My wife and I moved to Costa Rica six years back from the freezing weather of Minnesota where we'd held a printing business for 15 years. For as long as we could remember we'd worked 12 time days and used nearly all of our time finding out how to stay even...getting ahead wasn't even in the cards.
Then 9/11 happened. And for us it was an epiphany. Life was too small to spend the balance of our lives on a treadmill that gone nowhere. We accelerated our pension programs by almost five years.
And over the next year we offered every thing we owned and ultimately discovered ourselves in Costa Rica (which, actually, we'd only visited once previously...and on vacation at that !).
Foolish? In hindsight, sure. To proceed to a international state wherever we knew no body, did not know the language and our just publicity was the costa rica tours? Obviously, it had been stupid.
But...we loved it, actually in spite of the fact that living here was very different compared to the publications represented or the net showed. We rented a small house about one hour beyond San Jose in a residential area that was rural, espresso country and though big enough to truly have a clinic and within 45 minutes of the key airport.
And we bought land...and we developed a house. And luckily, Rhonda had the nature to cope with the neighborhood builders, even though we did not realize significantly Spanish. I still kept a form A and the manana perspective went me crazy.
And much of the true estate and structure business was certainly not in just about any "how to..." guide that we ever found. And we certainly produced mistakes. But fortuitously they didn't hurt us TOO much financially. And we requested plenty of questions and we discovered, little by little, how the real house market performed in Costa Rica.
And we determined that individuals wished to let the others know the things that we had to learn the hard way. We started a property company whose sole intention was to provide properties which reflected prices that locals paid...because there's a two tier property market in Costa Rica...one for "gringos" and one for Ticos (locals, as Costa Ricans call themselves).
Because there are very few principles or rules for real-estate here, our "exposure" of the market didn't produce people very well-liked by different real-estate people. (remember, Costa Rica is just a VERY little country...about the size of West Virginia or Houston). So our website didn't just endear us to local agents have been applied to charging whatever rates and commissions that they believed the traffic would bear.
And slowly we started to acquire a reputation...admittedly, some was great, some bad...depending upon who you talked to. And we started to get publicity...unsolicited press from publications like Newsweek and Investors Organization Daily. And our business grew. And became some more.
As our organization became we began to meet more people from Costa Rica...some significant, some not... some quality, some not. And we became exposed to a lot more kinds of investments which were entirely international to us. And we discovered who really "regulates" the nation and which people control investment capital and have the influence to make policy. To illustrate how much of our training was "chance" (and Personally, i do not believe in coincidences... I think that they happen for a reason) our next attorney was presented to people just used at an area getting; "coincidentally" his partner was from Minnesota...Rhonda was then asked to a regular collecting of "gringas", all of which married Ticos 35-40 years ago and who have today ALL become really influential ; e.g., Minister of Financing; Minister of Agriculture and two other former case members.