How do I know if a property price in Costa Rica is fair? 4 Key Points to Consider335955
Knowing whether or not a property is priced fairly in Costa Rica can be tricky. After all, there is no MLS listing for the country and the same property can be listed by different realtors at different prices (see 5 Key Points to Remember when Purchasing Property in Costa Rica for more details). So, how do you know that the asking price is fair?
Is there someone that can help me determine if a property price in Costa Rica is fair?
You may not like this, but you need to do your own research and compare similar properties in the area. If you are purchasing land, then compare only the lots for sale of similar size and location. If there's a house, compare similarly sized homes and lots in the same area. You can ask your realtor to help you compare similar properties; if your realtor is worth their weight in gold they'll already have a list of properties and prices. However, you may not want to rely solely on what your real estate agent supplies you -- and look over their list critically as they may be comparing oranges to apples.
What am I looking for in determining a property's fair price?
You are looking for the following items when determining whether or not a property price is fair: • Level of development. In Costa Rica, land is sold by the square meter. You can expect to pay less for land that doesn't yet have utilities going to it. If you choose to buy into a development, you can get a better price for the land (ex. $14 per square meter) and, as water, electricity, roads, and sewer get added to the development the price will increase to as much as $25 or $30 per square meter. If you want a better price, you'll need to assume a little bit of risk or you can pay more for the assurance that the property has all its utilities.
• Size matters. If you are buying a smaller piece of property versus a larger one, the price per square meter will be higher. Tico 500 square meter lots can cost $100 per square meter or more.
• Location matters. The closer you purchase to a development, like a resort or other tourist location, the more you'll pay. As you move out away from the developed areas and more into the country, you'll pay less. So make sure the properties really are comparable in terms of where they are located.
• Seller's desires. Many properties in Costa Rica have been in the hands of Ticos for generations. They base their selling prices on what they want. Many times when I ask how they came up with their asking price for a lot, they give me a laundry list of what they want to buy. There's no rhyme or reason to it, they just want to sell the lot for enough to purchase what they want or need. (Don't laugh; it's a thing.) You'll need to determine whether or not the property is worth what they're asking.
How easy is it to get swindled when purchasing property in Costa Rica? I don't know how a buyer new to Costa Rica can purchase property here without the risk of being taken. My husband and I didn't know any of the information above, and even though we were experts at purchasing and selling property in the States, we were taken advantage of and lost thousands. We also have many acquaintances and friends who've experienced similar losses or close calls. Eventually, I'm sure the market will get better, but in the meantime: Buyers beware.
Due to the difficulties I had initially down here, I work really hard to be available to individuals interested in purchasing something in Costa Rica. I will help you find exactly what you want. I'll also help you compare similar properties, offer you my impression of the deal, and point you where you need to go for your own research. I want your initial buying experience in Costa Rica to be different than mine.
If you are interested in subscribing to my blog or to keep up to date on my listings, please sign up at http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/subscribe-today/. Summary: Here's a breakdown of what you need to consider when figuring out if a property price is fair in Costa Rica.