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Emerald Forest Properties

Offering Real Estate in Costa Rica with
experience, integrity, and dependability you can count on


By Brad Butler

by Brad Butler

   Come take advantage of the many ways you can live like a king and retire early. Costa Rica is a safe haven for those looking to find value for their U.S. Dollars, Canadian Dollars, English Pounds and Euros.

There are so few places left in the world today that can offer you're this rich lifestyle and safe environment that Costa Rica is offering all of us foreigners. Once you have purchased your home, condo, beach house, sprawling ranch or farm, the doors of a peaceful rich life is opened to you.

Your savings is actualized in your day to day living. You can take $8.00 U.S. to the street produce market on the weekends and have fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to last a week. Beef, chicken and fish are much more reasonable as well.

Eating out is an all time favorite and it is as inexpensive to eat out as cook at home once you learn the local diners. There are many places that serve a fine lunch with drink right at $3.00 U.S. Dollars. In the evening you are hard pressed to spend $7.00 to $10.00 U.S. Dollars per person for a fine steak dinner.

You have all your N. American fast food chains here as well but you pay dearly for these unhealthy experiences. Just yesterday I had breakfast at Denny's near the San Jose/Alajuela International Airport. I had a simple breakfast consisting of two eggs, hash browns, toast and probably one of the worst pieces of, "Imported sausage" I have ever attempted to eat. I ordered coffee, and a new fusion fruit drink loaded with sugar. I did not enjoy the breakfast and when I went to pay my bill, I almost fainted at the price. My bill was $16.50 not including the tip! I mentioned the price and the clerk working the register told me, "It is all imported this is the price."

I can tell you now; I do not understand what part of that meal was imported. The bread is baked here; the sausage was nothing like I have ever eaten in my entire life in the U.S. Potatoes for hash browns are in abundance here, so I ask, what is imported? Possibly the 99.9% pure sugar fruit FUSION drink that spiked my sugar to an all time high! Point is, stay away from the U.S. fast food chains as they are designed to get the most money out of you for the least amount of healthy food. These chains have made the North American people some of the unhealthiest people on the planet. We all need to return to the Garden of Eden, Costa Rica!

Wouldn't you prefer a nice range fed breakfast with no hormones injected, no preservatives added? You can have a Costa Rican breakfast with all the above and more for right at $2.00 U.S. dollars.

Costa Rica is filled with adventure and it is such a small country that you can swim in the Pacific in the morning and drive to the Atlantic in 4 hours and have a nice swim before dinner. Life is rich and life is good in Costa Rica!

The transportation is impressive here in Costa Rica; you can maneuver throughout the country and rarely have to wait on a bus. The buses are modern and most all are air-conditioned. Renting a car can have its advantages but taking a bus allows you to see so much more of this amazingly beautiful country. I have lived here now many years and often I wish I had the time just to hop a bus and take out to see the country. I do a lot of driving but I am paying attention to the road and not the natural beauty. Mass transportation is inexpensive; a simple bus ride from San Jose to Escazu is right at .30 cents and from one end of the country to the other $5.00 should get you there.

With the recent opening of several International Malls, one has all the modern conveniences at their fingertips. Costa Rica has rich cultural activities in which to keep ones soul fulfilled with art and entertainment. The medical is fantastic, I know first hand! Thank God I was here in Costa Rica when I had my two heart attacks, or I would be paying the rest of my life for medical treatment had these heart attacks occurred in the U.S. It is not hard to understand why so many people are choosing to reside in Costa Rica; you get value for your hard earned dollars. You too can enjoy a higher standard of living in Costa Rica.

Prices in the Heredia Street market as of June 30, 2007


Leaf lettuce .25 cents a bunch (A kilo is 2.2 pounds)
Tomatoes .75 cents a kilo
Cucumbers .65 cents a kilo
Onions .40 cents a kilo
Carrots .30 cents a kilo
Radishes .20 cents a bunch
Broccoli .40 cents a head
Potatoes .75 cents a kilo
Zucchini squash 15 cents each (large)


Strawberries .85 cents a pound
Bananas .03 cents each
Mangos $1.50 per kilo
Pineapple .25 to .30 each
Papaya .40 cents a kilo
Watermelon .75 cents a kilo
Cantaloupe .20 cents each
Lemons and limes .03 cents each


Fresh cut tropical flowers are offered as well and a large bunch can cost you $1.50 to $2.00 U.S. dollars.

Domestic help

Full time Gardner $175.00 Us dollars monthly
Full time live in cook and maid $230.00 monthly (6 days weekly)
Full time driver $350.00 to $400.00 a month

Personal care

Woman's cut and style $12.00 U.S.
Man's cut $3.00 to $5.00 U.S.
Manicure $5.00
Pedicure $7.00
Massage $12.00 per hour

Phone and Internet

Basic phone service $4.75 U.S. per month
Basis cell service $8.50 per month
Basic Cable TV $27.50 per month
Cable internet $39.00 per month

Electric and water

I have three homes on my property with 4 full time employees, 2 washing machines running daily, two dryers, two deep freezers and I have never had a bill over $80.00 in a month. My water bill runs right at $12.00 a month as I have 48 Macaws and their cages are washed daily. Most people pay the $2.00 monthly minimum in my area.

Adding up all these advantages, then taking in consideration the fantastic year round weather I can't imagine not residing in magnificent Costa Rica! I was asked not long ago don't you miss your family? I said no, because when I lived in the States it took me longer to get from N. Carolina to Texas than it does from Costa Rica to Dallas. I can leave in the morning on a direct flight and be sitting having lunch with my mother at noon the same day.

The best part of it all is my niece and nephews can't wait to spend their summer vacations with their uncle in Costa Rica. They will never forget their Costa Rica experiences and will fondly look back at the adventure that I have afforded them by residing here in this wonderfully adventurous country. There is only one real requirement in life, and that is to enjoy it.

"Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." Quoted from the movie, Auntie Mame, and how true it really is when given thought.

See you in Costa Rica!