Ok – you’ve made a wise move and want to invest in Costa Rica – but where? One of the most important aspects to consider is choosing an area that fits with your type of investment.
I’ve put together a few tips to help you decide which area is best suited to what you are looking for.
1. Rapid Growth
It’s no secret that there are certain areas in Costa Rica that are experiencing rapid growth. Since the beginning of the year 2000 the province of Guanacaste has really become the top investment location..
Known as the tropical escape for the well-heeled the province of Guanacaste continues to experience rapid growth and significant direct foreign investment.
Playa Tamarindo, Langosta, Coco and Papagayo offer the crem de la crem of property investment. Thanks to the opening of the Liberia International Airport tourism arrivals to this region have increased by an incredible 27% in the past year. The luxury hotel chain, Bvlgari also wants a piece of the action and will open their resort next year.
2. Potential Growth
Now – 13 years later all eyes are on the South Pacific – by all accounts the same property value rise is expected here.
Thanks to the opening of the Caldera Highway and resurfacing works on the Costanera the South Pacific is now more accessible than ever before. Continued infrastructural improvements continue and the announcement that works for a new international airport will open in 2014 has certainly sparked the interest of many investors. Remember new growth means new opportunities!
As the tourism industry continues to develop in this area and more employment opportunities are created property values will rise.
In terms of generating an income from your investment you can consider properties such as Canto Del Mar Unit#9. On the market for just $275,000 this 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom property with ocean view and swimming pool has fantastic cash flow potential.
3. Existing Infrastructure & Services
If you are looking to acquire real estate in an area of potential growth you need to pay close attention to the existing infrastructure and service. As with many things in a developing country, tourism growth can take longer so you need to be sure that there are services that will ensure its appeal should you want to resell. These services also increase the chances that this area will begin to become a popular location for investment.
In the South Pacific, Ojochal, Dominical and Uvita offer a fantastic range of amenities including well stocked grocery stores, banks, restaurants, internet cafes, farmers markets, pharmacies, doctors, dentists and much more. These communities already include the basics, like large international supermarkets and high-quality health care and you can reach San Jose in just under 3 hours.
4. Tourism strength & rental potential
This is where I would suggest that you look towards area such as Manuel Antonio. An established tourist area with an award winning national park, properties may be higher priced but the potential for vacation rental is fantastically high. Positioned on the Central Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio and the neighboring community of Quepos are popular vacation rental locations. Take note, most vacationers are looking for ocean views and swimming pools and though these properties may be higher priced they will get you higher occupancy levels. Ask to check the rental log to see if you can get an idea of how much of a return you can make on the property.
5. Ease & price of Access
If you are looking to acquire an investment property you need to ensure that it is easy to get to. This is why the announcement that a new international airport will open in the South Pacific in 2014 is such fantastic news. In addition the quality of highways and road access are of prime importance.
6. Price slow-downs
I’ve heard a few retail experts comment that “out of favor” real estate in Costa Rica has the potential to come back. There are several locations in Costa Rica where prices have dropped considerably mostly because the area was swamped with properties for sale as the recession set in. Don’t forget that Costa Rica has made a huge marketing drive in North America to attract more tourists in 2012-2013 and this just might be the boost that cooled down areas need.