No Spanish? No Problem (But make sure you hire a realtor who can)

You might wonder how deals are closed on thousands of properties every year in Costa Rica, especially when the buyers often don’t speak a word of Spanish. It all comes down to finding a realtor who has excellent fluency in both Spanish and English and an intricate understanding of how Costa Rica works when it comes to selling and buying real estate.

I have lived in Costa Rica for over 13 years and can say that I have learnt all about the subtleties of the Spanish language. Fluent in English and Spanish, I’ve established regional connections and refined my cross cultural communication skills. If I had a dollar for the amount of times I’ve heard someone say they are pregnant (embarazada) instead of embarrassed (vergonzada) I’d be a very wealthy man indeed! And don’t get me started on all of the colloquialisms!

Of course, many people get by in Costa Rica without speaking any Spanish at all. They pay their bills, go to the grocery store, buy a car and visit the doctors – all of this without knowing a word – often this is thanks to Ticos being accustomed to tourists and being particularly gifted when it comes to understanding hand signals. However, this is an approach that I wouldn’t recommend!


What you should always remember is that a little goes a long way. And it’s definitely worth learning what you can.  I explain to my clients that learning a simple Buenos dias, Como esta? “Good Morning, how are you?” is a great way to demonstrate that you have at least made the effort – even if you continue in English.

In the touristy areas of Costa Rica you will find that many people speak English and even if you speak to them in Spanish first they will tend to respond in English. The important thing to remember is that not knowing Spanish is not an obstacle to investing in property in Costa Rica and certainly not a barrier when it comes to enjoying life to the fullest in this beautiful country.

Brand New Home in Ojochal – Only $199k

The great thing about being part of the local community in the South Pacific is that I get to find out about the best deals on the market. This brand new Spanish colonial style house was built by the best custom builder in Costa Rica.  With quality finishes this nearly 3000 sq ft. home sits on a one acre lot.  With 2 bedrooms (each with build in closets) and 2 bathrooms this is an inviting residence surrounded by an incredible landscape.

A gourmet kitchen, with cedar cabinetry and marble counter tops has ample room for a large fridge and stove ensure that this is one of the best rooms in the house. An additional smaller room can be used as an additional bedroom or office. There are also two recreation rooms, one that is prepped for a TV projector. With high raised ceilings this home is breezy and well ventilated and there is a ceiling fan in every room. The large swimming pool sits next to a porch that is perfect to sit back and relax on your hammock.

Daveed Hollander

Daveed Hollander

With over 2 decades of doing business in Costa Rica real estate industry Daveed Hollander is a trusted realtor for the southern pacific region of Costa Rica. Delivering a professional and tailored service Daveed offers you a wide ranging portfolio of quality properties. With an in-depth knowledge and a genuine appreciation for the area, he enthusiastically supports sustainable development in the southern pacific. A respected and active participant in the local community Daveed and his family reside in Dominical. Fluent in English and Spanish, Daveed has established regional connections and excellent communication skills allow him to successfully identify valid and authenticated investment opportunities. Well known for his friendly and genuine approach your search for a potential property is benefited by his conscientious and detail orientated service.