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Cost of rent
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missclow



Joined: 07 Jul 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Cost of rent Reply with quote

I'm moving to San Jose in January and was wondering what cost of rent is like. I understand landlords want rent in dollars but my pay is in colones. ANy idea about rent costs and how apartments work? I.e. do you share?

Thanks
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jprimm



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minimum of $400.00 for a decent place, 1 bedroom. You can convert your colones to pay in $ or see if you can pay in colones..
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beenthere96-2005



Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 79
Location: St Louis

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: $400 a month rent / $7.50 an hour of pay Reply with quote

jprimm wrote:
Minimum of $400.00 for a decent place, 1 bedroom. You can convert your colones to pay in $ or see if you can pay in colones..


On $7 to 8 an hour wages?

I just don't get it!
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jprimm



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why teachers have roommates. If you don't have savings or another source of income, I fortunately do, the numbers don't work to live single.
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beenthere96-2005



Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 79
Location: St Louis

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jprimm wrote:
That's why teachers have roommates. If you don't have savings or another source of income, I fortunately do, the numbers don't work to live single.


I see.

But there are lots of things I would like to do if I had bucks in the bank or a source of income.

In other words, this is not really a "job," if the definition of a job is something that supports you.
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jprimm



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It supports you, just doesn't support your living in a 1 bedroom apt. Most schools will warn or caution you to have some savings before you come. If that is a problem then I would look at teaching in Korea....
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beenthere96-2005



Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 79
Location: St Louis

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: only 25% or your income should go for rent Reply with quote

jprimm wrote:
It supports you, just doesn't support your living in a 1 bedroom apt. Most schools will warn or caution you to have some savings before you come. If that is a problem then I would look at teaching in Korea....
What I am saying here is that a job should support basic living, otherwise it is not a job. And what the schools should be doing is paying a livable wage - or throwing in housing to make up for that.

Or , they should not hire teachers that they can not afford.

It sounds like that you would be lucky to make $1000 in Costa Rica, yet there are no cheap places to live. So you pay nearly half your salary in rent and have to come with savings in order to work. Work is not easy, and our degrees and experience are worth a lot. I will finish up here by asking question: Is there not enough revenue earned by the schools to pay a livable wage to the teachers? Or , are they just taking advantage , as employers will do worldwide, of employees who are willing to work for sub-standard wages?


Last edited by beenthere96-2005 on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:11 am; edited 3 times in total
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jprimm



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It just is what it is. People don't come to Costa Rica to make money but rather to enjoy the weather, beaches, mountains and people...It is a very mellow and laid back country for the most part, although it can be a little dangerous at times. Stupidity is now rewarded here.
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Cruiser



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jprimm wrote:
It just is what it is. People don't come to Costa Rica to make money but rather to enjoy the weather, beaches, mountains and people...It is a very mellow and laid back country for the most part, although it can be a little dangerous at times. Stupidity is now rewarded here.


yeah, what he said. Most I ever made in Costa Rica was a little over a grand a month, for a 23 hour week. That's about as good as it gets. And yes, I paid almost half of that in rent, and yes, I was chronically broke.

But I think this chap has raised an excellent point ... schools in Costa Rica need to raise their pay scales to at least $10 per hour .. NOW! .... or face acute teacher shortages and have to close or scale back classes. In fact, $10 really is the de facto minimum at the present time though schools won´t admit to it openly. Teachers, especially new ones just arriving in the country, should insist on getting it as a starting rate.

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Cruiser



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: only 25% or your income should go for rent Reply with quote

...but to answer your original question, yes - the schools most certainly do earn enough revenue to pay their teachers at least $10 per hour. And they most certainly are exploiting the willingness of backpackers in Costa Rica to work for less. But you get what you pay for. Students of EFL are holding schools to a higher standard these days, especially those in business. To meet that standard, the schools will simply have to give their teachers more--- give more, get more. In Costa Rica, businesses will go to great lengths to try and get more for less. A certain amount of that reflects the times we are living in, which seems to be a world of diminishing returns -- higher costs, lower earnings. A lot of it is what I call T.I.C.R. -- this is Costa Rica. Nobody wants to invest in their businesses here. Schools, tourism, whatever. They all think small. But institutes will have to start putting teachers first and cutting somewhere else or they´ll be putting their businesses at risk. And to be perfectly honest, there are some that deserve to fail...
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the reality of the situation. I made about $6/hour when I taught. If I had stayed longer (I moved to work in Administration where I worked), I would most likely have received a higher wage. I have a friend who has been working at the place I did for about 2.5 years as a teacher and now earns $10/hour I think, but she still rents a place with roommates. I lived with a roommate and most Costa Ricans do, if they live outside their parent's houses. But I agree, pay needs to increase for teachers. It is one reason that turn over is so high. I can say for a fact, where I worked we could have had higher starting salaries.
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prometheusg



Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Posts: 14
Location: Costa Rica

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finding a place to live in Costa Rica is almost an art. At least, if you don't want to get burned. Craigslist is called Gringolist by some because only stupid Americans willing to pay jacked up prices will find an apartment there.

The method I was taught to use by a half-Tico/half-American was this: Find a place, any place just temporarily. Ask around, look around, find a neighborhood you'd like to live in. Then start looking and asking for people with apartments to rent in that area. The vast majority are unadvertised, so you'll only find out by asking grocery clerks, soda owners, pharmacy workers, students, other teachers, etc... When you hear about a place you'd like to check out, get a friendly Tico to make the call for you. Why? So they don't jack up the price when they hear you're American. Yes. It happens. All the time! "I thought it was $300!" "Oh, that was before. Now the price is $500." :-/

If you're patient, you can find an amazing place for decent rent. I know people renting 3 bedroom houses for under $400. I know a guy paying $600 for a 5 acre property set against a mountain with tennis courts, gym, pool, all bills paid including internet. It took him a year to stumble into it, but there are good deals out there. You just have to think like a Tico and not an American.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Looking in the least likely places yields great results. I walked into U Latina one day and wrote down listings off of a message board. Had my Tica host mom call them and had her come with me. Ended up finding a great place three blocks from where I was staying. I had a roommate, and it worked out great.

Craiglist is over priced. Ask around and add Universities to your list of places to look. There are always a lot of places advertising for University students.
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tuanis mae



Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 34
Location: costa rica

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For sure the best places to look is at the universities. There are always plenty of ads posted looking for roommates. And yes teaching in Costa Rica you will need to have a roomate unless you have some outside money to pay the rent. beenthere96-2005 trying to compare the standards in Korea to Costa Rica is pretty funny. Of course you make more money in Korea, of course the schools can afford to pay teacher rent and teachers can save money and send it home. Thats why a billion teachers go to Korea every year. Teachers who come to Costa Rica come here for the pura vida life style, the beauty the weather and what ever other reasons other than making a tonne of money.
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beenthere96-2005



Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 79
Location: St Louis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:44 am    Post subject: pura vida life style Reply with quote

What I tried to show, and some got - is that the relationship between what teachers are paying in rent to what they are making is too high, even for the utopia you think you are living in. Two things came out of this; that teachers should hold out for $10 an hour - and that one poster felt the schools could afford that wage. And , that housing should be obtained by using the assistance of a local. (which is a no brainer ) Paying $400 for rent in a poor country just doesn't make sense - you can get a place in a prosperous country for that. Often foreigners are fleeced for rent in countries where they work - but they earn far more than the locals. Regardless of the stated wage, you have a situation where you pay 50% of your wages in rent. That percentage is too high and should be no more than 25%. What you are doing is subsidizing these schools which are businesses - so you can enjoy your " pura vida" life style! ( do you think the business owners have respect for you? )
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