Cost of Living in Costa Rica - Costa Rica Real Estate

You can afford luxury living


Living in Costa Rica is cheaper than in North America.  Your largest expenses in life are taxes, health care and insurance.  These expenses are VERY low in Costa Rica.  Food is a commodity and will never be really cheap since if it was, someone would ship it to another market, which would drive up the price locally.  Don't get me wrong, even food is cheaper in Costa Rica unless it was imported.  Being a tourist in Costa Rica is somewhat expensive since demand for tourism exceeds supply.  Tourism doubled in the past 4 years while the supply of hotels, rental cars and restuarants has not kept up.  When demand exceeds supply, business owners can raise the price. 

The average Costa Rican earns less than $12,000 per year so costs are less for everyone.  Since wages are less, hired help is much more affordable, a live in maid is around $300 per month and a gardener costs less than $3.00 per hour.  Most people don't use heat or AC and therefore have very low electric bills.  The initial cost of purchasing land and building a home are quickly offset by the savings on living expenses, especially property tax, health care and food.  The savings adds up over time but more importantly, the quality of life is great, with less stress and more time to enjoy.

Real Estate Taxes $1.45 per thousand dollars in value

Fill up a Toyota 4Runner full size SUV - $53.00

Tickets to a movie - $3.00

Ticket price for cheap seats at the National theater - $2.50

Ticket to see a First Division Soccer Team play - $5.00

An excellent steak dinner - Under $12.00

Basic Commercial Phone service - $6.00 per month

Basic Cellular Phone service - $9.00 per month

Basic Cable TV service - $28.00

Cable Internet home service (1 meg download/256K upload) costs - $40.00 per month

Men's haircut & shampoo at luxury barbershop - $7.00

Men's haircut at local barbershop - $3.50

La Nacion - Costa Rica's leading daily newspaper - $0.50

A pound of local coffee - $1.45

A bottle of Coca Cola - $0.60

A pound of beans - $0.55

A bottle of Imperial beer - $0.85

A pack of local cigarettes - $1.00

A pack of Marlboro - $1.60

Bus ride from downtown San Jose to Escazu - $0.35

Bus ride from San Jose to Jaco Beach (60 miles) - $2.50

Suzuki ATV Ozark LT F250 - $6,250

Suzuki ATV Z400 - $9,150

Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster - $10,800

Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster Custom - $12,600

2009 Honda CRV 4x2 SUV - $38,000

2009 KIA Rio hatchback 1400 cc w/ extras - $16,600

Complete Health Coverage for resident - starting at about $800 per year and depending on the amount of income you show in your pension or annuity that grants you residency status 

L:ocal Farmer's market prices

Watermelon - $0.75 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Tomato - $0.80 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Lemons - 5 cents each

Carrots - $0.50 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Broccoli - $0.50

Pineapple - $0.80 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Papaya - $0.45 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Cucumbers - $0.70 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Radishes - $0.20 per bunch

Zucchini - $0.20 each

Onions - $0.50 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Mangos - $1.50 per Kilo (2.2 lbs)

Bananas - $0.60 for a bunch with 18 bananas

Strawberries - $1.50 pound

While some imported manufactured items such as appliances, TV's, computers, and vehicles are more expensive, these are generally one-time expenses yet your daily and recurring expenses are much cheaper so you will enjoy a higher standard of living in Costa Rica while living in a country that has most of the comforts of home.  Large purchases like appliances, TV's and computers can be made in the duty free port of Golfito, only about an hour's drive from our developments.  Many owners of real estate in Costa Rica drive to San Jose every few months for "big shopping items" like a new file cabinet, a trip to PriceSmart or a large screen TV.