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Costa Rica’s popularity as a relocation destination is nothing new. Tens of thousands of expats from all corners of the world have made themselves at home here in recent decades, permanently or part-time, while foreign investment markets for vacation rental properties have been buoyed by steady tourism growth. 


But there’s no question that unprecedented global circumstances over the past two years have had an impact on the real estate scene here. The dynamics are no less vibrant now, but decidedly different, in some exciting ways. Notably, there’s been an uptrend in younger expat home buyers, as well as owners who are here to stay.


Tropical haven


That vacation travel to Costa Rica rebounded with the easing of international and local  pandemic restrictions was hardly surprising. The country’s full reopening of international borders on November 1, 2020 was pivotal. Never before had people everywhere seemed more motivated and eager to get away from their cooped-up status quo. The usual reasons for North Americans seeking to escape the cold and daily grind were compounded by so much more that had rocked their world in unfathomable ways: from health crises and economic loss to social isolation and divisive politics. 


Meanwhile, everything that has always made Costa Rica so appealing to tourists — as well as a haven to those already owning vacation homes here — was waiting with open arms. Similar deciding factors saw new floodgates of interest in property ownership open up at the same time. Potential foreign buyers included those who might never have otherwise contemplated the notion of buying a piece of pura vida paradise. 


Increased acceptance of remote jobs as being a feasible lifestyle choice, not just a lockdown necessity, was hugely influential. Home-centered priorities shifted, with people rethinking the needs and preferences that their living space should best accommodate. What they value in their outdoor surroundings took on added importance too, from seeking a closer connection with nature to growing their own food. Others became more eco-conscious and interested in more sustainable ways of living.


These were the kind of house-hunting incentives that kept realtors in Costa Rica busy hosting visitors — mostly from North America — throughout 2021, even during the normal low tourist season.


At the same time, other foreign buyers moved forward with their pre-pandemic intentions, while sellers benefited from the market becoming unstuck. In fact, 2020 had been forecast as the strongest year in a decade.

See this article in the magazine

Read Up, Don’t Rush

While there is no denying that real estate sales in Costa Rica are currently brisk and the outlook bright, that is never a good reason to rush such an important decision. You’ll find agreement from the various industry experts who have contributed to this special real estate edition of Howler. The same goes for our regular writers of legal advice, both covering real estate topics in this issue.

Take your time, learn and benefit from the knowledge they offer. That’s always advisable, which is why Howler has always been pleased to feature a diverse range of articles relevant to real estate decisions, property ownership and building options. From location factors to lifestyle considerations, we’ve covered it.

So, for the benefit of new readers and others who might want to revisit any of these subjects, we’ve created a list of online article titles

Market Movement is Brisk

The second-home real estate market in Costa Rica is extremely active at the moment, according to Coldwell Banker Tamarindo Realty. Time on the market for properties priced at market rate is under one month. Many properties are selling at full asking price before they are published, just by word of mouth between agents. For luxury properties — $1 million and higher — the market is active but not as hot.


Potential buyers interested in touring properties are advised to register your interest with a realtor early enough to stay informed of new listings. Then take your time until finding the right home. When ready to move forward, be prepared to present an offer immediately. Have sufficient funds on hand to put a 10% refundable deposit down within 10 days, and to

pay the balance within a month.

Got any — or many — questions about real estate in Costa Rica? 

Or not quite sure what to ask about? 

Look no further for everything that’s important to know about finding, buying, building, or selling a home in this wonderful country. Whether you’re thinking of moving here for good, or owning a place to enjoy vacations and generate rental income, we’ve got you covered from every angle.

Howler’s online collection of articles is extensive, offering expert perspectives on design and building topics as well as real estate, legal, financial, investment and property management issues. There are many titles here and we encourage you to spend time exploring and reading. Seldom does anyone regret making a well-informed real estate decision.


Thinking ahead

Moving to Costa Rica: Is it Right for You?

The Unplanned Wonders of Pura Vida: What to Really Expect Moving Your Family to Costa Rica

Only Fools Rush In: Financing a Life in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Your Way

Seven Things to Think About When Moving to Costa Rica

Considering Relocating to Costa Rica?


Picking your place

Costa Rica Property Options: Finding Your Own Piece of Paradise

What Area of Costa Rica is Right for Me?

Picking Your Dream Property

What Makes it a Good Area to Invest in Costa Rica?


Location, location

Guanacaste Luxury Properties Attract Visitors and Luxury Home Buyers

Investing in Guanacaste: Look Ahead

Jacó Has it All: Booming Beach Town is Artistic, Fun and Family-Friendly

Jacó Area Remains Increasingly Popular

Playa Flamingo: The Jewel of the Gold Coast

Loco for Coco

Tamarindo Vibes: Reasons Not to Want it Any Other Way

Our Little Secret: Nosara

Playa Avellanas: Where Surfers, Foodies and Farmers Unite

Slowing it Down in the Nandamajo Valley

Real Estate Update for the Papagayo Region 


Expert perspectives


Know Before You Buy: The Importance of of a Home Inspection

Is Your Builder Responsible?

Purchasing Pre-Construction Home Properties


Designing and building

From Dream to Reality: Design and Legal Process

From Dream to Design

Conserving Biodiversity by Design 

Costa Rica Building Permit Process: Step by Step

When is a Good Time of Year to Build in Costa Rica?

How Much Will it Cost? Some Building Budget Factors are Different Here

Anatomy of a Costa Rican Dream Home

Dream Home by Design: Your Sanctuary of Peace and Happiness

By Design: Sustainable, Attainable and Affordable

Building Your Dream in a Greener World

“Bee” Kind to Insects: Eco-Friendly Fauna Protect or Flora

Building It Green and Proving It

Go Green:The New Added Value to Your Investment?

Building Greener in Guanacaste

Water Availability: Why is it a Major Concern When Building?

Lighting Your Life: Artificial and Natural Have Their Place

Picking the Right Windows

Swimming Pools: Design, Construction and Maintenance

Storm Protection for Your Home

Roofing 101 Guanacaste Style

Guanacaste Tropical Hardwoods

Going With the Flow: Protection from Rain Runoff and Erosion

Solar Savings: Net Metering a Powerful Incentive

Autonomous Living in Costa Rica: Solar Solutions at Home and on the Road

Understanding Tico Plumbing

Septic Systems: What to Do With Waste Water

Built-In Safety by Design

DIY Micro-Hydro: An “Alternative” Alternative Energy Source

Real estate

Working With You, Coldwell Banker Costa Rica For Your Property Investment

If Selling or Buying Property In Costa Rica 

What is the Procedure to Write an Offer and Close?  

Are Real Estate Agents Licensed in Costa Rica?

Luxury Living Not Just a Possibility … a Reality

Summer is Not All That’s Hot in Costa Rica

Beyond the Lease: What You Really Need to Know About Long-Term Leases in Costa Rica


Agents’ tell their own stories 

Escaping the Office to Pursue Your Dream — Richard Lacey

The Adventure Continues — Michael Mills

Never Looked Back — Joseph A. Emanuelli

Paradise Found — Crystal Townley

Passion for Travel Leads Here to Stay — Roland Tipper

French Canadian Real Estate Agent Welcomes You — Alain Mouquet

Trading Paradises — Theo Veenstra

Costa Rica: It’s a Lifestyle — Lisa Farrell

Living Where the Air Doesn’t Hurt My Face — Will Matthews 


Property management

Choosing a Legal Property Manager

Choosing a Property Management Company

More Than Just a Place to Stay: Ask What Else your Vacation Rental Can Offer You

Rental Property Safety Tips

Vacation Home Renters are Not Just Guests: Be the Kind of Neighbor You Want Next Door at Home



Financing Your Property in Costa Rica: What are the Options?

How Are Property Closing Costs Calculated in Costa Rica?

How Do Escrow (Trust) Accounts Operate in Costa Rica?

Can I Make Money Renting My Property in Costa Rica?



Build an Investment Portfolio: Costa Rica Real Estate FAQs
VAT Impact for Real Estate Investments

Adding Value to Real Estate Investments

Innovation and Creativity: Keys to Successful Investing

What Makes it a Good Area to Invest in Costa Rica?

What Kind of Real Estate Investor Are You?

How to Flip Properties in Costa Rica

Investing / Real Estate FAQs: Live Happy, Invest Wisely

Become a Successful Costa Rica Real Estate Investor



Understanding the Costa Rica Real Estate Market

Considering Relocating to Costa Rica?

Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica: FAQs

Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica: The Basics Part 1

Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica: The Basics Part 2

Real Estate in Costa Rica

FAQs for Expats

Costa Rica’s Real Estate Registration Information System

Joint Tenancy Property Title Registration

How Do Escrow (Trust) Accounts Operate in Costa Rica?

What are Squatters’ Rights in Costa Rica?

Water Availability: Why is it a Major Concern When Building?

Can a Foreigner Acquire a Beachfront Property Interest in Costa Rica?

How Are Property Closing Costs Calculated in Costa Rica?

Purchasing Pre-Construction Home Properties

Now Law: Digital Nomads Welcomed in Costa Rica

Digital Nomads Welcomed in Costa Rica

New Law Encourages Foreign Investment and Relocation: Economic Reactivation Goals

Options for Real Estate Subdivision in Costa Rica

New Capital Gains Tax in Costa Rica

VAT Changes Coming Soon for Rental Leases

Luxury Home Tax in Costa Rica

Is Your Builder Responsible?

Electronic Invoicing Mandatory for Property Rentals

Rental Properties: Taxes and Formal Duties

The Eviction Process in Costa Rica

Mandatory Registration of Rental Properties for Non-Traditional Tourist Accommodation

Options for Real Estate Subdivision in Costa Rica

How is Condominium Living in Costa Rica?

HOA Law in Costa Rica

Purchasing a Condominium

HOA Meetings


Available now 

Two Condos for Sale in the Quaint Town of Matapalo

Home for Sale in Matapalo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Nice Ocean View Home, Complete With Elevator 

Mar Vista:Living la Pura Vida with Security and Comfort

Horizon Pacific

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Meet your Coldwell Banker – Coco Team Members

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Considering Relocating to Costa Rica?

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Vargas Vargas Arquitectos

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Walking the Talk

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Los Altos Resort

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Why “In Love With Costa Rica”

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AHKI: Nosara Hilltop Resort

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Margaritaville A Taste of Paradise

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Building in CR: How Much Will it Cost?

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Working with You, Coldwell Banker Costa Rica for Your Property Investment

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If Selling or Buying Property In Costa Rica

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Conserving Biodiversity by Design

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Which of Nohara Estates Is YOUR New Casa?

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What Is The Property Purchasing Process?

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FAQs: Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica

Real estate is one of the topics that we get asked the most questions about. The real estate market in [...]

Nice Ocean View Home

Like a villa on an Italian hillside, this Tuscan-style 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home in Playas del Coco features granite countertops and [...]

What is the Procedure to Write an Offer and Close?

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Living Where the Air Doesn’t Hurt My Face

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Roca Mistica

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Real Estate Update for the Papagayo Region

Well, it is time again for another boring Papagayo area real estate market update. In case you had your head [...]

Two Condos for Sale in the Quaint town of Matapalo, Guanacaste

Dream of living in Costa Rica? Here are two modern condos for sale, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, located [...]

Playa Flamingo: The Jewel of The Gold Coast

Playa Flamingo is famous for its crystal azul waters, gentle family-friendly surf and clean white sand. This is why it’s [...]

Can I Make Money Renting My Property in Costa Rica?

In almost every property development in Costa Rica, the breakdown of ownership is about the same. One-third of all the [...]

Mar Vista: Living la Pura Vida With Security and Comfort

Costa Rica is indeed a magical place and almost everyone visiting feels it on day one. It’s a natural and [...]

How are Property Purchase Closing Costs Calculated in Costa Rica?

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Richard Lacey Serving Tamarindo

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From Dream to Design

Vargas Vargas arquitectos is a studio for sustainable architecture, landscaping design, engineering, and building. The company was founded by Cristina [...]

Coldwell Banker Coast To Coast Properties

Villa Buena Onda Ocean View Luxury Property: price format $2,350,000, 11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, over 6.3 acres of land Click [...]

Financing Your Property In Costa Rica

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Luxury Home Buyers

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Purchasing Pre-Construction Properities

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Escaping the Office To Pursue Your Dream

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Considering Relocating to Costa Rica?

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Can a Foreigner Acquire a Beachfront Property Interest in Costa Rica?

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