costa rica land for sale

costa rica land for sale

Buying Land in Costa Rica

My insights into wise land purchases in Costa Rica

By my third trip to Costa Rica, I had honed in on some critical conclusions of what I did NOT want, that you may or may not share with me. These included:


1. beach front or near beach-front property. Reason: Greater heat and humidity, public accessibility, potential for flooding.

2. land that is remote or difficult to access. Reason: NO matter what the promises one might hear about the road or bridge going in soon, or the utilities available any day, or the potential for cell service within the next month...It is all conjecture and there is no guarantee it will EVER happen. Large development companies may offer more security in their claims by offering to include infrastructure in the price of your land, and there are some very good projects being done. However, I also ran into a rather staggering amount of them who had made many promises and then gone broke. Check timelines and infrastructure promises carefully!

So for me, buying land off a public rock road--not too far from a major paved road--made sense. When a major storm hit the area recently, this farm the roads, and the bridges to it did not suffer a great deal of damage compared to many other nearby locations.

3. Land that has no electrical, cell, or limited water availability. Even though I would like to look into eventually building with the objectives of green and "off-grid" sort of architecture, having utilities backup is comforting. It also seems to be a more solid investment due to a greater pool of buyers should I need to re-sell. And yes, even rainy areas like this experience droughts & water shortages where there is over-development.

4. Land with a building structure already on it. Costa Rica is located ona juncture of tectonic plates, and therefore is prone to earthquakes. A 6.2 Richter one occurred in November of 2004 during one of my visits. I was happy to learn that most buildings are constructed with close attention to durability in the event of an earthquake. However, my preference is to know EXACTLY how the roof over my head has been constructed, so I completely minimize the probability of that roof falling on my head! Earthquake building codes are fairly stringent in Costa Rica and I am sure many structures are safe. Also, I wish to customize the greeness and energy-efficiency of my dwelling. This criteria is just a personal preference I guess.

5. Land that has poor drainage, or is right near a river. When it rains, it pours here. There are many locations where the land will flood if there is a very big storm.

6. Land that is too low, or too high in elevation. If you buy land that is too low in elevation, it is not necessarily the best elevation for many species of hardwoods, that I have an interest in growing rapidly on my land. If you buy land that is too high in elevation, you get into the cloud forest and it gets too moist, foggy and rainy.

7. Land that is being developed primarily for foreigners, and no native Costa Ricans. While there are many beautiful developments along the whole western coast, I personally do not wish to live in a country where the native people are shut out of the neighborhood.

Views of the Ocean
This farm has what I would call a "small" view of the ocean. That is plenty for me, and I do appreciate having some view since I love the feeling of endlessness it gives me. "Big" ocean views are quite escalated in price in most accessible locations on the west (Pacific) side, and occupied primarily by foreigners.

West, vs. east side of Costa Rica
I've read that the western side of Costa Rica gets about as much rain as the eastern side, but on the eastern side it rains more constantly. On the western side you have a rainy season and a dry season, and I prefer a bit more sunshine.

Good land for reforestation
My preference was to find land that I could grow trees on, for eventual conversion into a perpetual forest. Also, I want to plant trees for steam and watershed protection. However, I also want the option of growing valuable hardwoods that could be harvested for some income on a limited basis in the future. In this way, my trees can help "pay their own way" for future preservation of land for bio diversity and wildlife habitat.