During the 41 years I have lived in Costa Rica I have had the opportunity to observe expats in a variety of different situations.
Most Americans, Canadians and Europeans who relocate are honest hard-working people who are living their Costa Rican dream. However, a few “leave their brain on the plane” and get taken advantage of by other English-speaking foreigners. I have seen this situation repeated often.
Unfortunately, another group of expats leave their “ethics on the plane” and take advantage of their naïve countrymen. Remember! Just beacause a person speaks the same language does not mean that he or she is honest or trustworthy.
Most of the victims of conmen are taken advantage of when making real estate investments. I know a lot of foreigners who have made money investing in property and others who have”been taken to the cleaners.”
Be cautious when dealing with English- speaking foreigners who do not have a pension or another souce of steady income and who are forced to work here. The majority end up tyring to make a living in tourism or real estate. The latter is unregulated in Costa Rica. So, what you have here are foreigners trying to eke out living in a field in which they have very little experience.
It is unsettling that a few members said group are desperate, sometimes unethical and will be less than transparent in order to make a sale at any cost to survive. They will even cheat their fellow brokers out of a commision for their own personal gain. Believe me! I have listened to many horror stories.
For example, recently a realtor friend brought a client to another broker. The latter ended up selling the client’s beach condo and not sharing the commission with the agent who brought the business.
Here is a tale from one of my blogs about two realtors who swindeld their clients.
In general, real estate agents are honest in Costa Rica, but buyers should be cautious and do their due dilligence when dealing with any realtor. Real estate is good investment, especially in Costa Rica when done the correct way.