Kim Costa Rica, Passionate Real Estate Professional
Kim’s first home was the upper west side of Manhattan, when it was not nearly as upscale as today. “I saw my neighborhood grow and change around me, and I grew with it.” From a private all girl school with fancy uniforms to the public HS of Bronx Science where anything goes, she had the freedom to move around the city from a pretty young age its was the 80’s. Gymnastics, jazz classes with famous dancers it was a normal thing for a NYC girl. CBGBs (music venue that made the Ramones famous) was right next to the Amato Opera, where her mother was the musical lead in so many performances.MACY’s was right on 7th Ave, where her father created and produced clothing with the likes of Levis, Liz Claiborne and Perry Ellis. So how in the world did this city girl end up selling fincas in the mountains of Costa Rica?
Since she was born, her family drove to the Catskill Mountains every chance they had to the Lakes, the Appalachian Trail, Bear Mountain, Sugarloaf to name a few. “I learned to BMX bike in the hills and construction sites of the new “suburbs” our family’s lake house happened to be in that area just 50 minutes north of NYC.” And as the suburbs grew, so did her love of mountain air, grass between her toes, and more freedom to roam. She decided to finish high school in those mountains at the Storm King School just outside of West Point. Next it was sand between her toes, living at the beach while attending University of Maryland’s Salisbury campus, teaching herself to bartend, play pool and surf, all while pursuing a degree in MesoAmerican Archaeology. “Of course teaching myself how to play pool with some pretty unsavory characters and winning free bar tabs at a local truck driver and biker joint was not part of a typical all girl school alma mater’s normal college experience but I would’t change it for the world. These were some of the best folks I have ever met, and they taught me a special kind of respect for work, life, and my education. Never take anything for granted, and live your life not someone else’s.” Its part of what inspired her to open her own bar, years alter, pool table and all. Open for 7 years before she sold it, Kim received such awards as “Best Least Obnoxious Sports Bar” from the famous Village Voice, and 5 start ratings for being the Best Beer Bar in Brooklyn from Village Voice, Yelp, NY Post, the Imbiber and many others.
But before all that, she had to graduate from college and get a job! She started working in downtown Manhattan at age 20, right on Broadway next to the Twin Towers, for a 3 person law office that dealt with everything from small injury claims to divorces and real estate closings. Her college research skills paid off and she soon took over all the Real Estate clients at the office. Not long after she moved to the large firm of Clifford Chance further uptown. “Then I met my husband, a crazy tico living in NY with his entire family.Or what I thought was his entire family!” They got married shortly after and took their first trip to Costa Rica, and met the other 279 cousins and aunts and uncles. Kim found out why Costa Rica is considered the happiest country in the world, and was hooked. Every vacation they came to Costa Rica looking for real estate. There were so many factors the right neighborhood, the right climate, the right place to move for work. Meanwhile,their small family grew from no kids, to 1, then 2 (she sold the bar way too much going on!), then 3 and from renting a small 1 BR rental on the upper west side of Manhattan to owning a 2 family home in an up and coming area of Brooklyn, and becoming landlords. Before Kim realized what was happening, she was showing homes with her best friend/realtor. “I was attending showings of my realtor “mommy” friends to help them stage homes like I did at the museum and farmers market that I ran years ago. They found my real estate closing talents came in handy as well, and asked me to attend their open houses to check qualifications for buyers. The market started at $350,000 for a studio apartment. Prequalification for a mortgage from a good bank was very important. I loved the work the homes, the people, the hours HGTV had become my real every day life. Especially since I was not working in the law firm anymore, and I had sold the bar. 9/11 really threw me for a loop, even though it was so many years ago. Being evacuated from my high profile office building where I worked on the 52nd floor and watching the towers fall on tv, seeing the haze over the city as I walked through 2 boroughs to get home.... well, working on the 50something floor in Manhattan with my kids being raised by someone else seemed like a nightmare, not even close to what I wanted to do. My dream was still to live in Costa Rica.”
Well, one thing led to another and on one of those famous trips to CR, Kim and David finally found the perfect place for them (and 3 kids plus 1 dog, and Kim’s older parents who would also be moving with them for CR’s great healthcare system). Kim and David sold their building in Brooklyn, and moved to palm trees and sunshine overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Nicoya Gulf. “A view I love waking up to every morning without fail.” They had bought the beautiful Vista Valverde Pacific View B&B, and moved their family here, and still run it now, 3 years later. They also took over Paradise Management Realty of San Ramon. “We liked it here so much, we wanted to share the area with like minded spirits looking for a little adventure outside of the norm of US living. WAY outside the norm of US living! And not long ago, Properties in Costa Rica found us. Arturo Guzman’s wonderful approach to getting our clients’ properties seen and sold, as well as the prospect of being able to share our area with even more expats from around the World enticed us to say the least. And here we are!”
So when the time comes for you to take the leap, and enjoy all that living in Costa Rica has to offer (and the not so great things which they NEVER try to hide), let Kim and David know. From real estate and relocation tours, to helping you find a rental or simply staying at their B&B to find out what it is about the Central Highlands that makes so many people decide never to leave, they will take personal care of you. “Whatever your paradise, we’ll help you find it. Cheers, Pura vida, Slanche, Shalom, Peace!”