Why Invest in Costa Rica
The real estate market in Costa Rica has been stably increasing for a couple of decades now, many experts expect that this trend will continue for the next several years due to Costa Rica's friendly to foreigners attitude, its endless variety of natural attractions, and the wave of baby-boomers who will need somewhere inexpensive to retire since Costa Rica is exhibiting signs that it is the Hawaii of 20 years ago with a lot less travel time from the Continental USA for example.
According to the CIA world fact book,
Costa Rica is a 'Central American success story.'
IT IS A BUYERS MARKET - LOW RISK AND BIG GAINS
The real estate market in Costa Rica has been booming as a direct result of the Costa Rican government's commitment to promoting the property sector. While Costa Rica does not offer the same totally cheap prices that it did ten years it is still booming and continues to do so. There are benefits to be had when investing in an established market where you can count on good solid gains verses taking your chances on a growing unstable market. The success then of the Costa Rican property market is practically guaranteed in decades to come, while the debate about the global market recovery remains. Many owners in Costa Rica who purchased just a few years ago have seen their property value double or triple in this short amount of time. Perhaps, this is why it is kept a secret by those who know. Current market conditions turned a sellers market into a more favorable investment buyers market due to temporary global liquidity and spending shortages.
IT IS A HIGHLY DESIREABLE LOCATION - HIGH DEMAND
The most important factor to keep in mind when dealing with Real Estate is Location. The natural beauty of Costa Rica proves an irresistible draw for more and more travelers and those in search of the perfect getaway, so the demand for rental and hotel accommodation in Costa Rica will steadily continue on the increase. The recent explosion in hotel developments are example of this increase in global attention Costa Rica has attained in recent years. The supply of quality accommodation in Costa Rica can meet current demand only because of the global recession. Gaming is legal in Costa Rica so it has also become a hot spot for people who want to gamble. Compared with places like Vegas that are too far away, lack possibilities of natural and outdoor activities to be enjoyed in close vacinity nor an ocean to endulge in.
HIGH RETURNS ON YOUR INVESTMENT
Land investment in Costa Rica have experienced gains of 30% per year for 10 years those who have invested in the right place have at least doubled and even tripled their investments quickly. This trend looks as though it will continue.
THE MARKET IS MOVING TO COSTA RICA...LITERALLY
Costa Rica is becoming increasingly popular with the soon to retire US baby boomers who are actively seeking an affordable and attractive location in which to retire. Because Costa Rica enjoys relatively low crime, is neutral, has a relatively high standard and low cost of living it is gaining a reputation among pre-retirees as a must-consider destination. There is therefore room for the development of real estate to suit this particular market or for the purchase and long term lease of real estate to this market. This particular group of people also represents a strong resale demand for those who buy now, improve property and intend to resell in the medium term to release gains accrued.
FOREIGN OWNERSHIP IS 100% PERMITTED AND IS EASY
All individuals and private companies, local or foreign, can own Costa Rica land and property. Few restrictions apply, the most important being physical occupancy and a 50-meter limit from the beach on oceanfront property.
THE PURCHASE PROCESS IS RELATIVELY TRANSPARANT AND SIMPLE
It is extremely easy to become an owner here in Costa Rica. Potential Costa Rica real estate investors, and their lawyers, must first go to the National Registry for a title search. The National registry has EVERY property in the country on file with its current status that ANYONE can request at any time. If a serious investor does their homework, and uses a qualified, trustworthy lawyer they should have no trouble purchasing a piece of paradise. For building, one can go to the local municipality for zoning laws and building permits, and then perhaps to other ministries and institutions for pertinent information.
THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO OWN
The Costa Rican government has implemented of a series of a tax breaks and incentives that have been made available to overseas real estate investors. The government wishes to develop specifically for the tourism market and is well aware of its popularity and is keen on maintaining it.
PROPERTY TAXES ARE UNBELIEVABLY LOW
The average property tax is ¼ of 1% of the property's assessed value. Many times what was paid for a property and its registered value is significantly different and in the buyers favor. Sometimes million dollar property's registered value is just a small fraction of the real value and that is excellent news for buyers.
THE COSTA RICAN ECONOMY HISTORICALLY HAS BEEN STABLE AND IS GROWING
Costa Rica's GDP is about 8% currently. This investment-friendly climate and government policy of making Costa Rica "the Silicon Valley of Latin America" or has deemed it "the Switzerland of Central America." Many large companies have been enticed by commercial leaders such as Acer, Microsoft, GE, Abbot Laboratories, Proctor & Gamble, Dole, HP, Continental Airways and Intel Corporation to make sizable investments here, both financially and physically, with major production and distribution facilities. Western Union has chosen Costa Rica to host its Latin American regional operations center. In 1998, for the first time ever, Costa Rica was poised to earn more from high technology exports than from coffee or bananas or even its lucrative, thriving tourism industry. The World Bank has given Costa Rica an excellent bill of overall political and economic health. Costa Rica has been noted as having a "healthy economic growth rate" and "some of the best social indicators" on the continent. Costa Rica's unemployment rate is under 6%. As for Central America, Costa Rica has been recognized as having the highest profit potential in the region. Because of the above factors, Costa Rica has seen an influx in population due to its desirable location and standard of living. This increase in population has created jobs, industries, and higher demand which is driving the economy.
TOURISM IS BIG BUSINESS AND IS GROWING
Tourism is literally a billion dollar business in Costa Rica. In 2006 alone Costa Rica earned over $1.67 Billion dollars about 10% of their GDP from Tourism. Last year over 4 million people visited Costa Rica. The tourism industry is growing at a rate of about 8% per year over the last 10 years, that is more than double the world average. Eventhough the current year has shown some decreases the outlook is good to continue a healthy tourism growth. Costa Rica is one of only 10 countries in the world that are expected to experience tourism growth over the next 5 years. Over 50% of Costa Rica's visitors come from the US and Canada. It is no wonder that many well known hotel brands including Marriot, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Hilton and Mandarin to name a few, have chosen Costa Rica. An astounishing number of visitors convert to investors and buyers that call Costa Rica their home.
CAFTA (US - COSTA RICA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT) APPROVED
Costa Rican real estate will remain one of the safest and most attractive country for foreign investment for Latin American property. The Costa Rican government, its ministries and financial institutions maintain a decidedly pro-U.S. and continental stance in regard to financial security and tax laws. The numerous free trade zones and tax holiday opportunities are extremely enticing to Costa Rica investments. They offer benefits such as exemption from import duties on raw materials, capital goods, parts and components; unrestricted profit repatriation; tax exemption on profits for eight years and a 50 percent exemption for the following four years. Due to this first world infrastructure and technology is being installed. On a consumer level, it is easier to find a wider variety of international products and services, therefore; the culture shock is not very significant. Foreigners almost immediately feel at home, yet enjoy the diversity of national culture.
LOW COST FOR A HIGH STANDARD OF LIVING
You don't have to be a millionaire to live like one in Costa Rica. Most foreign currencies go further here and your bills, except for electricity in some parts of the country, are much lower, which is why Costa Rica has become a new retirement and investment hot-spot. It is not uncommon for many people to have one or more household employees, and food & entertainment are inexpensive. One great example I like to use is going to the VIP movie theater with leather recliners, waiters, bars, sushi and first class treatment for about the price one is used to paying to go to a regular movie theater in the US. Imagine that the average salary in Costa Rica is around $500 a month. For just a few thousand dollars each month one can enjoy a nice place to live, go out for entertainment frequently, and have quality health care at a fraction of the price. Experts predict that within the next few years, as the baby boomers arrive in larger numbers, foreigners from North America only will make up about one fourth of Costa Rica's total population. Costa Ricans also live longer than people from many developed countries like the US, surely due to their laid back lifestyle averaging about 77.7 years as a nation.
COSTA RICA IS A DEMOCRATIC STATE, WITHOUT A MILITARY FORCE
Costa Rica has been a democracy since 1869. In fact, of all of Central and South America it has the most stable government of any country. Costa Rica is also one of very few countries worldwide that does not have a military force. This is another major reason that Costa Rica's economy has remained so strong and stable, since they have not unnecessarily invested in creating and maintaining an army which is very expensive. Overall, Costa Ricans are a very peaceful, laid back, peaceful people. In fact, Costa Rica's last president was Oscar Arias is a Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
COSTA RICA IS A CONVENIENT PLACE TO RELOCATE AND VISIT
There are direct flights to and from San Jose, the nation's capital, from many major US/ Canadian Cities cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Toronto, Vancouver. For many people on the US's east coast it is closer and many times less expensive to fly to Costa Rica to gamble, visit warm beaches, or appreciate nature than it is to go to Las Vegas or visit the west coast. A direct flight from Miami is about 2.5 hours in duration and costs around a few hundred dollars. Because Costa Rica close vicinity to North America, a quick visit to the USA is just a short plane ride away. There are even direct flights to many South American Countries and to Europe. The new International Airport in Liberia Guanacaste, let's you not only fly from most major southern US hubs within 3 hours but be only 30-45 min of driving to reach incredible Pacific Beaches.
ENGLISH IS SPOKEN AND THE LOCALS ARE GENERALLY WELL EDUCATED
Costa Ricans have a higher literacy rate than even the US at 95.2%. Over 39% of high school students go on to college in the urban areas and 14% in the rural areas. Although Spanish is the national language, a large majority of the population uses English on a daily basis. Younger generations are practically fluent and usually have a third language such as French, Portuguese, Italian or Chinese. Costa Rica has a highly trained work force that excels in communication as it invests 6.5 percent of its GDP to an educational system, that includes over 50 universities where English is taught as a second language. Being able to communicate in Spanish for daily life and in business is imperative and in Costa Rica, here it is rather simple.
COSTA RICA IS IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN; IT IS EVEN BETTER THAN HAWAII
The weather in Costa Rica is picture perfect, sunny and warm almost every day, despite rainy season and windy December. Costa Rica is also home to 5% of the world's biodiversity, where one can see monkeys, iguanas, macaws, toucans, tree frogs, millions of butterflies, whales, dolphins, sharks, sting rays, sea turtles, exotic fish and much more. Where else in the world has natural wonders where one can go on adventure tours such as national parks, rainforest, 67 different volcanoes, lakes, natural hot springs, several dozen pristine beaches, oceans, mangrove, caves, waterfalls, rivers, and mountains all within a few hours' drive? Not to mention that Costa Rica benefits from having a Latin American flare on the Pacific Coast and a Jamaican lifestyle on their Caribbean coast. Costa Rica is a great place to live or visit for families, couples, honeymooners, singles, and retirees. There is something for everyone here in Costa Rica.
- CNN Sunday July 5th 2009 "Forget Disneyland! Costa Rica is the happiest place in the world, according to an independent research group in Britain with the goal of building a new economy, "centered on people and the environment."
- CNN "Costa Rica is a magnet for international tourists and the Central American state's astonishing geographical and home to over 5% of the world's biological diversity---packed into an area just slightly bigger than Switzerland.
- Travel Channel "A model National Conservation System protects Costa Rica's invaluable natural heritage, including 9,000 different kinds of flowering plants and more species of birds than in the United States, Canada and Mexico combined."
- Frommer's : Costa Rica is consistently one of the hottest vacation and adventure-travel destinations in Latin America, with more than a million visitors each year. Despite the boom in vacationers, Costa Rica remains a place rich in natural wonders and biodiversity, where you can still feel far from the maddening crowds.
- CNBC "CEO of Century 21 Tom Kunz, On top second home markets in the world: COSTA RICA."
- House Hunters International - Costa Rica is an unspoiled getaway.