I have been through mostly good experiences when it comes to buying a lot and building in Costa Rica.
I have personally gone through a complete remodel/addition as well as two new home builds in this country in the last 10 years.
It really can be just that easy! Many of my clients are intrigued with the idea of buying a lot to build, but many have reservations of just how to make that happen and what all goes into building in Costa Rica.
The fact of the matter is–with the right builder, building can be much easier than you think and you get exactly what you want at the end. If you are not in a rush and don’t mind waiting 8-12 months for your finished project, then buying a lot and building a new home may be the smartest decision you have ever made.
This is the second home building project I have been a part of in Costa Rica. In both instances, steel frame construction was chosen. I only had to make one trip to San Jose (one full-day trip) to pick out some finish materials and granite and marble countertops. The rest of the work I was able to accomplish in Guanacaste.
The home is fully insulated and extremely energy efficient. The A/C units are mini split types of the newest Inverter technology. My average electric bill is only around $200 per month, which I think is phenomenal considering the pool and pumps that run daily as well as the A/C which I use at night.
I opted for a Bionest mini waste water treatment system instead of the typical Septic system.
My builder, Aaron Berkowitz, was very easy to deal with. Aaron is from California originally but has been in Costa Rica for almost 10 years and his wife and son are from Costa Rica. It’s great to have a builder that speaks fluent English for many of our clients who are English speakers as to avoid any lost in translation issues–I believe that communication is the main reason for breakdowns and bad building experiences in Costa Rica.
I pretty much knew the kind of floor plan and architecture I wanted, so the process was fast for me. You can either pick a set of plans (where I live in Mar Vista, there are 11 sets of plans that are ready to go) or you can custom design your own home with an architect. I designed my own custom home.
I chose to build a one story, split plan home with just over 2200 SF of living space. The home features 3 Bedrooms, 3.5 Bathrooms and a great infinity edge pool and wonderful mountain, ocean and valley views. The lot measures 1.25 acres and is located in Playa Flamingo in the Mar Vista community.
Permitting can take about a month. Earth movement on your lot can take a week or two before actually starting on the foundation. It’s important to think about the difficulty of the home you choose to build. What I mean is–is the lot flat?
Will you need to spend additional money for retention walls? Retention work can in some cases can be very costly so it needs to be considered.
Also other costs to consider are the costs to install a water meter and fee to the electric company, as you have to purchase a transformer. Between those two items, it can run you around $2500-3000.
The average building price at the beach in Guanacaste can run around $120/Square foot. Keep in mind this price can vary depending on the finish work and complexity of the build out and does not including landscaping, pool or garages.
If you go into home building understanding the costs involved, and choose the right builder, then you shouldn’t have much in the way of surprises. Even so, it’s always smart to overestimate 5-10% for any building project. In the end, you’ll be happy you chose to build your dream home!
Building Your Own Ocean View Home in Costa Rica. My second home building experience and yes! It can be simple and easy.
Article/Property ID Number 5462
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