Monday, June 1, 2015

One Gringa’s Experience With Real Estate In Costa Rica

Peoples’ motives for acquiring and moving real estate are as varied as the myriad of listings on the market. In 2004, my former husband and I bought tropical land with an ocean view for our future dream home. This was done via a seminar in the US in which a group of us purchased lots in a Canadian presented development. The land….in Ojochal near the Osa Penninsula on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. For those a little more familiar with the area, it is a little south of Uvita and north of Golfito.

Sometime later, one of our friends who bought at the same time we did was having marital issues. Living in the US, it was not a good time for him to have a lot in Costa Rica. We weren’t really interested in another lot but bought it from him anyway as a favor. Since it was in the same phase of the development, we figured maybe we could expand later or simply have it as an investment property.
In 2007, we were having our own difficulties with real estate and otherwise. We opted to list both properties with a local Canadian real estate agency to see what kind of action we might get.
2009 saw us divorced…..our dream home definitely wasn’t to be. An incredible journey toward the end of that year found me in Ojochal, right near the lovely lots. Since I ended up in the area, I played around seeing if there was a way I could make things work there on my own. What a surprise I found when I dropped in on the real estate office that had the listings for the 2 properties. Previously, I’d tried to find the lots on their website. Even though I knew exactly what I was looking for, I never could find them without the listing id numbers. At their office, it even took them a while to find them. They had over 700 listings and almost no buyers. No wonder we hadn’t heard a peep from them before. The more I checked opportunities around there, the more I got the feeling that what made the area special for me was what I had there with my former husband. So now it was almost the opposite with me having no desire to stay in spite of the amazing nature around. That incredible beauty included delightful beaches, scarlet macaws, colorful beaked toucans, dolphins, whales, howler, cappuchin and spider monkeys….that all barely scratching the surface of wonders.
I realized when I was there, the real estate market was pretty much dead. Since we had a non-exclusivity agreement with the RE agency, I’d casually put an ad on craigslist or or other sites here and there. Except for an occasional inquiry, there was still no action. Now I realize if there were houses already built on the lots, they would be an easier sell. A lot of people want to buy something turnkey ready. The original reason we were buying was to find a gorgeous piece of land and create our custom home to fit that property. We even had a number of designs dancing in our heads. That was the draw of buying raw land for us. Since we purchased, many people have built their own creative homes on their land. So for those who may have like the idea, but were a little fearful of being the “pioneers”, there are many resources now available from the ones that have paved the way.

In my opinion, the area is the perfect blend for those who want the feeling of being “away from it all” yet within easy driving distance to restaurants, shops, farmers’ market and entertainment. If you are interested in an ocean view lot of almost an acre (.94) and a forest lot that backs up to a creek a little more than half acre (.55), let me know. I am a highly motivated seller – especially if you’d like both lots as a package deal. In addition, I can refer you to some resources in the area to help you get started creating your own Pura Vida Dream!

If you are interested or a little curious about this property - for sale or trade, please email me Thanks for "traveling" with me!

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