Costa Rica Blog

Cosmic Bowling in the Osa Region of Costa Rica and a Real Estate Boom

Posted by Steve Linder on Fri, Dec, 13, 2013

People have been getting quite a surprise when driving down the coast in southern Costa Rica.  There among the toucans, sloths and macaws is another rare bird in this area, a cosmic bowling alley.  The Costa Ballena region has been amazing people with its bio diversity for years.  But recently some new inhabitants have appeared, causing a migration of a different sort. 

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Tags: San Isidro, Eco Tourism, Dominical, Ojochal, Costa Rica real estate, Real estate in Costa Rica, Expats, Caldera Highway, Costanera Highway, Playa Bellena, Costa Rica property, Baxter bowling, international living, Pacific Lots, Baby boomers, Costa Ballena, Chontales, buying property in Costa Rica, Sloth, Ballena national park, Sustainable living, Travel and Leisure magazine. Pura Vida, olive riddley turtles, Costa Rica

House Hunters International, Travel and Leisure Magazine Costa Rica

Posted by Steve Linder on Mon, Jun, 24, 2013

Yup, just like I keep telling everyone, it's only a matter of time before everyone wants to be where we are.  Travel and Leisure Magazine wrote this past month that the Bahia Ballena Coast is in the top two places to visit in 2013 and HGTV just showed up to our little town of Ojochal to film an episode of House Hunters International, trying to find the perfect home for a retiring north American couple looking for real estate in Costa Rica.  The baby boomers are coming, we had 6 sales in the last two weeks and all our Costa Rica Property Tours are selling out. 

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, Costa Rica property, Travel and Leisure Magazine, Baxter bowling, HGTV, house hunters international, pathfinder international, international living

Costa Rica Tourism in Overdrive in 2013

Posted by Steve Linder on Wed, Jan, 23, 2013

I wrote this on the 6th of January: 

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, Americans in Costa Rica, Costa Rica property tours, Baby boomers, retire abroad, Costa Rica's tourism

Infrastructure Update - Chontales Costa Rica Real Estate Development

Posted by Steve Linder on Mon, Jun, 04, 2012

Impressive!  Our latest effort has been the engineering, design, approval and construction of the water system for the Chontales development.  High in the mountain jungle behind Chontales is a large artesian mountain spring.  Over the past 5 months a posse of our workers hand carried over 100 tons of cement, rebar, miles of PVC piping and wood to make forms deep into the jungle.   These materials have been transformed into a collection system capable of delivering over 40 liters per second of clean artesian spring water. 

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Tags: Infrastructure, Costa Rica real estate, retirement property Costa Rica, Property in Costa Rica, Pacific Lots of Costa Rica, ICE, INVU, MINEA, SETENA, MOPT, Paragon Properties

The Tortoise and the Hares - Costa Rica Real Estate and Property

Posted by Steve Linder on Mon, Dec, 26, 2011

About 3 hours south of San Jose Costa Rica, just above the coastal highway around Ojochal is the largest residential expat development in the entire county.   Without the aid of a real estate office, highway signs or office in San Jose, this project has been one of the best kept secrets while being the most successful.   While many other developers in Costa Rica have come and gone, this firm has grown slowly and steadily. The company is represented under the name Pacific Lots of Costa Rica and sales to North Americans from both the US and Canada have been brisk even as most other real estate projects in Costa Rica struggle to survive.  With 22 years developing land and building custom homes, a primary reason of the success of the company has been its conservative approach and the decision to build a residential community, not a tourist attraction. 

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, Real estate in Costa Rica, Caldera Highway, international living, foreclosed homes costsa rica, Pacific Lots, Costa Rica retirement, Property in Costa Rica, Costa Rica development, baby boomers offshore, Costa Rica

Live or Retire in Canada, a Comparison to Costa Rica

Posted by Steve Linder on Sun, Jun, 19, 2011


In our continuing series visiting potential countries for North Americans to retire or relocate, today we will take a look at Canada.  As always, we'll look at cost of living considerations, accessibility, political stability and more.  Check our blog for a similar comparison to a variety of other countries.

The United States’ neighbor to the north is not usually the first place Americans think of when they’re considering retiring abroad, but Canada offers some appealing benefits for expats, as well as some difficulties worth overcoming.  

It may not be a tropical paradise that some retirees dream of, but for those who prefer world-class skiing rather than skin-diving it just might be the prefect place.  And it’s hardly all prairies and frozen tundra -- from the ruggedly graceful coastline of the Atlantic provinces to the lush Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada is a vast country of natural beauty.  It also boasts some of North America’s most important cities, Toronto (photo) , Montreal and Vancouver, all culturally vibrant and diverse metropolises.

Two of the biggest financial incentives for moving to Canada are its lower cost of living relative to the United States and its national health care program which is mostly free at the point of use for its citizens. Canada’s typically higher taxes may counteract these benefits for some people, but at the very least Canada and the United States have an agreement not to tax expats twice, avoiding a problem that can plague Americans abroad in other countries.

The biggest challenge facing those of any country who wish to retire in Canada is getting permission to do so.  United States citizens don’t need to apply for a visa to visit Canada for up to three months, but to stay there permanently does require a visa.  Unfortunately, Canada no longer offers a specific visa for retirees, which leaves expats with the option to either apply for residency as an investor, which requires a minimum net worth of $800,000, or as a skilled worker, which is only open to certain occupations.  Expats who enter Canada on a skilled worker visa may find difficulty gaining employment in some of the eastern states without being bilingual in English and French, but French is not required in the rest of the country.

Country Overview

Canada has the second largest landmass of any country in the world, and its southern border with the United States is the world's longest. It is a vast country, and contains more freshwater lakes than anywhere else in the world.  It is made up of mostly plains with mountains in the west and lowlands in the southeast.  The climate in the north and interior is usually far below freezing, with snow covering the ground at least half the year, but the costal regions enjoy temperate climates and highs in the 70s, with British Colombia having the mildest winters.

Facts and Figures

Canada’s population was 33,212,696 in 2008 and is estimated to be 35,051,000 by 2015.  Most people speak English, although about 1/3 speak French; both are official languages.

In terms of crime, the rate of intentional homicides is 1.81 per 100,000 people which is incredibly low by international standards

Political Instability Index (out of ten): 2.8

Quality of Life ranking (out of ten): 7.599


In terms of currency, one US dollar is roughly equal to 1.13 Canadian dollars.

Price of a round-trip flight to Toronto:

From New York: $311 (Expedia), $362  (American Airlines)

From Los Angeles: $561  (Expedia), $628  (American Airlines)

From Miami: $388  (Expedia), $428  (American Airlines)


Price to rent an economy car for 10 days in Toronto: $368.88


Median price for an apartment in Toronto’s city centre: $7,538 per square meter.

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, international real estate, living internationally, Canada, what to consider when moving abroad

Costa Rica Homes - More Companies using Innovative Green Materials

Posted by Steve Linder on Wed, May, 25, 2011

New Construction Methods in Use in Costa Rica:

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, covintec, green construction, home building, environmentally friendly, green building products, Costa Rica

The Amazing Vanishing Developers of Costa Rica

Posted by Steve Linder on Thu, Feb, 10, 2011

People always ask us about other real estate developments in Costa Rica.  My typical answer is that {name of development} is one of many developments that has yet to get anything done.  or one of many that gets just enough done to sell it, never completing what was promised  There have been many real estate developments like them, some who made pre-development sales, paid the principles salaries large enough to use all the money and then claimed bankruptcy without ever having even attempted to complete the project.  Many are brilliant marketers, staging webinars, press releases and conference calls.  Some will use hype like "Costa Rica's most successful real estate project", the "fastest selling project" or the "best real estate development in Costa Rica" or something similar.   

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, finca, pre development Costa Rica, buying property in Costa Rica

Planning an Extended Trip to Costa Rica - The Pacific Ring of Fire

Posted by Steve Linder on Fri, Feb, 04, 2011

The cost of visiting Costa Rica as a tourist has increased due to large increase in tourism in the past 4 years. Costa Rica, a country of only 4 million people, had over 2 million tourists in 2010.  Car rentals, hotel rentals and other touristy activities have risen in price but thankfully living there is still cheap by North American standards.  The larger expenses in life, property taxes, health care and insurance are still amazingly cheap by US standards but traveling as a tourist is not so cheap.  Costa Rica is quite rugged and what looks like an easy ride on the map may take hours longer than expected.  There are four mountain ranges in Costa Rica and peaks to 10,000 feet are common.  Roads aren’t the best and driving at night is not recommended since you may come across cattle, cars without lights or sudden changes in road conditions you may not have anticipated.

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Tags: Dominical, Uvita, cost of living, Costa Rica real estate, Corcovado, Real estate in Costa Rica, Traveling Costa Rica, Car Rentals, Costa Rica

Las Vegas IL Show, Elvis and 400+ people signing up for Costa Rica

Posted by Steve Linder on Sat, Sep, 25, 2010

Last week Kristina and I headed to Vegas and not just for fun.  Where else can you see Elvis in a pink Cadillac and meet over 500 people interested in international real estate?  Just when I thought things couldn't get any hotter for our real estate project in Costa Rica, we also hit a major new milestone. 

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, international living, AARP, Discovery Tour, Developer tours, Red Rock Casino, Costa Rica