the pay of some local real estate company, marketing group, or book publisher. I can only tell of those areas that I have lived in, visited, or know of thru hearsay. My tales of costa rica blend together and cannot be distinguished from reality. The only truth will be your presence here, to see for yourself what joy or misery you will find in Costa Rica.

I live outside Tilaran on Lake Arenal in Costa Rica. A stunningly beautiful area with outdoor activities and sleepy night life. I wake before the sun and fall to sleep by 9pm. I do not miss the noise of city life, the wild parties and all night drinking and dancing. I love the tranquility and the easy lifestyle. There is not a single traffic light for 50 miles and only one or two actual stop signs. We drive with courtesy for others and give rides to strangers who live on our mountain roads and are too poor (or too smart) to own their own car.

At times I miss the roar of the violent ocean waves beating upon a white sand beach filled with bikini clad latin beauties and if so I drive the 2 hours to any of a dozen beaches in Guanacaste where I find pleasure in the baking sun and smiling interactions. There are so many awesome beach towns in Costa Rica that to name one or two would be a disservice to any whose names are on my lips but failed to make it to print. This is an area that you must come and explore for yourself as everyone has different tastes and desires.

I know Costa Rica well, having driven about 100,000 miles around this country on a hundred vacation trips over the years. I know what I like and I know what I don’t like and that’s one reason that I find it so pleasant to stay home in the mountains and not leave often. There is little that I lack. That is, i have few unfulfilled desires. When I lived in the USA I was always seeking satisfaction and rarely achieving it. There was an emptiness about life that I could not drink or screw or dance or sleep away. I found pursuit of knowledge, friendships, experiences, and material goods to be my life. But here in Costa Rica I find fulfillment in the beauty of my gardens, of the song of the birds, and the love of my friends.

What can I tell you of Costa Rica that you do not all ready know? There is only one truth and that is yours and to find your truth you must come and find your place in the sun where satisfaction smiles.

Microbrew Beer Lake Arenal

Enjoy Microbrew Beer in Costa Rica

When you are traveling thru Costa Rica looking for your dream property, be sure and stop in at Hotel Volcano Brewery on lake Arenal just outside of Tilaran in Guanacaste. You will find not only fresh made microbrew beer but also excellent organic food served in their restaurant. As a beer lover, I know that when I visit the brewery on lake arenal, that I rent a room because the beer is so good that by the time i have finished drinking my fill I am ready for sleep. Thank fully many comfortable beds are just a few feet from the bar.

Microbrew Beer on Lake Arenal

Microbrew Beer on Lake Arenal

Next to the hotel you will find several lots available to build your dream home. A number of green homes have been constructed by JP who will be happy to share his vision for sustainable green home construction.

Hotel Volcano Brewery also offers windsurfing and kiteboarding from their lakeside launch area. Plan on visiting the lake arenal area today to enjoy the finest microbrew beers in Costa Rica!

Cost of Electricity in Costa Rica

Compare Electricity in Costa Rica with USA

I was talking with my father the other day and we were comparing the current costs of living in the USA and Costa Rica when the cost of electricity in Costa Rica was questioned. Some items we discovered were cheaper in the USA and some where less expensive in Costa Rica and in the end where to live based on cost is a hard decision and depends greatly on life style choices. Of course one would be foolish to base a lifestyle choice merely on cost, as there are social and comfort considerations as well.

Great Brew Pubs in Costa Rica

For example, if you really love quality beer, you’ll want to live near a brew pub. In the Pacific Northwest there are hundreds of quality brew pubs, but in Costa Rica I know of only two, Volcano Brewery on Lake Arenal and another one up in the mountains of Cartago. Both of these small breweries create excellent quality beer but you can not buy it just anywhere, you must be close to the source, while in the USA you can buy great beer in all supermarkets everywhere.

The Cost of Electricity in Costa Rica is High

One choice we all make is to have electricity in our homes. Costa Rica has one of the highest electrical costs in the world. I pay twice as much for electricity as my dad pays for the same amount. Why this should be is completely unknown to me as labor costs and infrastructure maintenance must be less in Costa Rica. Perhaps greed or taxes has something to do with the high cost of electricity in Costa Rica.

Well actually anything of quality that will last costs a lot more in Costa Rica then the USA. The vendors always try to tell us that they make only a small profit, that the price differential is due to high taxes but this is usually a lie. (more…)