Safe, not Sorry


playa ventanasIdentifying problematic situations in purchasing a home or a piece of land for constructing a home or small development is often the most difficult part of any purchase.

The laws, proceeds and protocol can be intimidating to many when developing a special project or building a home. One has to worry about potential inherited problems when buying a turn key house or business. You should know the potential uses of the property under consideration if is is your intention to develop. Property owners and potential buyers in Costa Rica need help evaluating various properties and navigating the complexities of purchasing and planning their construction projects.

As part of our services of Green Leaf Costa Rica, we are trying to make things easier for our clients. For this purpose, we recommend a choice of specialists who are consultants with a wide range of experience. This serves to identify and solve many problems prior to purchasing property offer independent consultant services to support  our clients seeking assistance with purchasing, developing and selling Real Estate in the Whale Coast.

Each one of their backgrounds include  that of a project manager with engineering and technical experience in gaining approvals for site development, design, and construction.  The role ranges from conducting feasibility studies to providing bilingual project oversight and problem-solving. Each one will provide reports and assistance mainly focused on determining if the visions and plans of the clients –- potential buyers or owners — can be realized for a specific property. After doing research, he produces reports tailored to each situation. The reports address important questions and cover potential costs and development options on a property or a remodeling project for an existing home.  The two main products are:

Basic Report: This includes information about the property from the public registry (Registro Nacional) and determining if any liens, restrictions, setbacks or other issues are discovered that warrant caution by the potential purchaser. After a site visit, he can make rough estimates for improvements such as roads, electrical service, remodeling, construction, etc.  In most areas, the Basic Report will include an overlay of the official “plano” or property map onto a Google Earth photo of the area, with my notes and comments.

The Basic Report answers the client’s specific questions, such as, “Can this property be subdivided into segregated and titled lots and sold on the open market?” The report also evaluates possible building sites on properties with environmental restrictions around natural springs and rivers.

Pre-Build Report: For potential buyers, investors or property owners who want to start on the process of developing or building on a property, he produces a Pre-Build Report similar to that required by SENTENA –- the Costa Rican equivalent of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This report includes clearance and setback information required for the building permit process and can be completed before architectural and engineering plans are finalized.

Documents obtained in the Pre-Build Report include the critically important Uso de Suelo in areas administered by municipalities and INVU for unincorporated areas. He submits formal requests to public utility agencies such as ICE (electricity and phone) and AYA (municipal water) to determine if these services are available.  Most of the official documents obtained in this effort are valid for one year and can be used in the submission for building permits.

The Pre-Build Report also can include price estimates for improvements such as access roads, on- and off-grid electrical services, water sources including wells, and more.  Also available are well-researched reports on what plants, trees, and food-producing crops will work well on a particular property.

Other types of projects may include development strategies for an assisted living center, intentional community planning and the sale of properties with problems or issues.

For more information, please contact the Green Leaf Realty office. We are happy to help!

Mimosa Breeze Home

At $88,000 this is our deal of the month!  Mimosa Breeze Home is a well located, newly remodeled home that could easily be converted into a duplex.  The downstairs has an attached garage and two entrances.  The office area could be used as an additional bedroom, making it a 3 bedroom home.  There is a bath and kitchen on the first floor, but an additional kitchen could be added upstairs making it a separate unit with its own entrance.  There is a back terrace that overlooks a small river.  The upstairs has a separate bedroom and open air living area with set ups for an additional kitchen.  The high vaulted ceiling enhances the breezes from nearby Playa Bahia Uvita. While the bedrooms are enclosed and could be air-conditioned, there is very little need for cooling since the ocean and river breezes blow constantly.  The Mimosa trees that line the river, offer shade for the most part of the day.

There is an addtional building lot on the property that is approximately 1000 meters squared, plenty of room for another home.  The adjoining lot with 2 building areas is also for sale at a package price of $140,000.

The proximity to Uvita, Playa Bahia, Playa Colonia, the Whales Tail, Marina Ballena National Park and all of the amenities is literally within walking distance.  Dominical, Ojochal and the rest of the Costenera are just a short drive away.  You can attend the local activities like the weekly Farmers Market and live music at the Toucan Hotel and walk home.  The supermarkets, banks, restaurants and other amenities are all there.

Come and check it out!  For this low price, we don't think it will be available for very long.



In January, my father's dentist informed him that he would be needing a root canal.  The starting price for the proceedure in the US was $1200.  I checked with a friend here in Costa Rica who sets up Dental Tours.  Dentistry here in Costa Rica is usually less than 1/4th of the price.  When my father found out that it would cost him around $300, he started searching for airfare.  Since I needed to have a checkup and cleaning, I went with him, the cost of my services were only $60.

The Juan Santamaria Airport is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from where I live in Ojochal.  I left early that morning, picked up my Dad at the airport and checked into a hotel.  The next morning, we went to the dentist for a 1-Step procedure.  In hindsight, I would have made the appointment for the day of his arrival.  It took just over an hour and was a very easy procedure with State-of-the-Art equipment.  This dentist even has his own laboratory.  My cleaning and checkup with x-rays took less than half hour with some equipment so modern that I had not even seen it before.

Immediately afterward, we were able to return to the Whale Coast (Costa Ballena) where my Dad could enjoy some of his favorite activities.  He likes the caves at Playa Ventanas, the Whales Tail at Bahia Uvita, sunsets in Dominical and the delicious food at the many gourmet restaurants in Ojochal.  With his good dental work he did not have any problem eating, and with the $900 that he saved, he could afford it, even after the hotel and airfare.

Dental Tourism is becoming more and more popular.  You can save enough money to take your vacation here.  Before having your next  procedure in the States, check with us about Dental Tourism.  If you are planning on relocating here, it is just another plus.  Some of the typical prices for a medium range dentist are as follows.


  • Initial Consultation w/X-Rays and Treatment Plan: $50.00
  • Cleaning: $50.00
  • Panoramic X-Rays: $30.00
  • Tomographic 3D Dental CatScan: $220.00
  • Extraction: $50.00
  • Composites: $50.00 - $100.00
  • Temp Crown: $50.00
  • Temp Denture: $250.00
  • Root Canal: $300.00
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal Crown: $450.00
  • Full cast Zirconium Porcelain Crown: $550.00
  • Crown for Bridge: $650.00 ea
  • Implant: $1500.00 total
  • Post: $850.00
  • Permanent Crown w/Abutment: $650.00
  • Partial or Full Dentures: $700.00 ea or $1400.00 total
  • Attachment for Denture: $650.00 ea
  • Porcelain Veneers: $400.00 ea
  • Porcelain Inlay/Onlay: $350.00 ea
  • Wisdom teeth removal: $100.00
  • Wisdom teeth surgery: $200.00
  • Bone graft: $350.00 - $1500.00 (depends on size of graft)
  • Gum Graft: TBD at Initial Consultation
  • Sinus Lift-1500.00
  • Smile Laser Whitening: $350.00
  • NightGuard: $150.00

Saturday's Farmers Market

One of the biggest events of the weekend is the Uvita Farmers Market of Feria.  You can find a large assortment of organic produce and handicrafts.  On certain weekends, there is live music.  People come from all over the Costa Ballena to buy fresh and organic fruits, vegetable, spices, vitamins, dairy products and smoked meats.  Many of the local farmers are well versed on homeopathic treatments with their products.  Some of the spices and flavorings are imported, but the majority of what is offered is locally grown. Various chefs and bakers have booths offering their delicious treats.

Some of the products available are pure cacao powder, raw coconut oil, orchard pepper, cumin in seeds and ground, bee pollen, local cacao and vanilla beans, pau d'arco, integral and white rice, dired bananas and pineapples, flor de Jamaica, effective microorganisms, natural Xocolata chocolate, mangos, papayas, sugar cane and all of the other types of fruits and vegetables.

After the purchases are finished many people head to the local weekly softball game at Bahia Ballena then on to the beach at Marina Ballena National Park.  Others head to one of the popular waterfalls in the Costenera area, and some just go home to enjoy the great food that they have purchased.

Rocking at the Roadhouse Cafe

The new Roadhouse Cafe is becoming known not only for its delicious food, but for its great variety of music, too.  Located across the Costenera Highway from Hotel Crystal Ballena at road marker 169, the quickly growing Ballena Beach Bar is convenient to both Ojochal and Uvita.  The building is large, accommodating about 200 people, and the decor is an open western style with well cushioned sofas and chairs.  Even the bar stools are comfortable.   There are large screen televisions for sports and a big stage for live music. From the ledge seats, you can watch the Playa Ballena Coast airstrip and the waves rolling in over the beach.

The owner, Bob Swanson, formally from Atlanta has stayed true to southern style.  Hey says that after 3 years,  he grew tired of sitting on hard chairs and sofas, could not find spicy food and a great place to watch sports.  I love having cocktail parties.  What better way to meet new friends and have lots of fun then owning a bar and restaurant in Costa Rica."

The food ranges from New Orleans Salsas to Buffalo Shrimp with blue cheese.  There is also a little Mexican thrown in there, too with a taco salad and nachos. My favorite is the country salad, combined with chicken and shrimp.  For sure, all of the food is very creative.  They also have great drink specials.

There are different theme nights, too.  The Superbowl Party was packed, with the large screen television following the game.  Part of the proceeds went to the local animal group D.A.W.G.  Throughout the week, they have a movie night, concert night, poker, happy hours and live music.   Where ever you go on the Costa Ballena, don't miss this fun spot.



Green Leaf

Dominical, Costa Rica

Tel: +506.2787.0187
US Phone: +954.300.4675
Fax: +506.2787.0214
Green Leaf Real Estate Office
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