Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Our Home with a View in Costa Rica

How often do you rent a house
sight unseen
in a foreign country no less 
and then -- just happen to connect with
not one 
but TWO recent tenants? 

The answer for me, would be

This move has taken on a life of its own!
It has all magically come together, which is another reason that I feel this is the right house for us.

Today, I was in touch with Tina, a former tenant. And guess what else??? Tina and I share the same birthday, May 8 -- which was yesterday, Mother's Day!! Crazy huh? 
Tina shared some additional house information with me and when I remarked about how all of the pieces were falling into place -- she said, "you'll be amazed at how often this type of thing will start to happen!"
I call it serendipity!
Sarah and her family are the most recent tenants and I was fortunate enough to see her comment on Facebook before we rented the house. 

She is the mother of 2 small children and has a blog called Something Adventured.
It was very nice of her to send me so much information regarding the house. It made our decision a lot easier.

I also read her blog post "We Found a House." She has given me permission to share the story, in its entirety, with you today.

We met at the city square, talked for a while, and then headed up to her barrio on one of the mountain sides of Grecia. It is amazing how high you climb within 15 minutes of leaving the city square! She showed us a house that was vacant in her neighborhood. We were in love!! This house not only fit our needs perfectly, the layout could not have been better. We were supposed to meet a Realtor to view a few more rentals, but cancelled as we knew this is what we wanted.

It has 3 bedrooms of which one is ours. The master bedroom has a corner window that the bed looks out. It is hard to get out of bed with a view like this!

The kids are sharing the bedroom next to us

 there is a 3rd separated from the others that we are using a guest room and an office on rainy days. 

Most days we will be working outside. 

There are 2 bathrooms, each with spa jet tubs. The master bathroom tub could fit our whole family if we wanted it to! I am not a bath person, but this is something I may have to test out. The kids have tried out each and are super excited to be taking baths again! 

The dining room is in the center of the house and has a skylight, which is perfect for the afternoon sun. The kitchen is very nice and even has a dishwasher and hot water (this is not usually the case here). There is a gas range that I’m loving. I have never cooked with gas before and this is awesome! We have a living room in the front of the house and a separate TV room in the back. The house has an electric gate to come into the property, as is very common here. And there is a covered porch/car port in the back.
As amazing as the house is inside, nothing compares with the view outside. Breath. Taking. Have I mentioned that we are on the side of a mountain? We are near the top of it and the view is awesome! We can see 4 volcanoes from here with the most well known being Poas, which is off to the left of our view. The biggest one we can see is Turrialba. No worries, they are off in the distance
We plan to go to Poas at some point to hike and will post more about it then. And we are surrounded by coffee fields (mountain grown coffee, anyone?) and can see farms and towns for miles and miles. We can see the neighboring barrio that is in the “valley” (it’s really still on the same mountain), several barrios beyond that,  and we can see to the city of Alajuela. On a clear night we can see the lights of San Jose as well.

We have a lot of privacy here, yet we have neighbors close by. The ones we have met are awesome and we look forward to meeting others. We live in a typical Tico barrio right off the main road.  There are small stores at each end of the barrio, a panaderia (bread store), and two restaurants. There is an organic farm in town that sells delicious vegetables and coffee. They have a monthly event where they show you around the property as well as have a mini farmers’ market. It happens to be today, so we will be going there shortly. There is also a soccer field and a recreation center that offers exercise classes and team sports.
The temperature is lovely! We have around a high of 80 each day (85 is a hot day here) and lows in the 60s at night. One day it only got up to 72 and that is considered a really cold day here. I will take it!! There is no need for air conditioning or heat. We just open the windows during the day and shut them at night.
We are about a 2 hour drive to Jaco Beach and about an 1.5 hour drive to Puntarenas Beach. Going to San Jose or Alajuela takes about 45 minutes each way. However, we can get most of what we need in Grecia. We are only about 15 minutes from the town square and there are local food vendors galore and several supermarkets for other things we may need.
Our landlord is great. He speaks English as well, which is super helpful as we learn Spanish. And his voice totally reminds me of El Macho from Despicable Me. Ha!
We moved in a week ago and it already feels like home. The kids love it, too! There is a small yard to play in and there is a lot to do around town. As for the lady we met that led us to this house, she is amazing! We are very excited that she is going to be watching our children. She has also become our first friend here in Costa Rica and I think we will remain friends even if/when we decide to leave. I believe God led our paths to cross and I am so very grateful.
This view, though….

If you have a chance, please check out Sarah's blog Something Adventured - she writes in detail about her time in Costa Rica and her current life in Spain. 

You can find Tina on her podcasts Start Something.

BTW - There is no multiple listing service or central database in Costa Rica.

Thank you Sarah & Tina for all of your help
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