Did you know that a landslide can disappear Costa Rican property overnight?
A landslide can make your property disappear overnight, did you know that? Buying Costa Rica real estate is not so easy to do it on your own. Especially when you are making the purchase without the involvement of an experienced Costa Rica realtor.
When my wife and I drove to Nativa Resort a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something interesting on highway 27. Autopistas del Sol concessionary was doing landslide prevention in different ways.
The concessionary sprayed liquid concrete on the hillside. They then drilled holes and fit pipes into the mountains to take the water out and through the concrete. This was just past Atenas, on the way to Orotina. They also had to do this when they re-did part of the highway at the Sabana – Escazu turnoff.
Landslide protection and prevention techniques
This was the first time I saw this technique used in Costa Rica, though I have seen is used in Spain and the Canary Islands quite a bit. They are also using a way different technique a little past the beautiful town of Atenas, where they are now making incredible use of the large rocks they took out before they put the pavement in.
Rain and more rain
As most of you know, Costa Rica’s rainy season runs more or less from July from November but September and October generate the heaviest rains. Although in July this year 2011 we already had some incredible downpours. It looks like we’re going to get more and more rain every year. While coming out of a real estate closing on the east side of San Jose with AE affiliate Barry Ashworth, I saw a car disappear in the water OVER a bridge. I don’t know what happened to the driver or the car.
Rainwater is destructive
Rainwater has incredible power and can occasion lots of damage if you’re not ready for it. I’ve seen big chunks of the mountain come down and turn into a river of mud. You don’t realize how important this might be if you own a Costa Rica property in the mountains until you have seen the damage and then it is too late. And that is the reason you want to use an experienced and knowledgeable realtor in the area you are buying the mountain property.
Because that Costa Rica realtor knows the area and knows what to look for to make sure the property is safe to buy and doesn’t have any rainwater damage and drain problems. A good retainer wall can cost thousands of dollars you might not have counted on. Hiring a knowledgeable home inspector who knows Costa Rica and it rains well before you purchase a property is also recommendable.
Property for sale
A month ago I listed this very nice 2-bedroom home in Escazu. The owners bought it a few years ago and didn’t know that the river was eating away the bottom of the property. Last year they had to work with their neighbors to put a large retainer wall in. This cost each neighbor $20K. Some sellers won’t repair things like this. They will try to sell it without any buyer knowing about the problem.
Make sure you ask your home inspector to check on the property before you buy it. Or make sure your realtor did. That way there is no surprise when a landslide will cost an additional $20K issue after closing. If you already bought a property, check where the water on the top of your property runs to.
Then, make sure you reinforce the area that is weakest. And, maybe build some gutters, in concrete if necessary, to lead the water down the hill.
Bring in some experts to see if you need to use the “gaviones”. There are river rocks in wire mesh cages. After placing those gaviones, they are sprayed with concrete with pipes to get rid of the overflow water.
I had my son Andres walk down the ravine to take pictures to be able to show you want I’m talking about.
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