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6 Top reasons foreign homeowners sell their property in Costa Rica

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

6 Top reasons foreign homeowners sell their property in Costa Rica

In North America, homeowners move 11.7 times in their lifetime. In Costa Rica, there are no statistics on this. We are not very good at statistics at all. My educated guess is twice or three times at the most.

Ticos (I’m sorry to be generalizing) usually move when they get married and stay there past retirement. Or they move back to mom and dad when they divorce.  Then they move when they get married again. If they get a new job in another city, they usually don’t move to this new city but travel daily. That’s the reason for so much traffic on the highways in the Central Valley.

Foreign homeowners though, usually only move once or twice during the time they live in Costa Rica.

Let’s see what the 6 top reasons for this are:

1.Family related

When they move to Costa Rica, foreign homeowners pretty much start a different lifestyle than what they were used to. They have found the right location to live and are happy with their new and oh so different life.

6 Top reasons foreign homeowners sell

Their family members all love to visit when it’s all new and interesting. Everybody is happy. But there are several family-related issues that oblige foreign homeowners to put their house on the market:

1.       The first grandchild is born

2.       Elderly parents that need attention

3.       Children have to go to a foreign college

4.       An expat divorce

5.       Death of one of the spouses

2. Layout of the House

Especially those who retire when they’re in their fifties, don’t think about getting old yet. Those who are over 70 years old, often purchase a one-story home. But those that don’t, might soon learn that their knees are not cooperating anymore.

A single-story home is very tough to find in some areas, such as Escazu or Santa Ana if you’re in the Central Valley. But there are great single-story homes in nice towns such as Atenas and Grecia for example. So a change to another home is possible, but not always easy to do.

In the coastal areas, those who live in an ocean view home will often find they can’t really get much around. That’s because the best ocean view homes are always in the mountain ranges away from the beach.

Sometimes the house is just too large. Once the usual vacation guests stop coming, all that unused space is not necessary, and costly on maintenance.

3.Wrong Location

Some foreign homeowners didn’t do their homework before buying. Maybe they didn’t take the 20 Steps recommended by the American-European MLS?

That wrong location can have various reasons:

1.       Healthcare

2.       Amenities

3.       Temperature

4.       Shopping

5.       Cultural events

6 Top reasons foreign homeowners sell

4. Made a Mistake

There are always a few foreign homeowners that realize too late they don’t like living in Costa Rica. They made a mistake by thinking they would love living in paradise. But sometimes the dream becomes a nightmare!

The hardest part for expats who fit this description is to accept that making this mistake is their own fault (sorry, but I had to make that statement).

5. Financial Reasons

There are quite a few financial reasons foreign homeowners want to sell their property:

A change in the return on investment doesn’t supply them with enough dividends.

Or the government (the country of residence or where the income comes from) decides to start charging more taxes.

Another good financial reason is that after a divorce, the lifestyle is not possible anymore.

6 Top reasons foreign homeowners sell

6. Job Related

Most foreign homeowners who hold a job, work for a large company like HP, Amazon, or Intel. There is a very small chance they will change jobs and therefore need to sell their home.

Moving to another house when changing jobs is very unusual in the Central Valley. Unless the driving distance is large (like from Cartago to San Ramon). In the coastal area, you’ll find that traffic is not an issue. But working in Tamarindo while living in Dominical is an impossible thing to do. In that case, you’ll find it sensible for foreign homeowners to sell their property and buy or rent in their new hometown.

Who to contact?

Do not make the mistake of not listening to various real estate agents that cover your area, when thinking about selling. A wrongly priced property might take years to sell. Do you have time and the patience to wait for that? Foreign homeowners can contact any of our affiliate agencies before making any important decisions on the sale of your home in Costa Rica.

Feel free to leave your comments on this blog. If you like this article, please feel free to share it on your social media.

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Ivo Henfling

Your West-side of San Jose real estate agent, covering Escazu and Santa Ana, Rohrmoser and Ciudad Colon. If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the Central Valley or looking for any property for sale in Escazu or Santa Ana, you need to contact Costa Rica real estate agent Ivo Henfling. Ivo has been selling Costa Rica real estate on the westside of San Jose, in the locations of Rohrmoser, Sabana, Escazu, Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and those other areas. For Ivo, a deal is not a good one unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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2 thoughts on “6 Top reasons foreign homeowners sell their property in Costa Rica”

  • Baldwin Moses

    25 November, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    One of the most important problem in Costa Rica is that the government favors the Renters rather than the Landlords who contribute to the economy by investing large sums of money in the country. I have heard of incidents where the renters take over the Landlords properties and it is also impossible to evict tenants from their properties unless you spend huge dollars to hire lawyers and takes forever to evict. This is not good at all to encourage Investments in Costa Rica. You did not mention this problem in your 6 items why Foreigners want to sell their properties. You should add this as your 7th major problem-don’t you think so?

  • Ivo Henfling

    26 November, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Thanks for your comment Baldwin Moses. You’re very correct in saying that tenants have more rights than landlords in Costa Rica. This is exactly the same in the United States: and in other parts of the world. Indeed, it doesn’t encourage investment, but there are many other reasons foreigners invest in Costa Rica, Each for their own reason. I can probably come up with another 20 reasons for foreigners to sell, but they’re all so negative. I assume those are the ones you wanted to see? Here are some: they never learned the language, and therefore don’t feel at home. They never adapted to local customs and hate it here. They married a local and made a mistake. And so on, and so forth. But you think that happens only in Costa Rica? I’m sorry, you need to wake up and think about what reasons foreigners in other countries have to want to go back home. Most of the time, it was their own fault, which they don’t accept. Maybe you are one of those?


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