Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Costa Rica Is Not the Cheapest Country in the World to Retire to or to Buy Real Estate In

June 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 134

However... that being said, it is also probably the most stable country and will probably treat you the best as far as appreciation of real estate that you purchase IF YOU ARE CAREFUL.

Costa Rica is the longest running democracy in all of Latin America... its real estate values have held up remarkably well throughout the past few years... and more people return to Costa Rica after visiting once than anywhere else in the world.

There HAVE been "non Costa Ricans" or "gringos" that have HAD to sell, thus giving the appearance of a market in chaos. In reality the markets have been very stable except for the occasional fire sale... and those have almost disappeared.

The Costa Rican buyers and sellers are used to a marketplace where EVERYONE is a realtor and follows the markets. Real estate, because of an almost constant inflation rate here in Costa Rica ( typically 6 to 10%... at least up to a few years ago ) has been relatively calm and almost constantly advancing because this is where Costa Ricans put their investment dollars... not in stocks, bonds, gold or any other form of investment. Real estate is THE investment for Costa Ricans and almost everyone here owns investment real estate. It is rare that one sees panic selling or even selling below market... The Real Estate market in Costa Rica is stable. Bargains are very difficult to find and even those must be approached in a manner that gringos are not used to and certainly have no experience with. In fact, one of the most incongruous things about real estate here in Costa Rica is watching pricing... you might see a home or property that has been on the market for years... you remember that it was offered for XYZ colones five years ago and you would assume that it would be the same or (logically ) even less because it has not sold. Not so. It will be priced higher to keep pace with inflation. Illogical? Not to Costa Ricans.

The biggest area of confusion is housing prices. There are obviously many more variables that go into home construction than just a purchase of raw land ( which is complicated enough in a foreign country ).

You will read that home construction for a typical home can run anywhere from $60 to $120 per sq. foot. A realtor will typically quote $80 to $100 and he would be safe. However, if you talk directly to a Tico contractor... a mid to low range builder with experience... you are looking at $50 to $60 a sq. foot. Permits, architectural fees, and municipal charges as well as utilities are extra.

These prices are for very very good quality at the upper end range and mid quality at the fifty to sixty dollar range.

There are a lot of buyers that will be horrified at the quality although it must be remembered that you are "not in Kansas any longer." Some items such as walls and roofs are typically much higher quality and much stronger than "back home". The primary differences in quality are due to a lack of coding... electrical and plumbing primarily. It is not horrible, just simply not up to the same standards as we are used to. If you want U.S. or Canadian standards you will pay "through the proverbial nose" for it as most contractors will not even know what these standards are or where to get the materials.

It should also be noted that your typical homes back home are sheet rock, wood, and cabinets which are prefabricated and virtually everything is mass produced. In Costa Rica virtually nothing is mass produced and the average contractor does not ever even touch a Redi Mix cement truck, a laser sight, or up until just a few years ago... not even an electric cement mixer. And almost everything is custom made, from even the gutters and drainage, to cabinets to most furniture. We are starting to see a lot more mass produced items such as doors and even kitchen cabinets, however they are not being accepted because the quality simply is not as good and prices are about on a par with custom made.

"so if I couldn't afford a home for $75,000 or $100,000... what do I do?... do I have any options at all?"

Sure... first off consider:

• Most Ticos do not even bother with building permits. The fine if they are caught basically equals the price of the permit... Not recommended but common enough and you, as a gringo, can always plead ignorance.

• Contractors are required to have insurance and hospitalization coverage. Many don`t. Many Ticos will not pay for it and it is a matter of whether or not you are willing to take the risk. You save well over 10% of the total. But if someone gets hurt... you pay for their medical bills.

• Consider, depending upon the topography of the land, building partially with block and partially with Densglas or some other form of mold resistant gypsum product. You will have the same quality for a lower price.

• Consider putting in a lower grade electrical wire and then using propane or natural gas for the majority of your appliances. Electricity is high in Costa Rica.

• Remember that nearly everything that goes into your home construction is custom fabricated. Get bids from at least three people per job.

• If you have a friend or you know someone who can act as an intermediary between you and your contractor negotiate a price with him or her. Depending upon experience, this person can save you even tens of thousands of dollars.

• If you are having your house built, you have a choice of either going with a firm bid on the project or going with a "time and materials" quotation where you simply pay a crew by the hour and negotiate a flat fee for the contractor. Make sure you have the experience to handle this as it is not recommended unless you have had experience building in Costa Rica in the past AND you know what you are doing... a facilitator or intermediary is far better.

• There are some fantastic prefabricated homes. Most are concrete based but others are a combination Styrofoam, wire and metal and concrete... do your homework. This is an excellent way to save at least 10 to 20% on your construction costs and in some instances, even come away with a superior product.

You hopefully can see that, with a little work and due diligence and study, your home can be built for as little as $30 to 35 a sq. foot. And we are not talking poor quality here... Granted we are not talking the same features as three times the price but we are talking a well built home and upgrades can always be added later if desired.

It is not easy to find someone who has a background in construction and in real estate both. Most who do have both are going to be involved with their own projects and have a vested interest in selling you something they manufacture or build.

If you have a genuine interest in learning more about what CAN be done for the lowest possible price OR in ensuring that you get the most for your construction dollars, talk to us. We'll give you your options... at no charge.

Just ask. You can contact us at or call us at 1-877-614-8079

Check out our website for more valuable information

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Real Estate In Costa Rica


Homes In Costa Rica


House In Costa Rica

The documents are inevitable to assess your age, income, employment and residence. For the loan to be petitioned from the bank, you need the right procedure of application.The documents are

By: Simon Liva l Real Estate > Buying l November 20, 2012 lViews: 257

The main reason why people tend to be apprehensive about moving homes is that it entails packing everything in the home, transporting it and then unpacking it in the new home. The entire process of

By: Ringo Star l Real Estate > Moving Relocating l October 27, 2012 lViews: 211

There are a number of benefits to owning a second home. Buying to let is a long term investment. The property will usually accumulate value over time and also can generate rent on a shorter term

By: Alan Trotter l Real Estate > Investing in Real Estate l October 19, 2012 lViews: 241

Building a home, especially your first one, can be an incredibly daunting task - there are a number of factors, including budget and planning, that must be taken into account before any sort of

By: John K. Taylor l Real Estate > Building a Home l July 10, 2012 lViews: 333

When you're ready to sell your house, the first thing you'll probably do is find a real estate agent to help you through the process. It can be so inviting to seek out the discount Realtors who offer

By: W Josh Anderson l Real Estate > Selling l July 10, 2012 lViews: 263

You see the signs everywhere, especially in a strong economy: For Sale By Owner. For some reason, many people believe they'll do a better job of selling their homes without the assistance of a real

By: W Josh Anderson l Real Estate > Selling l July 10, 2012 lViews: 241

Building a home, especially your first one, can be an incredibly daunting task - there are a number of factors, including budget and planning, that must be taken into account before any sort of

By: John K. Taylorl Real Estate > Building a Homel July 10, 2012 lViews: 333

The course of construction of a new home will be far less mysterious to the home buyer if they understand how a home is actually built. The principles of building a home or any other structure are

By: Carolyne Roehml Real Estate > Building a Homel July 08, 2012 lViews: 212

Once you have made the decision to start work on your brand new town house, it is likely that you will be busy researching all of the builders in the area to find the best one to undertake your

By: John K. Taylorl Real Estate > Building a Homel July 04, 2012 lViews: 200

There's something easy and convenient about a rambler or ranch style home on one story. No stairs, all on one level, laundry room close to bedrooms; it all just makes sense.

By: Tammy Eminethl Real Estate > Building a Homel July 02, 2012 lViews: 193

Turnkey houses are ready-to-occupy or rent properties. In this arrangement, the builder delivers the completed property and the final owner has nothing to do with the decisions and issues involved in

By: Kerrie Turtlel Real Estate > Building a Homel June 27, 2012 lViews: 194

This article describes every one of the information linked to RG Residency. RG Residency is the very wonderful residential apartment in noida.

By: Rashid M Mianl Real Estate > Building a Homel June 26, 2012 lViews: 156

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus