Costa Rican Beachfronts Entice U.S. Buyers

U.S. expats are eyeing dropping prices on Costa Rican beachfront property as a place to enjoy their retirements in an area that affords a low cost of living …

U.S. expats are eyeing dropping prices on Costa Rican beachfront property as a place to enjoy their retirements in an area that affords a low cost of living and beautiful views with top-flight health care. Real estate analysts note that waterfront properties in the Central American country are selling for between 30%-50% lower than they have been in the last 10 years, due in part because many investors who bought into the market anticipating profitable turnarounds got surprised by the global financial crisis and its ripple effects. For more on this continue reading the following article from International Living.

In the right spots, Costa Rica’s beaches make smart buys today for Americans shopping for good-value retirement and vacation homes.

Prices on beachfront properties along certain stretches of Costa Rica’s coast have tumbled. It means a window of opportunity has opened there for Americans anxious to “rescue their retirements” by looking for dollar-stretching opportunities overseas.

The latest research from overseas retirement specialists, International Living, shows that in some areas of Costa Rica today, prices are 30% less than at any time in the last 10 years. In pockets along the Gold Coast prices are down as much as 50%.

“This is big news for anyone looking for a part-time retreat or a permanent beachfront home in a country, where the cost of living is low and the health care is first class,” said International Living’s Dan Prescher.

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Prescher, along with fellow International Living editor, Suzan Haskins, traveled hundreds of miles around Costa Rica to report on the effect of the global real estate market’s collapse on prices, and to meet the expats who have benefited.

Among them are Ben and Jill Hill, originally from California, and their son Daren McBratney. Today they run a yoga spa in the Costa Rican beach town of Nosara.

“When we saw the market falling apart in the U.S. we just said it was time to make the move. Our only stumbling block was making the personal decision. Once we did there really wasn’t any more hesitation or hurdles. And as you can see, things worked out pretty well,” Jill told International Living.

Papagayo in the northwestern corner of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province was the heart of the country’s real estate action a few years ago. But the International Living team recently found a certain number of properties standing empty and idle—their owners willing to either sell at a discount or, instead, rent at practically the cost of upkeep, just to have someone there.

At 58-years old, retirees Andy and Fran Browne were living in North Carolina when they ran the numbers and found they could take advantage of this window of opportunity to rent long-term in Costa Rica.

“We’re using our nest egg for a long-term vacation strategy. Instead of buying a house right now, we have the luxury of renting without tying ourselves down to a piece of property, and use that same amount over the next 15 to 20 years to do what we really want…vacation and explore,” said Andy.

“Every person we spoke to in Costa Rica says this is the time to strike. Previously, some individuals bought in the market here hoping to flip their properties and make a quick buck. Today, they’re ready to deal. So are the developers who remain solvent but are stuck with lots of unsold inventory,” said Haskins.

Commenting on the findings, International Living executive editor, Jennifer Stevens said: “Costa Rica is just one of the overseas locations where a growing number of people are finding the affordable retirement and quality of life they want, but can’t have in the U.S. And with 1,100 miles of the most beautiful sun-drenched shorelines in the Western Hemisphere, Costa Rica is definitely one of the most attractive options.

This article was republished with permission from International Living.

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