T-MINUS SIX MONTHS: MAKING THE MOVE TO COSTA RICA
Since Columbus landed in 1502, tourists have been visiting beautiful Costa Rica. And since 1522, those tourists have been making their visits permanent.
Costa Rica is famous for not only the vast array of tropical climates found closely nestled in the small Central American country, but its stable government and economy. Costa Rica is an easy place to be happy.
With so much incentive, the choice to move to Costa Rica is an easy one, for expats of any age. Whether striking out, or winding down, citizens from across the world continue to join the centuries-old tradition of moving to Costa Rica to enjoy a tropical lifestyle.
Deciding to Move
- Even though the general choice to move to a warm tropical country can be a quick and easy one, the smaller decisions can take more time and consideration.
- Use the Internet to research neighborhoods and resources. Many expats gravitate toward the Los Sueños Resort and Herradura Bay area because of its close proximity to the city, its North American style infrastructure and the luxurious surroundings. Los Sueños has it all: the beach, the rainforest and the modern convenience of a small city.
- Find other expats who can answer questions about what your new country has to offer.
- Plan a visit. Some nationalities are not required to obtain a travel visa, but can visit with a passport and exit ticket.
- While you visit, consider your unique interests and needs to narrow your options for relocation.
- Work with a good real estate company like HRG Properties and Rentals; Mike and Sharon are two of the most knowledgable and experienced realtors in the area.
Making the Move
Organization is key to a successful move. A smooth transition requires at least six months.
- Figure out what you must take with you. Shop for an international shipper to help determine shipping costs and time frames for moving. Find a storage plan for stuff you want to keep, but not move. Recycle or donate the rest.
- Choose travel dates that will allow you to responsibly prepare for this next chapter. Begin to shop for travel providers.
- Make travel plans to accommodate your pet. Consult with your shipping company or the Costa Rican embassy to verify whether your pet must be quarantined upon arrival. Collect veterinarian records if your pet requires ongoing treatment.
- Calculate whether to transport a vehicle, or buy one in country. Taxes are levied on imported vehicles based on age and value of the auto. Be sure you know the cost before committing.
- Collect any medical records that may be relevant to your ongoing treatment and contact information for all current providers. Fill prescription medication prior to your move so that you will have a sufficient supply while you search for new providers.
- Choose an international bank, or open an account in Costa Rica.
- Identify insurance changes that should be made prior to leaving the country.
- Obtain an address in-country where you can receive mail.
- Collect education records and school contact information for students.
- Make sure your passport will be valid on the anticipated dates of travel. Verify with the Costa Rican embassy whether additional visas or documents will be necessary to access the country. Note any deadlines you must meet to travel or be a resident.
- Identify temporary storage in country. Or obtain temporary housing to allow you to find your new home without pressure.
- Pack medication and necessities in travel luggage to travel with you.
- Exchange currency so that you will have money when you land for transportation and food.
- Notify your credit card issuer of your travel plans to avoid declined transactions.
- Create a communication plan with email.
- Discuss potential charges with your cellular provider. Determine how and when to disconnect your current service.
- Change your address. Make plans to disconnect utilities, and sell or vacate your current home. Arrange for bills to be paid by credit card.
Whether you immediately plant roots, or wander for a while, enjoy your time in Costa Rica. Columbus certainly did.
Reach out today to find out more about buying property in Costa Rica and the logistics of making your move.