Talk Show 17 – Living In Costa Rica

In this episode, we start with a Q&A session and share a few tips for those retiring to the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica. We also share specific ideas about property features that may not be on a buyer’s radar. Whether you are ready to relocate and retire or, like many of our Canadian … Read more

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

Think Outside The Box (Property in Costa Rica)

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”  – Steve Jobs

I bet your wondering how that idea relates to real estate in Costa Rica?  Well, simply put… if there was ever a time for property owners and real estate agents in this marketplace to be “innovative,” it’s now.

LISTING IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP

Here’s how listing a property usually unfolds in The Zone—

  • Step One: Call up The Guys and set up an appointment to preview the property.
  • Step Two: Determine if an Open Listing or a Modified Exclusive Listing is appropriate for you.
  • Step Three: Wait for The Guys to bring you a buyer.
We all need to think outside the box...

The problem is that Step Three is taking much longer than most Sellers anticipated.

LOOKING BEYOND PRICE

We all know reducing the list price is the easiest way to increase property showings, offers, and sales.  However, if your property is in the ballpark of current market value and it is being shown but not selling, there could be other reasons limiting the sale.

Here at the Guys office, we continue to ask ourselves what can we do to speed up the sales process?  At the risk of sounding trite, one answer is: “think outside the box.”  Here’s an example of how The Guys have applied this idea.

Ben started his Costa Rica blog in 2003 (before many of us knew what a blog was)

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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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Talk Show – Episode 12

Episode 12 features a candid look at life in the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica. If you’re considering relocation or simply buying land in the greater Dominical or Uvita areas, we encourage you to watch and please feel free to share your comments.

What People Are Buying In Costa Rica

Who needs a pool when you have a river?

It’s one of the most popular questions we, the Guys In The Zone, field— “What’s been selling? We get this question from both buyers and sellers. Generally speaking, the answer is— great deals.

PRICE

Price is the #1 determining factor for a great deal, but there is another factor that is equally important— the living experience. Ben, my business partner in Costa Rica real estate, phrases it this way, “do any unique features of the property significantly affect the quality of the living experience?”

Who needs a pool when you have a river?
This gorgeous natural swimming hole sits below one of the nicer homes in Uvita.

There are very few remaining places on the planet where things are (1) inexpensive and (2) incredible.  During the boom years of 2004-2008, Costa Rica real estate was inexpensive and incredible.  Large farms were purchased $1.00/meter squared and nice ocean view lots were under $100,000.

Three years after the peak of 2008, property values across the border came down between 40-50%.  Many houses are now selling for replacement cost or less.  Once again, we have large farms for $1.00/m2.  The obvious reason was the global economic downturn and continual 10:1 ratio of sellers to buyers.  Basic economics tells us that price, or in this case property value, had to come down.  Our listing database is now filled with good properties in every category—houses, land, large parcels and commercial.

THE LIVING EXPERIENCE

For most people, buying real estate in Costa Rica isn’t just about getting a great deal.  You can move to Orlando, Florida if that is your only goal.  It is about the unique features that significantly enrich the living experience.  When Ben and I get a new land or house listing that has an ocean view and a trail to a nearby river…

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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.