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Not All Developers in Costa Rica are Cut From the Same Cloth...

Oct 08, 2013

Not All Developers in Costa Rica are Cut From the Same Cloth...

Whether you’re surfing the internet, perusing a travel magazine or reading your local newspaper, you’ve likely seen a variety of attention-grabbing tag-lines; ‘Costa Rica’s most successful condo project!’ or ‘buy now for the best deal on Costa Rica real estate!’ These are, of course, intended to grab your attention and have you visit their website, call them or e-mail them. Innocent enough, right?

Well yes and no: yes if you become intrigued, do more research on the area, realize that you see yourself retiring and/or vacationing in this beautiful country and are prepared to do your due diligence. No, if you sign papers or hand over a cheque just because they say they’re the best or cheapest in the country. 

Unfortunately, in the international real estate game, moral ethics are not a prerequisite… if a ‘developer’ has money (or a partner with money), a good marketing team, quality sales people and a chunk of land in a country as stunning as Costa Rica, they may feel they can start selling off pieces of that land, at a profit of course, to unsuspecting and excited folks looking for their own little piece of paradise. However, it’s not that easy… especially in Costa Rica. 

And therein lies one of the biggest reasons why even developers with the best intentions end up failing…

Lost Dreams… And Money

If you’ve already visited Costa Rica, you’ve likely seen the remnants of a (supposedly) good business plan and the vision of a (inexperienced? Impatient?) Developer looking to make people’s dreams of living in paradise a reality. What exactly does this look like? Beautiful entrance gates to communities that never made it past the initial vision… grown over sales offices… soaring condos with dark, vacant windows… and maybe even a ‘for sale’ sign out front, with hopes of recouping lost money and dreams.

The laws and processes for developing land (cutting roads, re-directing water run-off, severing lots, water wells, sewage, etc) in Costa Rica are completely different from doing the same in North America. Not to mention the time and patience required to wait for approvals and permits from the various layers of the Costa Rican government. After all, when a country takes conservation (25% of Costa Rica is protected land) this seriously, you don’t mess around with it. Cut down the wrong tree or disregard a protected species of flora or fauna and your entire project can be shut down… with thousands of dollars in fines to boot.  

As a tourist in Costa Rica, with the intention of purchasing a home or property either now or later, these sights can be discouraging and downright frightening. Unassuming folks paid their hard-earned money to a sales person or developer in return for a place they could call their own… you know you don’t want to be one of these people right? But at the same time, how do you avoid it?

That’s where we come in. By working with only a select couple of developers in Costa Rica (go HERE to learn about the Nicoya Peninsual or go HERE to learn about the Southern Zone), Where International can guarantee that you will not get caught in a situation where your developer disappears before, during or after your piece of paradise is exactly how you envisioned it. And you should be able to watch the progress from wherever in the world you are… both of our Costa Rican developers will keep you updated on property development, homes being built (including your own!) and new phases/projects being introduced. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and hype that a good sales person or developer will relay to you about their project. Especially if the price can’t be beat. That being said, if you haven’t done your own due diligence, you’re part of the problem… no matter what any fast-talking sales person tells you; do your homework, ask for references and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you aren’t getting answers, or aren’t getting answers that make sense to you, question them! This is all about you… and since money doesn’t grow on trees, you deserve to get exactly what you were promised, at the price you were promised. 

By visiting Costa Rica on a Discovery Weekend, you’ll have a chance to see what our developers are up to! Not only will you feel at ease with your hosts, but you’ll feel good knowing that their intentions are directed towards the greater good for Costa Rica and it’s inhabitants.

Go HERE to learn more about the Nicoya Peninsula

Go HERE to learn more about the Southern Zone

Current Topics

We’re taught from an early age to accept that we can’t have everything we want… that we have to share or compromise. Thankfully, now that you’re an adult, and you’re considering a property purchase abroad, these ‘rules’ don’t apply.
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Where International exists to recommend a variety of International real estate options. Where International requires developers to meet stringent criteria before offering them to you. Conversely, any inspections we conduct on projects or individuals should not be misinterpreted as a guarantee by Where International. International real estate is not immune to the ups and downs that occur in North American real estate; property values are never guaranteed to increase.

Where International is not accountable for the orchestration or deliverance of Discovery Weekends. We provide them to you on behalf of our developer partners. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance, as you would with any trip out of your home country. In addition, we advise you complete your own due diligence, purchase title insurance and always use a local attorney to assist with all transactions. In the event that a reader purchases a property from a recommended developer, Where International receives a sum from the developer.