While we are in Costa Rica, we are going to check out some properties! The one I’m most excited about is this guy: A Tree House in the Jungle outside Tamarindo with a guest house on the property. Not only is tree-house-esque, surrounded by beautiful jungle flora, has its own pool, its own guest house, and is located in a gated community (so instant neighborhood friends). Plus it’s only a few minutes walking from the beach. Who wouldn’t want to live in a tree house with their own private pool and huge jungle lot, just a few minutes walk to the beach?
We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this country and we are talking about retiring somewhere like it, so why not see what properties are avilable? Taking a few hours out of one day won’t ruin our trip and will still leave us plenty of time for surfing, hiking, and scuba diving.
Scheduling a Showing
Scheduling a showing has been a bitch. Central America does not live on American time. Most of the time this is refreshing. It keeps things relaxed and helps with the nowhere to go, nowhere to be lifestyle. However, when I want to see a house, the “island time” thing is not refreshing. CostaRicaRealEstate.com is the listing site for this property. There is not a robust MLS system in Costa Rica so it’s much more difficult to find the properties if you aren’t sure who the listing agent is for the property.
I emailed CostaRicaRealEstate.com on a daily basis, first only in English and then in my best Spanish. No response, but I didn’t give up. After multiple emails with no response, I called the 800 number on their website and left a message. I had to connect a Century 21 agent at a different office in Tamarindo (that I also found on a Google search) before finally getting a response. Who knows if the showing will actually happen once we are there, but for now, it is on the books.
I realize my impatience stems from what I’m accustomed to in the states. I’ll have to change my attitude and expectations if I expect to live anywhere else.
Why even buy a Property in Costa Rica?
We are focusing on the area of Tamarindo in Costa Rica.We plan to rent out our property when we aren’t in Costa Rica so it pays to find a place that can rent easily. Tamarindo is a popular tourist area with many American tourists. Tourists mean easy rentals. I’ve found that there’s two types of rental properties that do well. One type is those that are right on the beach and near the action. The other is to have a property that some kitch or uniqueness to it. For example, there’s a spaceship house in the Wisconsin woods that rents out years in advance because of it’s uniqueness. I think a jungle treehouse with a private pool definitely hits the kitch and uniqueness factor.
Getting a Loan
So let’s say we love the Costa Rican Tree House. Buying a property is not as easy as it is in the America. Most properties require that the property be bought in cash. Although properties are cheaper in Costa Rica then in America, it’s not exactly a “dirt cheap” country. Loans to foreign citizens for property in Costa Rica aren’t easy to obtain and most banks in the US won’t provide them for foreign properties either.
Since getting a loan in Central America doesn’t happen much for Americans so we’d have to buy in cash. Is it possible? yes. Would it be a stretch? Yes. If we find out we are in love ,we may have to look at some interesting ways to square up some cash quickly. We might even look into hard money loans (think legal loan sharks with interest rates only slightly higher than the bank!)
When will we Have an Update?
We will know if we found a property by the second week in December. I’ll keep everyone updated. In the meantime, feel free to comment and let me know what you think of the tree house property!