Real estate nightmares in Costa Rica?

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    5 yrs seems to be light yrs away….i would leave tomorrow….when i tell people were we plan to move, they ask, what we will do there?…i can only answer…….NOTHING…i want to soak up the sun, bath in the beauty of the nature, absorb the culture, and be at peace,,,
    sound far fetched???
    perhaps but it is time for a new adventure in life….
    and what brought u to Costa?


    Denise…sounds like a plan! When you wake up to that natural beauty, you start your day a whole new way! The sights, the sounds, the weather….and most of all, the people! The best times I’ve ever had when travelling, were meeting, speaking with and interacting with the ‘natives’. When in Barbados, for example, we hired a driver for the day to see the sights…as much as we enjoyed that, we had even more of a great time when he took us to his home, we saw how he lived, met the family , and played ball with him and his son, and had dinner! That’s something you can’t ‘buy’ at a travel agency. I’m really looking to surround myself with beauty and getting back to the basics of life…things that can be easily cast aside in the ‘rat race’. I wish I could go tomorrow! Hopefully I’ll finish researching, reading and talking to people by May, so that I feel comfortable enough to narrow down areas I’m interested in, map out an itinerary , and spend a week or two checking it all out in person.



    Look at the website
    this is a story and it could be yours. We came to Costa Rica looking to enjoy it here and we enjoyed our area so much that we purchased the B&B we were staying in. We rented the main house then a year later we purchased the property. No commisions were paid and we got the perfect buying condition. The deals are here but they are not the ones realestate people are taking you to. You need time and patients to find the deals they are here.

    Our area is a picture book, the city is very clean and employment is not excellent but it is much better then in a lot of areas. What will that mean to you, the environment is better when people are working. Most coastal areas the work is seasonal, in our area we are surronded by agriculture and a bus ride to other larger areas making employment opportunities great for the people. Our area is considered the cleanest community in Central America.

    On the weekends you will see many of the locals out cleaning the streets. Our staff is Costa Rican and they share their customs and enjoy telling our visitors about Costa Rica.

    We have a driver that will drive you to any area you would like to go to at your own pace. We have the best weather in Costa Rica. We have a gurantee at our B&B if you come and decide this is not where you want to be we will charge you for your one night stay and release you from the commitment of staying with us longer. If you have paid us we will give you all of your money back except for the one night you stayed. We are very confident that our B&B is one of the best if not the best in this price range in Costa Rica.

    The weather here is the best because you do not have to use air conditioners. Look us up. You can also read comments about us on


    Maravilla, I have just read all the threads here and quite frankly, getting sick of the back and forth bickering. I would realy like to get in touch with you , just like Bill, I am in the process of doing my home work on creating a small condo project in the Lake Arenal area. could you get in touch? looking forward to hear from you, Syd


    This thread is about real estate nightmares and the ways in which we – the people already living here – can help others who hope to live here in the future avoid those problems.

    Let’s try and stick to discussing the real estate problems and offering solutions.

    Scott – Founder


    Hello, I’m new to this forum- in fact I’m new to the computer world but here goes. A friend of mine bought 30 acres or so of very nice land in the hills above Dominical. He has plans for a “sustainable” development of 9 relatively upscale houses with pool ,solid infrastructure etc. He has offered to sell me a lot and I would construct my own home as opposed to buying a completed house from him. The lot in question is fantastic, with superb vistas, house site, area for a garden, guest house etc. Price would include water and electric to the property line, soil and perc tests, as well as my friend acting as an on site quality control supervisor. I believe that it is about 7500 sq. meters in size. Ive been told to expect about $80.00 a sq. foot in construction costs. The asking price is 140,000 which sounds like alot to me, My friend is trusted but at the same time he is a business man who appears to have done his homework before he bought, and I’m sure he would like to make top dollar for his efforts. I am a buy and hold kind of guy, not looking to move to CR at this point. Any tips wpuold be appreciated Thanks JJ


    $80 per sq foot for GOOD quality construction in that area would not be unusual – Transportation costs for all those construction materials can add a pretty significant amount to the bottom line.

    I do NOT know the specific area that you are referring to and the views may indeed be “superb” but at $18 per sq meter for 7,500M2, the land is NOT cheap compared to many areas but having said that, if he is planning on monitoring all construction for you – that’s worth a LOT of money.

    If as you say the “Price would include water and electric to the property line, soil and perc tests, as well as my friend acting as an on site quality control supervisor…” I would suggest that you get everything in writing as part of your contract.

    Scott – Founder


    From my understanding contractor’s and architect’s all have to be licensed. You won’t get PennySaver magazine ads or newspaper advertisements for ‘handymen’ as you do in the states.


    Isn’t that the truth. In our area the homes get more expensive but are being built cheaper and cheaper and I don’t mean the value.
    Older homes were better built.


    Keep in mind some people are aware of areas that DID do very well in the real estate market. My husband and I purchased property (mainly for investment instead of the stock market at the time) in Southern Florida. I can tell you as I looked through court records of what people had purchased their lots for even just from the year prior. It was amazing. I would look up every property to see what was paid and when. People hear of situations like that and try to speculate the same could happen there. There is more reasons I feel that people would move to CR now than ever before from the states. It is always best to buy because you like it and would consider moving to that location and are happy with it. Not to just have an investment motivation in case it does not work out.


    Agreed entirely!

    This country is not here solely for people to try and make money by flipping real estate. Costa Rica is my home and part of what I try to do in a very subtle way, it to turn people off Costa Rica.

    You want to come here, chop down trees without permits and try to ‘develop’ real estate and take advantage of local people and your own people – PLEASE stay where you are! (You would NOT believe some of the ideas I get emailed to me…)

    If you come here to love, respect and accept the country and the people as they are (because you ain’t gonna’ change notin’) then bienvenidos!

    Some people did very well buying the DotCom stocks too… Most did not. I am by profession a Wall Street trained investment advisor and when we first arrived here my clients thought of me as crazy when I counselled my investment clients NOT to touch DotCom stocks… “But it’s different this time.”

    It’s not!

    People are the same. Human nature is the same, the same fears and greed unfortunately remain and it appears to me based on recent events that ‘man’ is more barbaric now than the prehistoric man ever was.

    I’m still crazy but deliriously happy and crazy!



    Is there some way to research online the selling costs of homes in an area in order to obtain a “comp”? I been told that appraisals haven’t caught on much there. What is the best way to avoid paying too much according to CR standards?



    Here in Costa Rica we have the pleasure of settin our own price and hoping someone is smart enough or silly enough to purchase it. Most Costa Rican houses that are for sale are looking for Foreign purchasers, the reason being we do not know the value and we are willing to pay the price if we want it bad enough.


    Right On, Marvilla!!! The Ticos are paid so little as it is, I am happy to see that they can profit while, at the same time, I feel like I’m getting a fantastic deal. People who are obsessed with getting the cheapest price for everything, don’t get the concept of one’s personal sense of value: what you can afford, what it would cost you in the states, and what one personally feels is a fair price to get a house built that you’re happy with. There are far more important things in life than money, and creating a little goodwill amongst the people who have welcomed us into their country and community can never be a bad thing.


    Hi Maravilla, I have just read several of your statements and I cannot tell you how much you made my day.I am building a home In Grecia , an acre overlooking the valley(magnificent). I am just starting….scared to death but so excited. We are using a small builder referred to by a friend of ours….he is charging us $26.00 a sq. ft.! I have recently met 2 other gringo’s(one who is very active on this board) and saw both their houses, the first man paid over $150.00 a sq ft and the second one over $100.00..I was amazed. Is my builder lying to me? Am i going to get in over my head? I called him that evening..he came over and reassured me that I can build my 2400 sq ft home for $60,000.00! I am paying labor and buying the supplies. I cannot wait for the day i can prove this to a very cocky man who thought he had done his homework. You go girl!!!

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