Costa Rica real estate prices

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    From what I saw during my last visit, there is a big disparity between prices even in the same areas. An American friend of mine showed me land that was available within one mile of the land she bought.

    Some land was $60 m2, some was $40 m2 and the land she bought was $23 m2 (per aquare meter) and there was no major difference in the size of the land available and none of them had electricity or water available and all had very similar views.

    How does that work?


    As you will know for the articles on this site and contrary to what some people will tell you, there is no MLS (Multiple Listing System) in Costa Rica so trying to find comparable values is sometime very difficult.

    Ticos do NOT have the same thoughts and feelings towards “time and money” than we (most North Americans and Western Europeans) do and if he wants $60m2 and everything else around him is selling for 50% less – he doesn’t care what the maket says or “demands” – That’s the price he wants and he won’t take less even if he heas to wait for years.

    When I first moved here, for one year (most rental agreements are for three years) I agreed to rent an enormous luxurious apartment in Escazu for $1,700 per month…

    There were a couple of items that I asked them to fix before I moved in which they promised to fix but never did… After about eleven months, I streesed that if they fixed these small items which I am not kidding would have taken less than $100 to fix – I would renew but they did not.

    That apartment remained empty for twelve months before they rented again – The lost $1,7800 X 12 = US$20,400 plus any marketing expenses that they had in renting it out again.

    But, when I bumped into the owner again, she GLOATED that she had rented it out for $2,200 per month for six months.

    I pointed out that she had also lost over $20,000 BUT THAT DID NOT COMPUTE. All she cared about was now! NOW she was makiing $2,200 per month and she didn’t even think about the fact that this was only for six months …

    That apartment is again vacant as I write this …

    Most Ticos think of “time and money” in a different way than we do …


    In Costa Rica people just think how much they want to sell their property for and there is no base guide line as in the US. If I want to sell my house I just set the price I want and hope that someone is smart enough to buy it.

    That is the same way with land. They are anxious to sell the land but they are not in a hurry. So they just wait for some US visitor to come in and purchase it. We are not the only purchasers of land but we seem to be the most foolish. We have more of a I have to have it attitude then others foreigners. When they see us getting off the plane the prices go up.


    Scott, I think your comment that Tico’s do not have the same concept of time and money as people in the U.S., or other foreign countries probably for the most part, really hits the nail on the head. I have experienced that so many times already when it comes to bids for work. Invariably someone will quote me a fair price for doing some work. When I want something similiar done the same person will quote me upwards of 4 times the amount they did similiar work for the last time. I had someone that wanted to build 5 small homes on some land they had purchased. The Tico that had done my construction at a reasonable price gave me a quote. I took him inside a simple two room cabin that had been built for about $15,000 1 1/2 years ago….materials and labor. Apparently he thought thought he would make a big score now that he had already done some work for me. He quoted me $70,000 to build that little 2 room cabin. What he did not realize is that by bidding so rediculous of a price he lost out on building 5 homes in the amount of about $25K each of which he would have probably made $3000 each on for himself after paying his other workers. This person has sat now for close to 6 months since and has done an odd job here and there and probably made the usual $300 to $400 a month many Ticos make. He could have made $15,000 in about 6 months.

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