Costa Rica Real Estate Scam? Or Stupid Tax?


Dave Ramsey is a talk-radio financial adviser that I used to listen too faithfully when in the Old Country. He has a saying regarding spending money and losing it… he calls it Stupid Tax.

In Costa Rica, I’ve paid stupid tax because of my own ignorance. It may have happened again… OR I may be the victim of a Costa Rica Real Estate Scam perpetrated by surveyors, or as they call themselves here: topographers.

The guy that owns the lot next to ours discovered that our common property line had some problems. He paid to have the lot re-surveyed to resolve the issue. Things when pretty smoothly and we were both satisfied. I got a new plano – the legal description of the property.


Last week I learned that the map shown in the center of the plano is out-of-date and our plano has “expired.” It still is registered with the property government agency, no problem there.

The problem is that the surveyor/topographer didn’t tell me that I had one year to update the registry to reflect the new map illustration. I missed the deadline by three years. I had a document in my hands with all the required stamps. Looked very official to me.

I remedy the situation, I must pay the surveyor $200 USD to print out a new plano and get all three tax stamps to make it all kosher. Plus I must pay a lawyer $100 to file the revised plano with the government.


Because nobody told me of this requirement.

Scam or Stupid Tax? Either way, I’m out $300.


Deja Vu! Old Post Revisited!
DeGeneres/DeRossi Any Little Hyphens in Their Future?

Afterthought from previous post: Ellen DeGeneres marries Portia DeRossi: Will she be Ellen DeGeneres-DeRossi? Or Portia DeRossi-DeGeneres? Imagine trying to get that monogram right?
I suggest they both change their names to De-De. Ellen and Portia De-De.
OTOH, Portia DeRossi is really Mandy Rogers, so never mind.
Ellen is Ellen Lee Degeneres, suppose her nickname was E-Lee-Dee growing up? What a great rapper name!

Our “Doctor” Makes Housecalls AND Mows Our Grass


Mario is our gardener. Today he told me about a popular natural remedy for a sour stomach – or refreshing drink – that is common among the Ticos.

It’s called mozote… good for the gut! And we need all the gut help we can get.

… mozote – a mucilaginous plant* – is also highly beneficial for intestinal health. It’s like an emollient for your insides! The locals make a drink from it and enjoy it regularly to maintain intestinal health!

Making mozote

Mario chopped off a couple of small branches from a small Guacimo tree. Other websites suggest different names for the plant used to make mozote… but Pura Vida… in Guacimo de Atenas, it’s gonna be branches from the Guacimo tree.

He then took his knife to shave the bark from the branch. Once he had eight strips of bark he took them to a nearby rock and used another smaller rock to smash the shavings. He emphasized that it should be a small tree.

The idea is to put the shavings in a large container, add water, and refrigerate. He said to wash my hands and massage the shavings. After a few squeezes the water turned into a thick liquid.  Others say use the branches themselves after the bark is removed.

After refrigeration, Mario said a few hours – others say overnight,  pour the concoction into a bottle – making sure I don’t get any “trash” into the bottle and ENJOY.

“Enjoy” is not a word I would use… it’s totally tasteless! I guess adding some fruit juice or a little sugar would make it refreshing…

On the other hand, tasteless would be a good thing if using mozote as a natural remedy for stomach upset.




Costa Rica Inflation Hits Home


Inflation Rate in Costa Rica averaged 15.16 percent from 1977 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 108.89 percent in September of 1982 and a record low of -1.20 percent in November of 2015.

Inflation in Costa Rica is tricky. In the U.S. it usually means prices simply increase.
In Costa Rica, it’s likely that the price will stay the same, or slightly increase, but the quantity of goods is reduced.
The rag rug is an excellent example.
Both rugs cost 1.5 mil (about $3.00) from a street vendor. The one on the left was purchased four years ago. The one on the right – last week.

I’ve noticed that packaging such as cans and bottles become smaller too. In the U.S. retailers demand that packaging remain consistent because of transportation and warehousing issues as well as shelf-space allocation.

Not so in Costa Rica. A store will just stop carrying the larger size and slot whatever they are sent. This is true with the big box stores as well as the mom-and-pop stores.

Inflation can pull the rug out from under you in Costa Rica!

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