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Why is now such a good time to buy real estate in Costa Rica?
One of the hottest real estate markets in the Americas in the early 2000s, Costa Rica is bouncing back stronger than ever after the slump in real estate values throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to real estate experts.
As the real estate market fires up again in Costa Rica, Easters said that sellers are more motivated and deals can be found.
“In general the opportunities you are going to find now in Costa Rica are listings that are still on the market. Maybe they were priced too high to start. Sellers are more motivated now and you can get good deals,” noted Easters, who belongs to the Costa Rica Global Association of Realtors, the Costa Rica Chamber of Realtors, and the U.S. NationalAssociation of Realtors.
Investing in real estate in Atenas, Costa Rica has jumped in popularity in the past three years. “Atenas continues to be really popular for its location and climate, and land prices in Atenas generally keep increasing every year,” Easters remarked. “In real estate, the three most important things are the cliché: location, location, location!”
Where is Atenas Located?
The city of Atenas is located at an elevation of 698 meters above sea level, situated on the western edge of the Central Valley. This charming mountain town is less than a one hour’s drive (around 35 kilometers) from the capital city of San Jose to the east and some of the best Pacific Coast beaches to the west. The Juan Santamaria international airport is only 30 minutes away, and three main roadways access Atenas.
This sought-after area is surrounded by beautiful mountains and numerous plantations that produce coffee, with a very diverse and bountiful farmer’s market. Due to the slightly higher elevation, this area is also very popular because it has one of the most favorable climates in the world: temperatures during the day are always right around 80 degrees, and are around the 60’s at night, much like Hawaii.
The town of 15,000 people (there are 27,000 in the county) also is known for having the “best climate”. Easters said the benefits of buying real estate in Costa Rica include a stable economy and government, easy re-sell opportunities and property values that increase. There also is no capital gains tax in Costa Rica.
The benefits of buying real estate in Atenas: location, convenience, nice international and local community, good climate, low crime rate, high re-sell value, and great vacation rental market. “In Atenas, using your home as a vacation rental can help offset the cost of your vacation home so it pays for itself,” said Easters.
What are Some Popular Activities in Atenas, Costa Rica?
The cafes and restaurants here are very popular, and many love frequenting them because they serve up some of the most delicious cuisine in the entire nation. One sought after local dessert is the “toronjas rellenas” which are delicious stuffed grapefruits, and get incredibly high rankings from many tourists worldwide.
Seeing the coffee plantations in the area, traveling to the nearby town of Sarchi that is dominated by the furniture industry, and enjoying a region of Costa Rica that is not nearly as crowded with tourists are many things that draw visitors and residents here. The climate is ideal, and other points of interest such as the Poas Volcano and day trips to the Orosi Valley score big points with those looking for fun here, as well as using this as a base of operations and seeing attractions such as the museums in San Jose.
The best homes for sale in Atenas, Costa Rica? “Good quality construction in the $350,000 to $500,000 is really popular. As soon as anything is available, it is sold. That is our most popular range,” Easters commented.
Homes For Sale in Atenas, Costa Rica
You may be looking for a smaller dwelling to use while visiting here for a fraction of the year, a full-blown estate to call your retirement home, or somewhere in a gated community to totally suit your needs. Whichever option that you eventually decide on, you are going to love living in Atenas: the hard-working vibe, focus on fresh produce and minimal tourist crowds are elements that make this a great example of true Costa Rican living, minus the added flair of other cities.
Hacienda-styled homes in Atenas offer features such as arched windows, guest houses, tranquil areas surrounded by gardens, and are great places for group retreats, extended family stays, or beginning your own business such as a bed and breakfast. For a property like this, prices are in the general range of $500,000 – $800,000, with homes coming in above that offering more space and amenities.
There are mountainside and country homes here for sale in Atenas that have an architectural style that you would see in a place like Escondido, CA or the Rancho Cordova areas: 4 bedroom 4-bathroom houses with mountain and garden views, living space around 4,000 sq. feet, and private Jacuzzi and pools are available starting at around $400,000, and on up to around $700,000 with more square feet and amenities.
Condos for Sale in Atenas, Costa Rica
Condominium living in Atenas is a bit different than in other areas of the nation. Some beachfront areas have a much higher concentration of condos, because the popularity of these areas are so high. Many of the homes for sale in Atenas are more of the single-family and luxury variety, with gated community options being popular as well.
There are some condo dwellings in Atenas, however, and you get along with the purchase an ability to have someone help you care for the property. Issues such as maintenance, lawn care, security, gardening, and other upkeep are covered for you, so you have more time to relax and enjoy the location you’re in.
Some condos available in the Atenas area feature furnished or unfurnished one and two-bedroom apartments, with community pool, BBQ areas, and decks that overlook the very scenic Central Valley are some of the features you’ll enjoy with condos here. The new highway #27 offers passage to San Jose and other areas such as the airport, and properties on average like this range from $350,000- $500,000, depending on the location and extra features.
Available Land Plots in Atenas, Costa Rica
One thing that many coming here really enjoy is the fact that you are living in a town that has a population of just over 5,000, with around 20,000 in the surrounding area. Land plots are available here at a bit lower price than is found in areas such as San Jose and those that are located along the beach: many who had an agricultural background during their working years love to buy property here, because the streams, produce, and plantation-style vibes are abundant.
You can acquire land that boasts around 22 hectares for around $750,000, and smaller plots that run in the realm of 4.5 ha can be found in the general price range of $200,000- $350,000. Very expansive views, a chance to really fulfill your own vision, and opportunity to build the location of your dreams for the future all await you when you buy land in the lush country of Atenas.
Opportunities for Golf in Atenas, Costa Rica
Moving to Costa Rica is definitely one of the best choices you could ever make if you are a golf enthusiast. Within an hour’s drive of Atenas, there are 5 world-class golf courses, that will satisfy your appetite for a round of golf by your self for solitude, or with your best partner in paradise.
Los Reyes Country Club Golf Course is located in the beautiful gated community of Hacienda Los Reyes, which is just a 20-minute drive on Highway 27. This is a par 70 course that has 9 holes, a separate range and putting green, and was designed by renowned Robertson Ward & Associates.
The Valle Del Sol Golf Course was designed by excellent architect Tracy May, and is situated in Santa Ana, just a 30-minute drive from Atenas. This is a standard-sized, 18-hole course that also doubles as a certified wildlife sanctuary by none other than Audubon themselves. You are going to love the relaxation that you’ll feel when you arrive here and tee off: you are truly getting a slice of paradise and first-rate activity.
Another favorite golf course that is located near here is the Playa Herradura: under an hour drive from Atenas, this is an 18-hole wonder designed by Ted Robinson Sr, and is a par 72 that is tucked snugly right in between a beautiful beachfront and rain forest area. The front nine holes here give you views of a beautiful river valley, and then you are out on the majestic beachfront and among some of the nicest luxury condos in the area.
Mansion and Luxury Homes in Atenas, Costa Rica
The luxury market here in Atenas has a few different characteristics from those that are in other locations and right on the beachfront. The higher elevation allows for very cool breezes and a mountainous vibe that is really a part of the true Pura Vida Spirit. The prices are considerably lower then what you would find right on the ocean, and this is where some pretty amazing bargains lie.
There are properties with 3-bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, complete with wine cellars, swimming pools, and Jacuzzis. The area of Atenas is very popular, but has not been in the spotlight as long as some of those right by the beach, and this can benefit the buyer. For around a general price of $600,000, you can get a terraced property, with a distinctively different mountain vibe.
Other luxury properties in this area can be had for around $400,000, and are still very exquisite. Space for small trees, the option for you to use part of the property as a rental, and features such as truly unbelievable hammock views are some of the things that you will enjoy most about them. Mountain Living suits many here around Atenas, and you could be very happy to call this your next home.
Written By Shannon Farley: Shannon Farley is a travel blog writer for Enchanting Costa Rica and Profimercadeo in Costa Rica. Originally from Southern California , Shannon has lived, worked and traveled all over the world for 20 years; she has been living and working in Costa Rica since 1999. She lives in Atenas, Costa Rica with her husband, 5 dogs and 2 cats.
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