Like any investment, we need to remember that it’s not smart to simply throw a dart at the Wall Street Journal and pick a stock to buy.

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The more research you do, the higher the probability and the less risk there should be for you to make a profitable investment in stocks, bonds or in real estate anywhere in the world.

Our VIP Members continue to email me asking me why I am buying real estate in the capital of Costa Rica – San Jose.

In using the same ‘high probability, low risk’ investment strategy with real estate as featured in my first book (Costa Rica’s Guide to Making Money Offshore in Bull & Bear Markets) with hedge fund investments, we’re not going to buy just any real estate in San Jose, we are going to do our homework, buy in the right place, with an experienced developer, hopefully at the right time where we feel there should be good demand in the future…

A long commute to work by car is expensive in both time and money and although the public transportation system in San Jose is extensive, excellent and very cheap, it takes more time than ever before…

With increasing oil prices and the growth pains being experienced by many of the rapidly growing suburban areas, I remain convinced we will see a major shift back to urban areas where workers will choose to rent or buy real estate closer to their work place.

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And with the new sports stadium, the redesign and complete makeover of Parque La Sabana (San Jose’s equivalent of New York’s Central Park), the construction of dozens of new, apartment buildings – with more floors than San Jose has even seen before – surrounding the park, ambitious plans for the reorganization of public transportation, many people – myself included – believe that San Jose real estate prices for quality properties in good locations could see significant appreciation over the next few years.

Contrary to what most people say, it is the San Jose Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) which is the most active and dynamic region (3) for construction – not the beach, the GMA still has the vast majority of existing jobs and the majority of new jobs are being generated in the same area.

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Costa Rica Construction Growth: The following data for the first six months of 2008 comes from the Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción (CCC) shows that overall, construction in Costa Rica for the first six months of 2008 is 12.44% higher than the first six months of 2007:

Residential makes up 65%. Commercial 24.63% and industrial approximately 7.92%

We would suggest that a good place to invest in Costa Rica real estate would be where the buyers and the renters are – near the largest centre of employment – the San Jose Greater Metropolitan Area.

Thankfully we don’t worry about heating costs in Costa Rica, we don’t have heating and most of us in the Central Valley area (around San Jose) don’t have and don’t want air conditioning. So the cost of living is dramatically lower than most places where you would need heating, A/C or both which means the more money you will have to spend on yourselves.

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Our land prices are going higher, the cost of labor is going higher and because of oil, the cost of nearly all construction materials continues to go higher, so what does this mean for real estate prices? Costa Rica real estate prices – especially in the Greater Metropolitan Area – are probably also going higher.

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Written by Scott Oliver, author of How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa and Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore.

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