Dear Tico Times:
Contrary to letter writer Mario Valverde Brenes (TT, March 16), my experience with doing business in Costa Rica is that it is a nightmare, and an expensive one at that.
After almost nine years of trying to get a clear title to a property, we have finally come to the point that we are nine-tenths of the way there. It took five lawyers and thousands of dollars in costs (airfare, accommodations, food, auto rentals, etc.).
The bureaucratic maze and governmental restrictions and roadblocks – including those by the Environment Ministry – made it almost an impossibility to get justice in a reasonable amount of time. God forbid you don’t speak fluent Spanish, as you then become a “target Gringo.”
During this entire time, we had to be diligent that squatters or nefarious local characters or corrupt lawyers didn’t steal the property while we weren’t in the country.
I’m glad Mr. Brenes seems to have had no problems, but to others doing business in Costa Rica, please be very careful and wary of fast-talking real estate promoters and get-rich-quick con men.
You might wind up buying a pig in a poke and go home much poorer than you were when you came to Costa Rica.
Delray Beach, Florida, U.S.