A sunlit six-bedroom house in Costa Rica
$5.3 MILLION (3.5 BILLION COSTA RICAN COLON)
This six bedroom town It is located in a gated community in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, just west of San José, the capital. Built in 2012 on three lots spanning 1.28 acres, the single-story home covers more than 17,000 square feet, weaving outdoor spaces in and around the design such as patios, terraces and water features.
Wijbrand Tuinstra, an agent with Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty, which owns the property, described its architectural style as “modern tropical.”
“It’s easily the nicest house in one of the Central Valley’s upscale communities,” he said.
Beyond a porte-cochere and entry foyer, the home’s sun-filled great room is clad in walls of glass, with a living room, dining room and bar beneath a vaulted ceiling with wood beams and chandeliers. personalized circular pendants. Glass doors open to a pool and atrium with pond.
One wing of the house has an eat-in kitchen, laundry room, game room and a housekeeping suite with bedroom and full bathroom. The kitchen features quartz countertops and Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. A long sunlit hallway with gabled roof leads to another wing with five en-suite bedrooms, anchored by a family and media room. Four are the same size, while the fifth largest suite has a living room, gym, sitting areas, Jacuzzi bathroom and views of a meandering koi pond. The bedroom floors are made of wood and the rest are made of marble, many of them with inlaid designs.
The attached four-car garage has two 220-volt electric car chargers and solar panels that power 70 percent of the home’s electrical consumption.
The La Hacienda housing development is located on the outskirts of Santa Ana, a suburb about 10 miles west of San José, where the metropolitan area population is about two million. Residents have access to several swimming pools, tennis courts, clubhouse and common areas. Juan Santamaría International Airport is 20 minutes north.
Costa Rica, which last year celebrated its bicentennial, marking 200 years of independence from Spain, has several real estate regions. One is in the Central Valley, which includes the capital city of San José and is home to most of Costa Rica’s five million residents. There are also multiple markets along the Pacific Ocean coast, with the north generally being more developed than the south.
Agents said the country’s property market rebounded strongly in 2021 after the pandemic lull, with prices rising in some areas thanks to tight supply and high construction costs. Foreign buyers looking to relocate or buy holiday homes are returning, and changes to the country’s residency laws and tax rules are making it easier for them.
“Everything slowed down to almost a complete stop, and then it took off,” Tuinstra said, with some buyers looking for vacant land to build on and others “buying houses further away from offices and schools.”
The Central Valley lags behind the coast in demand, while supply is plentiful, which has kept prices stable there over the past year, he said.
Linda Gray, broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Coast to Coast Properties and vice president of the Coldwell Banker Costa Rica master franchise, said the national market recovered after a “very, very slow” 2020 and is now “more active than before”. I have seen in years.”
Popular areas to invest in, he said, include Playas Del Coco, Playa Ocotal, Playa Hermosa and Playa Panamá, all near Culebra Bay and the Liberia International Airport in the country’s Pacific northwest, and offer more amenities than other communities. region of.
Tim Fenton, a broker with Blue Zone Realty International, based in the South Pacific coastal region, said Costa Rica is increasingly welcoming international buyers as the pandemic recedes. A pending 2021 change to the law governing residency restrictions will reduce the minimum investment for residency from $200,000 to $150,000 and increase the maximum renewable residency term to 10 years. The country’s import tax rules were also modified to allow foreign residents to bring in certain personal goods tax-free.
Prices in the southern coastal region rose about 20 percent in the second half of 2021 and another 20 percent in the first quarter of 2022, Fenton said, pointing to higher construction costs, record sales, a lack of existing inventory and limited new construction. . (He noted that Costa Rica does not have an official entity that tracks recent housing prices.)
In 2021, his company sold three times as much in terms of dollar value as in each of the previous three years, he said. Currently, the median price of newer three-bedroom properties within two miles of the beach is about $350,000, up from $240,000 18 months ago. For larger, ocean-view luxury properties closer to the water, the median price is $950,000, up from $675,000.
“It should be noted, however, that you can still find an incredible home at a very reasonable price, and that the benefits of owning a home here in paradise are priceless,” he added.
Craig Studnicky, CEO of ISG World, a real estate sales and marketing company, is currently selling 196 three- and four-bedroom homes in a development on the southern Pacific coast called Costa Rica Window. Villas starting at $550,000 feature glass-tiled infinity pools, covered terraces and teak cathedral ceilings.
Studnicky agreed that the country is becoming more receptive to American buyers. Along with pending residency changes, he is also in the process of establishing a digital nomad visa that will confer temporary residency to people who earn at least $3,000 a month, she said.
“Costa Rica is rolling out the red carpet for Americans, and Americans are moving there,” he said, adding a contrast with Miami. “In Costa Rica,” she said, “I’ve seen real estate prices there that I haven’t seen in Miami in maybe 15 years.”
Who buys in Costa Rica
Studnicky reported on a recent influx of American buyers moving to Costa Rica, particularly from California, Texas, Florida and New York. “That’s why I affectionately refer to Costa Rica as the 52nd state,” he said.
Tuinstra said luxury buyers in Costa Rica are “overwhelmingly North American,” but added that more Europeans have been buying in the last five years, thanks to more direct flights to and from Europe.
Foreigners can buy real estate in Costa Rica without restrictions. Transactions are handled by a notary.
Closing costs, including escrow services, due diligence reports and studies and a transfer tax, amount to about 4 percent of the purchase price and are typically paid by the buyer, Fenton said.
Foreign buyers often pay in cash, because interest rates on mortgages offered by private banks are high, Ms. Gray said. Sellers sometimes offer mortgages, with interest rates ranging from 5 percent to 8.5 percent and loan terms of three to five years, she said.
Mr. Fenton recommends that buyers hire a qualified real estate agent and attorney familiar with the region in which they wish to purchase. “You should make sure your real estate agent and attorney are well versed in the federal and local laws governing water rights and concessions. , permitted land use, marine zones and protected zones, labor laws and various other issues that can have a negative impact on the property being purchased,” he said.
Ms Gray urges buyers to think carefully before purchasing properties in undeveloped areas. “Often buyers think they want to be in a ‘jungle’ atmosphere,” she said. “However, once they explore these areas and spend a week or two there, they discover that the lack of services can become a real problem for most buyers.”
Languages and currency
Spanish; Costa Rican colon (1 colon = $0.0015)
Taxes and fees
The annual property taxes on this home are approximately $13,000. A monthly HOA fee of $2,000 covers maintenance of shared spaces, 24-hour security, and access to community amenities.
Wijbrand Tuinstra, Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-506-8718-9102; sothebysrealty.com