Tag Archives: Costa Rica real estate

Costa Rica real estate ….. bargains!

At the moment, it’s a buyer’s market in Costa Rica; it is a great time to take advantage of the opportunities in real estate.  Although many properties have not dropped in price, most sellers are quite willing to negotiate.  Some even offer short term financing as an incentive to buyers.  

If you have been toying with the idea of investing in property or buying a home in Costa Rica, check out these listings that have been greatly reduced in price.  If the dream of living the good life in Costa Rica has ever flitted through your head, maybe one of these “deals” will make your dream a reality.  (P.S.  If you are from the US, health care in Costa Rica is excellent AND very affordable.)

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Wanna move to Costa Rica?

After reading all the positive press lately about Costa Rica, doesn’t it make you just a little bit envious of those of us who are here enjoying the weather, food, health care, lifestyle, etc. on a daily basis?  You can live here too!  If you’re wondering about housing, there are some great bargains right now.  Check this out to see just a few: http://www.costaricatropicalparadiseproperties.com/Greatly_REDUCED/page_2184472.html

CowParade in San José – a moooooving experience (couldn’t resist saying that – groan)

Chow time -- pork, please!  COWman Miranda?  Hope  Pasture camoflauge?  May I have this dance?  
Following in the footsteps (hoof prints?) of 57 other cities around the world, San José now features more than 100 large fiberglass cows in the heart of the city.  Cows standing on their hind legs, happily grazing or lying down depict humorous as well as serious themes in various locations downtown.  The cows first made their appearance in March and since then have attracted a great deal of attention, especially with children.  The bovine beauties will move on to greener pastures in August when they are auctioned off and a portion of the proceeds given to charity.  (Large scale lawn art, anyone?)  CowParade began in Zurich and Chicago quickly followed suit (in honor of Mrs. O’ Leary’s cow?).  Costa Rica’s CowParade is the first in Central America and is well worth a leisurely stroll in the parks in San José.  Bring the kids!  (This land with 2 homes in Dota has plenty of room for cows, horses, dogs, goats, ducks, chickens and YOU!)  

A green thumb or dumb luck?

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Costa Rica is a country rife with color.  Trees bursting with bright orange, soft periwinkle and brilliant yellow blossoms dot the countryside in huge swatches of color during different seasons of the year.  These intense technicolor displays are not limited to trees alongside the road, however; multi-colored impatiens grow rampant in ditches, beside rocks, next to trickling streams and around fallen branches.  Mother Nature imposes herself upon the environment and produces lush vegetation in locations you would never expect anything but rocks to survive.  What a perfect place for someone with no plant knowledge – you can look like you have a degree in horticulture with little or no effort.  I am proof positive.  Some time ago, a friend gave me an orchid.  I had never had an orchid and immediately put it in a pot of dirt.  Fortunately, I was informed that orchids don’t grow in dirt and purchased a bag of chips (redwood?) at a greenhouse and re-potted the plant in a hanging, chip-filled pot.  I was also advised that orchids shouldn’t be in direct sunlight or watered very much.  I translated this to mean “forget about it,” which I did.  Recently, as I was walking under the cas tree, I bumped into a large collection of blossoms – the orchid was blooming!!!  This was perhaps 3 years after hanging it in the tree.  What a wonderful surprise.  If I were seriously trying to grow orchids, they’d die so I will continue to ignore the plant, but will watch it so I don’t miss any future flowers.   (Here’s a home where the owner’s green thumb is very much in evidence.)

Costa Rica – next door or the end of the earth?

“You live where?  Costa Rica?  That’s down by Florida isn’t it?”  Contrary to what some may think, Costa Rica is neither a mispronunciation of Puerto Rico nor an island.  (An aside: The correct pronunciation is coast-uh not cost-uh rica.) “It must take hours to get there!”  Whether you are geography-challenged or if Mexico is the only country south of the U.S. with which you have any familiarity, you may not realize that Costa Rica is closer to most of North America than Hawaii.  Compare these distances and flight times.
Miami to San José: 1,126 miles, 2:41 (hours:minutes)
  
Miami to Honolulu: 4,860 miles, 10:46
Houston to San José: 1,565 miles, 3:14
  
Houston to Honolulu: 3,903 miles, 8:41
Phoenix to San José: 2,406 miles, 4:51
  
Phoenix to Honolulu: 2,916, 6:33
Los Angeles to San José: 2,734 miles, 5:29
  
Los Angeles to Honolulu: 2,556 miles, 5:46
Newark to San José: 2,212 miles, 5:2
  
Newark to Honolulu: 4,960 miles, 10:59
Seattle to San José: 3,418 miles, 6:47
  
Seattle to Honolulu: 2,680 miles, 6:03
Minneapolis/St. Paul to San José: 2,479 miles, 4:59
  
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Honolulu: 3,971 miles, 8:50
Toronto to San José: 2,353 miles, 5:20 
  
Toronto to Honolulu: 4,647 miles, 10:18
In a matter of a few hours, you can leave work or snow behind and touch down on Costa Rica’s fertile soil.  Major airlines offer convenient flights in and out of San José every day.  What prevents some people from visiting Costa Rica?  Lack of interest in or information about the country?  The fact that the “natives” (ticos) speak something other than English?  Cultural differences?  Fear of the unknown?  Costa Rica can feel as familiar or as foreign as you want.  There are bustling shopping centers with English speaking clerks, fancy hotels, international restaurants, SUVs, modern hospitals and FLUSH toilets!  However, for those who prefer a little more out-of-the-ordinary adventure-filled vacation, there are wild jungles, rainforests, waterfalls, mountains and volcanoes to explore.  Costa Rica has it all.  To enjoy the uniqueness of our little country, you only need a passport (no immunizations!), an openness to be amazed by exotic plants and animals and a willingness to be captivated by the friendly “ticos.”  1.9 million foreign visitors found their way here in 2007.  Isn’t it your turn?  We’re really not that far away! (Maybe once you’re here, you’ll want to stay.  Here’s a great place to find that new home!)

At home with the birds, bees, flowers and trees

Kitchen with a view

How do you picture living in Costa Rica?  Under a thatched roof?  Swinging in a hammock?  Dancing in the surf?  One creative homeowner has interpreted life in the tropics as open-air living where you can reach out and touch lush foliage from your kitchen sink, living room sofa or dining room table.  Built in an area that is totally safe and secure, this home has no walls or windows!  Face to face encounters with toucans and motmots are common occurrences and iguanas leisurely stroll atop perimeter walls as if the world were theirs and no “intruders” were within miles.  As a home, business or home business, this home offers a unique experience for someone with a sense of adventure and an appreciation of the extraordinary.  Check it out!

Invest in Costa Rica real estate with your IRA

In brief: Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code allows for an IRA, Roth IRA or SEP-IRA to purchase real estate with tax deferred dollars.  To take advantage of this provision, you must work with an independent IRA custodian.   Since you will not have title to the property – the custodian will – it is important to work with an experienced, reputable, trustworthy brokerage company/custodian.  If your IRA doesn’t have sufficient funds available, it may purchase an interest in a property along with other investors.  Any income from your property must be directed to your IRA administrator – you may not directly benefit.  Thus, income, such as rent payments on the property, will be tax free and if your property accumulates cash, it may be used to invest in other properties.  Any expenses, such as association dues, repairs or utilities, must be paid by the custodian.  There are important restrictions.  Personal use of your property is prohibited (e.g. as a residence, vacation property or office).  You are not to benefit from the real estate other than via increased IRA value.  You may not have your IRA buy property that you or your immediate family currently own or previously owned.  (This does not hold true for siblings, however.)  At 59½, you may remove the property from your IRA and have the title placed in your name and put to personal use.  If it has been in an IRA, there may be tax consequences on the appreciated value of the property.  If it has been in a Roth IRA, there will be no tax consequences.  If purchasing real estate with your IRA is an attractive option, contact a reliable brokerage firm for specific information and administration.  If you decide you want to pursue this option, contact Costa Rica Tropical Paradise Properties.  We will work with you to find a property in Costa Rica that is a good investment.