Thank you for visiting ‘Tank Tops Flip Flops’

Hola! Welcome to Paradise. My name is Michael Simons, the Owner of Tres Amigos Realty, established in 2003, with offices in Playa Hermosa, Playas del Coco and Playa Panama.

The majority of people interested in buying real estate in Costa Rica tend to have many of the same questions so I took the time to answer them in detail here in a fun and informative way. This site contains a tremendous amount of information for you and allows me to express my views and pass along wisdom gained while living and doing business in the tropics. Hope you can join us. Pura Vida!

I will respond to your questions immediately with an email or personal phone call.

See you here in Paradise!

Four the Love of Paws Pet Rescue

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Charity, Costa Rica Living, EX PATS in Costa Rica, Newsletters


Thank you to all those that sponsored a pet and donated on the Four the Love of Paws GO FUND ME page – we were able to spay and neuter more than 147 pets at the July 18 Clinic.  The Pic below are only some of the lucky ones that will stop having more puppies.  THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT OVERPOPULATION IN OUR COMMUNITY.  By donating you will be helping to prevent more neglected, abandoned and sick animals.  If you want to collaborate please drop your donation at Doctor Jessica’s Vet Clinic in Playas del Coco or Donate directly to the GO FUND ME page.  Feel free to contact Sandra Bateman directly at 8900-5153 or go to the Four the Love of Paws Facebook Page

Four the Love of Paws Pet Rescue

Sandra Bateman and her Husband run a pet rescue and rehabilitation center on their property in Sardinal called Four the Love of Paws.  They have funded it in the past with an annual fundraiser event but since COVID it has not been possible to host the event.  They are relying solely on donations via their GoFundMe account.  Please donate if you can so they can continue to help the abandoned and homeless animals of our area.  Here is there GoFundMe Page  You can also follow them on their Facebook Page  here

Contact them direct at their Costa Rica phone number 8900 5153 or via email

Tank Tops Flip Flops Newsletter edition no. 200

Financing property in Costa Rica–What are the options?

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Buying and Selling Property in Costa Rica, Costa Rica Service Providers, FAQ's, Investing in Costa Rica

Financing in Costa Rica

You will see all kinds of information on the internet about financing property in Costa Rica.  Many websites tell you that they have financing options available through the National or Local banks.  I have been selling real estate in this country since 2003 and only a handful of my clients have been able to obtain a loan with a Costa Rican bank. 

Financing property in Costa Rica can make this your home in paradise

It’s not that you can’t get a loan, it’s that most foreigners, after reviewing all the documents and costs, don’t take the loan.  First off, it is very difficult to qualify for a loan if you are not a permanent resident of this country.  The paperwork is mind-boggling and the banks do not operate with the efficiency that you are used to in the USA or Canada.  It can take months for an answer which is usually NO anyway.  Second, the fees are very high; usually, 3 to 5 % higher than a traditional loan in North America and the closing costs are as much as 3% of the loan, on top of the normal closing costs.

So when most buyers see these numbers, they change their minds and search for an alternate way to purchase their little piece of paradise.  One of the reasons Costa Rica is so stable, in my opinion, is because they don’t lend money.  We all know that the problem with the USA was the banks’ poor lending practices.  In the history of this country, not one single bank has ever failed.  That is an amazing statistic.  It’s because they don’t frivolously lend money, and they almost NEVER lend money to foreigners.  As a client of mine from Tallahassee says, “you gotta pay to play”.

September 2021
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