Advice on selling land in Agujas, Puntarenas?

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    As some of you know, I was born in C.R. of a Costa Rican mother and a Connecticut German American father, and have extended family in the form of cousins in C.R. I live in the O.C. California.

    I have been contacted by 2 brothers and a sister all in their 70’s concerning a 2 & 3/4 acre lot in Agujas Puntarenas which they all inherited.

    I know this lot will gain in value as the years march on. However, they want to sell now.

    They do not want to sub-divide the property into smaller lots as this means they have to construct roads and sewers. This would mean an expense they can’t afford. The property is about 1800 feet from the beach, and I figure that condominiums and even a hotel could be built on the property.

    They want me to be the go-between rich investors here in the U.S. Questions:

    Any advice from even Scott would be helpful as far as either advertising the sale here, or in Costa Rica.


    Hire a professional estate broker that will market the property properly and give it the exposure it needs to sell at a good market price if it is as desirable as you believe it to be. The idea of privately selling it to some “rich investors” sounds good until you try it. EVERYONE in CR is selling real estate.

    You might also want to get an attorney to clear up and review any ownership and prior transfer issues if it is an inherited property with multiple heirs. Clearing up any potential issues prior to trying to sell this property and having a clear title will increase the value and smooth over any potential problems down the road.

    I’ve seen numerous deals fall apart in the circumstance you’re describing when folks don’t take the time to put things in order and start hanging fliers in town or posting ads on the internet.

    A professional real estate agent will help you to avoid many of these problems. I’m sure Scott can recommend one in that area.

    BTW…. I am not…. nor have I ever been involved in selling real estate and my advice is based solely on being a buyer of property. I don’t have an interest in marketing or selling real estate.

    Just my two cents.


    Terrific advice from Imploring as usual – thank you….

    I would add:

    1. There is no shortage of land for sale in Costa Rica.

    2. This specific piece of land is in Playa Agujas, South of the Tarcoles and although I have never been there personally, I’m not sure this is the most sought after location.

    3. You did not mention if this is “ocean view”? Which could change the situation dramatically, but I’m guessing if it’s only 550 meters from the beach that it’s probably not ….

    4. As the “go between” I guarantee you that this will involve much more more work than you think it will, IMHO you deserve to be compensated.



    [quote=”Imxploring”]EVERYONE in CR is selling real estate.


    Well … everyone is “trying” anyway …

    There seems to be a whole lot more trying than selling …

    And, in a place where it seems that the whole country is for sale, there is a serious deficit of buyers …


    You’re soooooo right!!!!

    A good part of the real estate for sale in CR is being placed on the market just in the hope that the bigger fool will come along with blinders on and a bag full of cash.

    There are fire sales… most often expats that jumped in and didn’t last.Those situations can offer some real value if you find them.

    There are folks that think they’re sitting on the golden goose and have the ability to wait… at least for a while.

    I’ve seen property for sale for 10 years….guess those folks aren’t in a rush to sell. Just testing the waters.

    I’ve seen the sale price increased on property as soon as someone agreed to the asking price. Once again… just seeing what the market is… and if someone offered the asking price… there must be someone that will pay more! LOL

    It’s a wild market in CR. You need to do your homework, work with a good broker, take your time, know the market, and be ready to pick your target when the opportunity occurs.


    Thank you all so much!


    Here’s the advice I received last night from a trusted real estate professional who sells a LOT of real estate on the Central Pacific coast:

    “I would hate to insult the owner but for me it’s unsellable. That is a good size property where in Jaco you could probably demand 100 m2 but even at $25 m2 = $192,500 and I would have a really hard time finding a buyer.”


    Great (and brutally honest) observations from a broker who knows the area and the market! THAT IS WHY….you work with a reputable broker… they are worth their weight in gold! I’ve been very lucky to have connected with three great real estate brokers via this site… and am thankful I did!

    The only issue I have with his assessment is the math. The property in question is 2.75 Acres… at a hypothetical $25/Sq Meter as he stated the price would actually be about $278,225…. thus making it even more unsellable I’m guessing! LOL


    [quote=”Imxploring”]…. thus making it even more unsellable I’m guessing! LOL[/quote]

    I think that it’s all becoming unsaleable …

    The passage of FATCA … and Costa Rica’s ensuing paranoia over it has made it ever increasingly difficult for an American to function in Costa Rica … especially when it comes to wiring money into CR …

    Most circulated currency is tainted with drugs … and with Costa Rica’s recent passage of Ley No. 9387 … the police can confiscate, at will, any property (including money) without much, if anything, in the way of due process …

    Now, the fool you seek must come from Europe …

    And it was a wreck pre-Brexit …

    It’ll all catch up before long …

    But, for the foreseeable future, property in Costa Rica is likely to be as marketable as a timeshare in the middle of the Everglades …

    The expats that own property in Costa Rica will likely leave it to their heirs to take the loss … as most was purchased in cash, and therefore, there is little impetus to force a sale …

    [B]”Costa Rican Real Estate Investment”[/B]

    Will it become a world famous oxymoron … or simply the punchline to countless jokes ?


    Hey Bill… hold the press there a moment. I think the hysteria over FATCA is way over blown. In the last 8 months I’ve made numerous wire transfers to and from CR without issue… and peeking out the window right now from my home here in NY there’s no black sedan with tinted windows parked across the street from my house!

    In the past 5 months I’ve also purchased a property in the 250k+ range, a new car, and opened an additional bank account at another bank in CR…. all involving the movement and wiring of large sums of money…. all without a hitch or problem.

    I’m a big believer in personal freedoms and FATCA and all the associated laws are a hassle and the results of a desperate US government trying to control the flow of wealth out of the country, nothing more. But in my experience if you know the rules and have the right documentation and answers there’s no problems doing business in Costa Rica or moving your assets off shore at the moment. That may very well change. Seeing where things are headed in the US I’m much more comfortable hedging my future with some offshore investments in CR in addition to some other hard (and mobile) assets I have transitioned to.

    As for Costa Rica currency being tainted with drugs (as are most larger denominated currency in many counties)… sure the bills in CR pretty… beautiful wildlife on each… but my bank card from BNCR serves me well without the hassle or concern of packing any sizable amount of cash in my pocket. If “dirty” money is a concern you can always wash it in some dish detergent before putting it back into circulation.


    [quote=”Imxploring”]…you can always wash it in some dish detergent before putting it back into circulation.


    Sounds like “money laundering” to me … lol

    Well … I’m assuming BNCR is Banco Nacional … they seem to be a bit better than BCR …

    In late 2011 … I wired a bit more than double the amounts that you’re speaking of to BCR … into a lawyer’s trust account, no less … and you wouldn’t believe the hoops that I had to jump through to get it released …

    They wanted me to prove the origination of every penny before they would release. Now, how do you do that?

    Ultimately, monthly account statements for two years, letters of character from bank officials (try to get those!), and a few other things … each of which had to be attached to a notarized statement with Apostille attached … and sent to CR. Almost a month to get it released. BTW … BCR refused to just reverse the wire as well … as I was frustrated enough to just forget the whole thing a find a place that the US didn’t have shaking in their boots …

    And this was BEFORE the full blown implementation of FATCA in CR.

    Lately, I try to keep my wires to my builder less than 25K … but BN still makes him run down there and produce an invoice before they release it into his account.

    I’m happy that you have had better experience … but the system is obviously “guilty until proven innocent” … and what you have to do to prove your innocence just seems to be getting more and more obtrusive …

    CR seems to be bucking for the 51st star … and, if so, what’s the point?

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