My name is Michael Simons and I’m a professional Realtor here in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica known as the Papagayo. I’ve been a fulltime permanent resident since 2003 and I’m licensed with Costa Rica Guanacaste Association of Realtors.
Nobody works harder for their clients than I do and nobody sells more real estate than I do. I have helped thousands of people purchase an investment property or relocate to our little paradise.
Costa Rica Cost of Living. What does it really cost to live?
I will answer all your emails. I will answer all your questions and I will be there for you not just to sell you your property but after. And most important, I will become your friend. Hope you join us.
People obviously ask me all the time, “What does it cost to live in Costa Rica?” and I say, “Well, it depends on where you come from. But for the most part, for the majority of people, it’s substantially less than where they were living before.”
Now don’t get me wrong. Costa Rica is not cheap anymore. There are places that are advertising around the world. You can live for $600 a month. I don’t want to live somewhere where you can live for $600 a month because that means nothing works.
At Costa Rica, especially for a coastal community, it’s substantially less than most places around the world. I’ve lived in Southern California. I lived in Boca Raton. I’ve been in Hilton Head. I’ve been in some nice places in my life and trust me, compared to those places, this place costs nothing.
It’s very inexpensive. But if you compare it to Oklahoma or maybe Edmonton, it might be on par. So what I tell people is you can live at the beach. You can live in a tropical environment for the cost of what it would cost you to maybe live in Kansas.
No disrespect to my good friend Phil in Kansas who I’ve known for the majority of my life, but I would rather live here at the beach than live in Kansas. I will give you an example.
Property taxes in this country are 0.25 percent. That’s one-quarter of one percent. That’s a fraction of what it costs in most places. My friends in Toronto are telling me it’s two or three percent. So in other words, a $300,000 property in Costa Rica costs you $600 to $700 a year in taxes.
Very, very low. I can have a maid for $20 or $25 a day. In other words, I can have a maid come every single day to my house, iron my clothes, wash everything.
I personally have done nothing in 12 years because I can pay somebody else to do it. I pay my maid less in a week than I used to pay my Boca Raton maid for one day’s worth of work, and she didn’t do windows and she didn’t iron.
Generally food for the most part is less. Now, if you’re buying North American products, if you go into the grocery store and you have to have Häagen-Dazs ice cream and you have to have Philadelphia Cream Cheese, yeah, you’re going to pay more for those items.
But what you find out when you live here is the Costa Rican version of those items is usually better. The Costa Rican ice cream in my opinion blows away Häagen-Dazs ice cream.
At the same token, fresh fish and vegetables and fruit and chicken, a fraction of a cost. I just bought an entire loin of filet mignon literally as long as my arm for $25 that makes 10 steaks. That would have been $100, maybe $150 in a meat market in the United States of America.
So overall, your cost of living is substantially less. So here’s what I tell people. Be prepared for the initial bite, that initial cost to move here, because you got to remember, you’re moving to another country. So you’ve got to buy everything. You’ve got to buy your house.
You’ve got to buy your car and you’ve got to buy whatever toys it is that makes you happy. For some people it’s a boat. For some people it’s exercise equipment. For me it was TVs and satellite dishes because I don’t want to give up my sports.
But once you make that purchase, once you’ve come up with that initial out of money, the cost to live here is generally about 30 to 40 percent of what it costs to live in most nice places in North America.
Come on down baby!
Costa Rica Cost of Living Video. What does it really cost to live?
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