May 232016
 
Costa Rica property buyer's checklist image

To the right you can see what is the net result of my e-mail thread with Adrian. Due to the sheer volume of the data points, I’ll be working through this list episodically, probably in a series.

What I appreciate about Adrian’s approach is that he set out to identify the questions. This can be a tricky thing. You know how it is when you finally got the guy on the line – he’s all ears – and you’ve got your principle questions clearly in mind but the other ones, the ones that you had as you lay in bed mulling this thing over, are not coming to mind. The conversation hits that loaded pause as you try and recall those oh-so-important questions. The guy says: “Ok then. Great talking with you.”

I’ve recently been working with a fellow, a prospective buyer from the US. He is a great model of what I receive from so Costa Rica property buyer's checklist imagemany of my prospective buyers when they start to get serious about the big move to Costa Rica and buying a property here.

So, here you have it. All those questions (well, most of them anyway) that you would like to have answered as you set about on the path of buying a property in Costa Rica. Let’s start with the first one:

Water Supply

This one has become the hot button for a lot of our properties. This is a recent turn in the maturing process of Costa Rica real estate. The powers that be have decided to start enforcing laws that have been on the books forever, as well as adding some new ones. It used to be that if there was a spigot that produced water when you turned the handle on or near the property, you were good to go. You had water.

Not any more.

You now need to have “legal” water. This can be from one of two sources (or both): a community water system that is known as an ASADA, or a private source that you then get concessioned to have the legal right to it.

The ASADA option requires first off that there be an ASADA system available to the property. Supposing there is, you will pay a tap fee and have a meter installed. There will be a monthly base payment of somewhere around 3,500 colones ($7.00’ish USD). High usage will cost more.

The concession option can be for surface water such as a stream, river or pond. Or it can be a well that can be hand-dug or deep drilled. Or a spring.

The cost of a concession is $1,000 – $1,500 (single family properties). I concessioned a spring that is about 100 meters away from the house for $1,000. I paid $500 about 18 months ago (at this writing) for the initial payment and will pay the balance when it is registered. Due to the newness of these changes in the law, and the ensuing press of applications, I’m hearing time estimates of up to 3 years to finish the process.

I’d venture to say that the majority of water systems in Costa Rica were rogue (read: illegal) previously. If not in Costa Rica in general, then certainly here in The Zone. It used to be that a neighbor would run a tube from his well, stream or what have you, across the road and down the hill to your property, and now you’ve got water.

Again, not any more.

  1. water supply
  2. access road maintenance costs
  3. height above sea level – temperature / misty / view spoiling clouds / mold
  4. steepness of terrain for building
  5. solar power
  6. hot water
  7. distance from amenities
  8. 2 wheel drive access throughout the year
  9. wi-fi / Internet connection / TV (uninterrupted UK soccer on weekends?)
  10. views: ocean / jungle / sunset
  11. flooding
  12. erosion
  13. Fees: HOA / water service / road / annual taxes
  14. future neighbors – build out of area

Legal:

  1. corporation
  2. death of owner
  3. soil tests
  4. survey (plano)
  5. security
  6. squatters
  7. For Sale by Owner vss Real Estate Agency
  8. title

Building:

  1. getting materials to the property
  2. wood / cement / other
  3. building in absentia vss being there
  4. fencing
  5. sewage
 

So, the topic of water is a hot one. This is because without legal water, the municipality will not grant you a building permit. There are workarounds and ways to manage the situation on most properties.

What to do if there is no legal water available. I’ve yet to see a property that has no access to water. I suppose it can happen, but I’ve not seen nor heard of it. There is usually at least one option for water.

So, if there is a short answer, here it is, water is an important topic for the land buyer, but your real estate guy will be able to help you navigate through the rocky waters. Also, a good number of properties here in The Zone already have legal water, so it might just be a moot point in your case.

Road Fees and Maintenance:
The Zone is characterized by a coastal highway that has got to be one of the finest roads in Costa Rica. It wasn’t so in the not too distant past. But it is great now. Almost all roads that come off of this coastal highway are dirt & gravel. I recommend to anyone that is interested in this part of Costa Rica to buy a four wheel drive vehicle. Pretty much everyone that lives here has one. I personally use compound low to get home.
 
OK so, the road that leads to a property is most likely “public”. This is the legal handle for the road as opposed to “private” or “easement”. As a resident of a different country than Costa Rica, you are going to think: “well then, the government will maintain the road” – NOPE!
 
The community that benefits from the road, maintains it. So, one of the questions that you want to ask, dear prospective owner of a property in Costa Rica is: what does it cost to maintain the road? This will obviously vary from one area to another. I would say that generally speaking, around $150 – $1,000 per year will cover most cases. There are many that don’t have an annual fee, but where the community just takes a collection as the need dictates.
 
There will be varying degrees of road maintenance. Sometimes all the road will need will be a new cap of material that gets compressed into the underlying material. Or, the road may need some tractor work done on it so that it is crowned for water drainage and/or perhaps there are deep ruts caused by water running down the wheel tracks in the road. So generally you keep an eye on your road and take responsibility for it. If you notice that there is some water damage starting, get your pick and shovel and divert the water over to the drainage ditch alongside. This type of individual responsibility in road maintenance can reduce the costs.
 
As you can see this is going to take some doing to get through the list.  If there are any questions pertaining to the 2 points here, or to any of the points in the list above, please feel free to use the comment thingy below so that others can benefit from the Q & A as well. I will episodically add more explanations to the points in the list with subsequent articles.
Mar 142015
 
Creek that runs through a property.

I met with a water engineer the other day at a property that I have newly listed. From that encounter, I now know more about this elusive & mysterious new law – well its not so much a new law as a new application of an existing law. They (you know, the “they” that put men on the moon and developed collapsing grocery bags) have made the decision to require that a property have legitimate & legal water on a property before they will grant a building permit.

Creek that runs through a property.

This creek is one of the water sources that can be considered for obtaining legal water.

This has a potentially sweeping effect on Costa Rica in it’s entirety. Without knowing actual figures, I’d say that more than half (and this may be a gross understatement, or not) of the properties in Costa Rica do not have a legal concession, or are not part of the Aguas y Acueductos (AyA) in Costa Rica. The effect of this for the property buyer is that they need to make sure that when they fall in love with their property here, they ask the question: “what about the water? Is it legal?”

Our experience here in The Zone is that as often as not, the answer is “no”. However, there are generally steps that can be taken to get legal water. More on this point in a minute.

This example is of the efforts being made by one of my sellers to offer legal water. This is in an established development in Uvita. It has water and has had it for years. All lots have been sold at least one time. The water is just neither concessioned nor municipal. I met with a water engineer at the property. This particular encounter serves as a good example of the water issue due to the various possibilities for obtaining legal water for this property. Here is what I wrote to the seller about the encounter:

We have 4 primary options for water on this property:

  1. The Morete River
  2. The quebrada or creek that runs by and through, the property
  3. The existing un-concessioned system that is currently in use
  4. A hand-dug well.

The costs are likely to be more compelling for options 1 – 3. It sounds like the hand-dug would run around $2,600. $2,000 for the labor to dig it to roughly 20 meters, and then $600 to inscribe the well so that it serves for things like getting a building permit. This offers the appealing factor of self-sufficiency and so might be considered by whomever is going to live there, or by you if it is important to you to offer it. There will also be the costs of a pump and storage.

The other 3 have the cost that Giselle (the engineer) mentioned to us of $1,200 for the concession. This involves getting ahold of (the owner of the property where the existing water originates), and getting his signature, which I will do if you confirm that this option is what you would like to do.

If you wanted to go with the river, the downside is that the water in the river can be quite contaminated by livestock and humans upriver, and would need extensive filtering. Also there is the concern of high-water times with rock movements and trees coming down the river etc… Acts of nature that destroy whatever catchment setup you have there.

The quebrada that runs by the property doesn’t have the concerns of the river however, you are a bit at the mercy of whatever might go on upstream from you in the years ahead. This was Giselle’s pick.

All options will have some additional expenses for catchment, a pump, holding tank and whatever is necessary to filter the water, however these costs are not necessary for you to sell the property.

Simply going ahead with what we had planned using the existing system might be the strongest option. This will provide a legal concession that can be used for getting building permits. The only concern that I can see is that the system might not have enough flow for when the development is built out. But, the residents of the property can always fall back to one of the other options if they want to be assured of year ’round water. I like the idea of that hand-dug.

A note on concessioning the existing system – the water originates from a spring on a neighboring property. We need to get a signed approval from the owner of that land to grant an easement to the water. In this case, the owner signed. However, if there is difficulty there, a suit will need to be filed that will certainly win.

No one owns water in Costa Rica. Owning the land that water originates on does have some advantages, but they don’t include ownership of the water.

I report on this issue because it is a hot topic that is a frequent topic amonst the real estate professonals here. We’ve all got tales to tell now about the various convolutions that the application of this law is creating. The general feeling is that the law is extreme and will likely be softened, or a more gradual application of it will be put into place. The law puts attornies in a rather difficult spot. They know the law and are being paid to protect the interests of the buyers. They cannnot professionally sign off on a land deal if they know that the water is not legal. In practical terms, it may be clear that the existing water does not pose a problem and even that the municipality will grant a building permit for the property. But still, the poor attorney (I’ll bet those are 2 words you don’t often see together (smile)) is bound by his profession to insist that the concession or municipal tap be documented before closing.

May 222012
 
alt="off-the-grid-house-in-costa-rica"

My business partner Ben likes to call them the “End of the World-ers”. People who have reason to believe there will be major global changes in the near future. They are interested in buying land and living off the grid in Costa Rica. By off the grid I’m referring to not being connected to the government-run electrical system. They are looking at Costa Rica as a relocation option, because of favorable factors like- weather, low taxes, friendly culture, good health care, etc. Recent “End of the World” clients include– a couple from France interested in le Costa Rica, a large family from California tired of the rat race, an eco-hotel group from Switzerland… clearly, living off the grid in Costa Rica is on the global radar.

solar powered cabin in costa rica

Off the grid… in the jungle.

If you’re anything like the aforementioned relocators wanting to buy land here, you’re in luck!  There are many big fincas (Spanish for farms) in this renewable energy Eden.  We use the term farm, but only a very small subset are actual working farms with barns, cows, and roosters.  Drive 15 minutes into the mountains above Uvita or Ojochal and you can find stunning property with flowing water; some even have ocean views!  The best news is you can grow many different types of food in the mountains of Costa Rica.

Most big fincas range from a short walk to town (and close to electricity lines) to 25-minute 4wd dirt road drive to town and no electricity for kilometers.  The beauty, privacy and value of farms way up in the mountains are exemplary, but what to do about power?

Solar

Installing a solar power system is smart, especially in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica.  This region sits at around nine degrees North of the Equator which offers 12 hours of Sun/day, and there is relatively little variation throughout the year. Solar panel energy production is calculated at half that number (6 hours) in rainy season and/or at higher elevations that often have more clouds cover.

Reportedly, Costa Rica has agreed to lift the tariff on imported solar panels and accessories, so the price to install a solar system shouldn’t be as cost prohibitive, moving forward.  Solar systems with batteries for storage are completely self-sufficient.  In addition to solar panels and an inverter, this type of system requires batteries to store the energy created for use at a later time.

If you’re going to be off the grid, experts recommend an alternative energy source to compliment the primary system.  This is especially true during months with heavy rainfall/cloud cover (September-November).  Gas-powered generators are nice to have, but for truly sustainable off-grid power, you’ll want to consider hydro or wind turbine options.

Wind and Hydro

If you think about it, wind… is actually a form of solar energy. The earth’s atmosphere is heated unevenly by the sun and this phenomena (modified by different terrain—bodies of water, vegetative cover, etc.) creates wind.   We see a version of this here in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica.

Every day around 10am, an ocean breeze blows on-shore.  This breeze lasts for five or six hours and tops out at around between 8-10 knots.  Most (affordable) wind turbines need more than 10 knots (11.5 km) to generate substantial kilowatts/hour number.

Hydro power, on the other hand, is viable option if your property has a river on it with a significant drop in elevation.  According to Paul at Osa Water Works, these small-scale hydro systems can produce over 2kw/hour (that’s 48kw/day!).  Paul bases energy consumption at around 30 kw/day as an average.  Obviously, that average will be higher if you have a swimming pool on your sustainable farm, but something tells me that’s probably not high up on your list.

Rio River In Uvita Costa Rica

Rivers = hydroelectric potential in Costa Rica.

What is high up on the list is water.  Fresh water, usually in the form of natural springs and rivers, or a year-round creek at the very least, is a must.  If you are going to buy land and live “off the grid”, you would be smart to buy a property with a river running through it or along one of its borders.  This is one of the few continuous (as in 24 hours per day continuous) renewable power resources on the planet.

There are a couple of details specific to Costa Rica, namely obtaining a concession (i.e., legal right to extract water from a given source).  In the interest of providing legit information, I asked hydro-expert Paul Collar at Osa Water Works about concessions as they relate to hydro-systems,

“Technically, you are not mandated by law to have a concession for any water extraction.  However, you are expected to apply.”

I asked him if the river had to run through the property or simply run along one of the borders.

”You do not have to own the land adjacent to where the water is being extracted to secure a concession, BUT, you must bound the river at some point, preferably continuous to the property where the water is to be extracted.  As part of the concession application, you ARE REQUIRED to make the bounding property owner aware of your intentions and he must either sign off and agree to your request… or alternately you must sign (and have a witness sign) to the effect that the bounding property owner was made aware of your intentions but refused to sign the form in question… however, having an agreement between the parties is infinitely preferable as a hostile relationship poisons the well.

I found Paul’s comments (and pun) insightful, and many others seem to agree given his business activity has remained strong during the downturn.  Although not specific to “off the grid” clients, his final thoughts on Costa Rican governments move to allow small scale, alternative energy systems (solar, wind, hydro) tying into the grid.

“ICE is presently in negotiations with Setena and MINAE to ELIMINATE the requirement of a concession (for grid-tie systems).  At present, the wording is that a concession must be in hand for a completed grid-tie hydro authorization, but since concessions take up to two years and ICE is fully behind their grid-tie initiative, this agreement is expected to smooth the path to hydro permitting for most. 

For an overview of Water in Costa Rica, I wrote a two part article a couple of years ago.  Costa Rica is considered one of the more “green” or environmentally conscious countries in the world.  The government has repeatedly stated its intention to be carbon-neutral by 2021.  That’s only 9 years off, and it’s one of the reasons Costa Rica real estate is on the radar of many people who want to relocate and live a more independent and sustainable lifestyle.

For more information on Costa Rica real estate, browse our listings at: www.propertiesincostarica.com  or contact us on our contact page here.

For more information on alternative energy systems in Costa Rica, contact Paul Collar at Osa Power and Water 011-506-8704-0027 or visit his website:  www.osapower.com .

Oct 122010
 

The Costanera Highway, The Caldera-San Jose Highway, The Cortez Hospital, The International Airport and The Diquis Hydroelectric Dam… it is easy to see that Costa Rica is serious about improving its infrastructure and securing a bright future.

Over the past decade, the dramatic increase in tourism and investment has sparked a bit of a power-struggle between proponents of economic growth and socio-environmental protection groups. In this case, the “power” is the proposed billion dollar hydroelectric project called “El Diquis” near Palmar in the Osa Peninsula. This isn’t recent news, but I believe it is worth mentioning as it will affect life in various ways in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica.

Hydroelectric power is BIG in Costa Rica.

The Zone Is HOT

This large-scale project, facilitated by I.C.E. (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad), is calling for the construction of a dam on the Térraba River in the greater Boruca Canyon. The dam will create a lake equaling approximately 25,000 surface hectares (over 6 million acres), the largest of its kind in Central America.  By comparison, Lake Arenal is roughly 8,500 hectares.

This station will generate up to 630 megawatt units capable of providing over one million families with electricity!  This project is about Power, both electric and economic.  According to a Continuum report commissioned by the Costa Rican government, Continue reading »

Oct 052010
 

While browsing the storefronts of Quepos the other day, I saw this Hurricane History Map in an office window.  What caught my attention was how Costa Rica was completely free of any direct hurricane/tropical storm trajectories.  People ask us if we get hit by hurricanes, and now it’s nice to have a chart showing just how ideally located Costa Rica is, especially on the Pacific side.  Clearly, the vast majority of tropical storms and hurricanes are born in the oceans to the west and especially the east of Costa Rica, and then almost always track north.  In recent years, only Hurricane Cesar and Hurricane Mitch (1996 and 1998, respectively) traveled all the way across the Central America landmass.


Even though Costa Rica is Hurricane-free Zone, it still feels the effects of heavy rainfall from time to time.

During the hurricane season, June 1st – Nov. 30th, Costa Rica will occasionally feel the effects of these major hydro-meteorological events.  Tropical storms are more common than hurricanes in Costa Rica, and it is important to note that heavy rain isn’t the same as heavy rain AND 100+ mph winds!

According to this NASA webpage, “Tropical cyclones are like giant engines that use warm, moist air as fuel. That is why they form only over warm ocean waters near the equator.” The small towns in our area (e.g., Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal) are located at approximately nine degrees north of the equator.  The benefit of being at this latitude, and on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, is the wind is significantly lighter than along the Caribbean storm corridor where hurricane winds can rip off your roof.  I suppose that’s why the famous Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan called the Pacific Ocean, Tepre Pacificum or “Peaceful Sea”.

What Does This Mean For Pacific Zone Residents and Investors? Continue reading »

May 082010
 

If you’ve listened to our recent Talk Show #7, you have heard us convey how much we enjoy the rainy season down here in Costa Rica. As Ben mentioned in that video, “Four out of five people who live here would probably say they prefer the rainy season.” (Disclaimer- this estimate is not based on scientific data.) However, there are those visitors to our blog and websites who see the rain as a deterrent for buying here, a sentiment that serves as my motivation to write this article.

With the rain comes the color...

First, the rain here is different than in most areas of North America and Europe.  It doesn’t bring a shiver to the bones; it’s refreshing and a welcomed break from the heat.  Warmth is just one of many characteristics that make this tropical precipitation so vital and so magical.

Six Months Of Rain?

Climate is a significant factor for most buyers when determining where to buy their piece of Costa Rica real estate.  In fact, one of the most popular questions Ben and I field is “How many months per year does it rain?”  The quick answer is around seven; however, that number doesn’t tell an accurate story.  The rainy season starts in mid-April and usually runs through mid-November.  Most days start out cool, clear and sunny with some rain in the afternoon and evening.  Rainfall in September and especially October can be heavy.  These September-October downpours, aguaceros in Spanish, lead some residents to make plans to be elsewhere during that time.  That being said, even in October the sun will come out at some point during the day.  We do experience the occasional tropical storm, but hurricanes on the Pacific side of Costa Rica are a rarity.

One of my favorite benefits of the rainy season is there aren’t as many people.  It’s not that I have anything against tourists; we were all tourists at one point in the Costa Rican journey.  However, if you live here full time or part time, the small town, pura vida is easier to absorb without the extra traffic, both automotive and human.  Tourism, and the vacation rental market, is still strong between June and August as most kids are out of school.

I spent most of my life in the relatively dry Bay Area of California, my love of the rain comes as a surprise to friends and family back home.  I try to explain how the rain cools things down, how it takes the dust out of the air, how it replenishes the fresh water tables, and how it summarily brings this place to life.  The southern Pacific zone is SO GREEN that at times it seems like someone has adjusted the color balance.  The tropical flowers and budding fruit pop against an ever-changing jungle backdrop.  Simply put, rain helps everything grow, and that includes the wildlife and the humans walking around.

Like buying real estate in Costa Rica, living here is relatively easy with the right contacts.  It can also be a very enriching experience with some understanding of Spanish.  If you want to be on the Pacific Coast, you have to enjoy the heat to some degree (pardon the pun).  Thanks to the heat, I am now a morning person.  Thanks to the rain in Costa Rica, I am now living a dream.

Mar 232010
 

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. Continue reading »

Feb 122010
 
Costa Rica, Uvita, water, creek, lead, reflection

Recently, I had the good fortune to visit a friend who gave me an excellent book called “The Heart of Dryness” by James Workman. Although this particular book is about the socio-political struggles of the Bushman of the Kalahari Desert, it sparked a deeper exploration into a topic I believe will jump to the forefront of everybody’s conversation in the near future— water. Access to fresh drinking water is already one of the “big three” infrastructure necessities (along with electricity and good roads/access) when looking for property in Costa Rica, hence the motivation for this article.

Costa Rica, Uvita, water, creek, lead, reflection

Ample surface water in The Zone.

I will save my thoughts on the impending collision between over population and global warming (two forces which, in a nutshell, will have a dramatic effect on fresh water availability and global food production).  However, I do want to share a few thoughts and discoveries about water in Costa Rica, as I believe it will continue to move up the list of positive reasons why people will be moving to the Southern Pacific Zone.

Unlike some of the coastal areas in Guanacaste and Nicoya, The Zone has an abundance of fresh drinking water.  There are two main reasons for this fact— (1) rainfall and (2) less development.

Rainfall

For the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica, rainfall ranges between 120-160 inches annually, with the rainy or “green” season (May-October) supplying the majority of this annual total.  My experience has been that the sun shines almost everyday in the rainy season, typically in the morning to mid-day hours.  Residents of The Zone thoroughly enjoy the 20-30” of rain we do receive in the dry season (3 hours last night, in fact), and the lush, green vegetation it stimulates.  In contrast, the popular coastal region of Guanacaste (Tamarindo, Flamingo, Papagayo) receives only between 40-60 inches of rain annually.[1]

Population

Approx. 35,000 people live in the Osa Canton of Punta Arenas (think of a canton like a county within a state), which roughly includes the coastal area between Dominical and Palmar.  Unlike The Zone, Guanacaste’s coastal region developed rapidly over the past 15 years.  According to the Minister of Tourism, it is the #1 Canton for tourism, specifically the coastal areas.  This influx of world travelers, especially in the peak dry season, puts an added demand on water resources.  Without question, the agencies and residents are benefiting from these growing pains experienced by our neighbors to the north.

Fresh Drinking Water

Part of the reason for this “gold star” is the government structure.  AyA (Aqueducts and Sewers) is the main government agency that manages water in Costa Rica.  Although many subdivisions and larger farms in the Southern Pacific Zone have their own water sources (springs or surface water like—rivers and streams), most of the towns and pueblos get their water from AyA-managed water delivery systems.  Those smaller, rural communities in the region have been encouraged by AyA to form ASADAs (Administrative Associations for Sewers and Aqueducts) to become eligible to receive AyA assistance in constructing and operating water systems.  ASADAs make up nearly ¼ of the water provisions in Costa Rica.

Rain and a rainbow over Uvita.

“At 82.2 per cent, Costa Rica has one of the highest rates of population with access to safe drinking water in the Latin American and Caribbean region.”[2]

The vast majority of water in the Southern Pacific Zone is either (1) safe to drink from the tap or (2) treated with chlorine and safe to drink from the tap.  There are cases of people living below cattle pasture or near commercial industries where run-off has led to water-born illnesses and toxins, respectively, but these are few and far between along the coast.  I live on a farm where we drink our water from the tap, and I feel very fortunate to have clean, chlorine-free water on demand.

Properties that are served by mountain spring water tend to be fresher and with a reduced risk of water contamination.  Over 50% of the property we sell is located in a development of some kind.  These developments range from those that have received a water concession and those that are at some point along this process.  Either way, these developments have invested in basic infrastructure, or the “big three”– water, roads, and electricity.  We also have many clients requesting information on these larger properties with independent fresh water sources, when they become available.  One beautiful 50-acre listing, Finca Uvita, has two springs on the property and touches the Ballena River for over 1/2 a kilometer (or 1,660 ft).

Whether you buy a large farm like Finca Uvita or a viable commercial piece in central Uvita, you will intrinsically benefit from a growing area and an abundance of water in The Zone.


[1] Toucan Guides, http://costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/WeatherMap.html

[2] STATEMENT BY THE UNITED NATIONS EXPERT ON WATER AND SANITATION, March 2009

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.