COSTA RICA REAL ESTATE ARTICLE
This Costa Rica real estate article discusses why Costa Rica real estate has been so popular over the last decade.
Costa Rica is a major tourist attraction for people from around the world but, primarily, the US and Canada.
Indeed, tourism accounts for nearly eight percent of its gross domestic product and the number of tourists traveling to it is increasing dramatically.
Tens of thousands combine a vacation with medical care in Costa Rica.
20% (some estimate more) of men come for the women (what happens here, stays here).
Most simply come for a wonderful tropical vacation.
This tiny country, only about the size of West Virginia is world-famous for its warm, sun-drenched beaches and beautiful tropical mountains and landscape.
Though it encompasses only one-tenth of one percent of the planet, it is home to an incredible diversity of plants and animals. In fact, nearly one of every twenty species of plants and animals on the globe is found here.
There are more kinds of butterflies in this little place than on the entire African continent and nearly the same number of species of birds as in the continental United States (not to mention what sometimes seem like more Costa Rica real estate articles than stars in the sky). It is no wonder, then, that Costa Rica draws tourists like a magnet. This country, which has been a democracy since it cast off its Spanish conquerors, has acquired the status of a tourist hot spot in Central America.
The boom in the tourism industry has contributed positively to the growth of Costa Rica real estate over the past decade–and a plethora of Costa Rica real estate articles.
You may have seen a Costa Rica real estate article relating that the north and central Pacific coast, in particular, with their great weather and many attractions, have been the most popular area for tourists for a number of years.
The need for developed property catering to the needs of the growing number of visitors has seen a sharp rise in prices of real estate there.
Hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, and places for daytime and nighttime fun have sprung up dramatically. This has led to an acute shortage of land in some places that have brought increased upward pressure on land prices.
Additionally, the massive influx of retirees and folks who choose to live in a tropical paradise and leave behind the pressures of day-to-day life has also contributed to the increase in property prices in some coastal areas.
Plenty of outside investment has been coming into real estate from outside the country. The U.S. has led the way, of course, but there are lots of investors from Canada and Western Europe.
My belief is that these countries will soon be joined by China which has been increasing its presence in Costa Rica dramatically over the last few years. The Chinese, like everybody else, reads Costa Rica real estate articles and. . . they are flush with money.
In addition to Costa Rica beachfront property, the main areas of investment are farms (called fincas) which are being developed into subdivisions, mountain properties, and vacation rentals. Real estate prices have soared along the Pacific coast and some other parts of the country because expatriates and people wanting Costa Rica condominiums or second homes have realized just how cheap, relative to the U.S. and Europe, the land is.
Costa Rican real estate has been and continues to be, a good investment because the country has a very stable political system and a growing economy.
Unlike Mexico, foreigners can own free title to land.
The crime rate in Costa Rica remains low, though increasing, and human development indices are very high compared to other Central American countries.
The tourist influx has also seen the country evolve to accommodate the international community. More and more international investors have come to the conclusion that Costa Rica has it is a great place to invest in real estate and their returns on investment have borne out that faith.
Of course, Costa Rica has felt the impact of the severe economic downturn in the States and Europe. Sales of Costa Rica condominiums and single-family homes in subdivisions have slowed dramatically and in some areas along the Pacific coast, cash-strapped Americans are selling their tropical homes at steep discounts.
Every contraction sets the stage for recovery. Costa Rica is expected to boom again due to the continuing tourist influx into the country, the high returns that real estate investment yields here, and the increasing scarcity of land in some places. Over the last decade, many investors have seen the value of their investments soar, though there is in fact a pull-back today in some areas because of the worldwide recession. Even many small-time investments have proved to be lucrative. Tempering the future boom a bit, though, maybe that the fact that property in highly desired areas is becoming increasingly. On the other hand, this may lead to increased investment in prime real estate inland.
Briefly, this Costa Rica real estate article touches upon properties on both coasts and around its capital.
The Costa Rica beachfront properties along the Pacific coast have seen, and probably will continue to see, the largest increase in prices over time.
The Caribbean coast remains relatively undeveloped. Certainly, prices there, like all of Costa Rica, are rising but not nearly as much as on the other coast (which, of course, means that stress on prices has been less lately than on the Pacific side).
And, as more and more Ticos move from the country into the big urban area around San Jose, available prime property there has become increasingly scarce. Demand remains strong in the urban areas and, for more and more expats who live in Costa Rica, the amenities and climate around San Jose are proving irresistible.
Costa Rica Real Estate: Due Diligence
Now, no Costa Rica real estate article would be complete without some discussion of due diligence.
For some odd reason, many, many foreigners who buy Costa Rica real estate put down cash—lots of money—without:
1. Even seeing the property they want to purchase; and
2. Exercising the most basic, prudent due diligence, to find out who really owns the property, whether there are squatters, and what liens there are, if any, against the property.
I suppose they’re buying a dream, just like thousands and thousands of Americans who bought, sight unseen, Florida. . . swampland a few years ago.
It’s normal to fall in love with Costa Rica and think about moving here or buying a second home.
That’s all well and good but don’t be a fool.
Don’t send money to some Nigerian “lawyer” who has $15,000,000 waiting for you from some long lost uncle and who advises all you need to do is send a few thousand dollars to free up your bequest.
Don’t buy, sight unseen, Florida lots for $1,000 down and $100 a month unless you’re prepared to get back and forth in a swamp buggy.
And don’t buy undeveloped Costa Rica land or home until you’ve done your due diligence.