Costa Rica continues with its great economical work facing what is left for this year. Although in 2017 it will grow at a slower rate than in past years, the good economic health of the country from Central America, keeps it up and still strong. All of it comes off from the report: Centroamérica y República Dominicana: evolución económica en 2016 y perspectivas para 2017 (Central America and Dominican Republic: economy evolution in 2016 and 2017 perspectives), on its preliminary balance that was published on last February 20th. The organization in charge of making this report was the Comisión Económica de América Latina (CEPAL) or the Economic Commission of Latin America.
The Costa Rican production would grow, according to CEPAL´s previsions around at a 3,9%. This fact places Costa Rica under the Central American and Dominican Republic countries´ averages. It is projected a 4,5% average growth for these countries. However, if we compare the numbers of Costa Rica with the rest of Latin America countries, we can find that this country overpasses with a wide range the zone´s average. In accordance with CEPAL, Latin America and the Caribbean will have an important growth of the production at a 1,3%. A considerable inferior raise that was predicted for Costa Rica.
The report predicts an inferior growth for the CARD zone (Central America and Dominican Republic) which had a lower foreign demand last year, starting from the fact that USA bought less goods in the region, because of the worst economic health of the North American giant. Also, the report explains that the cause of the strong dynamism produced in the region due to internal demand is as much through the public investment as the private family´s expenses. These parameters were favored by a lesser inflation and a higher available income, owing to the international expenses fall in the energy sector, and an important raise in the families’ budgets, thanks to lower interest rates and a definitive increase of salaries which get to the region´s families homes.
In regard to Costa Rican economy breakdown, we have to point that most of its exportations are sent to the USA, and that the products which are merchandised from Costa Rica are bananas, pineapples, coffee, melon, sugar, meats or medical gear. All these elements form the Costa Rican economy base.
The Fed increased the rate of federal funds of the USA from 0,50% and 0,75% to 0,75% and 1%. This news had quick consequences in the economic projection of all world countries and Costa Rica has not been an exception. The North American giant imports and exports goods all over the planet and in Costa Rica´s specific case, it is the biggest goods importer of this Central American country.
According to experts in the matter, the first consequence will be reflected in the Prime Rate. We should remember that Prime Rate refers to the interest rate which banks from the USA charge to their best customers as well in commercial credit as corporate. The result is the average of a rates sample which the main banks of the country charge for loans to big companies. Therefore, this rate will be modified and raised as a reflect of this announcement from the Fed. Even if the Central American country´s economy is stable enough as to keep its positive evolution despite this modification in Prime Rate.
About small fortunes, experts are optimistic in the sense that they consider that “dollar people” found in Costa Rica, won´t see their savings depleted, since the raise is not considerable. Following this vision, there are other experts who assure that this raise has been produced because of the Fed has analyzed the economic situation of the country, looking at a growth in the production of new job positions in a short-term future. This will have as a result a greater consuming power for USA citizens, and therefore, bigger possibilities in order to attract tourists. In that area, Costa Rica is well positioned due to its amazing and impressive nature beauty and the effort capacity that touristic businessmen work on. It is necessary to keep working in the increase of the country´s popularity right in the tourist channels, with the target that more American people know what the country has to offer.
Also, about cold data, the goods exports from Costa Rica to the USA showed in 2016 a 40% total, more than $4.000 million dollars in earnings, according to Foreign Trader promoter. Tourists that arrived in the country by that same year altogether, almost half of them came from the USA. In total 733.000 people traveled to Costa Rica from the North American country. All this data guarantees a good commercial relation between Costa Rica and the USA.
We interviewed one of the buyers at the Ballena Beach complex. Here he tells us his experience, why he bought in this paradisiac place and the reasons that led him to invest in a property between luxury and nature.
What brought you to Costa Rica initially?
I am 65 years old, widowed and semi-retired. My home base in the United States is split between Kansas City, Mo and Ann Arbor, MI. where my extended families are located. I am a partner with my sister-in-law in the purchase of 5E Elan @ Ballena Beach, a three-bedroom ground level condominium. My sister-in-law built a beautiful mountain villa in the area almost 15 years ago, her enthusiasm for the natural surroundings and the emerging real estate market was contagious.
What got the wheels turning in terms of thinking about purchasing a home abroad?
Our tour of the project at Elan @ Ballena Beach, already well under construction, reignited my interest in buying in Costa Rica.
Did you consider alternative countries, such as Nicaragua or Belize?
What factors convinced you that Costa Rica offered the best options in terms of ownership?
Costa Rica is the Switzerland of Central America – stable, democratic, safe – an environmentally sensitive attitude by the government has kept the area pristine. And that is where family is, now my partner in real estate.
What other areas of Costa Rica did you explore in terms of real estate, before settling on Costa Ballena?
Ochojal and the general vicinity in and around Costa Ballena.
What real estate factors make Costa Ballena attractive?
The developer is experienced and has a great track record around the world. He obviously believes in a green environment. He is financially able to do a project of this magnitude as he has proven by putting the full cost of the development in an escrow fund to guarantee its completion. I have no doubt that the developer will reach all his stated goals.
What lifestyle factors make Costa Ballena attractive?
We are very excited about the elegant combination of nature and luxury. Some of the amenities are pure indulgence – a private outdoor massage area, the magnificent pools and thousands of plantings from their own nursery, the tiki huts to come for turtles and equipment rentals and drinks! The finishes in the condo are high end and will be timeless and durable.
What environmental factors make Costa Ballena attractive?
The proximity to the beach is unusual and our direct view into the jungle will make the most attractive picture wall. We are reassured by the 4 distinct water sources and the clever use of energy technology/solar to reduce electrical costs. The engineering of the drainage around the property, and the coming security perimeter, give us confidence in our environment.
Once focused on Costa Ballena, what brought you to the offices and products of Axiom Development Group?
At first, to be honest, we were kicking tires so to speak. We wanted to see this project for the unique aspects we had heard about, especially the beach access. And we wanted to walk the beach that day as well.
What was unique or most attractive about the product you decided to purchase?
We were impressed by the finishes in the model, and the furnishings. We could visualize ourselves living there. And not having to drive up and down that mountain was a big plus just in terms of time lost and road conditions. I predict it will be a comfortably social place. The beach at Ballena must be the number one unique factor, especially since this is the only area development with a concession on that beach. It is a pristine, garden of Eden beach setting. The promised whale sightings really have us exited.
How do Axiom’s developments fit into the natural surroundings and environment, as opposed to other area development projects you looked at?
The careful placement of the structures and the pools have left the jungle quite intact. Yet the planned landscaping around the property promises to be spectacular too, as we have already seen the accumulation of lovely and flowering native plants in their massive outdoor nursery. We expect to be able to work with the master to achieve maximum privacy around our unit as well.
What about the people and the company…did that play an important role in your decision?
All our contacts have been positive and enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We expect to develop friendships over time with the staff there and have already begun that process. We have confidence that they do know what they are talking about, and their presentation of the facts and figures around the project was very thorough and competent. They are also very helpful and responsive to any of our requests or inquiries.
What factor or factors sealed the deal more than others?
The knowledge that the developer has put the full cost of the construction in escrow to guarantee our completion is a huge selling point – this is, I believe, one of the first projects in the area to have to comply with the government’s requirement of this escrow and which will prevent this from becoming an unfinished hulk on the landscape. We trusted the developer’s bio and previous accomplishments. He has an excellent track record. And the unique beach concession is also a very big selling point. All the design and lifestyle amenities were icing on the cake!
Were there obstacles that needed to be overcome and, if so, how do they compare to obstacles in other regions in terms of purchasing real estate?
We have not run into any obstacles; however, the process is not completed. It is my understanding that we must form a corporation in Costa Rica and ultimately put this into the corporation’s ownership. I have paid three installments thus far, as per our contract, and that has gone smoothly with a wire transfer to a Costa Rican escrow agency. They then release the funds to the developer immediately, because we are already insured by the developer’s own escrow.
How do you see your lifestyle being enhanced by Axiom’s commitment to current and future in the region?
I think I am going to learn to indulge a little in a massage, in the convenience of dinner prepared by their chef on occasion, in an early morning lap in the adult pool. I am going to get to know the jungle creatures well and I am told I will be enlisted to carry hatchling turtles from the jungle hut to the sea. The added residential units and the support services to them are creating a little beating heart of civilization in the jungle, at water’s edge. This seems to be spurring additional development in the area – some by this same company.
Are you hoping to increase value and profit from your purchase, or is stability and a healthy lifestyle your main priority?
Well, that shouldn’t really be an either-or question. I’d like to see my investment grow – at least on paper even if I stay put for the next three decades. It is a place I could grow old in, due to the design of the unit and easy access. Time will tell if I can use it enough in the winter months to justify holding onto to it indefinitely but my sister-in-law will be calling it home for half the year. We have no thoughts of selling this magnificent condo, we just want to complete our purchase now. We see this as a reward to ourselves in our senior years, the nicest condo unit either of us have owned and we are cutting no corners in furnishings and interior design.
If real estate investment in Costa Rica is something you are thinking about, you need to educate yourself. Nobody wants to invest in something they know little about. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider investing in Costa Rica:
With booming tourism, low cost living, low property taxes and affordable real estate why would you decide real estate investment in Costa Rica isn’t for you?
If you are considering an investment in Costa Rica, you want to make an informed decision. Knowing about real estate sales in Costa Rica, what to do and not to do will be beneficial. Below is some information to consider prior to a making a land purchase.
If you are considering buying land and prior to making any offer, you will want to do a title search. The “Folio Real” system is centralized in San Jose at the Public Registry offices. This search will give you data on the property, including liens, mortgages, ownership, area, boundaries and location. Keep in mind however, not all properties are listed in this system.
You need to ask if you are buying occupation rights or ownership rights. If it is ownership rights, then the land is registered and is the same thing as buying in the U.S. However, if you are told it is occupation rights, the land has not been registered, no title search can be performed and there is a very long process to register it.
Costa Rica also has a concessions registration system. Especially with beaches, you may encounter this. A private party is given rights to use the land by the government, only for a certain period of time. This is similar to a lease. This is different than regular land, as there are requirements regarding occupation, terms and zoning.
You will want to hire an attorney prior to making any large purchase. Though it is easy for non-citizens to own property, it is strongly recommended you have somebody represent your interests. The Costa Rican constitution guarantees ownership rights. A good real estate broker can also help you through the process.
If you decide to purchase land on the beach, there are a few things to remember. The first 50 meters of the beach is considered public and cannot be built on. Then the next 150 meters is also restricted, due to the Maritime Zone Law. Though it cannot have an original title, it can be leased from the local municipality.
The higher end property market in Costa Rica is growing rapidly as more and more foreign homebuyers are flocking to the region. With this uptick in sales, you may be considering making a move to this region yourself. However, this is a serious decision and it is best to get to know some of the areas that are popular among foreigners in the region.
The Central Valley
Known to the locals as the Steins Control, this is a high altitude plateau, found 3,000 feet above sea level surrounded by tall mountains. In the center, you will find San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. There are a number of towns in this area that are now considered expat centers, including Atenas, Alajuela, Grecia and San Ramon, which are all well-established. One of the most appealing aspects of this region is the altitude, which provides an appealing climate near the mid-70s year-round.
The Gold Coast
If you are looking to the northern Pacific coast, near the Nicaraguan border, then the Gold Coast may be ideal. This allows you to live the true beach lifestyle in a year-round warm climate. This area receives the least rainfall in all of Costa Rica and has more sunny days than any other location in the country. It is about five hours from San Jose, but there are a large number of modern conveniences and amenities nearby to keep you happy.
If you are considering a move to this country, finding real estate brokers in Costa Rica may be a good idea. They can help you find property in a region that meets all of your wants and needs. They can also provide suggestions on how to purchase property for investment purposes, which is something many expats do. Keeping this in mind will help you know where and what to purchase in Costa Rica.
Many people who visit the Caribbean dream of owning their own slice of paradise. In fact, this is one of the most sought after destinations for retirement and vacation homes. If you are looking to purchase a home or even luxury villas in Costa Rica, using the tips here will help ensure the transaction goes smoothly.
Do Research Ahead of Time
While you may have enjoyed a five-day vacation that felt like heaven, this is not enough time to let you know important facts that will indicate if this is a good place to live. For example, if you plan to make a purchase as an investment (to rent the property), you should ensure it is located close to facilities and amenities, such as the beach or shopping. If you are searching for a property for your retirement years, you should do some research to figure out if there are adequate support and health services nearby. Look past the “postcard experience” to figure out if the infrastructure (internet, phone, electricity, water and roads) are sufficient. Issues like emergency response and safety also need to be considered.
Secure Your Lender Early On
Prior to even searching for a piece of property you need to figure out how you are going to finance the purchase. If you plan to get a mortgage, it is a good idea to get pre-approved prior to actually house hunting. A number of Caribbean islands require that you have the funds prior to making a purchase.
When you take the time to use the tips here, you will find that purchasing real estate, villas or other types of property is actually easy. There is no question that buying property in paradise can be appealing, but knowing all the facts ahead of time is a must. After all, you don’t want to make your purchase and have a case of buyer’s remorse.
If you are thinking about taking a vacation to Costa Rica, making the decision to rent a house or a fully staffed villa is an important decision. However, choosing luxury villa rentals in Costa Rica offers a number of amenities and luxuries that renting a traditional house just doesn’t offer. Learn about some of these exciting features here.
Enjoy Unending Pampering
Choosing a traditional rental home with family and friends comes with a number of difficulties. This includes the mayhem that goes along with having to cook meals and clean up afterward. It can be difficult to determine who is responsible for these duties and creating a schedule can make it feel more like home, rather than a vacation.
However, when you choose a luxury villa rental, you will be able to enjoy complimentary meals, in many cases, which takes all the stress out of cooking and cleaning up. Also, a number of Costa Rica rental homes will not even provide fresh towels, linens or sheets, or anyone to change them. This means that you have to bring along your own, which just adds the need to take along more luggage.
Cleaning and Maintenance Taken Care of by the Staff
Having to keep a rental house clean can also put a damper on your vacation. After all, you don’t want to spend time on chores while trying to enjoy yourself. When you choose a luxury villa, you don’t have to worry about cleaning or maintenance to the grounds. All of this will be taken care of by the staff.
As you can see, opting for a traditional rental home in Costa Rica just doesn’t offer the same appeal of a luxury villa. If you really want to enjoy your vacation, this is the option to consider. It will allow you to embrace your vacation and enjoy your time away from all the responsibilities of home.
Costa Rica is an economically and politically stable country, with a real estate market which investors and industry analysts view as one of the safest emerging international markets. The country has forgone military spending in lieu of healthcare and education and is also considered to be one of the safest countries in Latin America.
From a foreign buyer’s perspective, Costa Rican real estate investments rose by 15-20% annually prior to the economic crisis of 2008. The market has rebounded and Costa Ballena values are projected to rise rapidly over the next few years, with projected annual gains of 5-10% for the foreseeable future. Rental income in Costa Rica also offers high returns, with market demand in the Costa Ballena region currently exceeding supply. Furthermore, Costa Rican property tax rates are extremely low, ranging from 0.25% to 0.55% for multi-million dollar homes. The country also imposes no capital gains tax on property sold.
Additionally, in terms of protecting your investment, the Costa Rican legal system and its real estate laws afford the same treatment and protection to foreign investors as they do to Costa Rican nationals.
Getting to Costa Rica is as easy as picking a major departure city. The country is serviced by two international airports, located in Liberia and San José, and there are more than 200 weekly flights arriving from the continental United States. There are currently seven U.S. carriers offering direct flights from major U.S. cities, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines.
For those headed to the beautiful Costa Ballena region, there are more than 160 weekly flights to the capital city of San José, which is located approximately 100 miles from the coastal town of Dominical. Once on the ground in San José, travelers can board a scenic 25-minute domestic flight across the majestic mountains and down to the central western coastal town of Quepos, approximately 28 miles north of Dominical. SANSA offers five flights daily from San José to Quepos, while NatureAir offers three daily flights.
Travelers from the U.S. east coast can board direct flights to Costa Rica from departure cities including New York, Newark, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Flights from Chicago, Denver and Dallas service the Midwest region, while departures from Phoenix, Houston and Los Angeles have the southwest covered. Canadian travelers can also reach beautiful Costa Rica via 10 weekly flights departing from Toronto and Montreal, operated by Air Canada, Sunwing Airlines and Westjet.
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In an effort to continuously improve our features, the developer reserves the right to change or modify plans, materials, and specifications without notice. Variations in floor plans and drawings do exist and are approximations. Square footages are approximations and vary, and are based on architectural measurements from preliminary drawings. Renderings and maps are artist’s conceptions and may differ from finished product. This is not an offering for sale in any jurisdiction where the project is no registered. E&O.E.