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Before you move to Costa Rica, a million things need attention. But no worries, that’s why we offer a ton of information on our blogs on this topic, and they’ll help you in your due diligence. All this info is easy to grab and all for free! Of course, we’d love to do business with you, but no hard feelings if you don’t buy your property through one of us!
Moving to another city is not easy, but the move to another country is much harder because we speak another language and have a different culture than yours. I’ve seen some people make a move and do well, and others have suffered every step of the way. And why not use the free (and up-to-date) information that a real estate agency can give you and run the risk to go on your face?
So, here we go; use any of the info you like. First, you should read up on the Guidelines for Moving to Costa Rica. After that, move on to the following
11 Things That Need Attention before you move to Costa Rica
1. Your Valuables
If you have any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving. You should carry valuable items such as jewelry with you or keep them in a safe deposit box instead of packing them in the moving van. When packing your safe deposit box, leave it open, or it might disappear before it is installed in your new house. Movers might think you left your winning lottery ticket in the safe
2. Old phone numbers
Most of you have phone numbers and email addresses on your computer or phone. Don’t forget to back it all up on the cloud.
You may think you’ll remember the numbers you frequently call now. But you will be surprised how fast you will forget those. Many numbers will be stored in your phone, which will not work when you’re in another country.
When you keep your old number
For Example, to call Costa Rica from the United States, you would first dial the international code 011, then the country code 506, followed by the local phone number.
To call Costa Rica from any other country, dial first 00, then the country code 506, followed by the local phone number.
Once you have a Costa Rican phone number
To call the United States from a Costa Rican phone number, you would first dial 001, then the area code, followed by the local phone number.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
3. Medical records
Obtain copies of your medical records, dental records, vaccine/immunization information, and any veterinary records for your pet. You will need to fill your current prescriptions, and you may need to check if your medicine is available in Costa Rica or if there is a replacement.
As soon as you become a resident in Costa Rica, you will have to register in the local social security system, and you will be able to get your prescriptions filled through the CCSS more Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, so you will need to see what they have available at no cost.
4. School records
If you have school-going children, another record you’ll want to be sure to have in hand is your child’s permanent school record. School records are usually required when registering your child at his/her new school. Often, copies are not sufficient and require a raised seal. Before deciding where to live, check out our list of schools and save time and effort.
5. Your new mailing address
We have no real addresses with street names and house numbers here, so ask your realtor for your new address in English A D Spanish.
Keep your new address handy in your wallet or purse. In the hurry to prepare for a move, you may forget your new address. Do not forget to forward periodicals, mail, and credit card bills to your new address.
6. Your email address
If you don’t use Gmail but have an email address from a local service provider, change to your new one sometime before you move. Send your change of address to everyone in your address book ahead of time. Ask everyone to save your new email address in their contacts, so your emails won’t end up in their spam folder.
Also, make sure to use the right subject in the email because some providers detect spam emails by the subject, so your friends might never receive your email unless you’re in their contact list.
7. At the cleaners
Remember to collect all items that are being cleaned, stored, or repaired (for example, dry cleaners, shoes, watches, etc.). Also, remember to cancel any subscriptions you have that you won’t use after you move.
8. Spic and span
Remember to leave out cleaning supplies for the final “once-over” before closing the door for good. Or make arrangements in advance for a service to clean for you. Don’t send any cleaning products or chemicals in the container to Costa Rica; they will take them out in customs.
9. What to pack and how to pack
Get rid of all the stuff you won’t use in your new country, such as snow shovels, skis, snow tires for your vehicle, winter boots, and long underwear. Then you can either hire a professional crew to pack your household or do it yourself. Also, make sure you have enough cardboard boxes and packing materials. Make them pack room by room, put the name of each room on it, and number the boxes.
Put it on an inventory list and put on the list what each box holds before they close it. At customs here in Costa Rica, they will check the inventory list to charge you the import tax on it. Make sure the amount of items on the list is the same as you’re packing. If you show an organized inventory list, they only open a few boxes as a sample.
You cannot open a bank account so easily in a Costa Rica bank. Ask your Costa Rica attorney or real estate agent to help you open a bank account. Make sure you send money well ahead of time.
You must be at your bank in person to wire money to Costa Rica unless you set it up beforehand. The bank will ask for the origin of the funds before you w re any money. Do NOT bring more than $9,900 per person in cash. Money laundering laws are very strict nowadays.
11. Your car and furniture
Do your research on what you should do about your car and furniture. Send it to Costa Rica and pay taxes on it or sell it and travel light so you can buy a new car and new furniture in Costa Rica.
Your old furniture and car might not even be the right ones for the place where you are moving to.
If you have any questions at all, before or during the process, just contact us and ask. We’ll assist with pleasure. And we appreciate any business you send our way!