USA – 31 Mar, 2017 – When a prospective client contacts me to inquire of my services, we discuss what it is they have to sell, how quickly, or not, they need to sell, the price they have in mind and the value of said property. If a business is included, the discussion continues with the financials and the potential for expansion for new owners. In short, these business-oriented conversations provide the factual aspects of a property for sale by owner here in Costa Rica. But there is usually more to a property, a back story, which gives not only a personal feel to the property but to the people involved.
Recently, I visited with clients who have an established specialty vacation rental business along with a home they built for themselves; the property is located within the township of Puerto Viejo situated on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast at Playa Negra…literally steps from the ocean. Although I’d been employing a marketing strategy to generate leads for months previous, time restraints had not permitted meeting with the sellers and experiencing the property first-hand.
Upon arrival to the small, underdeveloped town of Puerto Viejo, I felt life’s stress melt from my shoulders. Shuffling through the sand at the turquoise water’s edge I came upon an open air restaurant, reggae music playing softly in the background, ordered a fresh maracuya fresco and walked about to get a sense of the town and her people before venturing forth to my final destination, Mother Dear.
I met helpful and friendly people working, living, and visiting this laid back Bohemian beach town. A plethora of restaurants, offering a wide variety of foods, infamous spots known for their Caribbean specialties, and bakeries, tempted me. As I sallied through the town’s businesses, I was impressed with the high quality of local art, boutiques and crafts; and the wide range of ubiquitous tours ranging from sustainable cacao farms to wildlife refugios, water and jungle adventure activities. Clearly, there was much to eat and many experiences to be had which my short business trip did not, unfortunately, allow for.
Chatting with costarricense locals, tourists, and expats living in the area from other countries, from business owners to back-backers to surfers to middle-aged folk reinventing their lives, I asked what they liked most about Puerto. All responded that is was the relaxed atmosphere, the friendliness, and the natural beauty of the place that appealed most.
Moreover, behind the tourist theme of the town, I learned of the dedication of many of Puerto Viejo residents to that of programs and efforts improving education, stewardship of the land, recycling and farming practices. There is a true sense of community and camaraderie among locals and those who came from distant lands.
Time to meet with my clients; a local taxi drove me the 5 minutes drive to the property. After a warm welcome, I was shown to my cottage for the two nights stay and marveled at the ocean view, recognizing the interior from photographs and videos. Leaving me to settle in, we agreed to meet at sunset in their home, next door.
And this is when my clients’ back story became known to me. HE was born in Costa Rica to British parents, SHE an American from New Jersey. His father had been honored and decorated by the Queen for years of work on the British-American Railway and serving as a reporting officer during WWII. Born in Limon, HE spent his early childhood years, along with his three siblings, under the watchful and loving eye of a local Caribbean nanny. Eventually, HE was shipped off to the United States to attend both prep school the University of North Caroline.
It was 1974 at a party in Costa Rica that HE and SHE met. They would return to the U.S. where they remained for fourteen years before returning to Costa Rica with their eight-year old son in 1989.
Upon retirement from their respective jobs in Costa Rica, SHE as a secondary English and Ancient History teacher at Costa Rica Academy (now known as American International School), HE as a hospitality manager, the decision was made to move to the Caribbean coast and search for the right opportunity, in the right spot. What came about was that of purchasing a concession beachfront lot and the idea of creating a supplemental income. It was never about making big money or flipping a property; in fact, they simply wanted an idyllic location to build a comfortable home and run a small, manageable business.
Anyone who has done so will tell you that building in Costa Rica has its challenges. This couple was fortunate to have found some of the best artisans in the area to realize their conceptual ideas. And although it wasn’t all smooth sailing, two ocean-view cottages were built as vacation rentals to help offset the cost of building their dream home. Meanwhile, and for five and half years, they lived in a sparsely converted container on-site.
As the evening continued so did their remarkable story. And it was one of success… success as they wanted, unmeasured by high profits. Through their network of family and friends and with a bit of marketing, the business began to receive referrals and repeat guests. The main house was completed two years ago where the couple enjoys their ocean view.
Mother Dear was named in honor of two highly-regarded women in the owners’ lives – HER beloved mother who offered support and inspiration and HIS nanny from those early Limon days. When as a young man, HE went searching for his nanny in her Limon neighborhood he asked residents what had happened to “Tougha” or “Victoria.” People shook their heads, not knowing to whom HE was referring with these names. Finally someone said, “Oh, you must mean Mother Dear!” It turned out that this was the nanny’s nickname among her friends. Thus, two dear mothers from different worlds became the inspirations for the name of a very special place on Black Beach in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.
Video Link: https://youtu.be/l2SNdz6quYo
Company Name: Rebecca Wheeler Marketing
Contact Person: Rebecca Wheeler
Country: United States