Costa Rica News – You have finally made up your mind and have decided to move to Costa Rica. But making the decision to move to this tropical country is just half the battle, the other half is finding out how to efficiently get yourself, your things, pets if you have any…practically your life…down to your new home in paradise.
Since it will be your first time to uproot yourself from the life you are used to and moving to a foreign place far away from family and friends this may be frightening and overwhelming for you, but it need not be. Keep in mind that you are not the only one or even the first one to move to Costa Rica, there are thousands of expats who came in before you and they are all enjoying their lives in this beautiful and peaceful country.
You most likely already have a checklist of things you have to do to make your move as easy and smooth as possible. However, you may want to add the five things we have prepared for you below.
- Find a Place to Live
For sure you have already spent some time travelling around the country before making your decision to move. Your experience when you visited different towns and regions would definitely give you a good head-start in finding the place you would want to live in. You may want to try renting in different locations first to fully understand the climate and lifestyle offered in those locations before purchasing real estate. It would be a total bummer if after spending so much money in purchasing a property you realize after some time that you are not so happy with the town or region you are living in.
It is customary to pay one month security deposit when leasing a condo or a house. Rental fees usually start at $400 for a two bedroom condo unit or home but remember that prices in this country are very flexible and you should always negotiate or try to ask for extras from the landlord to sweeten the deal. Also, make sure to ask who pays the utilities and ensure that it is indicated in the lease contract. In the event you are leasing a furnished condo or home, make sure that you make an inventory of all furniture and other items that came with the unit to avoid unwanted problem in the future.
- Documents for Residence
Before moving all your stuff you have to make sure that all the necessary residence documents are ready and are in order. Whichever type or residence you choose (pensionado, rentista, inversionista or any other residence category) you are required to bring specific documents for verification and authentication purposes. To find out which documents are needed it is best to contact a Costa Rican lawyer, Costa Rican consulate or embassy to avoid any problem. On top of that you have to bear in mind that there are documents that need an “apostille”, a type of certification that will come from your local or national government, to authenticate the documents you have.
- Decide What to Take With You and What to Leave Behind
I know how hard it is to part with things you bought from the time you started earning money up until the time you have decided to leave your old life behind, but remember that you are starting anew and old things that you can live without must go; you can either give them to family and friends as a memento or you can hold a garage sale before leaving the country to avoid paying too much on shipping fee and taxes.
Once you have sorted out the things you will ship to your new home in Costa Rica it is highly advisable that you contact a customs broker or shipper in Costa Rica. They are very knowledgeable and can help you bring down the taxes or customs duties that you would need to pay for your household goods and vehicles you will bring into the country.
Lastly, there are items that you have to personally take with you on the plane like prescription drugs, electronic gadgets and other valuable keepsakes. You should have them on your carry on and or/checked baggage.
- Set up your Communications
High speed internet service is available in most part of the country and communicating with friends and loved ones you left is really easy. You no longer have to spend a lot of money making long distance calls since you can now use internet phone services like MagicJack or Vonage which enables you to use a regular handset to call anyone in the US or Canada. There are also numerous software applications you can use like Skype to message, call or video conference anyone around the globe.
- Learn a bit of Spanish
It is not a requirement for you to learn Spanish since a lot of people in Costa Rica know how to speak in English. However, it would not hurt for you to learn a little bit of Spanish as it would help you make new friends by making locals feel comfortable around you. You don’t have to learn difficult phrases or long sentences, just learn the key words or phrases that would help you navigate with your day to day life.
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