Don’t Overlook a Home’s Potential in Costa Rica

Only a few years ago, I would say that the majority of Costa Rica homebuyers from abroad were retirees. Fast forward to the present and there has been a notable increase in young families looking for opportunities in the tropics. First time property buyers face enough challenges back on native soil, let alone in another country. It can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience and you might already have an idea what your dream home looks like – so here are a few pointers you might want to review before you start out on this life-changing journey!
– If your home is in an area where homes are being snatched up as soon as they are listed

– you can’t be too choose if you want to make competitive offer. Before you even start looking getting your finances sorted out and talk to banks to find out exactly how much you can afford to spend on a house and don’t stray from that budget.
– When you start looking and property listings don’t fall into the bad decorating, awful colored walls and barren garden trap – you may be missing out on a home with great potential. A great way to start training your eye is looking at completed fixer-upper projects on the internet.


– Take a good look at the floor plan of the home. Identify the principal walls and see whether the space can be well distributed. The best homes are those that have the least dividing walls and start getting estimates on how much it will cost to change this.
– If the floors are outdated then this can be easily replaced – but be sure to look out for damp patches or sunken areas.
– Property owners don’t always prep their house for sale so try to overlook old, ugly and dirty windows as these can be easily remedied.

– In Costa Rica there are plenty of properties with ample acreage – but can you manage so much land? Think about how much you would need to spend before you acquire a property that requires landscaping.
– It’s all about the space – keep an eye open for closets and garages – storage space and places to park.
– This can often be a deal breaker – but try to focus more on the size of the kitchen rather than the outdated color schemes. If you like the rest of the house enough to make an offer you can always give the kitchen a major over haul.
– Don’t always go on first impressions, the exterior of a home can define how you feel about the interior. Try to imagine it with a fresh coat of paint and more tended to landscaping.
– When you are thinking about making an offer consider the essential amenities that you cannot live without.
– Remember that you may never find the exact home of your dreams, unless you find a lot and build from scratch. The key is to see past the previous owners bad decorating decisions and identify the property’s true potential.

Starter Home in Platanillo
If you are looking for a property with plenty of potential this is it! On the market for $275,000 this is a one bedroom, one bathroom property with 2 Ha of land and incredible ocean views. You can either build your dream home or create a family and friend compound. Surrounded by fruit trees and with a secure garage/workshop this is a great investment with ample land and great roads. It is only a 10 minute drive to the beaches and shops of Dominical and a quick 20 drive to San Isidro for shopping, lunching or movies.

John Wieland

John Wieland

John currently believes that this is the best time in history to being a buyer in Costa Rica. He studies global markets and the flow of funds meticulously and is seeing an upswing. He is currently working with Haute Living Magazine to promote a higher quality of luxury homes to discerning clientele throughout the US. He is rigorous in his pursuit to expand such marketing efforts and visits prominent markets like Los Angeles, Miami, New York and more to build upon his network of affluent brokers. As the President of Coldwell Banker Costa Rica’s nine offices, his #1 Priority for his franchisees’ is training. With an ever-changing industry, he carefully reviews the performance of each office and is committed to helping each succeed. He is committed to growing the brand in Costa Rica from nine offices by implementing systems and a useful business tools that brings all the offices together. A visionary and consummate professional, John saw the benefit of starting an alliance amongst other brokerages and in 2008, spearheaded Southern Pacific Alliance of Realtors (SPAR). Although this may be his most challenging work, the sustainability of this business model has already proven to be a tremendous success and benefit for the area brokers. He has built networks spanning multiple countries and is committed to providing the highest level of client service. John, a self-proclaimed wine snob, currently resides in Playa Uvita where he often chooses wine from his hidden stash while his wife prepares something fantastic to pair with it. They continue to travel and visited Spain and Germany and also enjoyed a trip to visit family in California & Arizona. He has purchased a couple properties this year and has plans to build their family home next year in Ballena. An avid golfer, he was able to tick off Torrey Pines in San Diego and PGA Championship in Palm Beach from his bucket list. He is currently reading such books like “The One Thing”, “Business Adventures”, “Tomorrow’s Gold” and “The Clipper Ship Strategy” while also finding time to play the guitar for his wife and daughter.” Keep an eye for his new love of writing on his blog and other various industry platforms.