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Am I getting a great real estate deal when buying property in Costa Rica?

Am I getting a great real estate dealDo you hope to find a great real estate deal when you purchase a property in Costa Rica? How do you know it is indeed a great real estate deal when the seller or real estate agent tells you it is?

Before you plan to move to Costa Rica and you do your due diligence online, I’m sure you’ll find some online Costa Rica forums or Facebook pages. Some of these groups have interesting information and some other where you will find great info once in a while. But don’t let the bitchin’ that’s going on there scare you off.

The American European Real Estate Group offers you, the reader, an excellent option for information: Costa Rica real estate blogs.

I try to keep up with questions and answers on different forums, which is where I get lots of ideas for my blogs and newsletters, which is where I found “a good real estate deal” too.

A good deal

What is a great real estate deal? In my opinion, you can only call a purchase a great real estate deal if you are an expert on the topic. You need to have all the necessary information to take the decision that this is indeed a good deal. This is unfortunately what lacks most of the time when people talk about getting a great deal. Every buyer, as well as every seller, has different standards of what a great real estate deal is. Recently, I found great example forums that show you how wrong some can be and others listen to these comments like they were given by a real estate expert.

Am I getting a great real estate deal

Question on Costa Rica Forum

This question was posted on a forum:  “Anyone knows if $159k is a good price for a property in Grecia with a river running through it and being on a mountainside? The property is 4800 sq meters and is on a paved road at the edge of town- thank you”

Comment 1 on the forum: “yes, that is high. Does it already have electricity and water in place?”

Comment 2 on the forum: “I second that….we bought 3/4 of an acre with a wonderful vista, 3 years ago and paid $32,000.00…check around…be careful.”

Is the price right?

In 2012, I wrote an article that explains how to buy land in Costa Rica and what to be aware of. It is impossible to know if a property is offered as a great real estate deal or not, without visiting in person and having the necessary knowledge. Let me help, you have to take into account:

Am I getting a great real estate deal


Location, location, location. The building lot can be in the middle of town with high land prices and it can be in the middle of nowhere with low land prices. It depends on the town, the city, the amenities available in the close vicinity and the utilities available on the property itself.


The size is very important. How large is the lot? A larger lot should have a lower price than a smaller lot.


Is there a zoning in place? How much construction does the zoning allow for?

Road frontage

How much road frontage is there, can the lot be subdivided? Or is it on an easement?


Are power and water connections in front of the lot or do they need to be brought in from afar?

Am I getting a great real estate deal

Water pressure

How is the water pressure in the neighborhood? Or is there a need to build a water reserve tank with a pressure tank on the property to get sufficient pressure?

Property topography

How is the topography of the property? How much flat land, how much buildable, how much so steep it is unusable.


Is the building lot or farm sub-dividable into several home sites, which will give it more value? Is there a zoning plan that allows or prohibits subdividing?


How does the property drain? Is it necessary to make new drain ditches? Maybe the land was subdivided incorrectly by the original owner into several lots and these drains and other issues were not taken care of.

Am I getting a great real estate deal

On a river

You are confirming a river goes through the land. Rivers have setbacks and other regulations. Some rivers have a 10-meter setback but some even 50 meters. You cannot build within that setback. The property might be worthless.


How far below the property level is that river? Can the property flood during the rainy season?

Protection areas

The property might have other regulations like a protection of a forest reserve, indicating you are not allowed to build at all. Especially when you get close to the maritime zone, it is important to know the restrictions.


Could there be any possible future landslides ON the property? Or higher up on the mountain, or below it?

Am I getting a great real estate deal


Views are important to some, not at all to others. A fact is that view property always has a higher price than a property without views.

How many stories?

Can that view possibly be taken away by a neighbor building right in front of you? What are the regulations there? Two stories, three stories? Is there any zoning plan that protects or regulates anything?


Is the property located in a gated community? Is there 24/7 security? Are there any additional amenities such as a pool, tennis courts, golf course or others?

A great deal?

And last but not least: what are you prepared to pay and what is the seller prepared to sell for.

Distressed property

A distressed property is not always a good real estate deal. Property advertised as a fire sale or a bargain is not always a great deal. Have a good look at the fact why the property is distressed. Often, distressed properties have hidden facts that you won’t find out until it’s too late. Keep in mind that to find a good real estate deal, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort doing your homework!

Am I getting a great real estate deal

Use a good realtor no matter what

Many of these points show you would do well for yourself to use a (good) real estate agent to purchase a property. There are many odds and ends in a great real estate deal that you might not be aware of. Just be sure you don’t end up with all kinds of problems. When you can buy a property for a bargain or not, make sure you do a home inspection.

For your great real estate deal contact us.

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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While we’re at it, I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Finally, please remember the American-European real estate Group’s agents when you refer a real estate agent. Because we DO appreciate your business.

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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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