In 2007, Eddie and I bought land in the small town of Hatillo, which is between Dominical and Quepos. Our 2 – 1/2 acre wooded lot is located in a development called Los Altos Miramar in the Hatillo Mountains. We have always intended to build a house on our lot and our architect designed a fantastic home for us. We were hoping to start the project this January (2014). However, after several contractor bids that were almost $100k more than we are wanting to spend, we are re-thinking our plans. If we decide to build, it will happen in January 2015. Now, we are exploring our options. 1) Look at existing homes in the area. 2) Continue to rent and not build at all.
Last week, we decided to look at existing homes to see what is available. We have looked at six homes and we liked a couple of them, but they weren’t exactly what we wanted and they were all very expensive. So now, we are taking the advice of the last contractor we consulted. He suggested that we change the shape of the buildable area of the lot. Here is a photo of how the lot looks now.
We have decided to re-grade the lot with two goals…one is to expand the area of firm soil and the other is to expand the additional areas for the lawn and garden. The current condition of the lot has some fill soil which would require the use of many pilings, which are very expensive both in materials and labor. So, doing the earth work will significantly reduce cost related to the building of the house as it is now.
In addition to doing the earth work on the lot, we are also planning to change the design of our house (if we build). After living here for over two months, we have learned quite a bit about how a house should be designed for living in the tropics. For instance, we should have the social/living space downstairs at pool level and the bedrooms upstairs. Our indoor space should be less and the outdoor space (patio/balcony) should be more. We are thinking of not having a guest house, but another master bedroom suite in the main house and putting a small apartment above the carport. A lot to think about!