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Adding Value to Real Estate

What Makes It a Good Area to Invest in Costa Rica?  As we have reinforced in past Investment Chat articles, the art of investing in real estate has two very important components:

  1. The technical/financial research analysis.

2. Your choice of lifestyle if you are considering an “active” investment or something for long-term living.

Choosing real estate in Costa Rica in an area that fits both of these assessments at the highest level completes the first stage of achieving a well-balanced portfolio. The diverse characteristics distinguishing seven “hot zones” in this desirable investment hub is described in the preceding article, starting on page 42. It provides a general overview for each region of population and social idiosyncrasies, geography, climate and economic growth.

For real estate investors, a blank canvas
awaits for painting a winning picture.

Taking into consideration these variables, three specific areas of major interest for investors are highlighted as follows.

GAM (Great Metropolitan Area)

This area of Costa Rica is currently experiencing an economic contraction for several reasons, including the rapid rise of interest rates, tax base expansion and increased prices for raw materials in different industries.

Overall, people are being more selective in their spending habits, which leads to economic contraction. The real estate market has changed, notably through increases in long-term rentals outpacing sales transactions in the capital city and surrounding areas. It’s a great time for investors to take advantage of this situation and make solid real estate deals. As always, cash is king … more so in distressed circumstances. In addition, a healthy debt/asset ratio will enable you to stay ahead of undesirable risk levels.

Meanwhile, bear in mind some of the unchanging reasons why Costa Rica’s GAM continues offering attractive real investment opportunities: vibrancy and diversity of urban lifestyle amenities, access to high-quality health care and education at all levels and variety of property/housing styles and neighborhoods are just a few.

Guanacaste

Guanacaste’s Gold Coast region is currently considered the prime location for investing time, energy and money. Everything an investor needs is right here. Geographically, you will find some of the most highly sought-after and tourist-friendly beaches in Central America. Viewing a sunset in Playa Grande will illustrate what I’m talking about.

Guanacaste is a melting pot of nationalities and ethnic groups, living and working together. Guanacastecos born after 1980 have grown up directly interacting with people from many different countries and cultures. Investment risk declines significantly when this type of racial and cultural diversity exists. The active labor force of Guanacaste is maturing and being trained on-the-spot, which means investors have access to a qualified, socially skilled and educated labor pool.

Guanacaste hasn’t figured itself out yet. That leaves the door wide open to opportunities, not only for real estate investment but investment overall. Consider the services sector alone, for example, supporting the burgeoning tourism economy. This region’s potential is still relatively untapped. It is only now undergoing the early years of “true” growth. Construction of a new, large water supply to serve the northern Guanacaste area is a dynamic sign of things to come.

For real estate investors, a blank canvas awaits for painting a winning picture. If you are that type of person, now is the right time to move forward in the Guanacaste area.

Central Pacific Area

In the last three years, Costa Rica’s Central Pacific area has seen strong growth in residential construction projects. This is reflected not only in the number of projects but also their target market. There are solid opportunities for early-stage investors with limited capital, as well as more experienced investors. We foresee steady growth in this area of the country. Expats and nationals alike are looking at the Central Pacific again as a safe place to invest.

Needless to say, the real estate possibilities here are unlike almost anywhere else, from laidback beachside locales to tranquil forest settings. Investors can choose from a wide range of large and small property options, including protected rental income opportunities.

For more information about our real estate take on these or other regions of Costa Rica, or any kind of investment advice, please