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Published: March 3rd 2008
I recently went to the Caribbean coast with my friend and godson, Basem. There are such great beaches there!
It’s hard to live in Costa Rica and not get to the beach frequently. Even if those of us living the Central Valley complain about the heat and humidity, too many tourists and higher prices, it is still fun to get to the beach. This is definitely a benefit of living here—being only about one hour from the coast and 1.5 hours from a nice, white sand beach. I wish I could go more often but work keeps me busy most days.
We are in the midst of summer here now which means sunny days, warm temperatures and most importantly, no rain. As I’ve said in many blog entries, I prefer the summer, or “dry season.” Sunshine just does wonders for the spirit and doesn’t cause the problems I’ve had in the rainy season such as power outages, lightning frying my electronics equipment, and more. Interestingly, even my dogs seem happier in the dry season. While they don’t seem to mind the rainy season generally, they do mind thunder!
Update on the B&B
This summer has also brought some change to the B&B (www.angevalleyfarmbandb.com), both good and bad. On the bad side, it just seems problems all occur at
the same time. First, my washing machine broke and became basically unserviceable (well, at least not quickly) just as the warranty expired. Of course, you must have a washing machine to run a B&B. I tried to get it repaired but I’ve heard stories of other appliances being at repair shops for months and I just couldn’t go back to do laundry by hand. So, the new washing machine is great, and the old one awaits repairs, and hopefully a quick sale.
At the about the same time the washing machine went bust, the hot water tank decided to die. There was also an option to repair it, but it would have to be shipped to San Jose, and well, we just couldn’t do without hot water. While Ticos seem to not mind cold showers, most of my guests, who are Americans, prefer hot water.
We got everything taken care of though nothing seems to get done quickly or easily here. It’s just a fact of life. The good is the laid-back environment, beautiful weather and scenery, but if you want American-style, prompt service…well, you aren’t in America, at least North America. Luckily, my patience has improved 1000%
since living here.
The good news is that my new B&B manager, Ginger, began work recently. She’s brought a new brand of customer service to the B&B and everyone is thrilled with her, no one more than me. While the most difficult part of running a B&B can be dealing with the needs of guests, she seems to have mastered it easily, putting on wide smile whenever guests arrive.
She’s even motivated me to do more which a good thing. So, recently, we did some landscaping around the B&B, adding flowers and plants to the front and sides of the house, and put in a parking area in the front—no, not paved but some small rocks—that makes the front of the B&B more attractive.
Ginger has also completed a thorough “spring-cleaning” of the B&B which is always a good thing to do periodically. She’s also rearranged the living and dining areas, organized the laundry area, bodega, and all of the closets. Now, I can no longer find many things, but if she can, that’s fine with me! And, she can cook too!
I definitely feel good about the progress of the B&B as it’s become a
place people feel at home in, like the service, the basic amenities we provide, and the food. I think the basic elements of running a B&B are in place, and having a good manager makes all the difference in the world.
Real Estate and Tours
Our real estate projects, through CR Communities, are moving along nicely and we’re very proud with the progress we’ve made in such a short time. Our first project, Pacific Hills at Magallanes (www.crcommunities.com/PacificHills.html) is almost completed with the road in, water at every lot, and electricity going up, to be completed in the next few weeks. It’s now becoming a real community with home construction to begin hopefully soon. It’s amazing what one can do by learning from others, seeing what has worked in other projects (and particularly what hasn’t), and keeping mind a fundamental tenet of business: exceed customers expectations.
We spent a lot of time developing our company’s mission and vision, creating a quality website, developing detailed information sheets and other material so our clients know what to expect when they buy and when they get ready to build. It’s amazing how complicated the real estate purchase process seems here,
but it’s really not so hard. What’s key is transparency in the process and ensuring customers have no surprises. They also want to get good value on their purchase so I’m glad we’ve spent a good deal of time talking with customers about the investment value as well as what the area, “Magallanes,” has to offer (and will offer soon).
A good deal of credit for our success goes to our friend and fellow “community creator,” Pedro, who has a similar project up the road. His hard work, attention to deal and persistence has helped to ensure we did everything we needed to do on time, and within our means. Of course, our leader, Preston, is completely obsessive about doing our first project correctly and he’s definitely made it happen. For me, it is great working with honest people who believe that quality trumps all. It shows in the delight of our customers and the high quality homes that will soon go up.
The Boomers in Costa Rica (www.boomersincostarica.com) tour continues to move along nicely and we’re thrilled with the type of people who take our tours. They want honest, objective information on retiring or investing in Costa
After nearly three years, I'm still smiling!
Rica, and it’s been fun to have them meet people we know and trust.
It’s amazing how the Internet helps people notice what we are doing with the tour and how people you wouldn’t expect to find us, have found us. In fact, in a few weeks we will announce a significant partnership with a publicly-traded company in the United States that is sure to make many more people aware of Costa Rica and what we are doing. We’ll announce that very soon, but it’s going to be very exciting indeed.
Well, that’s it for now. I’ll be traveling again for a few weeks but I’ll try to write soon and you updated on what’s going on. The weather is terrific so come visit us!
www.CRCommunities.com (real estate and more!)
www.BoomersInCostaRica.com (4-day/3 night relocation/retirement/real estate tour!)
www.CostaRicaRealEstate.typepad.com (Boomers’ Real Estate & More Blog!)
www.AngelValleyFarmBandB.com (the B&B!)
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