A New Type of Property Buying Option in Costa Rica

Uvita Costa Rica Walk-to-the-Beach development Villa Del Sol

Video done by Chuck Chastain of Aerial Media Typically the type of property that I have sold over my years in Costa Rica real estate have been multi-acre, ocean view properties. These have been sold to hardy individuals that have deemed themselves up to the task of taming these jungle laden acres to their will – and then … Read more

State of the Market – October 2012

Houses at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf

What is the current market like in Costa Rica real estate?

I get asked this question quite a lot these days. Well, actually that is probably the question that characterizes the life of a real estate agent anywhere – and probably at any time, except when it is clearly known that there is a recession or a boom, neither of which describes the time we’re in right now.

Houses at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf

We are currently in the depths of the rainiest time of the year here in The Zone (read: Costa Ballena), the area of the towns around Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal. For some reason this is the “low season” for tourism here. For those of us that live here, it is a delightful time of year. Sure, there are lots of days filled with rain, and at times unbelievable rains. But this is part of the appeal that brought us here in the first place. These rains are also what make the rest of the year so appealing. The southern pacific zone of Costa Rica is one of the lushest areas of Costa Rica, largely due to the fact that it truly is rain forest.

If I were to shop for property here in The Zone, I think that I would consider looking in October. You’d have no problem finding an available realtor, and you’d get to see what life is really like here, as well as be able to see how a potential property handles the rain.

Current Market:
The months leading up to October saw a surge in house sales. There was considerable activity in real estate, almost all of it in the house sector. Lots, on the other hand, not so much.

My crystal ball says

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New International Airport In Costa Rica Aims For “Green” Status

dollar+airplane+scarlet+macaw

The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.   – George Eliot

Now that the Costanera Sur (Coastal Highway) has been completed, the new international airport for the southern Pacific zone is the single, most popular, regional question we receive. Most investors want it. Most environmentalists are alarmed by the thought of it. But, everybody wants to know how it is progressing and when/if it will be built.

dollar+airplane+scarlet+macaw
Can money and a safe environment co-exist?

As per a recent report in the July edition of Enlace, a small local newspaper here in the southern Pacific zone, the Costa Rican government just concluded a meeting to determine the future of the International Airport in the area.  They also discussed how this airport would also be the 1st “green” airport in Latin America.

Another Airport Article?

I’m skeptical when I see news articles for the new International Airport in the Sierpe/Palmar area.  There has been talk of building this airport since I moved here in 2006.  Although Costa Rica has developed by leaps and bounds over the last 10-15 years, slow progress is the custom here.  The difference with this recent announcement is

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Poll #1 Results – Top Reasons To Buy Property In The Zone

I was excited to find the Poll functionality on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago. The question I came up with “What is the top reason to buy land in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific zone?” seemed like a good jumping off point for this regular feature on the blog. Although the sample size was small, … Read more

Real Estate Guy’s Super Powers

A typical conversation in a-day-in-the-life of a Costa Rica real estate agent.
Visitor – Hey Ben, howzit going?
Ben – Good man. How’r you?
Visitor – Good. How are things in The Zone?
Ben thinking to himself – (Translation: Are properties selling? Are prices going up? What is this season like? What is the coming season going to be like? How much is my property worth? What is the effect of the global economic crisis on Costa Rica? I’m thinking of selling my property, is now a good time to sell? I’m thinking about buying a property, is now a good time to buy? Etc etc…)
Ben talking – Going fine. We’re not in a boom by any means, but by contrast with the last couple years, we feel encouraged.
Visitor – Sounds good. What’s selling?
Ben thinking – (or – Are prices going up? What is this season like? What is the coming season going to be like? How much is my property worth? What is…)

It is like having a super-power. Perhaps a bit overstated, but essentially true. The nature of the business of real estate does give one an ear to the ground on how things are going with the economy, social trends and by extension, the quality of life In The Zone. We all are curious to some degree about “what’s going to happen” and so we are on the watch for data, for information that’ll give us a clue as to what the future will be like.

To illustrate: Pre-Super Bowl talk shows. These popular shows are really about nothing more than guessing what is about to happen in the next few minutes. Player’s strengths and weaknesses are analyzed, their past injuries are discussed, and notable personal traumas might even play a bit into the picture. And this is all around what is about to happen with something that really isn’t going to impact the quality of anyone’s life to any appreciable degree! We humans love to speculate on what is going to happen in the future.

So, I’ll give you my read. I’ll tell you what my crystal ball says regarding what the future might look like here in The Zone. To do so however,

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Uvita Office Rent & Man/Woman Issues

So, the Guys have moved, once again.  We are now located in the commercial center across from

La Corona and Banco de Costa Rica. We’re right next to Sonia’s Uvita Information Center. If you are checking out at La Corona, and you look to your right across the street, you’ll see this image –>

So, why’d we move? Well I’ll tell you, and in the process you’ll not only get an idea of what rents are going for in Uvita Costa Rica, you’ll gain some insight into the basic differences between men & women, so read on!

Uvita Costa Rica real estate - new office
Guys In The Zone New Real Estate Office in Uvita Costa Rica

We moved from the second floor spot we had because we found that prospective clients simply didn’t want to go upstairs.

The capper was when I noticed that my gal Natalie would come to the parking area and call me on my cell phone.  I asked her why she did this.  Why didn’t she just come on in and talk vis a vis?  She said because she had a sun dress on and so

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Costa Rica Real Estate – Have We Hit Bottom?

Hitting the Costa Rica real estate market bottom

The ability to identify “bottom” is the hallmark of a successful investor. It is extremely difficult to do, which explains why so many of us speak in terms of “would’a, should’a ,could’a” when talking about our investment history.

So how can we identify the bottom in the market now?

Water In Costa Rica, Part Two

If you ask the World Bank or one of the mega-water corporations (e.g., Coke, Nestle, Vivendi), fresh drinking water is a commodity. If you ask virtually everyone else in the world (including the United Nations), fresh drinking water is a basic human right. Whether it is the encroachment of privatization or Nicaragua’s plan to divert the San Juan River[1], water in Costa Rica is an increasingly lively topic.

Water is a necessity.

One of the most popular questions for potential property owners is, “What is the water situation for this property?” Most of these new investors come from North America and Europe, areas that have hundreds of years of infrastructure development.  However, this southern Pacific region of Costa Rica is still early in the cycle of development.  We continue to see rapid growth in communications (cell phones and high speed internet), power (high tension power lines), and roads (the newly paved Costanera between Quepos and Dominical).  That being said, cell phones are a luxury, but water… is a necessity.

Property In A Development

Most quality developments have a water system that has been installed by the developer.  The most common sources for these systems are high flowing springs, and in some cases surface water (e.g., creeks and rivers).  Some developments, like Osa Estates in Uvita, even have back-up systems and extensive water storage capabilities.  The interesting thing is very few developments actually have a concession (permission to extract water from the ground).  The good news is the majority of them are “in process”.  Either way, the developer usually provides the property owner a prevista (water right document) which guarantees use of water into the future (assuming the property owner is in compliance with established CC&Rs and other laws).  Proof of a water document, like a prevista, is also required by the local Municipality before they will approve any construction project on a property.

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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.