👉 Greg is a Canadian who made the move to Costa Rica. Yossi Kaplan, Toronto Realtor - asking Greg about his move, living in Costa Rica, buying land and building a gorgeous custom home in Playa Lagarto Echo Development.

Buying or Selling in Costa Rica? Contact Yossi Kaplan, MBA, Realtor for more info.


An in-depth interview with a Canadian expat living in Costa Rica, covering topics from weather and infrastructure to building a house and local lifestyle.


  • 🌎 Canadian expat shares experience of moving to Costa Rica and building a house in the Playa Lagarto area.
  • 🏡 Describes the process of buying land, finding a builder, and constructing a Japanese-style home using local materials.
  • 🚗 Discusses transportation options, internet access, and cost of living in the area.
  • 🌴 Provides insights on local culture, community dynamics, and tips for others considering a move to the region.
  • 🍽️ Mentions availability of food, fruits, and lifestyle adjustments when transitioning from Canada to Costa Rica.

Key insights

  • 🏡 Greg bought the plans for his beautiful Japanese style home from Haiku houses.com in 2000, after doing a lot of research on prefabbed houses.
  • 🏗️ There are rules in place for building in the area, such as a height limit of 9 meters and a restriction on using more than 18% of your property for structures.
  • 🌴 Living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica offers the unique opportunity to have a backyard facing the ocean and even a neighbor with a mini golf course.
  • 🏝️ It's a lifestyle choice - do you want to relax on the beach or be surrounded by English or Spanish people, and how often do you go for entertainment?
  • 🍽️ The cost of living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica is affordable, with a meal at a local restaurant costing around $10.
  • 🏡 Living in Playa Lagarto, Guanacaste, Costa Rica means having a supportive community and a system for emergencies and communication.
  • 🌐 Costa Rica has fast internet speeds with fiber optic cables connecting to Miami, making it a great place for digital nomads.
  • ⚽ The lifestyle in Costa Rica involves more outdoor activities and socializing, making it a different and potentially better lifestyle than in Canada.

Living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica offers a unique and affordable lifestyle with beautiful ocean views, a supportive community, and opportunities for outdoor activities and socializing.

  • 00:00 🏡 Greg moved to Costa Rica, discussed the dry season and potential dangers, bought land with an ocean view, and faced challenges with building a unique house.
    • Greg, a Canadian who moved to Costa Rica, discusses the weather and potential dangers of the dry season.
    • Dry season in Guanacaste, Costa Rica starts in February and lasts until July, with the area having a reputation of being kind of bad.
    • The roads in Guanacaste, Costa Rica are mostly dirt but are slowly being paved, and there are tourist areas and an international airport nearby, with a larger development where people can buy and build their own homes.
    • The speaker decided to live in Costa Rica after traveling through various countries and being influenced by a real estate agent's recommendation.
    • The speaker bought an acre and a half of land in Costa Rica with an ocean view, found a builder to build a house to American standards, and didn't do much research before making the purchase.
    • The speaker hired a builder to construct a unique house in Costa Rica, but faced challenges with transferring the payment due to banking rules.
  • 08:01 👉 Greg built a Japanese style home in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica using local materials and labor, emphasizing the importance of water supply, road access, and proper documentation when building.
    • Greg bought plans for his Japanese style home from Haiku houses.com in 2000 after researching prefabbed houses.
    • They built the house using local materials and labor, with concrete, steel, teak wood, and Guanacaste wood, and the zoning and permits process was left to the builder.
    • Ensure you have water supply, road access, and proper documentation when building a house in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica.
    • The speaker discusses the process of getting power and water in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, and the differences between the various lots available for building.
  • 12:39 👉 Greg discusses housing options and amenities in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, the challenges of building a house, and the average cost of construction.
    • The speaker discusses the different types of housing options and amenities available in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, including villas, pools, and restaurants.
    • Access to Playa Lagarto in Costa Rica is through a one-mile dirt road, and a 4x4 vehicle is recommended due to the need to cross two small creeks to reach the beach.
    • People in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica can build houses with red clay roofs, with some restrictions on height and property usage, and the speaker has a 100-foot long Japanese farmhouse.
    • Greg built a house in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica with a second story, a lookout tower, and faced some challenges during the construction process.
    • The average cost to build a house in Costa Rica is $85 per square foot, but the process can vary and it's important to find a reliable builder.
    • The speaker met a helpful local who assisted with setting up a bank account, introduced him to people, and is currently working on projects in the area.
  • 23:27 👉 Overall positive experience building and living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, with minor issues, challenges with customs, bugs, scorpions, and spiders, and nearby town, grocery shopping, and fishing.
    • Overall, the experience of building and living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica is positive, with the only negative being some minor issues that can be easily fixed.
    • Consider your lifestyle preferences, such as social environment, climate, and cultural immersion, when choosing a location to live in Costa Rica.
    • The speaker faced challenges with customs when bringing items through the airport, but was able to adapt and overcome difficulties in building a house and living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica.
    • There are bugs, scorpions, spiders, and birds in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, including doves called puos and black monkeys, with one woman named Beverly feeding the monkeys.
    • The speaker discusses the nearest town, grocery shopping, and fishing in the area, including catching shrimp in a nearby creek.
  • 28:43 🏡 Living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica is affordable with good food, potential investment, and the speaker's experience building a house emphasizing luck, savings, and closely monitoring the builder's work.
    • The cost of living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica is affordable, with meals at local restaurants typically costing around $10 for a beer and some burritos or tacos.
    • The speaker talks about his eating habits, how he used to buy and freeze food, but now his girlfriend takes him to restaurants and cooks for him.
    • The speaker discusses the lack of good sushi in Costa Rica and mentions finding the best ceviche in Nicaragua.
    • The speaker discusses the development of houses in Playa Lagarto, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, with some owned by individuals and others by the company, and some for sale.
    • The speaker discusses the tranquility and potential investment of living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, and the improvements in road accessibility in the area.
    • The speaker discusses building a house in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, emphasizing the importance of luck, savings, a clear vision, and closely monitoring the builder's work.
  • 36:39 👉 Living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica is busy during the dry season, but the rainy season is not as bad as people think, learning some Spanish is important when building a house, and having patience with paperwork and immigration is crucial.
    • Living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica is busy during the November to April season, but the rainy season is slower and not as bad as people may think, and it's important to be clear about what you want and have patience when dealing with paperwork and immigration.
    • Learning some Spanish is important when building a house in Costa Rica, and it's possible to hire a construction manager to oversee the project.
    • Driving without a license plate in Costa Rica can result in the Transit Police taking away the motorcycle, and it's important to go through a lawyer for car transfers and paperwork.
    • Digital versions of paperwork in the municipality's computer systems are important for avoiding expiration, and having a positive outlook and luck is also crucial.
  • 41:42 👉 Living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica involves building a house in a supportive community with fast internet options, availability of certain food items, and abundant fruit trees.
    • People in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica are open and crime exists, but taking reasonable precautions and working together as a community can help ensure safety.
    • Building a house and living in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, involves a supportive community with WhatsApp groups for emergencies, casual conversations, and important matters.
    • The speaker discusses internet options in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, including ymax, infinity, and starlink, with the possibility of fiber optic being brought in by the electric company, but with the availability of starlink, it may not be necessary, and the prices for starlink in Costa Rica are cheaper than in Canada.
    • Greg discusses the availability of fast internet in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, and the underground fiber cable connection to Miami.
    • You can get 2% milk, but not 1%, Tim Hortons, or premium plus crackers, and there are no bagel stores, but there is a variety of bread, cheap pineapples and watermelons, and different wines available.
    • Fruit trees like mangoes, berries, and coconuts are abundant in the area, but there are no apple trees due to the hot climate.
  • 48:34 👉 Moving to Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica from Canada has been relatively easy, but it's important to learn some Spanish, be prepared for long distances to gas stations, and have patience at the banks, while enjoying a different but enjoyable lifestyle with more active and social people.
    • Moving from Canada to Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica has been relatively easy, surrounded by Canadians and English speakers, but it's important to learn some Spanish, be prepared for long distances to gas stations, and have patience at the banks.
    • Women are respected and families are tighter in Playa Lagarto, Costa Rica, where people are more active and social, leading to a different but enjoyable lifestyle compared to Canada.

👉 Greg Interview - Building a House and Living in Playa Lagarto, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (Caps) - YouTube

(00:00) hello everyone Yosi Kaplan here your friendly Toronto realtor in now Costa Rica and today I'm with Greg Greg is a ex hello ex- neighbor from just down the street and Greg made the move to Costa Rica so I wanted to ask Greg a little bit about his experience as a Canadian Ontario and torontonian to move and his
(00:19) trials and tribulations hello Greg hey how you doing good to hear from you okay first question how's the weather it's hot but it's great you know it's it's hot but it's windy because it's windy it's actually I love it I love it when it's windy this time of year it's uh it's uh you know when it's not windy it's really hot and it's kind
(00:41) of unbearable but right now it's windy so I love it it's great and it's dry so it's got to be slightly dangerous when people start burning their garbage and things like uh you'll see smoke and you might see some forest fires and things so be careful and Costa Rica has a dry season and wet season right right mhm
(00:58) yeah dry season starts uh we're on this is what's the date today today's February 19th or something uh February 21 I don't know what it is um so sorry turn that phone off apologies okay so yeah uh we got two seasons we don't have summer and winter there's dry and wet and uh we're currently in a dry season February 20th
(01:22) and it'll yeah I was just saying it'll be dry until probably July I think maybe it probably won't rain at all until July at least where I am I'm in the West Coast by Tamarindo area along about one mile from the ocean so I'm like 90 meters above sea level I'm GNA share uh I have a map here let me share
(01:46) it let see okay so Greg tell me a bit about uh about Guanacaste and the area and then I'm going to ask like how you got there and all that well the history I can't I'm really not a history buff I can't tell you much about it but I think Guanacaste used to be part of Nicaragua and it was it was appended to Costa Rica next
(02:10) number of years ago I don't really I I have no idea when but um Wan has a reputation of being kind of bad for cars the roads are not the best here the roads are the better uh the roads are fairly dirt you're looking at Highway 160 right now on the map that road is it used to be 100% dirt all the way
(02:35) from Santa Cruz no um there's a town called rioo actually all the way down to almost noara andoya and all that now they're Paving it they're slow they're slowly Paving it and it's turning out really good so but yeah it's uh guanaste is pretty good um it's a lot of tourist areas here we're not far we got the we
(02:59) have the Liberia airport that's good it's uh there seems like I think there's only two international airports there might be a new one opening up in leemon on the west on the other coast on the Gulf Coast sure you choose a p lagaro maybe I should say p lagard is a larger development few hundred acres people can
(03:19) buy a larger lot a smaller lot and build their own homes on it yeah yeah okay we'll give me a couple minutes I'll explain why okay so uh I I knew I wanted to live in this part of the world okay this part of the central world you I didn't know my geography was all great at the time but I I I got I went to flight center and I
(03:40) booked a stop in PTO V to Mexico and then took a bus to Mexico City and then saw Cancun and KML and B and Panama and Quito Ecuador and during all that three-week trip I I explored really and uh I met a real estate agent from Canada who said oh you got to check out Costa Rica it's got the best infrastructure and all that stuff and
(04:10) and uh she was yeah like she wasn't even in cost at the time but she said yeah you got to check it out and um when I got back home uh to Toronto I started posting on Facebook Stu pictures of my trip and and uh Facebook's search algorithms really good because it starts looking at my posts and saying oh this
(04:30) guy went to this guy went to all these countries let's start sending let's start bombarding him with ads about about real estate and stuff so I get this ad I know I know I get this ad from recap in Toronto and they have this development in Costa Rica and turns out their office was just like five blocks
(04:49) or six blocks or two subway stops or whatever away from where I was working so I stopped by and I took a look and they they're didn't really have a pushy sales team but they showed me their their their stuff and they said if I go down and I buy something they will reimburse me for my travel costs and
(05:08) they'll take Canadian money instead of American money at the same at par right so I thought oh that's sounds like a free trip so I'll think I'll do that so I did I did and I I want I went down not intending to buy anything but but you know I I kind of got tired of looking so I ended up buying something uh end up
(05:27) buying an an acre and a half and it's not the best acre and a half they had but it's it's got an ocean view and it's h it's got a flat spot to build a house on it and surrounded by other Canadians speak English and the roads were not too bad and it was not too far from the airport and I didn't really you know I didn't
(05:48) really do a whole lot of research but I basically just got tired of looking and I I plop down something I always figured yeah I'll probably sell it if I don't like it so so I spent about six or seven or nine months paying for what I bought and then I flew down again to look for a builder to build something and I found a
(06:04) guy I don't even remember how I found him but um but I found a guy who he grew up in Costa Rica moved to New Jersey when he was younger learned how to build houses for 20 years in New Jersey came back to Costa Rica and started a company making houses to American Standards you know to American Quality to what we would expect not
(06:27) totico not local houses but normal houses that yeah normal houses normal looking houses and uh I picked him somehow he and I didn't even I didn't even do I didn't even check his references but he speak he spoke English and he took me to lunch and he I took him to the property I bought and he found my water source and he he seemed
(06:49) like a personable guy and he seemed and one thing he really liked was he seemed excited about what I wanted to build because I had plans for uh something unique he wanted to do something unique and different so so uh signed a contract and um and uh it was like 40 points I think and uh I think I had to pay him
(07:08) 40% down for him to buy the materials and then another 30 or 25% when he got to a certain Milestone like when all the walls were up and the place was slightly enclosed and then I had to do I think 15% to kind of finish it and then another 10% after I did my inspection the place so getting money to to him was hard at
(07:31) that point but I was was a wire transfer um I had but I had to spend a whole bunch I had to send a whole lunch of uh documents where I got the money from and all right right nonsense he had a hard time getting it the bank was holding it so I it only arrived at the bank in two days but he didn't get the money for
(07:51) about two months because he had to prove that it's it's legitimate it's a lot of banking rules here Greg um thank you um who does now you have a beautiful Japanese style home in Coster R who who um designed it for you was it your idea or somewh else yeah I bought the plans in in year 2000 uh from a place called Haiku
(08:16) houses.com and U I did a whole bunch of research for you call it prefabbed houses I looked at Round houses from North Carolina topsider and another company somewhere in North Carolina they make kind of cool houses but I settled on this one called Haiku houses they build all the parts for you they ship
(08:39) them they put them on a truck they number everything and they ship them to your destination just put assemble it I didn't want to do that here so all I wanted was the planes there's no way I'm shipping a bunch of lumber from America to here it's going to rot and cost a lot you have to taxes so uh I just bought
(08:57) the plants we used local materials and local labor here beautiful so we built the house using concrete and steel with a wood facade so we've got teak Uh Wood on the outside and Guanacaste wood for the roof and rest is mostly concrete and steel with some tyvec or fiberglass ceilings and laminated wood for some
(09:19) some floors that I bought but yeah it's pretty good how did you find the process of zoning and per oh yeah that was uh I got that was kind of out of my out of my control for a while I mostly left that to the Builder and he was really he had to go to the municipality seven times to to get all that stuff they kept
(09:43) asking him for papers and he would Supply them and then he would ask him for the same thing again or something would expire just oh what a horrible nightmare that I got shielded from so I didn't really have to do that but um he said the first thing is you have to have water supply for Mixing concrete
(10:01) and all that so that water is number one important uh got to make sure that M I Remember Everything but water and rights and make sure it's buildable and all that kind of stuff oh yeah have the road access need Road access okay make sure you're not landlocked and I was not maybe maybe I'll just say for the
(10:24) viewers that P larto is it is is it community in a development so they build the roads right there's there's power to the property and you use your own well you use uh well from the community community well there's about I think there's two Wells that but and they they pump it up into water tanks and then the water
(10:44) tanks are gravity fed to all the houses around do all the Lots right now some of the lots have Road access power and water available I think they I'll do now um when I started I I didn't have any power we had to use solar panels or generators it was horrible So my poor Builder spent a lot of money on gasoline for the
(11:10) generator and all that and uh we we eventually got power poles installed and then about two months later wires got installed on it and then two months later after that the wires got hooked up and then two months after that we were supposed to get the connection from the wires to the house but we bribed a guy $200 to do it when
(11:29) he was in the area so he did it so yeah uh and then we got lights installed on some of the P some of the poles so but now there's there's poles almost well in in this PL got don't think Us section g does not have power yet or water they only have roads cuz that's the newest one yeah there's ABC it goes up goes ABC up to G
(11:55) uh a is was done first years ago I'm in C C is completely there's still some lots for sale in C D is a smaller one D I think has yeah D I think e and D definitely has power and water e I'm not sure about F I'm not sure about the G just only has robes G is a big one apply larto where you live it's got the the
(12:22) large homes like you built on a large LW and there's a smaller lot and there's Community lot perhaps you could um tell people a bit about the differences of those and I'll try to find some pictor yeah when they first started they they had these little Villas they're called Villas they're they're like Tios sized
(12:41) houses one one or two bedrooms they're kind of clustered together Sur uh they're clustered around two pools there's a restaurant there too security guard has a gate that or fence or a chain to uh the security there so that's the Villas they're they're okay you know they're they're not they're not that then there section A
(13:03) which is I think every lot is about one and a half acres all right hold on oh sorry uh let me show it yeah that yeah that's a villa yeah that's a villa in one of the pools yeah and um are these Villas managed by the company or people buy them how does they work you know they're both yeah some are um I don't
(13:26) know the percentage but some are privately owned and some are managed by the by the by the whole community and each of these clusters will have a pool right yeah they share that pool there's two pools you're looking at one that that one that you're you're showing is it's really one pool but it looks like
(13:47) it's two it's got a waterfall in it is right right there's another one that's a little bigger let me see if I can find some others I believe that that will be the restaurant here yep that's a restaurant it's pretty good do you read there oh what sorry do you like the restaurant yeah it's not too bad yeah
(14:07) they had a change of management recently they used to have a guy named Wall-E running it now they have a local person running it and this is uh done by the beach right I've been there but it was a while ago and there was a little surf shock in a restaurant down down by the beach right that oh that's um Marb that's the
(14:25) tiki hut that's the Tiki Hut in Mara it's a pretty good restaurant it's actually pretty good they get great hamburgs and fries and about 7 kilometers south of here the the beach below lagaro lagaro sits on the hill how do you how do you um for people don't know how do you access it how do you get there a one there's roughly a one mile
(14:48) road it's a dirt road straight and yeah there might be there's I think there's plans of a second Road being built so from the G Lots like a shortcut right um is there any transportation to to the beach like if someone is older or can't walk no not really no really yeah you need a you don't need a 4x4 but it it's
(15:17) kind of highly recommended is uh if you if you're at Lots if you're in section c d or E you have to go through two Creeks two small Creeks yeah water's roughly this deep sometimes yeah and it's about maybe I don't know this wide I guess so you got to go through some water but it's not that bad that's typical it
(15:38) happened to me one of my trips Costa Rica that I went down by the GPS I hate the water like you got to go back yeah really yeah yeah one I used to have a Geo okay I had a geot Tracker and and then I had a Jeep now I have a Suzuki jimney which is great I love the Suzuki jimney let me show you okay show you I'll Max
(15:59) your window so we can see it hold on my little Su I park it indoors there's my little Suzuki jimney it's a 4x4 right yeah that's that thing's great it's not fast goes anywhere not fast yeah it's not very fast and it's not super powerful but it works and all you it was it was $30,000 us MH and uh they have a
(16:22) four-door version coming up for for next 5,000 and um yeah so um when I had my geot tracker I went through one of the creeks and the water was so deep that the water actually went over the hood so but I did it didn't stall so I was lucky it didn't I made it through the week but for now The Creeks are so yeah some of
(16:43) them are dry so good enough big deal what what kind of development and houses do you see people building uh in the Villas they're all moderately the same they all have Red Roofs M and and it's sort of like the clay roof I think you call it yeah like that like you're showing all the Villa houses all Villa houses are pretty much
(17:04) just identical but in the other Lots people have gone yeah you can build whatever you want really uh there's some a few rules they say you can't build more than 9 meters tall and I think you can't build more than you can't use more than 18% of your property for structures I think I think that's one that's huge that'll
(17:24) give you 10,000 square feet like your yeah yeah yeah yeah I think my house is something like 6,000 sare feet so I went I went kind of crazy oh I didn't realize and then yeah yeah that's a mansion I should show you I have a I show you I have a like this this is the lower level of my house it's 100 feet
(17:45) long hold on let me Max the window so uh one second Max while you're doing that m this is the uh this is the Haiku house I'll just put it in the light actually if I go like this you can see the light a little better what it's like this okay so it's a Japanese Farmhouse so I have this on Top This is the top this is what you see
(18:09) from the road but on the on the foundation I have this 100 foot long lower level that's half of it there and the other half is over here and then it out the on the west side I I face the ocean there's there there's my backyard and I'll put a pool in there and my neighbor has a golf course in his back of his
(18:34) yard he's got like a giant he's got a mini thing he's building so that's kind of cool so yeah he likes golf so he's got his own Mini Putt Golf Course being built and so yeah this is my house beautiful yeah you got a second story yeah the second story is up these stairs I can show you a little bit about
(18:54) that and also have a lookout tower like my office space you do yeah let me just show you some of this this is the top this is the Japanese part beautiful so I've got a spiral staircase and kitchen over here and got a Guanacaste got Guanacaste wood ceiling and a loft with a big Skylight up there yeah and maybe I can
(19:20) show it side a little bit I can show my lookout tower a little bit wind pleas there's my lookout tower oh wow yeah it's my office space fantastic hopefully you can hear me because it's windy I do I do and you see the water from there oh yeah yeah yeah yeah which way is the ocean now be West now be West yeah beautiful
(19:46) thank you for the tour how long did it take you to build the house Greg uh it took about a year and 3 months I think it it took long because uh just a lot of distractions and there was no power at the beginning so we had to use solar panels and generators for everything because the windows look less
(20:10) windy thank you it was a bit of a labor problem too one of the managers had left for different project and uh oh there's a fire a forest fire came through so that threw a monkey wrench in the plane for about three or four days we had to go do some firefighting but oh good but yeah it took about um about a
(20:34) year and a bit a lot of people ask me maybe you can comment on that the first thing they always ask me like how much does it cost to build and then he ask you like um and I know a lot of people building Costa Rica but they want to hear from a local you are local now how much does it cost to build and is the
(20:54) process more or less straightforward with the permit in the zoning and they're not going to trick you or anything like that uh I was told that the the average price is $85 usar a square foot I don't that's that's probably old and I think I'm an exception I'm an exception because my the lower level of my house
(21:14) is uh it's mostly empty space at least it was the beginning so it's cheaper to build just just flow space yeah right yeah and hard to I don't know what I did was I went to my Builder and I asked him how much would you okay so I I I made a spreadsheet in Google Documents and I listed about 40 things you got to
(21:38) get permit you got to dig you got to build walls you got to build all the windows I wanted sliding doors and I wanted a fence and I I asked him list tell me how much all this stuff is going to cost and he put down prices and then I would say okay and then I just used Excel or spreadsheet I just added it all
(21:55) up and that's how we calculated how much he was going to you know charge me to build a house right and that's how we calculated the 40% so I sent him 40% of our estimate right he says he says he lost money building this house maybe it's true because uh you know it took him longer and I did some a couple changes along
(22:21) the way called change orders which he didn't really charge me for so he was excited to build the thing and he wanted to finish it so lucky I was really lucky like some people they they hire a builder and they never see their money again some people they'll the Builder will start and then they'll give
(22:41) up and then someone else will have to finish it but my guy stuck through right to the end and he's happy and he seems to care about them too he went to the bank with me and he set up a bank account and he hooked me up with a couple girls get me a girlfriend stff and he took me to some restaurants and
(22:58) uh I met his family and his friends and we were partying sometimes so I was lucky I'm a lucky guy he seemed a good guy I watched the interview of you and he and he seemed like a he seemed like a good guy yeah he was here today yeah he was here he's doing little projects for other houses in the area like briala for
(23:17) somebody and a kitchen for someone else right seems a good but um I mean I don't want to scare anyone I mean obviously people have various experience but would you say overall there are quite a few houses in pagaro people still go there and build there so obviously the overall experience of people is positive
(23:36) right yeah yeah well overall yeah I think so uh well the negative people are probably left so I don't think uh the negative I don't know any really negative people but I know that my neighbor he's got some cracks in his walls that my the Builder of my house went over and fixed okay so so someone else someone built my neighbor's
(24:01) house and left and now he's got cracks that had that my Builder had to go fix okay so I don't know I don't to what would you say would be like couple points or tips for someone who wants to come to P Laro and find a lot and build the house or would you tell them like if you just met them like the first few things they they should be uh
(24:25) aware of like me I want to come down and build a house yeah uh I think it's a lifestyle thing really like what do you want to do with your life where are you in your life I think right you a party animal do you want to relax and do you want to be surrounded by English people or Spanish people and how often do you
(24:42) go for food or I mean for entertainment that's what I meant and do you like hot do you like the beach or do you like the mountains and do you care about Costa Rica culture or do you want to you know is it a oh yeah you want to be here year round or not that kind of thing you like the summer I mean the wet season or the
(25:02) dry season you got to take all that stuff into account and even if you're wrong even if you pick the wrong place it's still pretty good here yeah you know I don't want to oversell it or anything but I'm my Builder told me that I was one of the most adapted but he said I did a great job at adapting to the challenges here
(25:23) right the only trouble I had was uh with Customs I tried to I tried to bring a bunch of stuff through the airport once and Customs kind of grabbed it and confiscated it and then they and then they charged me a whole bunch of taxes on it and that was very depressing and sad and not very I was not a very happy
(25:42) person at that time other than that I've been okay I was able to buy a car without too much difficulty I got a bank account okay I go back to working on the immigration thing it's taking long but it I don't really care my health has been okay um there's bugs there's scorpions and there's spiders and
(26:03) there's little wormy things that walk around there's these worms with legs right they're called G gapos or something like that oh and these are these birds that squeal there's these doves they're called puos that uh kind of popular here they some people call them suicide Birds because they stand they just sit in the road
(26:25) until the very last they fly out right so um they they they squeal all all night long sometimes and do you get the black monkeys there yeah how monkeys yes one woman yeah I got this one woman named Beverly who has she's got bridges in her trees so that the monkeys can go from tree to tree and she feeds them
(26:45) that kind of thing so she's got a lot of monkeys but I only saw I haven't seen very many I don't really have anything for them so they don't really they don't care about me much do you go often to uh I guess Tamarindo would be the nearest town right do you go there often or other towns Tam is the nearest Big Town
(27:05) okay it's uh the closest town is called Florida just like this the State of Florida but it's called they say Florida or La Florida that's it's like seven kilometer yeah there's seven kilometers east of here and I go there for groceries for milk and bread sometimes they're out of stock though so it seems
(27:26) like you have to go on Wednesdays they seem to have a good stock on Wednesday yeah and Mara oh yeah Mar the town of Lardo by the beach is good for fish legardo is a fishing Town bu of fishermen live here fish yeah uh tilapia um Lobster some other white fishes you're not going to find salmon here you'll
(27:50) find tuna but you won't find salmon right right right there's a t there's a tilapia of Farm like a fish farm on the way to San Cruz you drive by you can see pools of fish not I'm may not a tilapia but uh the other ones yes yeah there's a creek not far from just like walking distance down the hill I used to go with my
(28:14) Builders and we used to grab shrimp in the river at night so you walk around yeah yeah you um need a flashlight you walk really slowly and you can see them swimming in in in the creek and if you have a pole you would have a pole with a couple Nails on it and you just like stab them and that's how you
(28:32) catch them so yeah it's amazing they're big shrimp too some of them anyway so right now there the the creek is a little dry there probably not how thank you how about uh like cost of living like go have a meal at the restaurant or something like that a lot of people ask uh well the restaurant built into
(28:52) larto it's cheap okay it's pretty good uh the selection used to be really gri but now it's a little more limited I'd say 10 bucks at most will give you like a you know a beer and some burritos and some tacos and stuff yeah 10 bucks is usually fine uh there's lots of local restaurants they're called sodas they that's the T that's the name
(29:17) for Family Restaurant it's called a sooda it's not like don't think of popcs or don't think of Coca-Cola or anything it's called but um there are other GA like rice Bean some meat yeah yeah pretty yeah plantains and all that races and meats and uh not a whole lot of pork but fair bit of chicken and U Gallow Pinto is pretty popular I don't
(29:46) really go there too often I usually uh I don't I usually stick i i m I stick with the I don't know I got some bad habits I need to break I usually go I go to Subway and I buy five sandwiches and bring them home and stick in the freezer or I'll go get a Pizza Hut or something right or I'll go to Price Mar
(30:07) which is just like Costco and I'll grab a bunch of groceries in there and put them in a giant freezer and that way I don't have to go anywhere for a week so um but uh I got a girlfriend now that I met she's local she takes me to all these great restaurants she makes the most incredible food for me and she's
(30:24) teaching how to how to make it so I have avocado with with lemon and tomato in it and she made this incredible chicken soup with oh like tomato soup with chicken in it and it had cheese on it and potatoes oh amazing so um so oh yeah but you know what as a I I thought I'm gonna pay your back I'm going to take
(30:50) your out for sushi so we found a sushi restaurant in ncoa but you know Sushi here is not all that great so right Costa Rica people don't really know how to make sushi so either that either that or the the ingredients were not very fresh I mean this the rice was not very fresh and the yeah and all that great
(31:09) and it was expensive so Su here maybe in San Jose probably good they've got Olive Garden in San Jose yeah they got Johnny Rockets and they have they got Pizza Hut everywhere they got KFC and Burger King and McDonald's and all that stuff they even have um what do you call it crispy they got crisp Cream Donuts in San Jose
(31:27) everything no In-N-Out Burger though I wish they had that they don't they don't have haries they don't have Harvey's I think they might have a Wendy somewhere I'm not sure but yeah I've had the best saichi of My Life um in Nicaragua not too far Southern Nicaragua just north of Costa Rica uh at the fish market and
(31:46) like the big guy with the with apron you know chopping up the Tunas and they gave him a little cup he was 50 or 80 whatever it was colon or cordobas I thought so wow really yeah phenomenal yeah my girlfriend says Nicaragua has a better coffee than Costa Rica so there you go I don't know I don't know I don't remember but yeah it
(32:11) was good okay I'm going to wrap it up I just want to ask you a little bit um if you can tell us what we see uh here this this okay on the left at the bottom in the left in the center you've got that one red house all by itself that's the restaurant okay this lar the middle this one yeah this thing yeah that's thing
(32:37) that's the restaurant right yeah yeah these are the two tools y so are these owned by people are these owned by the company that uh started this project uh I don't know the percentage of who what's private or not but I would I'd say probably 70% are private I guess some are empty and some are for sale right I know one has a for sale
(33:03) sign on it and these are the small right these are the small Villas and then there's individual Villas houses like yours which really have like something like this right like this one here so there would be like independent owner yeah right yes yeah actually you know what the guy who built this whole
(33:25) development he does own maybe two houses like two normal looking houses in a SE that he rents out yeah it's a it's a giant development I mean there's so much and I think what I like I mean obviously I was there and um what I like it's very tranquil it's very quiet I mean look at this thing here super
(33:46) tranquilo it's kind of a good investment too because uh when they finish the roads when they finish Highway 60 when they pave it this is going to be a lot lot more accessible right now let me go back let me go back to uh 160 right this one y yeah yeah yeah I think the whole Coast uh Costa Rica Nicaragua all
(34:04) getting paved which is phenomenal yeah it's half paved now so it's paved in sections yeah similar to Highway one in the US you know Highway one in the US where goes all the way from Seattle down to s yes they do yeah so uh it's pretty yeah you know it's half paved it's getting there so these are getting bter right people
(34:27) always say oh the world's kind fall into pieces and all that no it's not world's not fall into pieces it's getting better right yes very good thank you Greg yeah so people like myself we come here we pay taxes that goes towards roads so and we get some say I can't vote in an election or anything like that but when
(34:47) I pay my taxes I can go and say can you please play the roads a little more or a little more often and uh amazing any yeah go ahead and my girlfriend's a notary so she knows a lot of people she knows like all the people in the government too so she can push a little bit too so yeah any uh yeah I I'll mentioned that
(35:09) um I'm also looking to uh build in the development also working with some people who are buying selling in the development any um any wise uh words of advice for anyone that is curious about P Garo or living in Costa Rica from obviously from Canada or anywhere really well in my case I jumped in and I
(35:36) got to a point where I didn't want to stop um I was at a point where I put in too much money I can't stop now I got to keep going and I think um I was lucky that I found a good Builder and I was lucky that I found a nice lot I think you just need a little bit of luck and some savings and a goal and a
(36:01) vision you need your vision okay be clear what you tell your Builder get him excited or her there's some female Builders here too get them excited and they will build it and sometimes you got to you got to watch them because sometimes they'll they'll make a mistake and they'll go off in a different tangent like my Builder did make two
(36:21) mistakes he put a wall in the wrong spot and he had the house he had this corner this round corner he had it in the wrong corner so so you got to watch him and uh just yeah come down come down look at it there are places to rent and there's uh there's music festivals to go to there's busy times of the year and right
(36:45) now during let's see from November to April it's kind of the busy season so it's a little harder to find a rental car and that kind of thing but um the rainy season is a little slower it's not rainy all day okay don't be thinking that don't be thinking you're gonna need an umbrella and and you're gonna need
(37:03) like giant boots and all that no you know uh only maybe twice out of the year it might rain all day long and even if it does it's not going to be that it just comes down and then it stops yeah you're not gonna be stuck maybe October it might be uh you know the rivers might be high yeah but it's not that bad it's actually good
(37:27) it's actually refreshing yeah 35 degrees other advice I would give would be just uh be clear what you want to do and have some patience I think yeah when I when I got the when I got the when I went to the municipality to get my immigration papers I was able able to get done in two days what my Builder couldn't get
(37:57) done in 3 weeks because I went there with some stress on my face and some some pleading saying please I just need this paperwork to get and you know I got the I got the WhatsApp phone number of the guy who works there and I was clear as to what I needed and people are nice when you when you show that you're
(38:16) learning a little Spanish oh yeah learn some Spanish I got a book I got a dictionary that has it's half English and half Spanish and it's a picture book it's almost like a Sesame Street book where has all kinds of pictures and stuff I'm good with nouns so um I can't I can't put a full sentence together
(38:35) sometimes but you know some some Spanish you'll it'll it's very important my girlfriend tells me it's very important she knows she knows a lot of people that have been scammed by not knowing Spanish so fun language yeah yeah yeah yeah it's okay it's what if you're not um detailed oriented as Greg could you
(39:00) hire someone to be like your construction manager to to be delays on between yourself and the Builder especially if you're in Canada does that exist I mean it does in Canada obviously well maybe um I know a guy in Edmonton who wants to build a house down the road uh he's given his plans to the Builder and you know but he's in a a
(39:23) hosital can't come and see so he's he's asked me to be like a liaison to try and make sure that the Builder does what he wants or you know does the right things so and he also wants me to help him buy a car and that kind of stuff so yeah I guess there's people around it's hard to trust I guess for example yeah there's some
(39:47) scammers too like I bought a motorcycle from a guy and it didn't have a license plate on back so I thought all right well it's fine he'll get get it for me but he couldn't get it for me um and you uh if you go driving around on a motorcycle without a license plate the the Transit Police will take the
(40:03) motorcycle away from you I see okay so um uh he's promised he's been promising and promising I'll get to the plate and get plate but now like with with it's been we found out that the plates were taken away because somebody like he loaned it to somebody who was riding without a helmet and they they gave him
(40:22) a fine and because they're not paying the fines they took the plates away and you know so I got this I have a motorcycle now that I can't drive right so so uh so there's there's some kind of scammers and things like that um when you buy a car you got to make sure you go through you have to go through a
(40:42) lawyer to do transfers and that kind of stuff yeah it seems like you need lawyers for almost everything here for almost everything legal right um get a lawyer or a notary or some a local or someone who addess to do your once to do a once over of your paperwork and that kind of thing and sometimes P paperwork doesn't really
(41:04) have much weight it's the digital version in the computer systems of the municipality that counts right okay so paperwork can go out a date and expire and all that stuff these are this is a good advice from my notary girlfriend she says don't you got all these books and all that but it's no I want she goes
(41:22) and looks on computer systems and checks oh this is this is really good W you have to have luck and you have to have a good outlook I think yeah that's can really say what you put in you get out yeah maybe it's a Karma thing I don't know yeah I think it's okay people are pretty um people are pretty open I mean
(41:54) um you can wear whatever you want there's like uh no one's going to hassle you much there's there's crime but it's it would be like a petty crime like you would leave like one neighbor has uh he got some gardening equipment stolen because it left it outside and things like that I've been pretty lucky I don't think I've had anything
(42:17) stolen but right very good I think some there are oh uh uh someone in hungo had their house broken into at night uh when they were sleeping and they tracked their computers the day afterward and they found that their computers are were already in Nicaragua oh so yeah so there's crime but uh take reasonable
(42:41) precautions and you know you should be okay very good around and the police are not super useful but if they if they capture somebody and uh if they're unable to do anything about it they will tell you when the person's getting released so you can person you can you you can do Street Justice on them I guess that's really
(43:07) the nature of living in a communities like that people have to come together and kind of work together to to make it happen and that's I mean I think your example is the best you came with nothing you didn't know anything and there you are you got a beautiful home a girlfriend excellent developer helping
(43:24) others fantastic yeah we got a WhatsApp group of the whole Community the whole play larto thing so if there's anything suspicious we put a message on there saying hey there's a weird guy walking around or there's cows in my yard or some or or or there's a water leak or there's fire or something that so we use
(43:40) this WhatsApp group just for that just for emergencies we call it um uh we call it the neighborhood watch group or something like that we got one for just blabbering nonsense of you know low quality not low quality but stuff like anybody going to town I need to ride to the airport we got a me we got a
(44:01) WhatsApp group for that kind of conversations and we got a WhatsApp group for important stuff like uh there's a fire happening or or uh I don't feel safe at home right now so thank you very very much yeah internet access there's got three options you've got ymax which is the been around a while I use another one
(44:24) called infinity and we have starlink now and it's going to and the electric company is going to bring fiber optic to fire garto if 25 people agree to sub yeah yeah but we only have five people right now that want that because of starlink we don't really need fiber optic anymore so right but each house will have to get
(44:47) their own subscription yep y are the prices the same for starl and Costa Rica as they're Canada do you know no they're cheaper they're cheaper the equipment is cheaper it's roughly 40% cheaper I think than the us thing and the the monthly subscription is cheaper too I was on the list for a long time to
(45:09) get it but when it finally became available I realized that I got a microwave relay thing to my B it's fast enough it's good enough yeah I'm keep it for here amazing I'll keep it but if you go to ncoa they got fiber optic fiber optic from the COA like 7 76 megabits per second speed up down like holy cow that's fast yeah very good
(45:43) there's an underground uh fiber cable that goes to Miami so Miami is the big Hub so there a big cable that goes from Miami to cust and there some others too I guess Greg thank you so much that was uh really eye openening I have to tell you like I didn't know any of the things you spoke of and uh I feel a lot more
(46:08) comfortable just by you sh all this so for Canadians yeah you can get 2% milk no problem that's all you can get you can't get 1% milk I don't think that I haven't seen 1% mil but I think you can get it in price Mar or something right you can't get Tim Hortons you can't get premium plus crackers but you get pretty
(46:27) close no Bagels that's it I haven't seen any I haven't seen any bagel stores got to make your own you got bacon and eggs and eggs are mostly brown right and you don't put them in the refrigerator most people keep their eggs out out I don't know they don't put them in the fridge I don't know why but I do anyway yeah and
(46:48) then U yeah you got tons of bread you got areso bread you've got white bread brown bread green whole green bread you've got pineapples are cheap watermelons are cheap Sandia is like a crazy watermelon that's a little spicier I've got sangria different from Sandia you've got wines you can get avocados yeah they're cheap yeah oh and
(47:13) mangoes uh certain time of the year certain time of the year they're like scattered all over the ground you can't go for any girl that's stepping on a mango and that's going to come soon mango are there any fruit trees on the property yours or in the area yeah mangoes there's mangoes and there's berries some kind of weird
(47:32) berries I don't know what kind they are but uh they're yellow and birds eat them all the time monkey right I haven't seen bananas too often coconuts are yeah they look great but I don't see many all on the beach they they're everywhere but they don't really see many right here yeah they like grow insane palm trees yes bamboo trees I see
(47:54) fairly often but they're messy they leave a lot of splinters around like and there's another Bush it's called lemonia lemonilo lemonchello I think it's called it's like a spiny it's like a it's like a hedge good for Hedges or for live fences and they has spines and thorns on them so it's good for like people line
(48:16) their properties with even shell very green and they grow fast and thick uh apples there's no apple trees it's too hot for that but maybe in the mountains there might be some apple trees right right right it's all good beautiful thank you very very much for uh opening my eyes and not helping everyone it's fairly normal to go from
(48:43) yeah going from Canada to here has been moderately painless yeah mostly because I'm surrounded by a bunch of Canadians here and Tamarindo Tamarindo everybody is more or less English and you just learn enough Spanish to get by you'll learn that the gas stations are a little far away so you might want
(49:03) to have a spare tank gas can they're kind of far got go 20 kilometers for gas can yeah have patience at the banks okay don't be going in a bank and going up to a teller and expecting your money right away you have toit line you got to wait in line and you got to get a security check and you can't wear a hat in a bank and the
(49:28) security guard you'll make you take your hats off and uh what else oh yeah if a disabled person or a pregnant woman comes in they get put in first of line so you get pushed back every time that happens so women bring babies into the bank so they get in front front of the line all the time so women are respected here much more
(49:49) than in Canada safer families are very tight here families are bigger here right people call each other more often people don't stay in their houses and play Xboxes all day they go out and Mingo and they play soccer fields they run around chat laugh it's a better lifestyle I don't better I I don't know
(50:18) about better but different let's just say different it's different in Canada but it's not I'm adjusted didn't take longer for me to adjust okay so I don't know what else to say but uh thank you so much this was a fun interview I had fun talking so me too thank you very much that was uh Priceless I'll talk to you soon Greg
(50:37) okay all right C byebye

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