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Chapter 12 - Maintaining a Home

A home is an important investment, and you’ll want to spend some time and money to make sure it keeps its value and stays safe and habitable for you or your tenants. Maintaining a property in Costa Rica is much the same as it is anywhere else in the world, with a few important exceptions. For one thing, the cost of domestic labor is low enough that almost anyone can hire at least a part-time gardener and housekeeper. For another, the growing seriousness of crime in many parts of the country where foreigners have settled make the security of your property of paramount importance. In addition, you’ll need to buy insurance, pay taxes, and do general up-keep.

This chapter will give you a few pointers on how to get all those things done. If you’re planning to relocate your life to Costa Rica, you’ll probably have to learn some Spanish to do some of these everyday tasks, though of course that depends on where you live and who you work with. It’s also important to remember the advice that local knowledge is crucial. Costa Rica is a series of micro-climates and micro-communities, and you’d be well advised to seek advise from fellow locals and expatriates in your neighborhood. This chapter will get you started.