The City Of San Ramon
San Ramon is located in the Alajuela province of Costa Rica and about 40 minutes from the Juan Santamaria international airport (SJO). While it is close to San Jose, the capital, it is far enough away for comfort. Those who live in San Ramon often make regular trips into San Jose in order to acquire supplies that aren’t always available in such a small community. With a population of just over 10,000 people, one can find almost everything they need, while being a part of a tight knit community.
While most people associate Costa Rica with being hot, the city of San Ramon has relatively mild temperatures all year long, somewhere between 70° F and 80° F everyday. The main reason why temperatures aren’t overly hot here is because San Ramon sits at 3,468 feet above sea level. In San Ramon, there are two distinct seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season takes place between June and October, while the dry season occurs between November and May. During the rainy, or green season as it is known here, expect sunshine during the morning and rain in the afternoon. In San Ramon, and Costa Rica in general, the sun rises and sets at about the same time every single day, with about 13 hours of sunlight daily.
Typically, if it rains in the late afternoon or early evening it is likely that the next morning will be glorious. With less rain the day before, the next morning could be a bit cloudy with the sun eventually breaking through. This annual weather cycle leads to a very lush and green environment, often holding over through part of the dry season, in which rarely any rain falls.
Given the mild climate, heating one’s home or having air conditioning is virtually non-existent in San Ramón. Some areas of San Ramon are located in the cloud forest and can be much cooler and wetter.
Those who live in San Ramon have an excellent view that looks out into the valley of lush greenery and grazing livestock. All in all, San Ramon has one of the best climates in the world, especially for those who are looking to escape unbearable winters, yet avoid scorching summer temperatures. Many agree that the climate in this city makes it a great place to call home.
To many people, San Ramón is one of those towns that “I’ve heard of but really don’t know much about.” However, it is now becoming a popular town with foreign retirees and baby boomers seeking a more tranquilo way of life.
It still prides itself on being a farming community, has strong family ties, and hasn’t yet been spoiled by modern overindulgence. It’s a peaceful place with stunning scenery, a very friendly population and lots of affordable land for sale.
San Ramón’s history began when European settlers arrived in the early to mid 1840’s. The initial inhabitants of San Ramón set up farms in the region, many of which still exist today having been passed down to the next generation. Today, many farmers have taken advantage of a large export market by growing sugar cane, coffee, and ornamental plants.
Ramon Solis and Ramon Rodriguez, considered the forefathers of San Ramón, played a major role in the creation of the town and are thought to have put the town under the “protection” of Saint Raymond, hence the name San Ramón.
In 1854, San Ramón reached “municipalidad” status and then through establishing schools locally, it eventually gained standing as the region’s main education and cultural center, becoming a canton. Today it is Alajuela’s second largest district and also known as the canton of San Ramón.
Known throughout the country as the “city of poets and presidents,” it is also an important town in the political history of Costa Rica. San Ramon is home to four former presidents. Jose Figueres Ferrer (“Don Pepe”), one of Costa Rica ‘s most influential political figures, spearheaded the creation of Costa Rica ‘s constitution and helped to abolish the army. The people of San Ramón take their politics seriously and have an active voice in the political process, both locally and nationally.
It is one of the larger markets in the country, and it attracts people seeking fresh, naturally grown, and inexpensive produce from all over the Central Valley The town and surrounding area has many family-owned businesses with San Ramón being very active throughout the week.
San Ramón has a modern shopping mall situated just off the highway at the entrance to the city. With a new three screen movie theater, it gets first-run American movies almost as quickly as they are distributed in the U.S., usually offered in English with Spanish subtitles.
The mall also has several banks, eight fast-food restaurants, numerous clothing and shoe stores, a GNC, pet store, and even a Hallmark Cards store. A “Mega Super”, which is a modern US style supermarket, serves as the mall’s anchor. San Ramon also has a Maxi Bodega, which is similar to a small Kmart with groceries.
San Ramon has a water park with multiple pools, water-slides, and a massive natural waterfall. This Las Muses park is inexpensive and a great place to spend a sunny day with your family.
How To Get To San Ramon
The easiest way to get to San Ramon is to fly into the San Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, and drive on Highway 1 west for about 35 miles. Those who want to take a taxi from the airport to San Ramon should expect to pay about $50, the average going rate.
Moving To San Ramon, Costa Rica
For many potential expats, the decision to move to another country is riddled with doubt. Those who are considering moving internationally should first visit Costa Rica and come see San Ramon for a period of months. Visitors who take advantage of a long-term rental property in San Ramon can get to know the area, the local Ticos, and decide whether moving to Costa Rica is the most appropriate choice for their situation. At that point, many expats decide that they want to purchase land, housing, or even a mansion in San Ramon. Expats who are looking for an amazing lifestyle can purchase luxury property in the mountains, purchase a house in a gated community, or choose a city dwelling near like-minded individuals. Ultimately, there is something for everyone in San Ramon, Costa Rica.
Like other towns in the Central Valley , the ex-pat population tends to be located in communities surrounding San Ramón, primarily to its north and west, with more city-oriented people preferring downtown. Most ex-pats are purchasing land and building homes in areas offering mountain, valley or ocean views – and all three in many cases.
Why Are Expats Purchasing Real Estate In San Ramon Costa Rica?
Many expats are moving into San Ramon, Costa Rica and living a life that they never dreamed was possible. The city of San Ramon offers expats with a laid-back, relatively inexpensive, and friendly place to live. Those who visit Costa Rica from countries that have a high paced lifestyle enjoy the low stress “pura vida” way of doing things here. Those who are thinking about moving to San Ramon, Costa Rica and are looking at purchasing real estate here should understand what to expect before diving in head first. San Ramon is a developing area that has plenty of land, homes, and condos for sale. Those who are looking for an excellent property in a gated community or a mansion can live a life of luxury at a fraction of the price when compared to the rest of Costa Rica.
The inventory of North American style homes in San Ramón is not keeping up with demand. Since the area is just now taking off, it does offer a variety of land options and Tico-style homes that are being refurbished.
There are Tico homes throughout the San Ramón area at very reasonable, if not downright cheap, prices. With a little work, it is possible that a Tico home can be fashioned into a quaint retirement home or country getaway.
Areas that have seen some development for ex-pats in recent years include Los Angeles Sur, about 6 kilometers north of San Ramón and off the road to Arenal; Berlin, just south of San Ramón and one of the highest mountain ranges in the area at about 5,000 feet; and Magallanes, about five minutes from downtown San Ramón, just off the InterAmerican highway heading west towards Puntarenas.
Areas near San Ramón including Los Angeles, Berlin, and even El Empalme to some extent have cooler temperatures, more clouds, and more rain than in other areas in or near San Ramón. However, for the bargain-hunter, these areas can be cheaper. Los Angeles tends to be more mature and the ex-pat community is more established. These areas also have attracted foreigners seeking to live less expensively than in the U.S. and other countries.
Large tracts of land can still be found in the San Ramón area for good prices if a hobby farm, horse farm, or investment in creating a residential development is of interest. There are premium building lots with Pacific Ocean and mountain views located in private communities for below $100,000. Not many nearby areas can make that claim for 1 acre lots.
Real Estate In San Ramon,
Most people who visit San Ramon are drawn in by the beauty and the promise of a lifestyle in paradise. Many begin their residency in Costa Rica by taking a vacation here and in many cases, stay at a rental property for a couple of months in order to get to know the area better. Those who decide that they want to move to San Ramon should take their time when performing their real estate search and find something that gives them everything they are looking for. The good news is that San Ramon has a diverse selection of real estate, allowing people from all walks of life to find the property that they are looking for here.
In San Ramon, there are plenty of real estate options including, condos, mansions, rentals, development land, gated communities, and affordable housing. When compared to other areas in Costa Rica, San Ramon is extremely affordable. Those who are looking for land here should be able to find a bargain and begin living the life that they have been dreaming about.
Rental Property In San Ramon
Expats who are looking to rent property in San Ramon should be able to find short-term leases and long-term lease options. Rental rates are relatively comparable with smaller markets in The United States, somewhere between $500 and $1000 a month, depending on amenities. On the average, a two-bedroom rental property with sufficient amenities will cost about $600 a month. This allows those who want to live in Costa Rica on a budget to do so. In many cases, pensionados, the name given to those who receive a monthly government check from The United States can stretch their money to the maximum in San Ramon.
The Cost Of Housing In San Ramon
Those who are seeking housing in San Ramon should be able to find a decent property for somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000. Those who are looking for an average three-bedroom house with modern features and a great view can expect to pay about $150,000 to $200,000. Those who are interested in moving from The United States to San Ramon shouldn’t experience sticker shock at these going market values. When compared with property values throughout the rest of Costa Rica, especially the Pacific Coast, San Ramon offers the absolute best value in the country.
Land Values In San Ramon
Those who are looking for land that they can develop in San Ramon should be able to find lots somewhere between $20,000 and $100,000, with enough room to build a dream mansion, if they so choose. In many cases, the least expensive and most desirable land sits up in the mountains in the near vicinity of San Ramon. Those who are looking for privacy and a great view should consider mountain property before all other options. Since these properties are located in close vicinity to the city of San Ramon, venturing into the city on a regular basis to pick up supplies offers the convenience that most expats are looking for.
Those who acquire mountain property can then build their dream house overlooking some of the best views in Costa Rica. Whether one wants to build a mansion or a humble abode, mountain property around San Ramon offers everything that one could ask for.
Gated Communities In San Ramon
There are many advantages to living in a gated community in San Ramon. First, many other expats will likely live in the same community, allowing like-minded individuals to enjoy life together. Second, most gated communities in San Ramon offer 24-hour security, a pool, a clubhouse, and in some cases, tennis courts and a gym.
Development lots and houses within gated communities have a wide range of prices that fit any budget. Those who are looking to live in the comfort of a gated community in San Ramon, but don’t want to spend a great deal should be able to find an excellent community where three-bedroom houses are being sold for around $150,000. On the other hand, those who are looking for luxury residences in a gated community in San Ramon can find mansions that are priced between $300,000 to $450,000, and up.
San Ramón has only a few upscale communities similar to those in Atenas, Grecia or Escazu with features ex-pats from North America have come to expect in Costa Rica. However, one area beginning to become known as the “quality” area for ex-pats in San Ramón is Magallanes.
San Ramón will not be a secret for too much longer. Prices for real estate remain considerably lower compared to other towns and stunning properties can still be had within a short distance of town.
San Ramon may not be for everyone because of the cooler climate and a less developed feel than other towns, but with a convenient location, terrific people, shopping, entertainment, low real estate prices and more, this largely undiscovered town could offer you everything you desire.
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