Ben Vaughn - Costa Rica real estate broker/agent
Ben Vaughn – Costa Rica real estate Guy Extraordinaire.

“Guys in the Zone” is this blog. It is also the name of my company and I am a real estate agent in Costa Rica. My company works very happily under the prodigious umbrella of Blue Zone Realty, an excellent brokerage of properties in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific zone. We service from Parrita to the north down to The Osa Peninsula and on down to the Panama border with select properties.

I am Ben. I have lived in Costa Rica since 1999. I formed and ran a real estate company in Dominical for several years, and then went off on my own, forming Guys In The Zone Real Estate.

After some time, Rod “Tigre” Martin entered the scene. We worked together for a number of years and then decided to close our office due to some health concerns on my part. Over the years of working together, Rod & I have passed through many of life’s experiences. We have forged a friendship that goes beyond business. So, we’re good – for those of you that were wondering :o). If you are the reading type, and have an interest in the lives of other people, I’ve got a rather fluid and lengthy version of my time here in Costa Rica. You can read it by clicking here.

During my off-time, I continued to keep a pulse on the market and to receive positive feedback from people, some of whom would tell me that they “read the whole thing”. I find this a bit hard to believe as there is a lot here, but I’ve heard it enough that it may actually be true.

We did a video Talk Show series that can still be seen in part on YouTube – Click here to view. I am interested in firing these back up. We’ll see…

The articles on this web site are a result of a passion for writing and sharing. The great feedback that I get from readers of how these articles have helped them to make their investment in land here in Costa Rica’s southern zone. The Guys in the Zone blog continues on as a source of information for anyone interested in knowing what life is like here in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific zone, and still with an emphasis on real estate, but also news and just life-in-general information.

About Blue Zone International:

I was attracted to Blue Zone in mid-2017 and have not looked back. Blue Zone is the brain-child of internationally certified real estate broker Tim Fenton.  The “attraction” process took some time and went through some fun permutations as he and I did the mating dance of the prospective business associates.

Blue Zone is affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the world. Frankly, I had never heard of this entity prior to meeting Tim. It is a non-franchised, international network of vetted real estate professionals. It turns out, it is the biggest and most productive of the various real estate networks globally.

I found Tim’s demanding professionalism to be quite appealing. It is time. He has introduced the concept of 1st world business processes into our rather casual jungle methodology while not losing the “take a minute and smell the roses” aspect of living in Costa Rica. Since signing on I get daily confirmation that this was a very good decision and have not looked back.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Chart


2 thoughts on “About”

  1. Building a house
    We have recently bought a great piece of property near Cabo Blanco reserve and want to build. I am having a hard time finding architects that come with positive recommendations. How do I go about finding reputable architects and can anyone recommend some. Also, we are finding that we are being given a wide range of cost when it comes to building, even when we say that it will be an average well built house but nothing fancy. In other words, no terracotta roof, teak, etc. Can anyone give me some base line by which I can guide my inquiries. Anything bit of info would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hello Madeleline,

      Is your name actually spelled correctly? I’ve not ever seen it quite like that. If so, congrats! You are the first Madeleline I’ve met. 🙂

      Great question. I’m sorry for the slow response. You’re tucked back here on the About page.

      Your question is a good one. I get asked it quite a lot. I’m not familiar with the Cabo Blanco area, but I can tell you what I tell folks here in The Zone who ask it.

      Talk with others who have built and get the names of their engineer, architect & builder. Set up a list of 3 of each and interview them. If you don’t hit pay dirt with the first go-round, repeat the process until you do.

      The primary concern is integrity, and so a known history of this quality is vital, hence the references from others who have done it.

      Also, chemistry is important. Pay attention to how it “feels” when you are interviewing.

      As for costs. I generally say that building costs here straddle the $100 per foot mark. You can build for less than this, and in some cases quite a bit less, depending on your personal involvement in the process.

      Speaking Spanish is a huge help, but is rarely the case with new residents/migrators here. So your General Contractor will need to be bi-lingual and interface with the various Costa Rica suppliers and service providers for you. Again, trust is hugely underscored in this relationship.

      The cost can easily go over $100 per foot but this is all about the finishes and amenities that one wants. Figure around $30,000 for a pool. Again, this is a straddled number, depending on size, tiles etc…

      That’s what I’ve got in brief. I’d love to hear how your project goes.


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Interested in Costa Rica real estate as an investment. They primarily live somewhere else, but they own property in Costa Rica for the asset appreciation potential as well as possible rental income. Some just buy and hold (land-bank). For developed properties, the investor has a vacation home to visit as desired.

Migrators spend a regular amount of time in Costa Rica during each year.

Re-locators are those that are looking to move to Costa Rica from wherever they are. They will live full-time in Costa Rica.