When we first started looking at property we began looking at areas ranging from San Isidro de El General in the south to Manuel Antonio and Montezuma areas in the central and northwest, and Puriscal in the central area of Costa Rica.
In the beginning of our quest we were looking for “just a nice area” but as we began to zone in on what we really wanted we began to realize that we didn’t want to be too far away from San Jose because of the airport and we wanted to be able to buy things we might need that could only be found in the capital city of San Jose.
And of course the best choice in medical care is in the San Jose area in case we might need some sort of serious care that we could not get in the smaller towns. This led us to look to the Central Valley and while Grecia and Atenas are okay we were looking for something with a more traditional Tico flavor.
Puriscal was our second choice but I didn’t like that long winding mountain road.
My wife put me in charge of finding our dream property because I had been going to Costa Rica for 20 years and knew the ropes there. And because I was the internet user who’d been looking at property day and night on the web so I had a basic idea of property values and areas. I ended up looking at dozens of properties – maybe 25-35 – over a period of 2 years. I would go to Costa Rica 2 or 3 times per year and each time I would line up 7-8 properties to look at over a week or so.
I would always find something wrong with each of the properties, to the point where I thought maybe I was being too picky and what I wanted might not exist. One would have neighbors too close. Another would be close enough to a highway where I’d hear the whining of semi-trucks and buses up and down the road. Another was nearly perfect but was just too far from civilization. Another was nearly perfect except it had title problems.
I began focusing my search on the San Ramon area because of its small town atmosphere, big town amenities, and proximity to San Jose. After I began focusing on San Ramon I was lucky to find exactly what I was looking for within a short time. A friend I’d met online showed me a property that was bigger than what we needed, but it was just close enough to town to not be too inconvenient (about 20 minutes) and yet far enough out to be amidst nature, and on a quiet road with neighbors but none too close. It was love at first sight!
It was just the right altitude, not so low as to be hot and humid and not so high as to be cold and windy at night. It had a beautiful view of the Gulf of Nicoya. And most of all it had lots of trees, yet not a thick forest or jungle, more like a park. Most of the other properties I’d seen always had something about them that gave me pause.
But when I saw this one, I made a snap decision to buy it within five minutes after seeing it. It is too big for just us though, so I subdivided it into 5 big lots and hope to sell 4 of them to others who share our desire for nature, and tranquility.
My wife and I love nature. We love trees and birds and flowers, squirrels and iguanas, butterflies and monkeys… and we want to have a vegetable garden, a fruit orchard, and nice views of mountains and the ocean. So when I found all those things, at a fair price, there was nothing to think about. I knew I’d found our home.
When I showed my wife the videos and photos she confirmed that I’d made the right decision and the rest is history.
We love the abundant nature out on our property. So far we have seen, heard or had reports of toucans, iguanas, deer, white faced monkeys, congo monkeys and sloths in or around our property! Oh, and of course the famous big blue morpho butterflies! Our dream is to lay in hammocks on our porch and watch the sunset out over the Gulf while sipping coffee or a glass of Chileno wine, as the birds sing and the monkeys occasionally play in the nearby trees.
In the evening the chicharras will begin to sing as we step into the jacuzzi for that “Aaaaah” relaxation after a day of gardening or running errands in San Ramon.
The fact that it is only 20 minutes or so from San Ramon makes it even more ideal because San Ramon is the perfect Costa Rican town in our opinion! The size is just right – not too big as to have terrible traffic, and small enough that you can actually walk from one end to the other in about half an hour.
San Ramon is known as a home to poets and Presidents. It has a college, a hospital and virtually anything you need yet it has the feel of a small town. The people are friendly, there’s a great open air fruit and vegetable market every week, there are enough expats there to find fellow American friends as well as Canadians, Germans, Italians and so on and yet it has totally retained it’s Tico identity.
It’s 45 minutes from San Jose by freeway, and only a couple hours from one of our – and many people’s – favorite places to go for a weekend getaway: Arenal Volcano. We love the hot springs and views up there and it’s a beautiful drive as well. If it’s the ocean we want it’s only a hop skip and a jump (or rather a bus, ferry and another bus) away from Montezuma, another one of our favorite Costa Rican getaways.
And of course buses run into San Jose and back every half hour, and since I’m not fond of driving in San Jose that’s perfect in case we need to do some shopping or just want to do some San Jose’ people watching one afternoon.
San Ramon is an ideal spot as far as we are concerned and we can’t wait to build on our land and live there permanently. (Meanwhile we already have friends there and come down for a month at a time to visit and get to know the town and the people.
So far we’ve made 4 trips and each time it has reinforced our desire to move there asap!) And that’s one of the other nice things: the people of San Ramon are very friendly and helpful. One day I borrowed a friend’s car and suddenly as I parked for my wife to run into the bank, the car alarm started going off for some reason and I couldn’t figure out how to get it to stop.
A Tico walking down the street, seeing that I had no idea what to do, came over and helped me and within a minute he had helped me figure out how to stop it. This kind of kindness is common in San Ramon and makes me realize how lucky we are to have property there.
Now if we can just sell a couple of lots from our property so we can build our home, we can live happily ever after! Sell or not we plan to move down to San Ramon area next year, and we can’t wait!
Build Your Own ‘Cadillac’ Style Costa Rica Home in Puriscal on a Budweiser Budget
If you are looking for quality new homes built by an American builder in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica priced under $200,000, you may want to consider the lovely area of Puriscal which is about an hour West of the San José International airport and the capital city San José.
Property ID Number: 4403
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