Buying Real Estate


Many if not Most countries in the world severely restrict the rights of foreigners to buy property. Some absolutely prohibit it. Not Costa Rica, this is one country where you needn't be a citizen or go through all kinds of legal gymnastics in order to own property If you're financially capable of buying it, it's yours. The standard recommendation to visitors is to wait at least six months before buying property However, many catch real estate fever within the first few days of their initial visit and end up buying something anyway, For a while the buying spree in Costa Rica diminished somewhat, but people from all over the world are still plunking down money to buy something anything before it's all gone.

The growing presence of foreigners who desire to move to Costa Rica puts an amount of pressure on prices, Over the past several years the real estate market has been gradually going up at a higher rate than inflation, but from my point of view, many properties are still bargains. My guess is that the boom will continue, with predictable cycles of frequent selling followed by stack periods, just before another sellers' market, For twenty years armchair experts have been saying that Costa Rica real estate is overpriced, that the market has peaked and is sure to tumble. Overpriced, compared to where? Clearly you can buy a home in Nicaragua, El Salvador, or Panama for a fraction of the price in Costa Rica. If you want to live in Nicaragua, be my guest. These same experts have been predicting the collapse of California real estate for twenty years. Yet prices keep going up, despite the fact that you can buy cheap property in places like Oklahoma, Nebraska, or Kentucky.

The reason Costa Rica and California real estate keeps appreciating is a basic principle called "supply and demand." When a surplus of buyers feet they'd rather live in San jose. than Managua, prices will be higher in San Jose Should they prefer Santa Barbara to Souix City, home prices will rise to meet the demand. Home Prices Some people are surprised when researching home prices by Internet or looking at ads in the Tico Times. There are plenty of places to be found at bargain prices, but you must realize that there are several levels of real estate, from the very cheap to the ultra expensive. 11 you're looking for something at the lower end of the scale, Internet and English language newspapers aren't the best places to look.

When property is a real bargain, it won't be on the Internet and it probably won't be in the Tico Times. The more affordable properties are usually bought and sold by Ticos, who read La Nacion or La Republica, and who don't have access to the Internet. When the price is much over $60,000, most Ticos and those gringos with ordinary budgets can't buy The advertisement for these properties goes into places where well-to-do buyers will see it, like on the Internet. The same goes for rents. A house or apartment that rents for $200 a month doesn't need to be advertised in a newspaper or posted on the Internet; word of mouth does it. But a luxury place that rents for $2,000 or sells for $200,000 needs to be exposed to a different market.


Writen by John Howels

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