coffee of atenas
A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

Universal de Idiomas

(506) 223-1327               Published Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, in Vol. 7, No. 214                  E-mail us
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

Market appraisal is sure cure for blue sky syndrome
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Today many property owners seem to be drunk on blue sky.

Blue sky is not a brand of guaro — an alcohol derived from pure sugar cane — or other intoxicating beverage but an addiction to the recent skyrocketing prices of real estate prices.  Most are familiar with the term.  It means the intangible portion of a price above what is reasonably supported by the current market.

Those with real estate training use the term to represent the difference between the price a seller puts on their property and what the market probably will bear in price.

Sellers can be found sitting on out-of-the-way properties counting imaginary dollars, drunk on blue sky waiting for a movie star or Arab prince to come along and pay an outrageous price for their land.

It seems many expats are on a blue sky high, and some of them are killing themselves waiting for their dream to become reality.  Many are land poor — meaning they own land but lack the capital to improve or maintain it.  Some are literally starving to death because they have no income. Other expats have lost all their money in one or another investment scam over the years and all they have left is their land. 

Blue sky is deadly for those who want to transform the status of their property from “for sale” to “sold.” Like a princess in waiting from a lack of suitors, over-priced properties sit lonely, isolated from potential buyers because unobtainable prices create a lack of enthusiasm in the market.

A real estate agent can help bring property prices and owner down to earth — or they can be the culprit, enabling the drunken seller to stay inebriated on blue sky.  Many real estate agents share the same affliction as property sellers. Some of them are still working illegally here, waiting for a big commission to scoot out of town.

There are responsible real estate people in Costa Rica, and a good real estate agent, or a smart buyer, can bring a seller down from their blue sky high.

One cure is a dose of reality from an independent property market appraisal.  A property market appraisal is different from a property appraisal. 

The meat of a property appraisal in other parts of the world is the sales comparative or sales comp.  A real estate sale creates this number.  When a property changes from a caterpillar to a butterfly — from “for sale” to “sold” — it leaves behind the sale comp, usually in some form of public record.  Verified sales comparatives are almost impossible to find in Costa Rica.

Why are there no verifiable sales comps to be found here? The answer: People do not want to pay property taxes based on the actual sales
blue sky seller

prices. Most buyers usually pay a much higher amount for a property then they declare in the transfer deed.   

Without accurate sale prices, how does one find anything that resembles a sales comparative?  Most do not find them.

The best way to help determine probably selling price is to use the property market appraisal.

In Costa Rica a market appraisal is more than a stroll around the neighborhood and a check of the local multiple listing services. It is a document that defines a micro-market, the immediate area in which the property is located, and compares it to a macro-market, the extended area in which the property is located to determine where buyers are more likely to invest their money, place their property bets. It can be part marketing plan, part property appraisal.

A real estate expert representing the seller should ask a property owner, “Do you want to be a seller — or do you want to sell?” If the owner prefers to sell, the real estate expert should promote the use of a property market appraisal to define the market and price for the seller. When the agent is working for a buyer, the market appraisal is an excellent foundation on which to formulate an offer.

An independent and neutral third-party market appraisal in Costa Rica offers focus in a sometimes hard to define market.  Saying good bye to blue sky and hello to a property sale turns equity into cash.

Garland M. Baker is a 35-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at  Copyright 2004-2007, use without permission prohibited.

exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Ads for

ad info

ad info

Contact us
Our stats

puerto limon agency

howard tour ad
Bridging World Realty
Rixson realy estate ad

Costa Rica
Second newspage

Jaco realty ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 214

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd E-mail Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

sportsmen's lodge update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts

Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Physicians and Surgeons

Aesthetic Surgery Costa Rica  Awarded The Best Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Costa Rica 2005-2006. Dr. Gabriel Alberto Peralta is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the most renowned plastic surgeons worldwide.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado, rentista and inversionista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: 323-255-6116

Dental Clinics

Dr. Roberto Sauma, general/cosmetic dentistry
We do restorations with porcelain (because porcelain is the best material that exists for restorative work), implants, crowns and fixed bridges with the very highest technology and strict norms of hygiene. We are located in the center of San José 150 meters west of Sala Garbo. Clinica Cosdent.
Web pages: and Call (506) 223-8820.
Dr. Sauma
Dr. Roberto Sauma

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250
Dr. Muñoz Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored over 6,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the world. For more information, visit us today HERE!

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture   auriculotherapy
Immediate results for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, whiplash, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia,
Photo of McDonald

  and all painfull conditions. Excellent results for migraine, stress, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions from constipation, hemorroids, to hemiplegia, raynauds, bells palsy, etc. Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 17 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 352-0661


James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $82,400 in 2006)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 305-3149 or 256-8620

U.S. Tax and Accounting

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473

Real estate agents and services

with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
(506)  220-3729 &  (506) 382-7399 cell
(506)  232-5016 (phone/fax)

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments

First Costa Rican Title & Trust
Protecting your interests since 1994

  Purchase contracts
  Escrow services
  Title transfers
  Title guarantees
  Trust services
  Developer services
Call us for your real property legal and investment needs at 225-0501 or send us an e-mail at

Title Guarantees issued by First American Title Insurance Co., one of the oldest and largest title companies in the world. The First American difference in protection is that the policies cover unrecorded matters and unknown risks.

7Legal services

Bufete Hernández Mussio & Asociados
 Lic. Arcelio Hernández Mussio
Tel. 643-3058                Cell 365-3088
Toll-free  from the U.S.: 
 Web site:

Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (Oficentro Costa Brava, above Day Star).
Member of the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce
drug haul
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública
Anti-drug policemen put some of the haul confiscated near Barranca early Saturday on an airplane for transport to San José.

Municipal worker held
after truck yields cocaine

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anti-drug police stopped a government vehicle near Barranca early Saturday and found nearly 2,500 pounds of cocaine wrapped in one-kilo packages.

The two-ton vehicle is the property of the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacifico, but that agency said the vehicle was on loan to the Municipalidad de Puntarenas to be used for the collection of garbage on the beaches.

Two men were detained. One, identified by the last names of Reyes Alpizar, works for the municipality, said the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública. Also held was a man with the last names of Gómez Naranjo.

Bloody scene discovered
at Escazú condominium

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A woman died and two persons suffered serious knife wounds Sunday at a condominium in Trejos Montealegre, Escazú.

All three were found slashed in the parking garage of the condo when Cruz Roja workers arrived about 5 p.m. Rescue crews had been alerted by neighbors.

Police could not say immediately what had happened.  The two survivors, both men, were described in very critical condition at Hospital San Juan de Dios. The trio were described as young people, perhaps in their 20s.  The condominium complex is named Calahonda, and it is a gated facility with guard posts.

Mandatory insurance set
to increase about 8.59%

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Mandatory automobile insurance is going up. The  Contraloría General de la República has approved an average of 8.59 per cent higher rates for the coverage provided by the Instituto Nacional de Seguros. However, for passenger cars the increase is just 4.54 percent.

This is the insurance that is included in the marchamo that is payable during December. Owners of passenger cars who paid 12,890 colons last year will pay 13,475 or about $26.

Buses sustained the biggest increase, some 22.4 percent, going from 78,850 to 96,510 or about $185.50. Small buses of the type used in tourism work will go from 54,410 to 66,665, an average of 22.52 percent. But that is only for five passengers. Each additional passenger, based on the capacity of the vehicle, will be assessed 635 colons additional, an increase of 22.12 percent.

Mandatory insurance is very basic and most expats also purchase additional coverage.

Immigration figures sent
to prison for three months

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two former immigration employees and a current worker have been sent to prison for three months while an investigation takes place into bribery, conspiracy and computer sabotage allegations.

These were the three detained early Thursday. The Poder Judicial said that a judge authorized the pretrial detentions.

The current employee is a woman with the last name of  Chacón. The former employees are a man with the name  Aguirre and a woman with the name Morales. Investigators say they used their positions and computer access to award illicit residencies to foreigners who paid up to $10,000 each.

Phone work will cause
some problems at first

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The telephone company said it will be updating its cell phone bases so that the system can accommodate 300,000 new lines.

However, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that cell phone service will be spotty because of the work. The company said it would do the bulk of the work during non-peak hours.

The company is supposed to make available the 300,000 lines shortly after Christmas.

Have you seen these stories?
Top story feeds are disabled on archived editions

newspaper nameplate
Shores to Peak realty

You need to see Costa Rican properties for sale
on our real estate page HERE!

Paradise Brokers ad

Costa Rica
third newspage

CR builders ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 214

rock and roll halloween
Azucar restaurant

brdge work at la congreja
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photos
Rains took a big bite out of the Interamericana and the only fix was a temporary bridge.
This was a washout so deep that they needed to bridge it
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Transport officials are bridging a gigantic washout of the Interamericana Sur with a prefabricated metal bridge. The work is at La Cangreja where hundreds of tons of hillside and roadway washed into the valley below. Counting the bridge and the fill necessary to fix the gap, the ministry will spend about $675,000.

Workmen are installing pilings to give more stability to the structure, which will be open to passenger vehicles as well as trucks, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte said. 

Nearly a half million cubic feet of fill will be needed to make a premanent fix to the washed-out roadbed. In the meantime, the metal bridge will have to do.
bridge work two
Former roadbed goes all the way into valley.

Distance storm systems continue to dump precipitation here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country is not out of the woods yet. Tropical Storm Noel is north of Cuba, but the effects of the storm are bringing heavy rain to the south Pacific and the Caribbean coast, according to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

The southwest part of the country has been getting hit by heavy rains since Friday. An alert is in effect for there now, and the national emergency commission issued a special alert Saturday at midday.

There is extensive flooding in some areas there. Some homes were flooded out and some areas had waist-high water. The tropical storm, which may soon become a
 hurricane, is moving north-northwest in the direction of Florida.

Other sections beside the Osa Peninsula, Golfito and Buenos Aires in the south felt heavy weather this weekend. San Carlos still is trying to recover from the flooding of the Río Platanares in Barrio San Roques. At least 12 homes were flooded out Wednesday and Thursday.

Sunday the rains hit San Joaquín de Flores in Heredia when the Río Quebrada Seca flowed out of its banks.

The weather institute predicts continued rain in the south and in the Caribbean coast this morning with afternoon showers becoming more generalized.

Quepos area is celebrating the founding of the canton of Aguirre 59 years ago
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The canton of Aguirre is in fiesta mode until Nov. 5 celebrating its founding 59 year ago. This is the canton that contains Quepos.

Tuesday there is a band parade and floats representing the districts of the canton, and Wednesday through the weekend various hotels in the area will host the Festival de Cina Español y Costarricense with movies at 3 and 7  p.m.
The events have been organized by the Municipalidad de Aguirre, the Comisión de Asuntos Culturales de Aguirre, the Spanish Embassy and the Oficina Regional de Cultura del Pacífico, with the support of the Ministerio de Cultura, Juventud y Deportes.

In case anyone wonders where the canton got its name, the culture ministry said that the purpose was to honor Rolando Aguirre Lobo, who was an important figure in the 1948 revolution.

Your Dream Vacation!
Villas-Beach Homes-Condos-Studios
Gold Coast Vacation Rentals
Get the news each day
Sign up for the A.M. Costa Rica daily news digest.
www.AMCosta Rica
Buildable lot with view
15 minutes to Heredia Center and closse to everything.
Your retirement home
Find your restful lifestyle in the hills of Grecia.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

Epifiania Spanish School
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 214

Beautiful property where air is clear — above 3,000 feet

Kirchner's wife wins Argentine presidency with a landslide
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner appears to have won Argentina's presidential election.

Ms. Fernández appeared in Buenos Aires Sunday evening after early official returns and exit polls indicated she will succeed her husband in office and become Argentina's first democratically elected woman president.

With nearly 59 percent of the vote counted, Ms. Fernández had 43.9 percent. Former lawmaker Eliso Carrió had 21.9 percent Former economy minister Roberto Lavagna had 18.2 percent. The percentages had been constant most of the evening as more and more districts reported.

The headlines in today's major newspaper there said that Ms. Fernández had won. Calrín, the leading newspaper, said that her margin was substantial and correctly pointed out that she would govern until 2011.
Surveys of Argentines who had already cast their ballots projected Ms. Fernández would win up to 46 percent of the vote — more than enough to avoid a second-round.

The 54-year-old, three-term senator entered the campaign this year after her husband, President Nestor Kirchner, announced he is stepping aside after one term in office.

Ms. Fernández says she will continue Kirchner's policies, which revived Argentina's economy after its collapse in 2001.

Electoral law in Argentina calls for a runoff vote if neither of two sets of conditions are met: a victorious presidential candidate must either have 45 percent of the vote, or a 40-percent showing combined with a 10-percentage-point lead over the nearest challenger.

Argentines also voted Sunday for provincial governors, members of both houses of the legislature and local spots. 

Another U.S. warning issued on terrorist use of shoes to hide contraband
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. security officials are warning of terrorist plans to hide bomb components in shoes.

The CBS television network has obtained a copy of the warning, issued Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

The general terrorism-related awareness notice was prompted by the discovery in Europe last month of a pair of shoes used to smuggle electric blasting caps across international borders. The thick soles of the shoes were hollowed out to hide the caps.

The U.S. warning notes that standard visual inspection of the shoes would probably have missed the contraband. The
 report notes that while all footwear at U.S. airports must go through an x-ray machine, many other nations have no such requirement.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department add that there is no specific, credible intelligence that terrorists plan to use the tactic in the United States.

In December 2001, shortly after the September 11th attacks, would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid attempted to blow up a transatlantic flight with explosives concealed in his shoes.

The al Qaida operative was tackled by fellow passengers as he tried repeatedly to light a fuse attached to one shoe. He is now serving a life sentence at a U.S. maximum security prison.

Venezuelan attorney general admits traffickers have friends in government
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Veneuzela's attorney general says members of the country's intelligence police, national guard, and civil aviation sector are involved in drug trafficking or allowing it to take place.

The Washington Post Sunday published comments from Attorney General Isaias Rodríguez in a report that says Colombian drug lords are using Venezuela as a transit point for cocaine shipments bound for the United States and Europe.

The newspaper says Rodríguez described the corruption as isolated. But, it says he acknowledged his office is investigating officials who are suspected of giving
government identification cards to drug traffickers, or providing them with them protection.

The Post reports that hundreds of tons of Colombian cocaine have passed through Venezuela and that northbound drug flights out of Venezuela tripled between 2003 and 2006.

The Venezuelan attorney general told the newspaper he has fired 23 prosecutors and 150 judges tainted by the drug trade.

Saturday, the British Defense Ministry said a navy warship had seized three tons of cocaine from a Venezuelan fishing boat in the Atlantic.

We can put your business announcement here
where those seeking international news will see it

News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled in archived pages.

Where the air is clear
Come see the simple life in an uncomplicated Costa Rican town
First villas in Golfito
Villas La Primera: The first fully gated residential community.
Buildable lot with view
15 minutes to Heredia Center and closse to everything.
Your retirement home
Find your restful lifestyle in the hills of Grecia.

A.M. Costa Rica
Sports news
local and from the wires

Place a classified ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 214

The latest top sports news
Sports news from VOA
Sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Your Dream Vacation!
Villas-Beach Homes-Condos-Studios
Gold Coast Vacation Rentals
Get the news each day
Sign up for the A.M. Costa Rica daily news digest.
www.AMCosta Rica
Buildable lot with view
15 minutes to Heredia Center and closse to everything.
Your retirement home
Find your restful lifestyle in the hills of Grecia.

Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier

The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006  and 2007 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details