Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Costa Rica Real Estate Deals of 2007

In case any readers noticed the absence of posts during the Holiday Week around July 4th, your guides took off to explore the central valley of Costa Rica. We drove from San Jose to Lake Arenal, staying near Nuevo Arenal, then to a mountain resort near Fortuna, and then back to San Jose.

Along the way, we viewed a subdivision of new lots with new construction homes, some acreage sites, some lots not connected to subdivisions, a bed & breakfast, a 15 room lodge and a commercial in-town building with several businesses.

For your viewing pleasure...

This property is located near Lake Arenal near Nuevo Arenal in the central valley of Costa Rica. The bed and breakfast features an owner's apartment, a one-bedroom apartment, a common living room, a kitchen and an outdoor pool. Three additional small rooms each have private baths. This was on the market for $350,000 with Costa Rican agents or $295,000 as a FSBO. When we arrived, we learned someone beat us to the punch with a contract on the property for $250,000. On the plus side, we learned that we didn't enjoy the central valley as much as we thought we would.

At Rancho Lobo you'll find a collection Costa Ricans, North Americans and Europeans nestled in the hills four kilometers north of San Ramon (Central Valley) in the village of Los Angeles Sur. Los Angeles Sur is a bump on the main road (500 meters from Rancho Lobo) complete with church, school, soccer field, small convenience store, and a great bar/restaurant with fabulous bocas. Homes can be built to your specifications at the cost per square foot of $40.-$45. This price includes approved design, permits, labor and materials.

This building reminds me of Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville. You've got Mary's bar and grill, a travel agency, (a total of 6 commercial spaces) and 20 rooms for rent upstairs. The location is in Tilaran which is along the shores of Lake Arenal. You get the whole building and a couple of the businesses for $645,000 (asking.)

The current owners of the Rock River Lodge have actually closed the resort while shopping for new owners. We don't know the exact price, but hear it's in the $750,000 range, but might be had for $500,000. This lodge style resort is beautiful, features magnificent views of Lake Arenal and has 6 attached rooms plus 8 more cabins. This place is really quite beaufiful! The rooms look nice, the lodge atmosphere is warm and inviting and the blending between the outdoors and the indoor areas really makes you feel like you're part of the surrounding natural beauty.

No need to worry about the immenent departure of your trusty Real Estate Experts in Chicago, however. We learned that we probably would not enjoy living full time in the area. It's pretty remote, and though the temperatures are moderate in the lower mountains, the rainy season is quite spectacularly rainy. While there, it rained for two-and-a-half days straight. Locals tell us that it can rain hard for 30 days non-stop later in the rainy season.