Dreaming About Owning Real Estate in Costa Rica?
To those of you who have been dreaming of one day retiring here, owning real estate or simply spending more time in Costa Rica, the following is an informative and factual representation of life in this magnificent paradise. As one who has lived in many exotic destinations, I can assure you that the simplicity and rich lifestyle that this region affords me is unlike anything I have ever experienced…anywhere in the world.
Many of you have already experienced the Pura Vida “Pure Life” lifestyle for which this region and country is renowned for; and many of the questions that I field from you on a daily basis pertain to a variety of topics ranging from the cost of living to healthcare and especially the lifestyle in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The following will reveal to you the basics in order for you to develop a foundation for the place you might want to call home one day.
Imagine Costa Rica as Your Retirement Destination
Many individuals from across the globe are exploring alternatives for living better on less money. Certainly, there are many places on this planet where this is possible.
But when it comes to living better, it is not just for the pure economics of spending less and getting more. In fact, expats in Costa Rica are among the happiest expats in the world, statistically; and one of the motivating factors most commonly expressed is simply that there appears to be an increasing lack of civility back home, and, in particular, the way older individuals are treated.
Botánika Osa Peninsula, a Curio Collection by Hilton, is a real estate offering of luxury branded hotel residences that promises to fit a variety of lifestyles. The professional management program associated with Botánika takes care of every aspect of home ownership, and even helps you literally pay the bills.
Costa Rica’s land mass makes up but a small dot on a world map, and the Osa Peninsula is hardly visible. It is indeed a phenomenon that on this small footprint you will find “the most biologically intense place on Earth” according to National Geographic. Our real estate offering is located in this tranquil spot surrounded by lush forests, crashing waterfalls, and gentle streams where unusual wildlife abounds.
Why Costa Rica?
Factors that Differentiate Us from Other Retirement Destinations
* Proximity to the USA and Canada – with many direct flights from two international airports (and a third in the works); you are close to the U.S.A and Canada, (less than three hours from Miami).
* Excellent weather – from the temperate Central Valley to the beautiful tropical beaches, there’s a climate to satisfy everyone.
* Top-quality healthcare – The World Health Organization praises Costa Rica for its health care system. It is ranked better than the U.S., despite spending 87 percent less on healthcare per capita. Costa Rica’s national health care system, which all residents have to join, will cost you about $75 per month and that fee covers doctors’ visits and prescriptions. This national health care system is ranked among the best in the world. Of course, private insurance is also available and most plans cover dental, optometry, and cosmetic surgery in case of an accident. Private medical insurance typically costs $50 to $100 per month.
* No other Latin American country has experienced the peaceful history and democratic stability and Costa Rica has no army or military. Sociologists from the Happy Planet Index have written that Costa Ricans report “the highest satisfaction of life.” Canada ranked #58; USA ranked #104. Costa Ricans have the second-highest average life expectancy of the Americas, second to Canada.
* All the comforts of home – modern shopping malls and world-class hospitals. Reliable high-speed internet is available just about everywhere. Low, low taxes- there is no income tax on foreign-earned income. Best of all – no capital gains tax!
* A built in community of English speaking locals and expats – It’s said that more than 11,000 retires from the USA currently live in Costa Rica. With almost no pollution and lots of clean water and fresh air, Costa Rica is one of the only countries in the world to actually reverse deforestation by planting more trees than it harvests.
* Costa Rica boasts a very high literacy rate and many of its citizens are bilingual. The implications of an educated population are all encompassing. Not just in the fact that it represents a well-informed workforce attracting many international companies, but that an educated culture reaches out to the lifestyles of many other cultures.
Real Estate Opportunities
The future for real estate in Costa Rica is very bright…and only getting brighter. Here is what International Living Real Estate Editor Ronan McMahon has to say about Costa Rica real estate:
“In the 1980s, International Living recommended buying real estate in northern Costa Rica. This part of Costa Rica caught on… and became the number one destination among foreign retirees and investors. Through the 1990s, the market boomed”. He goes on to say… “Thing is: there are, arguably, nicer parts of Costa Rica that haven’t yet caught on”.
There has been a return of American buyers into this market. They consist mostly of the upper middle class in North America looking for a second investment with income potential in the vacation rental market. They want an investment which has value, quality, and performance in order to bolster their retirement strategy. The market for Costa Rica real estate saw a significant turnaround in 2013 after setting a record in international arrivals in 2012 with more than two million people landing on its sunny shores. Reports from agents and agencies are highly optimistic for 2018 since a much larger number of investments than expected have been registered in most regions. All regional reports indicate that the market projections will continue into the next decade.”
Costa Rican Economy
Ranked the number 1 tourist destination of all the countries in Latin America, Costa Rica tourism brings in more than $2 billion every year. This is a country the size of West Virginia. Furthermore, foreign direct investment per capita is one of the highest in Latin America. The fact that Costa Rica is not dependent on remittances-which only represents about 2% of GDP, dictates that this country has a very strong economy.
As a sign of its prosperity, no other Central American country has more than one international airport; little Costa Rica has two… with a third International Airport on the way.
It is important to note that according to U.S. government statistics, Costa Rica enjoys the region’s highest standard of living and a low unemployment rate.
Cost of Living
The long and short answer to the question, “How much does it cost to live in Costa Rica?” is: “As much as you want to spend.” It really helps that the ego is very rarely seen in this country. There are no social pressures to dress a certain way, drive a certain car, or spend money on material items for the sole purpose of prestige. This is a very practical culture, and the values are grounded in spirit much more than in materialistic possessions. My family and I travel by bicycle, which keeps us fit and at the same time has no negative connotation as to what we can and cannot afford. Nobody really cares; and everybody greets us warmly and graciously and with respect.
It is simply the Pura Vida approach to life which refers to the uniquely Costa Rican approach to everyday existence: a laid-back, easy-going, warm, friendly attitude that pervades everyday interactions. It is this attitude that will reduce your stress levels dramatically! Pura Vida = The Good Life.
The simple fact of the matter is that my family and I feel very cool to be seen around town on our bicycles. The fact that we live where the rain forest meets the ocean, and where there are more species of birds than in Canada and the USA combined, is paramount. You would be amazed to know who else bikes around town in shorts and a T-shirt.
Most expats live very comfortably on a budget of $2000 per month. Locals manage this on much, much less. If you can spend $4,000 per month; it is reputed that you would live like a rock star.
When it comes to the cost of groceries, a good rule of thumb is to budget about half of what you would normally spend at home. You eat much healthier in Costa Rica for a fraction of what you’d pay to do so at home. Locally grown, fresh produce is abundant and very inexpensive.
Where else could you spoil yourself with a salon haircut, manicure or pedicure for $5-$10? Would you like a maid to clean your house, or perhaps a cook to prepare your meals? Try $14.00 per day for these services.
One Final Note
You have an opportunity to invest in your lifestyle and health in combination with experiencing Costa Rica’s breath-taking natural beauty and an affordable cost of living in the “Pura Vida” lifestyle. So much unspoiled beauty isn’t accidental, by the way. The Costa Rican government is proud of the country’s natural assets and is committed to protecting and preserving both the environment and wildlife. This is demonstrated by the fact that over 25% of the land mass of the country is dedicated as National Park or federally protected area. We at Crocodile Bay Marina share that commitment in our new development plans.
In summation: people in this corner of the world are happier, healthier, and able to live a more enriching life surrounded by dramatic scenery and sunshine. It’s really not surprising that so many are eager to move here. Come and feel rejuvenated, and surround yourself with exotic plants and wildlife. Wake up to the most natural alarm clock on earth, the sound of the Howler Monkeys and Scarlet Macaws.
Why Visit When You Can Live Here?
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