As a Realtor in Costa Rica, Becky Clower covers the areas of Playa Tamarindo north to Playas del Coco.

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The unique thing about Becky’s area is that: “We have pristine beaches, improved infrastructure, availability of high speed internet, proximity to grocery stores, banks, restaurants, and medical services. We are only 50 minutes from the Liberia International Airport, which greatly reduces the time to get to the Pacific Coast beaches in our area.”

Becky and her husband moved full time to Costa Rica in 2006: “I grew up in Buffalo, New York, USA, but spent a lot of time in Costa Rica and traveled here for 28 years before setting down roots here permanently.” Since then, they have had a son – Kian, born in Costa Rica, in a Costa Rican hospital.

The biggest surprise that Becky and Keith had in moving here was: “Things move a lot slower. The process is much different here for banking and trying to run a business. I have adapted thankfully and figured out the system. We were also glad that the 40ft container we shipped here arrived as we had sent it!”

As a professional Costa Rica Realtor, Becky specializes in: “Residential, commercial and development real estate. We sell lots, condos and single family homes as well as development land to investors and investor groups.” The kinds of properties currently being built in her area include: “Condos (multi-story) and single family homes. We also have many big name hotels coming to our area. The JW Marriott is set to open on December 1st and the Rosewood Hotel is set to break ground later this year.”

“We have all types of people who buy in Costa Rica! The majority of our buyers are between 45-60, many close to retirement, married. However, we have many singles that buy as well, and I have seen an increase of buyers in the 30-40 year ago group investing overseas here in Costa Rica.”

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How would you describe the current market conditions? “Although the market is slower than last year, sales are steady. Many developments that have success are in a great price point (under $300K) or have a following for a type of product or reputation (Reserva Conchal, Hacienda Pinilla), etc. We have many condos in our area and actually a shortage of single family homes, especially those with ocean view.”

What sort of price ranges do you have in your area for finished construction? “Our price per square meter ranges depending on finishing: $125 per square foot to $350 per square foot ($1,250-3,500M2) “Depending on the area and if utilities are already in place or not, whether free standing or in a community, there is also a wide range of prices for land. As little as $3 per square meter to over $200 per square meter.”

What sort of costs can someone expect in building their own home in your area? “Average construction, depends on finishings: US$850-1,500 per square foot or $85 to $150M2.

How does the current market compare to last year? “Slower than last year, but properties that are priced right continue to sell even in a ‘down’ market. I would say that it’s 20% slower than last year.”

Any specific geographical areas that you feel may appreciate more than the overall market and why? “Playa Real (Pirate’s Bay south of Playa Conchal) and Playa Potrero/Penca/Sugar Beach areas. These areas are still not very developed compared to the neighboring Tamarindo and Flamingo Beaches. The roads are also unpaved, but plans are in the works to pave these roads.

Many major hotels are going in the Pirate’s Bay area which will bring in modern infrastructure and more demand for this area. However, at this time prices are very reasonable. The area around Potrero, Penca and Sugar Beach (north of Flamingo Beach) are going to rise for the same reasons plus the building/re-opening of the much talked about Flamingo Marina–will be over $90 million project with hundreds of boat slips, a planned cruise terminal and a face lift of the beach area, will drive prices up 100% most likely over the next 5 years.”

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What sort of infrastructural & transportation improvements have been made or that are planned in your area? “Fully paved from Liberia International Airport to Tamarindo, Conchal, Playa Grande, Playa Flamingo. Roads in our area have drastically improved over the last two years. I can say there is no comparison to what the roads were just two years ago – practically a perfect drive from the airport!”

Any new marinas, airports, golf courses or other major projects going on? “Liberia International will be undergoing an expansion to handle all the traffic coming into the airport. Flamingo Marina is planned to break ground in the next 18 months. Canyon Ranch Spa and Resort is planning an 18 hole golf course to compliment their Unique Brand Hotel and community. RIU, near Playa Matapalo, is paving part of the famed “Monkey Trail” and Ruta del Sol to link the southern beaches with our neighbors to the north (Cocos, Hermosa). JW Marriott inside the Hacienda Pinilla Resort, will open its doors for business December 1st of this year!”

What sort of price appreciation did your area see in the past five years? “Price appreciation over the past five years was anywhere between 300-500%.”

How do see the market five years from now? “Still a great deal of appreciation, but not at the rate seen in previous years. We still predict 100% appreciation in the next 5 years.”

What specifically are the problems that a real estate buyer might face in your area? “We do have some petty theft but most of our buyers buy in gated communities or buy a property that has security (alarm systems, caretakers in place, etc). Water has not been an issue, contrary to popular belief, in our area thankfully.”

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What do you love about living in Costa Rica? “The people are great and the pace slows you down. You came here to relax after all!”

If there’s a secret to living in Costa Rica, what is it? “You must have patience and give way if you have a type “A” personality as I did! But in comparison to living in Florida we live for about 30% less.”

What would you say to a friend back home if they were planning to move to Costa Rica? “The best advice I could give him would be make sure to come with a plan! Many people make the mistake of moving and ‘figuring it out later’.”

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Costa Rica Realtor Becky Clower:

Becky started investing in real estate at 22 years of age and it became a passion, she is also a Realtor® and after rehabbing 40 homes and selling millions in real estate in Tampa, she relocated to Costa Rica to continue practicing her love for real estate, investing and to be closer to her family.

Costa Rica Realtor Video Interviews – Becky Clower:

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