There are currently many misconceptions about Costa Rica when it comes to property prices. The news and media are currently leading many people to believe that the prices of real estate in this country are getting out of reach for most people. After living here for a few years I have found that there still is plenty of great investment opportunities available. The issue that most people were faced with is dealing with real estate agents. Many real estate companies are in the business to make money and they want you to look at the properties in which their commissions are the highest.
When purchasing property in a foreign country it can be difficult to know who you can, and who you cannot trust. This tends to lead people to rely on what they are familiar with so that they can protect their investment with the use of someone else's knowledge. It is important to understand that it is not always necessary to use a real estate agent to find a very inexpensive piece of property or home to purchase. Many people in Costa Rica are not in a hurry to sell their property and nor do they really understand the fact they have to pay a real estate agent to sell their home or business. When faced with this proposition of commission, many choose to just wait until someone comes along so that they can deal with them directly without having to pay. This is a great benefit for you the buyer to take advantage of. But, where do you start?
Self-employment is very popular in this Central American country. Many men and women do miscellaneous types of odd jobs to support their family. They are very good at this though their income is very low. By asking around you can find some of them that are trustworthy to help you in your cause. You have to be careful because they do have a tendency to try to take advantage of people from other countries just for the chance of making money. On the other hand there are a few that are very honest and will do almost anything to help you. These men and women know people throughout the country and keep close track of anything for sale. It doesn't matter to them if it's a cow, chicken, car, or a small piece of property that is located on the Pacific Coast. You can hire these people to find a home or business for sale in which you will pay pennies on the dollar in comparison to what a real estate agent will charge you.
Probably, more than 90% of real estate construction in Costa Rica is composed of cement and cement blocks. The reason for this varies from place to place, but in general this is because they believe that cement foundations and walls will handle earthquakes better than wood construction. The use of insulation is almost nonexistent and in most places unless located on the coastlines, is not needed. If you are one that likes the idea of being your own general contractor you can build a house very inexpensively here. Typical construction costs through completion for a normal three-bedroom home can be around $30-$40000. Property costs can range from $1000 per acre on up.
To wrap this up in a nutshell here's where you might begin. Plan a trip to visit Costa Rica and reserve some time for looking at real estate. Upon arrival find yourself a copy of the Tico Times newspaper if you speak English, or the country's largest Spanish newspaper named La Nacion. If your cell phone does not work here then you can find one to rent that is very affordable. Many of these phones come with unlimited minutes for around $10 per day. You can rent a car by looking in the newspaper with full coverage insurance and unlimited mileage for around $35 per day. This amount is far below the rates you will pay from most chain car rental outlets. Contact the people that have real estate in which you have an interest and find out if they speak your language. If not make a note to call them back when you have someone that can interpret for you. The newspaper will also possibly help you find someone to assist you with your Spanish if needed. Ask many of the people you run into if they know someone that can help you communicate while you are here, and that they are trustworthy. Make sure that they come with good references so that you don't have to be concerned with theft.
Some of the places you might check to find someone to help can include local large and small grocery stores, your hotel, furniture and white goods stores. Make sure to ask each and every person that you call from the classifieds if they have any ideas also.
The majority of Costa Rica's population is hard workers though the pay is usually around two dollars per hour. If you buy a home, small farm, or ranch in the country, you can hire a person or a family to take care of you and your property. For much less than you can imagine they will clean your house, cook your meals, take care of your yard, and watch your property while you are gone. Most Costa Ricans are very interested in learning English or another foreign language if it involves making an income. Basic things are usually very easy to express to them even without the use of Spanish. There's always someone nearby that does speak English, French, German, and sometimes even Russian.
By using some of the methods discussed in this article you'll be able to possibly find a piece of property, or a home, in which you can buy for the right price. This procedure will not produce results as quickly as a realtor but you won't go broke so quickly either.
Some final notes of caution! When visiting Costa Rica never allow anything you own to be out of sight. Theft rates for foreigners are exceptionally high. As long as you carry what you have with you the chances of something going wrong are very small. Do not leave things of value locked in your car or in your hotel unless you have someone watching them for you. Do not wear expensive jewelry on public streets and always keep a tight grasp on anything you wish to keep. Does this mean that you have to be concerned about your physical well-being? Typically there are only problems with theft. Rarely are people ever mugged or molested in any form. If you feel uncomfortable in an area then you should leave it.
There is real estate in Costa Rica that is still available and will be for many years into the future that could be no better described than Paradise. The weather and the clean air alone is plenty enough for most people to want to stay here forever. Make sure that you find a good attorney that comes with many references from the locals, and also from people in the area that speak your language. Use this attorney to make sure that the title of this property you have an interest in is clear and free of liens or outstanding past-due bills. The legal system in this Third World country is not the same as it is in the US and other more advanced countries.