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Investment Properties in CR


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I am looking to invest in a business property-probably a smaller hotel/restaurant/bar or B&B. I need any advice on possible reputable Realtors who might assist with this process. My principle areas of interest are the Lake Arenal area & the Nicoya/Puntarenas regions. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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  • 2 years later...


I am a new member. Thank you very much for all information given in this forum.


I am preparing the same project as DRE - small B & B or hotel (4/5 bedrooms with owner house)

under the inversionista status (I will be retired only in 2018). I will come 3 weeks in November.


Any advises for the Guanacaste coast, regarding realtors, lawyers, appraiser, are very welcomed.


Would be pleased to read from people who has experienced similar project.


Thank you.

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Going this route, is quite difficult and definitely not one that you should rush into.

Please read these comments by the member directly above your post and realize that it took 3 years to get this residency. This 'list' must be accomplished prior to your application... which means you will have to have already purchased a property and you are subject to your investment not being accepted.

Guanacaste is the one of hot spots for tourism right now, but most tourists are headed at the bigger, and often all inclusive resorts and the small businesses are suffering.


Search the internet, and you will read that there is many problems affecting the small hotels and B&B's due to rising costs and an over supply of hotel rooms.


Just one article

Edited by costaricafinca
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If this is some kind of dream, it could turn into a nightmare. If you do know your way around Costa Rica and how to do business here, you need to move slowly.


The term "Realtor" has no special meaning here and doesn't get you an expert in buying property or the laws regarding property exchange. It's as easy to become a Realtor as it is to become a used car salesman.


You will have no trouble finding properties for sale. Check how long they have been on the market. That will give you an idea of the demand in the market.



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As an afterthought, I have a suggestion for you. I know many Residents who have opened B&B's, rented their unused guest house or just private rooms in their homes to help with the rising costs here. In most cases they are doing this in a rented home. Some have been doing this for years and have moved periodically over the years for various reasons but continued to rent out their 'extra' space in their new location. They applied for residency either as a Pensionado or Rentista which is more or less guaranteed to be accepted by immigration, as long as they meet the financial obligations. This way, if things don't go according to plan, they are not 'stuck' with a property or area they no longer want to be in or decide that the hospitality business is not for them.

If you decide that this business is for you, then consider purchasing a property.

As many of us say, buying a property is easy ... but very difficult to sell.

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There is some great advice here from my forum friends. Aside from all the risks, my wife and I are well-conneted in the southern zone if you want honest folks that help you find land, business, etc. We have been owners for over 3 years and love it.......but delighted we did not buy commercial property, a business, or a multi-use/multi-family property.


The challenges are real and take a long time to understand, deal with legally and finically. Not trying to scare you, just trying to add to what our forum members would correctly point out. If the southern zone is where you want to be, I am happy to share contacts via a PM, cheers.

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Thank you everyone for your answers and advises.


I have noticed same properties on sale for several or many years (Tom message), I haven't read yet why the real estate market seems to be frozen - no buy/no sell. Has it been after 2008 crisis ?


Regarding Costaricafinca very interesting information concerning buying a touristic business, it may brings me to my "plan B" which could be a guesthouse in private home.


I would have prefered a "pensionado" status but I will be retired and getting pension only in 2018;

hard to decide "rentista" or "inversionista" ... I hope deeper information in ARCR in november will help for decision.


Thank you Savanna and Jesse : southern zone would be Ojochal, Dominical area ?

I have already organize my trip (hotels reservation, contacts for properties) in Guanacaste.


Summarizing all the informations I read, so many traps are to be avoided that I put my confidence on ARCR assistance. Am I right ?

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Chrissy, whether you're looking at a purely residential property or a business, the "fit" between buyer and property has to be right. That includes all the characteristics of both, the location, the price, the available funds, etc.


Properties in Costa Rica all have their own "unique" set of characteristics. In any given area, in any particular price range, there really are a very few buyers, so properties can take years to sell.


It's also true that there's a lot of old or bad information out there. You can find a dozen sources that say that properties here are dirt cheap, that building is a small fraction of the cost in North America, etc. Well, maybe that was true once, but for the most part it's not any longer, so buyers show up with a preconceived set of notions (and often not a lot of cash) and are quickly put off. One additional factor to consider is that mortgages here are very difficult to obtain. North American banks wouldn't consider lending on a Costa Rican property and Costa Rican banks' practices are very bureaucratic and incredibly slow.

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If you purchase a property in Guanacaste or anywhere else and let 'someone else' run it for you as a business, you will be at a major disadvantage. Why not wait until you are retired and ready to make this move? Visit a few times to check out various areas for yourself.

To apply for Residency either as an Rentista, Pensionado or Investor by purchasing an existing business or a home, you are required to live in CR for 4 months ( Pensionado or Rentisto) a year or Inversionista (6 months).

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Good afternoon and thanks again for your messages.


It will be my 3rd trip to Costa Rica.

Hope to find THE house, not as to invest but to live and enjoy, as I hope you all do, this country.

Sure, I understand that I have to choose AT FIRST TRY the right place and the right house as reselling is not an option.

If I do so, I wish to come to settle for good early 2014 - can't wait to be retired... (not staying only 4 or 6 months).


As it is still in project, I may adapt (Plan C : no B&B, no guesthouse... :()


Reading, reading, reading, discovering this fantastic forum : many shared doubts/ many useful replies.


Have a nice week end.


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