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.
Costa Rica Blog
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It’s good to write today with an update of activities in Chontales, our largest master planned community within our developments. Our crew there is very busy!
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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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.
Though you can buy homes right now in the US (Las Vegas and Phoenix for example) for less than they cost to build, Costa Rica has not experienced that problem. There are a few “distressed” markets in Costa Rica, areas where during the boom too much inventory was built in some crappy areas.
It might be bad news for the home front in countries like the US, Canada and much of Europe as the largest population segment in many countries reaches retirement age. Both the housing market and the employment outlook are liable to feel a jolt as baby boomers pull up roots and head to sunnier climates.