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.

Solar Costa Rica is Ready for a New Solar Program

For over a year now, net metering projects have been on hold. The program was set to come online last year but was stalled due to prolonged negotiations. The companies have agreed on sustainable rates that are pleasing to everyone. The program could be implemented very soon.


On March 21, ARESEP held the final consultative meeting with all stakeholders. The negotiations were agreed upon after the power companies and solar power distributors agreed on a compromise. The program should have begun operation in October last year. This is how the deal works. In the daytime, users of solar power rely on their panels to generate electricity. As a result, their meter runs in reverse. However, solar only works during the day.

When nightfall comes, users rely on the power grid. Their meter begins to run forward during the night when they use the grid. The charge will apply only to business and homeowners. These will pay 28 Colones to 11 Colones for each kWh that the solar connection runs backward. For users that use all the power where it is being produced, there will be no charge. Currently, consumers are paying around 142 Colones for each Kwh. Under the new program, consumers have a 114 Colones gained for those who send power to the grid. Each power company will charge its own access fee.

Some consumers cannot afford to pay for the installation when required. The banks in Costa Rica have offered to step in with low-interest rates for solar installation. Solar power in costa Rica is already quite cheap compared to purchasing from the grid. There are numerous websites that provide full solar power setups for home use and even for camping such as Talco Electronics. With the new affordable loans, more people are expected to sign for the program.


A good example of how it is going to lower costs is the first all-solar municipal water well in Central America. The well runs on 160 solar panels. This installation coupled with better motor control has reduced costs from $2,00o each month to a few hundred. The expected savings after twenty-five years is going to be about six million dollars. At times, the well will run completely on solar, especially during periods of intense sunshine.

Besides lowering the cost of utilities, solar energy is projected to raise the value of properties. In the US mainland, people are willing to pay more for a property that has solar installed. In Costa Rica, energy is quite expensive. Coupled with the fact that it has a 10% annual increase, people will love solar.

This is all positive news for Costa Rica. The last time the program was running, it created around 1,600 jobs for the Costa Ricans. The pilot program is being used as an example for the rest of the world. If the program succeeds in this nation, it can succeed anywhere else in the world.

Costa Rica is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy ranging from ample sunshine to the wind. The country also has a vision called the Carbon Neutral mandate 2021. They intend to be the first green region on earth. With legislation already enacted, this program will reduce reliance on fossil fuel. Fossils already make up about 22% of all electricity generation in Costa Rica.

Three Great Housewarming Gifts

Because gifts can be a great way to welcome someone to their new home!

Moving can be one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. Besides the physical exhaustion of having to move house, there is also the psychological effect of leaving friends. Buying a friend or a new neighbor a housewarming gift can be a great way to invite them to the neighborhood. It helps to take away some of the pressure associated with moving into a new house.

A Stylish Fire Extinguisher

Most houses will not come fitted with a fire extinguisher. However, it can be one of the most important tools in a house. It shows the new owner that you care about them. In addition, a stylish fire extinguisher can be put on display. This also makes it easier to reach in case anything goes wrong.

An Espresso Machine

This is another great gift to give someone at a housewarming party. They will really appreciate and they will not have to go and purchase their own. Thus, they can use the time for unpacking. There are many varieties of an espresso machine from which to choose.

Even if they have one, they will appreciate the opportunity to upgrade. Besides that, an espresso machine can be a great way to build friendships. One can always pop in for a cup of coffee. This will be a great way to reinforce the bonds of friendship between new neighbors. In addition to an espresso machine, you could also gift a k cup or coffee pod holders as seen on www.anodynecoffeehouse.com

A Terrarium

Over the past few years, terrariums have gained a lot of prominence. As a result, some beautifully designed terrariums that make an awesome addition are available. In addition, one can add a personal touch to their gift by designing their own terrarium. A friend or a neighbor will always appreciate it when the gift was handmade rather than store bought. One can add a touch of where they used to live before. This will ensure they always have a piece of their former residence with them. The terrarium is practical because it can be used as part of the interior design, especially if it is carefully designed.

A housewarming gift is the best way to make a lasting impression. The gift should never be hurriedly prepared just as a formality. People always appreciate it when they feel a lot of thought was putting into preparing a gift for them. One should ensure that they wrap their gift well. A good wrapping is part of an excellent gift giving experience. Take time to consider the gift wrapping, and it will show on the giftee’s face.

Using Facebook to Find Real Estate

Believe it or not, you can use the power of social media to find your dream home!

The social media has transformed the way people ran their lives in a huge way. As of now, it is possible for one to do business entirely online. In addition, tasks such as buying real estate property have become easier. With the simple click of a button, one can have access to a wide array of options.

One way of finding real estate on Facebook is by joining real estate discussion groups. In these groups, people post photos and tips on the hottest and latest real estate deals. The posts are usually accompanied by numerous photos and detailed descriptions.

In these groups, one can also post that they want to find real estate. In most cases, a number of people will respond. One can then reply to their comments and get more details if they like the property. This is a great way of finding real estate on Facebook.

Another easy way to find real estate with Facebook is to follow real estate agent. They will post photos on a regular basis about properties that they have on offer. On may use this opportunity to message the agent for more details. In most cases, they will reply diligently in just a short while.

Besides joining groups that are specific to real estate, one may post in a general discussion group about their search. Most people will have heard of something, which may turn out to be very fruitful. Besides that, other pages offer life advice. Some of it may be about tips to finding real estate. These types of posts should be read thoroughly.

Another easy way of finding real estate on Facebook is to post about it. One may request friends and family on Facebook to join in the search for real estate. Most friends and family will gladly oblige. They may also offer on links to groups about real estate they are following. In such a post, one may also request for the names of real estate agents on Facebook. It is unlikely that none of one’s friends will have a name of two that may turn out to be useful.

One thing to take note of when looking for a home to buy on Facebook is the amount of spam on social media. As they say in French, it's all to easy "comment pirater un compte facebook", or to hack a Facebook account, to if something is too good to be true, it probably is.

Looking for real estate can be a delicate process. One ought to ensure that their money is spent on a strategy that appreciates over time. In order to do this, exploring a wide array of options can help the process much easier. Adopting Facebook in the search could broaden the options one has.

Short Sale Credit Rating Effects

Yes there will be an impact to your credit score from a short sale. Could lower the credit score by 160 points or so.

Why? As we visited before it falls in that same basket as other derogatory items. It will be with you for 7 yrs or so. Want to use that short sale to pay a loan? The credit report could reflect that as a deed-in-lieuof foreclosure or a settlement or charge-off or perhaps other terms. Recover time for credit after a short sale. 24 months seems to be most honed in on period. So you’ll see recovery happening on your credit report although off to a slow beginning.

Remember: New credit card only as needed, bills paid on time, reign in those credit card balances as low as possible.

Use the tools and take control.

Make a plan. Get those balances payed down = credit score will be positively affected, credit utilization will improve.

Goal. Credit card balances as low as they can go. If it is less than 10% of credit limits it has more effect on credit score. Oh, and the wallet. It will flourish if credit card debt is paid off, gone, history

Monitor. Keep an eye on your credit report and track its recovery post-short sale. Utilize the various sources for free credit reports. Some sources will provide monthly updates. Others will provide credit tips just right for you to help improve your scores.

Remember. The three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Request a free annual report from each. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com.

Commentation from experts.

Any foreclosure, trauma to a credit score, whether voluntary or otherwise. Missed mortgage payments and defaults wind up on your credit report, where they remain for seven years, says Barry Paperno, consumer operations manager at Fair Isaac Corp., which computes credit scores for reporting agencies Equifax and TransUnion.

An individual with previously super credit who walks from a home can suddenly find his or her FICO score plummet "by at least 100 points," Paperno says.If your credit isn’t 5 star your credit score impact may not be so far falling. Logical. You don’t have far to fall. Regardless of the status of a credit rating though, there is the same end result. "Either way, you'll wind up at the bottom," Paperno says. "In a nutshell, it's serious."

Tax consequences.

Foreclosures and short sales could also result in a bigger tax bill, dependent on the kind of home you're leaving. Unpaid debt in IRS lingo is “cancellation of indebtedness income.”

Going on the offense.

Think of alternatives if that house payment is a problem. Its being responsible. Get in touch with the lender as soon as getting behind is the picture in front of you. Negotiate a lower rate or other terms that keep that home yours and that credit report in the safe zone. Contact a HUD (Housing and Urban Development) to get into a conversation with an approved counsel for help. Every state has this resource and there is no charge to get this help to stay in your home. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has trained individuals that help negotiate with lenders to try keeping people in their homes.

Short sales and reverse mortgages.

As mentioned earlier, a short sale can sometimes -- though not always -- protect your credit better than a foreclosure. Ask your lender directly about a short sale or ask a credit counselor to help you try to get one. Ask questions before signing off on a short sale. Will the lender report the sale to credit agencies as "paid satisfactorily," Since a reverse mortgages might have less impact than foreclosure for certain seniors unable to maintain payments check into this option. It will allow the homeowner to utilize the equity of a home while remaining in the dwelling without making additional mortgage payments. The arrangement continues until the homeowner sells the property or dies. Need to be 62+ with significant equity. Check it out thoroughly to make sure it’s the best choice. Get the counsel of a trusted adviser. AARP's reverse mortgage education program may be of help.


Free Credit Score - Instant Online Delivery | CafeCredit.com

Credit score - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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 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.