Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gonzalo, the lawyer

I recently showed several photos of Pablo, the gardener, so today I am showing Gonzalo, our lawyer, who I mentioned yesterday. His full name is Gonzalo Fajardo Lee. He was a diplomat before he became a lawyer, serving in the Costa Rican embassies in Rome and Madrid.

When buying property in a foreign country, it is certainly important to have a good lawyer you can trust. After selecting a property management company for our first condo, we asked them for recommendations for lawyers. They recommended Gonzalo, and my wife interviewed and selected him during one of her trips to Costa Rica.

Gonzalo has an office in Tamarindo and an office in San Jose, the capital, which is 4 hours away. He divides his time between his two offices. Besides being knowledgeable, providing good service, and speaking English well, one of reasons my wife liked Gonzalo is that his wife holds an important job in one of the televisions stations in San Jose. My wife liked it that Gonzalo was supportive of his wife's career.

Foreigners can purchase real estate in Costa Rica without the restrictions that exist in some other Latin American countries, such as Mexico. There are differences, however, and a local lawyer is a necessity. One of things that we found funny is that the real estate title documents are handwritten by the lawyers in a bound book. There are real property title records in the country and it is possible, and wise, to buy title insurance, and major U.S. title companies have offices in Costa Rica and insure the validity of the title for property being purchased.

Many Americans and Canadians have purchased vacation or retirement homes in either the Pacific Coast resort area, or the central valley near San Jose, which has an ideal year-round climate because of its altitude. The financial crisis and recession of the past year have certainly been felt in Costa Rica because not as many people are looking to buy vacation homes. For people who are open to living in a foreign country, the retirement funds will go a lot farther in Costa Rica than in North America. Furthermore, in the international indexes of the quality of health care, Costa Rica is tied with -- the USA!

Today is Sunday, so that means that my wife and I have posted a new set of travel photos on Viva la Voyage. Today we take you Colonia del Sacramento, uruguay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with colorful, quaint colonial-era streets.


brattcat said...

There's so much to see in this photograph...his taste in art, his lovely family, his model airplane, his fine stereo, his well-used chair. What a fascinating man, what a fascinating portrait of a man.

Sharon said...

I believe I might have met this man!!

glenda said...

Yes I can see how a lawyer would be helpful in buying property in another country. I remember having dinner with Gonzalo and enjoying his insights to Costa Rica.

Jarart said...

Interesting post, I wondered about buying property in another country. I like this picture of him in his office.

Julie said...

great portrait. you should let Gonzalo know you wrote about him today.

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