Welcome to

First Realty CRE

Chris Evans co-founded First Realty CRE over 15 years ago, which was the first real estate franchise to operate in Costa Rica, bringing a new level of professionalism and service to the Costa Rica real estate market. Chris has been a licensed real estate broker for over 10 years.

Your New Home: 5 To-Do List Items

Moving into a new home can be exhilerating.

You are finally in your dream location, you got the house you really wanted, you are excited to swim in your new swimming pool, but there are a few things that must first be done to ensure your transition is a smooth as possible and that your home is safe, clean and ready for a new family to live in.

1. Inspect the locks in your new home.

First and foremost you will want to ensure that all locks in your new home are in working order and will keep your new home secure. Even if they work, you don’t know the history on the home or who still has keys, so you may want to think about changing out the locks completely. Find a reputable locksmith (visit website) in your area that will take care of all of your needs.

2. Clean the house thoroughly.

While many people leave their homes clean, some do not and you will want to have the home cleaned thoroughly. Take a bucket, mop, sponge, rags, soapy water and get to work. Clean the walls, bathrooms, kitchen, cupboards, fans and anything else that you can do on your own. Hire a professional to clean the carpets and windows. That should make your home sparkle and shine.

3. Invest in some closet organizers.

Many homes will only come with a wooden rod to hang your clothes on but as you know, this isn’t near enough storage! Having nice closet organizational system will help you stay organized from the very start.

4. Have appliances inspected / serviced.

You will want to ensure that all appliances in the home are in working condition and are running as effectively as possible. Don’t wait until winter to have your heater inspected… do it while it’s still warm out! Your home inspector should have inspected your appliances prior to purchase so may be you will already have a list of items that need repaired. Appliances that work efficiently can also reduce your electricity bill.

5. Paint the ceilings and walls.

Many houses have a dingy look to them but you can completely get rid of that with a new coat of paint. The color “cream in my coffee” is great for a subtle wall color and you can’t go wrong with white ceilings. Try to paint before you move all of your stuff in if that’s an option. You might also want to invest in a paint sprayer as it will cut your painting time down by a mile, and you will use less paint.

By checking off these five items off of your to-do list you will be one step closer to having a safe, clean home that will feel welcoming to your family.

Moving While Pregnant: Tips & Tricks

Thinking of moving to Costa Rica when pregnant? Follow these tips & tricks for a comfy move!

Pregnancy is the beginning of life. For many, it is associated with alot of stress and difficulty especially if you are just beginning motherhood or if you are almost due. The explanations for this are wide; raging hormones, increase in body weight thus discomfort, emotional distress and cravings among others.

Moving While Pregnant

It is always comfortable for a pregnant woman to want to have the least movement. In situations where you have to move about it is done with alot of effort. Now imagine having to relocate to a new area, new house and worst of all no friends. My wife did this when we moved to Costa Rica and she said it was HELL!!!

However,it doesn't have to be this way,there are a few things you may do that will make it easier.

10 Tips and Tricks

1. Get organized- Do not procrastinate. If you notice that there is something that needs to be done then you will have to do it immediately. Also, use of moving-out and moving-in lists will simplify things.

2. Pack in advance- It may seem too cautious to pack 8-10 weeks before the moving date but you will be relieved when on the moving day all you have to do is pack in the essentials you had left. You may also use the help of your friends by having a 'packing party'.

3. Take it easy-At this point in time it is all about you. You and your comfort should be the first priority.

4. Do some research on your new neighbourhood- you can do this online or take a visit.Your goal when doing this research is to make sure you will be able to continue with your daily routine in the new area just like you did in the old.

5. Look for a doctor- This is the most essential of all things. You are at a critical stage in life and need constant prenatal care. It is advisable to ask you current doctor or midwife to refer you to another contact in your new area. Also remember to carry copies of your prenatal file and other medical records.

6. Keep essentials and necessary accessories handy- This will avoid situations where, when unpacking, you will have to go through tons of boxes just to get a simple items.

7. Label boxes- After packing each box label it according to the room in which it should go, where it will be used and maybe the items or materials in the box.

8. Accept that things will go wrong- You are neither in control of your body nor the moving process. Things will most likely have a shortcoming. Accept this before it happens so that you will be able to handle it with less stress.

9. Have your hospital bag packed- If you will be moving close to your due date it is wise to have your hospital bag ready to go incase stress induces labor. You will want overnight essentials and things to make you comfortable during birth like these maternity pajamas.

10. Simplify things- The best way to do this is by hiring a moving company. They will sort out most of the stress involved. However, be careful when choosing the company, consider their ratings and quality of service.

To have the best move to Costa Rica as possible, apply all this tips and tricks at once or chose a few that suit you best. It is yor special time and despite the natural challenges, you should have a good experience.

Home Inspections in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica the use of a Home Inspector is usually assigned to an Architect or Engineer.

These professionals are licensed through C.F.I.A. which is an acronym for the College of Engineers & Architects. However, over the last few years we have seen an increase in good home inspection services from the U.S.A and Canada setting up shop locally especially in the Central Valley. This is a good thing since the procedures the Architects and Engineers use are usually limited to an inspection as per the building code and they can also give you a qualified opinion about the structural integrity of the premises which does not really address all other items a home buyer would need to know in order to make a prudent buying decision.

So how do you go about it? Reliance on a real estate agent’s home inspector is not necessarily a right or wrong decision. Many agents endorse only the best inspectors, while others recommend those with lesser qualifications. Your job is to do your due diligence to guard your own financial interests.

Rather than reject an inspector outright, simply because the referral was made by an agent, you should review the credentials of several home inspectors, including the one suggested by your agent. Then hire the person you feel would represent your interest, with the most experience and the best reputation for thoroughness. Remember no house is totally free of defects. Even the most well-constructed, brand-new home has conditions that warrant correction. In an old home, the suggestion that there is “nothing wrong” is a challenge to ones common sense.

Home inspectors, unless they are also licensed structural engineers, are not qualified to assess structural integrity. Without an engineering degree, an inspector may say that no evidence of foundation damage or building settlement was observed, but definite statements regarding structural soundness are out of bounds for most home inspectors.

As for the two-prong electrical outlets, suicide showers, improperly installed roofs, no grease traps in their kitchens, mold and other pest infestation that are typical in most homes here, they can identify these items for you with sound recommendations to correct them in terms of time and cost. Ungrounded outlets are potentially unsafe. Home inspectors should point these out as items that warrant future upgrade. They know the standards and also know the way the locals build. They also know the building materials the locals use, good and bad.

So what is it you can expect from a home inspector? When considering the purchase of a new house, apartment or condominium in Costa Rica you want to make sure that all building materials and installation procedures have been 100% completed, and all mechanical and electrical installations are functioning correctly, and in accordance with local building codes, prior to closing.

How Do You Get a Piece of The Pie?

Fractional Ownership – A new affordable way to own property in Costa Rica.

Fractional Ownership real estate continues its relentless expansion around the world’s most desirable property markets. It has been around a long time, especially in the USA and Canada where it is a multi-billion dollar industry, but most people in Costa Rica are just becoming familiar with this approach to buying and owning property. It is a very simple and cost effective way of owning a second home without all the hassle and cost of running and maintaining it.

Now you can realize your dreams of owning a pied-a-terre in Costa Rica, your condo on the Pacific Beach or your fabulous view property in the Valley. Buying a fantastic, renovated, fully furnished beach house with a swimming pool and steps to the Beach is out of most people’s reach but buying just a few weeks in that property suddenly makes it much more accessible!

Fractional Ownership makes intelligent investment sense since it matches usage with cost and provides a smart option for second home ownership. It is the difference between whole ownership, with its sole responsibility and full exclusive use, and the commonly thought of time-share, where most often, you purchase “vacation time” in a resort, (usually about two-weeks) not in the real-estate itself. And just as savvy investors continue to buy stocks in the global market to balance and strengthen their portfolios, Buyers can now invest in properties that are a strong value in the global real estate world.

Getting Out of a Bum Period

We all get bummed out from time to time. Little motivation, little energy and very little drive. Well I am no different.

Over the years I have been able to develop a strategy to help get me out of the low periods quicker.

I first try to determine why am I feeling this way and I then try to embrace this low period knowing that this too will pass. After the evaluation, I spring into action. I get doing something – knowing the longer I stay in the present the worst I will be. Bad vibes have a strong tendency of feeding on itself.

Being a realtor, I simply get out and connect with people, nose to nose, toes to toes. I also get on the phone make some calls and drive around the neighborhood. These actions are an incredible booster for building up my confidence and self worth.

herefore the next time, instead of feeling down for long periods of time, get out and do something. Your spirit will immediately pick up.