Jump to content

Lot and building costs in San Jose


Wendell
 Share

Recommended Posts

Our last visit we found several lots and teardowns in the eastern SJ area.

While I called the numbers posted, no one called me back. I like the manana attitude sometimes. :-)

In any case I would like to get an approximation of costs per sq. ft/meter as well as building costs per sq ft/meter.

What kind of permits are needed and what if any restrictions there are, height, Sq ft, etc.

I know that a book could probably be written, but something brief or links in English would help.

My Spanish is not coming along that fast and won't until I can be immersed.

 

Thanks to all.

Wendell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AAAAA Advise #1 - Make friends with a Tico and have them do all the talking and stay in the background as long as absolutely possible. It will save you 30% at least! For best results you don't want the seller to even know there is a gringo involved until that absolute last possible moment.

 

I am looking at a modular construction option that looks pretty feasable at $37 per sq ft. Jeff Wilcox quoted a builder on this BB in Guancastle that does custom construction for $65 per foot. I think that is a reasonable range to calabrate your expectations.

 

What you pay for a lot depends on how patient you are. Many Se Vende signs that are up are put up by people that are not really serious about selling, but rather they are looking for some dumb ass gringo to come along and pay them a rediculas price.

 

I am looking at a .8 arce lot that is already subdivided in two for $25K total. It is about 15 minutes from SJ airport north of Alajuala, I think that is a pretty decent deal. HOWEVER, that is a Tico deal, not something that I am involved directly in the negotiations.

 

I have also been quoted $120,000 an acre. That is a gringo price. What you pay depends largely on how you go about it and of course location.

Edited by Kahuna
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kahuna's numbers and advice are spot on. I have been hearing building quotes of $50-80/sq/ft said with a straight face from people who are both offering and willing to pay. I plan to pay under $40 and once my place is finished will be helping my guy offer his services to others.

 

Like he said, have a Tico face on _everything_ for as long as is humanly possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wendell, there are no books written about this, and I am not aware of any useful links about your application. Realtors can be a good source of information, but always get second or third opinions to confirm your assumptions. My advice is to find a good architect in that area that speaks English, and he can guide you for restrictions and permit process. Do not be surprised about not getting a call back too soon from the SE VENDE sign, if at all, if you spoke in English. Also realize that the building process will take more than a year to get going. You may want to purchase the property as a corporation, for a number of reasons, and this will require getting an attorney as well. Everything legal...purchase contracts, construction contracts, are all done in Spanish, so you will need translations.

 

Land cost per square meter is all over the map, based on the access, view, noise, proximity to job centers, other properties in the neighborhood, etc. $30-40 per square meter is becoming common close-in, whereas you can still get $8-12 per square meter further out. I assume you have water and electricity on site, if not, that will add more to your overall cost to get connected.

 

Construction cost per square meter is another variable all over the map...a good builder will only quote you a labor price, based on square meters of construction and other factors such as access, slope, utilities. This does not include materials, which can vary, based on the quality of materials, finish style, and your ability to get tico prices even for materials. A rule of thumb for good quality materials and style is 20% labor and 80% materials. Builders can charge anywhere from $100 per square meter for labor, on up, depending if you are at the beach or in the central valley. $100 per square meter may be good for East San Jose, I do not know, but the architect can provide guidance. The architect also charges 10.5% of the finish square meter estimate, so if you are thinking $500 per square meter total, and say your plan ends up at 300 square meters, the architect will need $15k+. Then there is insurance and social security for the builder, local municipality fees, and other incidental costs. The architect can give you more information about this so you can start to get more of a real picture of what this involves.

 

Be aware that your questions will take weeks to get answers instead of days. If you are going back and forth to your home country, visiting when you can, calling and emailing for answers that you need, it may take you 12 months from when you think you found a great deal until when you can break ground. To really get what you want built, you should also plan on being on site daily or weekly to make sure you get what you need, even if you have a good contract. Yes it can get complicated, so take time to figure all this out before you commit to buying.

 

GreciaBound

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You probably would be better off measuring in square meters rather than square feet.

 

The conversion is approximately 11 sq/ft per meter. It really doesn't matter what you measure in. A measurement is a measurement. It is true that when talking with Ticos they use meters and when working with Ticos you need to talk in terms of meters. As we all know, Gringos are more comfortable with sq feet. Since this is basically a gringo board, it seems like the use of meters in this discussion would only make the dialog more confusing for those that are accustomed to using meters, don't you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Kahuna's numbers and advice are spot on. I have been hearing building quotes of $50-80/sq/ft said with a straight face from people who are both offering and willing to pay. I plan to pay under $40 and once my place is finished will be helping my guy offer his services to others.

 

Like he said, have a Tico face on _everything_ for as long as is humanly possible.

 

 

You should always ask the cost per square meter of labour only when talking to a builder. Like many things in CR the price can be all over the map but in general a bracket between $120 - $180 per sq.m of labour only is in the norm. More than anywere else here you will get what you pay for. When you are discussing a price of your construction you have to be very specific in what you expect quality wise! In order to avoid misscomunication you have to discuss every point in detail ( how many coats of paint, varnish, how will the wood be finished, how much sanding is involved. There is a different cost for a rustic finish (what ticos are usualy used to, especially in the rural areas, the Caribbean) and there is a different cost for fine details.

In general between $300 to $400 /sq.m of materials you can get a pretty nice quality of construction. Of course if you start putting expensive fextures, jacuzzi, itc. your costs will go up accordingly.

 

In the Caribbean you can still build good quality for less but the local workforce is not trained to do high quality. You have to higher a crue from San Jose or Guapiles. At the end in comes out to be the same price. Less mistakes, less time to build.

If you pay under $40/sq.ft ($400 sq.m) labour + materials the quality will be comprommised! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.