Why Costa Rica Real Estate is a Great Investment Option

Costa Rica is no secret with vacationers or home buyers. For decades running it has been the safe and stable choice in Central America no matter what kind of political mayhem was happening in neighboring countries. It has been a democratic country with no army and has been one of the most forward-looking nations in the world when it comes to protecting the environment and setting aside untouched land for the animals that inhabit it.

This is also a country that offers plenty of choices for your ideal living environment. You can be oceanfront on the Caribbean or Pacific, near or in a thriving jungle environment, or on a mountainside with cooler temperatures. The capital city has suburban office park areas housing some of the world’s largest Fortune 500 businesses. Active residents can hike, bike, surf, kayak, or kiteboard in multiple locations.

Here at Luxury Latin America we know this country well, but we’ve only passed through, so I got in touch with our friends at WeRCR Real Estate and Rentals (a current marketing partner) to get their take on why investing in Costa Rica real estate is so advantageous. Here are some of their top reasons to consider.

A Stable Economy

Costa Rica has a strong tourism sector, but that’s just one part of the overall economy, which grows steadily each year. You are probably familiar with some of the country’s agricultural exports, such as coffee, chocolate, rum, and pineapples. You’ve probably talked to someone in a Costa Rican call center and there’s a good chance you’ve heard of someone coming to the country for dental work or other medical tourism reasons.

Since the country doesn’t rely on petroleum or other commodities with huge price swings, the average growth rate here tops 4% and the per capita GDP is above $16,000 annually. Since it relies on renewable energy sources much more than fossil fuels, it is not subject to as many import pressures for energy as the other countries that are still stuck in the past.

An Environment of Safety

As WeRCR says in their investment report that you can download here, Costa Rica is a stable democracy that has not suffered the high homicide rate of countries like Honduras or El Salvador, nor the political downward spirals we’ve seen in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

"Costa Rica is known for its political stability, low crime rates, and friendly, welcoming society. These factors contribute to a sense of security, which is crucial for investors looking to establish roots in a foreign country."

Sure, you’ll find the same petty crime issues here and there that you’ll find in many countries in the Americas, but unlike in the USA, there’s no random gun violence in the news each week and expat message boards are full of glowing safety reviews from residents. The country has strict gun laws that make it very difficult to legally own a weapon and being caught with an unregistered one will lead to years in prison.

There are also some less obvious factors that contribute to a safe society, such as widespread education, universal health care that prevents medical expenses from wiping out a family’s savings, and expensive traffic tickets that incentivize a safe environment on the highways.

Costa Rica Real Estate Appreciation Potential

While foreigners have been moving to Costa Rica for decades, this is still a country where prices are steadily rising as more remote workers and retirees invest here. It’s also seen as a solid “Plan B” option for those who are worried about the future risks in their country of birth.

Costa Rica has seen significant appreciation in real estate values over the years. The potential for long-term capital gains is substantial whether you’re interested in residential properties, commercial spaces, or vacation rentals. The relatively low availability of mortgages means that there’s less real estate speculation and fewer unqualified buyers that lead to the financial crises we’ve seen in the recent past elsewhere. There’s never been a “boom and bust” cycle of huge swings up and down in prices.

High Rental Yields

You’d be hard-pressed to find a Canadian or American who hasn’t heard of Costa Rica and the country rates highly as a bucket list destination worth saving up for to visit. The country’s tourism board has generally done a good job of highlighting the adventure attractions and access to nature, plus the word-of-mouth from returning vacationers has a positive network effect.

The country appeals to families, couples, and groups alike and has options for golf, fishing, and being a beach bum. Since there are so many popular areas to visit in the country and the flow of tourists is so dependable, many owners experience high rental yields on their house or condo. This makes the investment even more attractive since the appreciation is not the only factor. Many owners manage to at least cover their maintenance and tax costs, while others see an annual profit after expenses.

To get an idea of current rental rates, spot-check Vrbo for different areas such as Tamarindo, Papagayo, Nosara, and Jaco on the coast or Fortuna and Lake Arenal inland. To give you an idea though, condos and houses at car-free Las Catalinas on the Pacific rent from between $2,000 and $7,000 per week much of the year, more in high season.

Easy to Visit and Move to

Investing in Costa Rica can offer a path to residency for those who want to put down roots in the country. In addition, retirees benefit from the Pensionado program, which offers significant discounts on various services, including healthcare and transportation. The residency program is relatively straightforward and it’s a well-worn path to follow, so it’s easy to get advice from those who have been through it already.

Recently, the news got even better for those who can work remotely or snowbirds who want to get away from the winter cold of their homeland for part of the year. The Costa Rican government extended the tourist visa maximum time from 90 days to 180 days. That means location-independent workers, digital nomads, and cold-climate escapees can spend nearly six months in the country.

This gives investors plenty of time to look around, weigh their options, and research their perfect vacation home or retirement home in Costa Rica. It also gives you plenty of time to explore the country, which is diverse and rich in natural attractions.

These are just a few advantages of investing in this attractive country. For more information on Costa Rica real estate and to see why it’s a great place to live, download the free reports at WeRCR and set aside some time for a consultation to get your questions answered before your trip.