One of my main sources of anxiety about our move to Costa Rica was where we would live. We had filled out a housing questionnaire from Creativa, the children’s school, regarding our budget and preferences. Because of the way the market works in Costa Rica, we had not heard anything regarding housing even one month before our departure. Rentals come and go quickly, so it is difficult to “reserve” a house before you arrive. So we decided to wing it. We rented a cabin at Los Pinos for the first week and figured we would find a house after we moved. I am a meticulous planner, so this was an out of step move for me. Whenever people asked me where we would live in Costa Rica, I would calmly reply, “I don’t know. We will find a place when we get there.” And then I would try not to throw up. In the end, I am glad we did it this way.
The day after we moved to Monteverde, a liason from the school took us to 4 homes that were available for rent. After much soul searching, we settled on our current home. We were able to move into the house within a week after moving to Monteverde.
We love the house! It is large for Costa Rica standards with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The kitchen is well-equipped and perfectly sized for us. The living/dining area is nice and cozy and also functions as a work area. The house also has a wonderful laundry room and the best porch ever!
The location is perfect! We live about a 10 minute walk to the center of Santa Elena, 15 minute walk to the school (which would be shorter if it were not for the steep hill!), and about a 30 minute walk to the Fabrica de Quesos and Monteverde proper. We also have amazing views off the front porch.
As much as I loved our house in the US and it hurt to sell it, I really prefer living in this cozy little house. We interact as a family more often, and I keep better track of what the kids are up to.
Expat Tip: As frightening as it sounds, I encourage anyone moving to the Monteverde area to hold off on renting a house until after you get here. Stay at an inexpensive hotel or hostel and take a week to figure out if you would rather live in Santa Elena, Cerro Plano (large neighborhood in between Santa Elena and Monteverde), or Monteverde proper. This way you also get to talk to the landlord face to face and see the house in real time as opposed to pictures, which can be deceiving.