Costa Rica Real Estate – Costa Rica vacation homes can generate a great return on investment. Its not all about white sand beaches and margaritas, buyers are looking for appreciating assets and healthy ROI (return on investment)
Here’s what to expect and look for when purchasing an investment property in Costa Rica:
Location Location Location
We’ve all heard it time and time again location is the number one deciding factor when people rent a vacation home. Most vacationers want to be within walking distance to the beach, restaurants and other attractions and amenities. Car rental is expensive in Costa Rica, so if a vacationer can save on a vehicle, he has more money to spend on accommodations and discretionary expenses.
Check out the Rental History
Beware of dead spots. There are properties that don’t rent as well as others. Ask to see the rental history of the property before purchasing as well as asking around. Do your research before purchasing a property to get the inside scoop on the location and the history. Working with a reputable realtor will help guide you in the right direction too.
Choose a good Property Manager
A good property manager will treat your property as if it were his own, carry out preventative maintenance and recommend upgrades that will help maximize your rental income. Ask about the advertising channels your PM uses, and how many similar properties he has in the same building, or area. You don’t want to get your rental inquiries offered to your neighbors (yes, it happens with some property managers!). Lastly, choose someone trustworthy. I’ve heard classic tales such as owners reading glowing reviews in the condo’s guest book written a renter the owner had never heard of (or gotten paid for!).
Earn Income from Vacationers
The market for vacation rentals is vibrant and growing each year. Buyers can expect a very respectable return on investment, plus the equity from increased property values. Earn income from day 1. Your property manager should have dedicated rental agents on duty to instantly handle rental inquiries and maximize your bookings.
Choose the Time that you Visit
Even with the highest occupancy properties, there will be weeks with no renters. This time of year is when owners generally plan their trip to Costa Rica. The busiest time of the year for vacationers is December through April. The rest of the year also enjoys perfect weather. If a return on your investment is your main aim, try to plan your trips around these months.
When I sell a beach property, I really see it as the start of our relationship, not the end. When the sale is complete most Realtors move on to the next deal. In my case, the buyers often become friends and I want them to have a fantastic stay when they visit Costa Rica, and earn great returns on investment when they are away.
It’s also why I launched Blue Moon Costa Rica (bluemooncr.com) a few years back to offer a spectacular post-purchase experience for buyers. Blue Moon is a boutique property management company with a handful of properties, great staff and satisfied owners. We actually turn away more properties than we accept, precisely because we want to maintain that boutique, personalized, high quality service.
Handled correctly, buying a Costa Rica property for investment purposes is a smart move. It’s a lifestyle decision, that will certainly improve your quality of life (compared to say, adding to your stock portfolio) and the returns are proven if you follow these suggested simple steps.
Now, down to the white sand beach for a Margarita..
About the author
Richard Lacey is the owner/broker of Coldwell Banker Tamarindo (www.coldwellbankertamarindo.com). Richard moved to Costa Rica 19 years ago to escape the corporate rat race, and is truly living the dream in the number 1 beach location in Costa Rica, Tamarindo.
You can contact Richard at [email protected] with any questions regarding properties in Costa Rica