Costa Rica Real Estate,Costa Rica Investments: Central Pacific Costa Rica: Living in Costa Rica
Can You Still Find Reasonable Real Estate Prices in Costa Rica?
How About a House for $7,500?
I can’t stop thinking about Costa Rica. The picture of those lush green mountains and the first sight of the ocean far below is stuck in my head like a skipping record. Only this one I don’t mind replaying.
|Costa Rica Real Estate|
My husband, Dan, and I were married in Costa Rica 10 years ago and this was our first trip back there together since. We were there to take part in a Costa Rica seminar….and we couldn’t wait to see if the country felt the same to us as it did when we were newlyweds. We weren’t disappointed.
Costa Rica has a lot going for it…it’s a nature-lover’s dream, with green-carpeted mountains, oh-wow volcanoes, and that blue, blue ocean. It’s got top-quality, affordable healthcare and a longstanding tradition of democracy. There’s no army here…instead, the government spends money on social issues like the environment and education…I didn’t run into a single Costa Rican on this trip who didn’t speak a good amount of English. But is Costa Rica still a worthy place for the expat, I wondered? And most importantly, is it still affordable?
I wasn’t disappointed there either. One expat, Sally, told us that she rents a 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom house, with a beautiful Central Valley view for $1100 per month. You can rent a small apartment (I’m told) for $200-$300. But it was property sales prices I was interested in…
In the Central Valley suburb of Heredia, a brand-new two-bedroom condo can be found for as little as $80,000. Homes like the one Sally’s family lives in start at about $100,000. These are upscale homes, but of course you can find tico-style homes for even less. And yes, you can certainly pay more. In the more popular beach areas of Guanacaste and the along the Central Pacific Coast, you won’t find an oceanview condo close to the beach under $300,000. But I was interested in learning about two Costa Rica areas in particular…
When Dan and I ambled through Costa Rica on our honeymoon, two places struck our fancy. One was the Lake Arenal area to the north of San Jose. The other was the beach community of Dominical, far to the south. How much are homes going for in these places, I wondered?
Just 20 minutes north of Lake Arenal, a two-bedroom, two-bath house on a half-acre lot is $39,000. A short walk from the town of Arenal a three-bedroom, three-bath house with a garage (completely modern and updated), on a quarter-acre lot is offered for $139,000. If you have more to spend you can buy six acres of wooded lakefront or 30 acres with hot springs and waterfalls for $240,000. You can also find really cheap property such as a one-bedroom, one-bath house on a quarter-acre lot bordering a river (and also a walk away from Arenal town) for $7,500. No, that’s not a misprint…the price is $7,500! It needs renovation, but as the man sitting next to me said, “You can’t make a mistake at that price.”
Arenal is one of the only places in Costa Rica that has yet to hit its stride as far as appreciating prices go. Maybe that’s because it’s not near the beach. But I remember it from 10 years ago as a breath of fresh air. A pristine tropical mountain lake with Arenal Volcano looming majestically at one end. It spurts red blasts at night…quite a spectacle and not a danger…releasing energy routinely keeps it from a full-blown eruption..
The other area of interest to me is on the coast south of Dominical (currently a five-hour drive from San Jose), where a new international airport is scheduled to be built. There’s a community there where the lush jungle mountains overlooking some of Costa Rica’s most pristine beaches come right down to the water. View lots here (minimum size of 1,000 square-feet) start at $55,000 and custom construction costs about $75 per square foot. The nearby town is small, but a friend who lives there says it has a lively expat crowd and some excellent small hotels and restaurants.
I hope to return to Costa Rica soon. Look for my report in 2008 about what I find there.
Regards, Suzanne Haskin
Costa Rica News | Costa Rica Real Estate | Buying Real Estate
Link to YOUR Website:Get A Business Info Page
Add Your Costa Rica Business, Restaurant, Tours & Hotel FREE!