A message board newby here asked the question: rent or buy when you first move here. During the first week after arrival in Costa Rica we gained 4 lawyers and lost 3.


"You need a bank account." My brand new lawyer du jour tells me.

"OK, no problem I'll get one."

"You need one with Banco Nacional because that's where I bank."

"Why does that matter?"

"Well first you have only been in country for 3 days, so you can't open a bank


"That then is likely an issue?"

"Yes. But I know the people at BN I will walk you there. We will bypass some


"Are there other banks?"

"Yes. But not like BN . . . "

"I see, why is that?"

"Because you need to give me the check."

"The whole thing?"


"Do you know about escrow?"

"Yes, I used to work in the US. But we do not need it."

"I see. You know I have only known you for a day?"

Outside BN

"Yes, you need to trust me."

"Of course I do." Grinning from ear to ear and then some.

"It will be easier with BN as that is where I have my personal account."

"You will deposit my check in your personal account?"

<"Yes, it will be easier."

"If I did this normally how long would it take."

"6 months to get started. But this is quite normal."

"I see."

"The good news is that as I am the attorney for the owner you are buying from,

as well as your attorney, it will be even easier."

"Yes it seems we have some luck with this transaction all around. I get to open

a bank account bypassing the rules, we get to share the same attorney on both

sides of the deal and I can do the whole thing without escrow."

"Yes. We can close tomorrow or maybe Monday."

"All I need to do is trust you?"

"Yes, absolutely."

Civic Duties

Now you know one reason you were advised to wait 6 months before buying anything . . . the second reason is that after some months or years of living here the above conversation between a buyer and his lawyer will seem entirely normal to you by then.