Geoff McCabe

Want to Buy and Live Here?

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Treehouse

If you look through our website you’ll notice that a lot is going on. We have a volunteer project, various events and benefits, our Permaculture and Yoga Program retreats, the organic gardens, our personal houses, animals, wildlife, the jungle, etc. It’s hundreds of articles and thousands of photos, and it may not be clear what it’s like to live here in the eco village.

So here I’m going to attempt to clarify and organize everything related to buying your own lot and building a house at Rancho Delicioso.

First, some history…

I’ve lived in Costa Rica for over eleven years and it’s truly the best place in the world to me. I have no intention of ever moving back to the United States. Both my daughters were born here and our family are true immigrants and pioneers in this remote area. Many foreigners buy here, but most are for different reasons than us, such as:

    Real Estate Investment
    Business or Job Opportunity
    Vacation Home
    Retirement Community
    Testing Out the Ex-Pat Lifestyle

We aren’t here for these things. Although I wasn’t born here, I consider my family to be Costa Rican and we will stay here, die here, and be buried here. I am personally very vested in trying to improve our local community, wildlife protection, and economic situation for local people.

My vision for Rancho Delicioso isn’t the standard real estate model, where normally a salesman would try to paint a rosy picture of life here, ignoring or spinning away its hardships and downsides, with the intention to make a sale and move on to the next “client”. So let me make it clear that I am not “selling” anything. I see myself as a facilitator for awesome people who I want as friends and neighbors, and who also have “the right stuff” to make it work here. It’s very important to me that we have many discussions about your plans and so I can see if they make sense and how I can help make it work for you, because if you buy here I’ll be committed to your success. If you’re just interested in investing in real estate or building a vacation home to rent out or something like that, you should contact my real estate website: www.tropisphere.com and buy something nearby in the Montezuma or Santa Teresa area. We can still be friends, surf buddies, and you’re welcome to visit the farm for our classes, events, etc.

Rancho Delicioso is for people who have a similar vision that includes:

    Long term vision with 20+ year plan
    Learning Spanish and making friends with the locals
    Growing amazing stuff on your land to share and eat
    Dedication to your personal health, both physical and mental
    Yoga, surfing, dance, and other sports and physical activities
    Love and protection of animals, both domestic and wild
    Creativity, design, art, and technology
    Mixture of ages and family types… like a real village
    International community with tolerance for various lifestyles
    Commitment to Sustainability
    Sharing wealth and helping others to create it
    Open mindedness, tolerance, and flexibility
    Lots of laughter and fun… let’s not take ourselves too seriously

We can’t change the entire world directly, but we can dedicate ourselves to making one amazing community that can be a model for the world to emulate. I hope to see over a million small eco communities like Rancho Delicioso around the world in 50 years.

 

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Tropical Greenhouse Are we Vegan, Vegetarian, or Raw?

No we don’t classify ourselves in any of these ways. I have eliminated 80% of the meat from my diet. I don’t eat pork, unless perhaps if I knew the pig was from a local farm and was really well-treated. We have red meat in our house perhaps once a month when we have a BBQ for the workers or something like that. I have tried being vegan and it didn’t work well for me. Some people can make it work but many find their health deteriorate over time. I’m not into extreme diet solutions unless perhaps I was diagnosed with cancer, in which case a raw diet for a month or two would be a great thing to try. The fact is that a sustainable small permaculture farm requires animals for many reasons, and they have a useful lifespan for the farm. Only wealthy people can afford to create a “retirement” situation for old chickens who no longer produce enough eggs, or old goats who don’t give milk, etc. I’m interested in finding truly sustainable solutions that work, and I have nothing against eating animals that are well-treated and respected while they’re alive, and meat consumption should be at lower levels than what most people in developed countries are doing now. Everyone and everything dies, so I don’t see it as a great tragedy or inherently wrong to kill animals, as long as it’s done humanely. Factory farms are a nightmare that should be fought and ended, and the best solution is a sustainable and healthy model like what we’re trying to do here. That being said, we do not currently raise any animals for their meat on the farm, but that’s mainly because of a lack of space.

Are we anti-technology?

Many people seem to assume that returning to a farm lifestyle is something against technology but that’s not the case at all. I’m a lifelong tech geek, ex hacker type, and have a master’s degree in Physics. I currently own and run one of the leading blogs on Virtual Reality: www.virtualrealitytimes.com. Given the chance, I would seriously consider abandoning the farm and moving to the Moon or Mars if I could bring my family with me.

Do I have to be planning to immigrate to Costa Rica to join?

No, we’re okay with a plan that has you building an eco house for vacation and possible future retirement. It’s more important that your dreams and values run in parallel with ours so you’re a good fit for the community. We do need to make sure that at least half the lots are sold to people who will live here, or else if it’s only tourists in vacation rental homes, then it won’t be a real community.

Can I sell my land if I need to?

Once you buy the land, it’s yours and you can do whatever you want with it, including selling it. However, I will not sell a lot to someone who I don’t think has a serious plan that will be successful, so I hope it doesn’t come to that. However, I do understand that plans change, there are medical or family emergencies, etc. If you need to sell I will do all that I can to help you do that so we can find another amazing person or family to take your place.

Do I have to build something on my land and if so, is there a time limit?

You have no obligations except your honor and reputation based on what you tell me you’re going to do with the land. I hope to help you make your dreams into reality here. Your plan may just be to buy it and hold it for ten years before you can afford to start building… that’s probably fine as long as your plan is good and I have the sense that you’re committed to your vision.

Are there HOA (Home Owners Association) fees or rules?

I have spoken with many people who have been part of eco-villages around the world and I get a very negative impression from many of them about this aspect. They hate the politics and infighting that happens. There always seem to be a couple people who have nothing better to do than trying to make their neighbors stick to the rules. People who enjoy drama and fighting seem to take over the committees when the peaceful people back out from the stress of it. We really don’t want any of that, so I’m only going to sell lots to people who I think share our vision and are dedicated to making decisions on their own that support the community, without being nagged or policed.

Therefore, the plan regarding HOA stuff is to not have any at this time until at least half of the lots are sold. Then, we will meet as a group to decide IF we want any, and WHAT we want, with the idea that we would only adopt rules that have 100% agreement. Then, any new people who come in would be required to follow the rules too, and I wouldn’t sell lots to people who I didn’t think would naturally agree with this stuff anyway.

Who owns the green zone and what will happen with it?

I own it and when I die it will be passed on to one of my two daughters, but ONLY if they seem truly dedicated to living here and continuing the same vision. If not, it will go to someone who is part of the community who I trust to do this. The other option is that I might start a land foundation and it would go into that. The green zone land can be available to you if you want to take care of part of it or need more space for gardening, fruit trees, etc. I also might sell some of it someday to someone who I think would be a great asset to our community. My goal is also to buy neighboring land whenever possible, to add more green zones (both farming areas and wild areas) as a buffer against potentially undesirably development. Since this area is one of the most beautiful places in the world, it’s inevitable that values will go up and more people will want to come here. Eventually that means more standard real estate developments in our area, and the farmland will be sold off and disappear unless someone buys it and protects it. At this time Costa Rica has no zoning laws or anything preserving farmland.

What are your political leanings and is that important?

I consider myself a very practical person who is focused on results, so that dogma of left/right politics don’t appeal to me. The way I see it, almost no one in the media is talking about the issues that really matter. I don’t see reality as a left-right “line” but more a multi-dimensional spectrum that’s difficult to define in simple words. I despise religious extremism, lying, homophobes and bigots, demagoguery, and war mongering so I’m not at all fond of the Republican party. On the other hand I don’t like the left’s support of trial lawyers, excess regulation, and lack of commitment to the principle of personal responsibility. I also don’t like conspiracy theories and am not into the whole secret government. In my opinion, the “conspiracy” is hidden in plain site… the big banks, pharmaceutical companies, big agriculture, the military industrial complex, etc, rule the world with the help of laws and lawyers, and anyone can see that. It doesn’t take a secret brotherhood of cigar chomping sociopaths to dominate things, it just takes a lot of apathy and fear-mongering. My strong belief is that we can, with hard work and patience, as individuals and collectively, slowly change and improve the system from within. It will be a slow, green revolution of love and hope, and there are many positive signs that the world is becoming a better place for more of earth’s inhabitants decade by decade.

Can we survive a worldwide apocalypse on our land?

I don’t consider myself a survivalist nut, but it’s a fact that there are at least a dozen ways the whole world’s civilization could collapse. While I don’t believe this is likely to happen anytime soon, it’s nice to know that we are prepared in case it does. For that reason we are working on discovering and growing more types of our own food that can be harvested and prepared without the use of electricity, gas, or even fire! We also have many types of plants here to give us enough protein (with all essential amino acids), oils, and carbohydrates, that the vast majority of people wouldn’t even recognize as edible. So even if hungry hordes of people came and took all our veggies out of our greenhouses and fruit off the trees, we could survive indefinitely. The food would be pretty boring, but we could do it, and we can show you how to do it too. I even think it could be done without tools other than sticks and rocks, cave-man style!

OK so if this sounds like it’s for you then check out the land we actually have for sale: Lots/Land for Sale

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