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Costa Rica Developers and your due diligence

Costa Rica developersHave you ever put money down on a Costa Rica real estate project that did not happen? Learn from others’ mistakes, so it won’t happen to you. In the past, I wrote a blog about Costa Rica developers and the promises some make to their clients

I’m a real estate agent in Costa Rica and don’t want to sound holier than the Pope, but I bought a condo in Jaco beach from the Sonesta One Jaco developer and now the whole building has been in court. There is a lien on my property and I haven’t been able to use my condo since 2010.

Of course some Costa Rica developers don’t like what I am writing but my testimonials show I always try to make my buyer’s investment to be safe one.

The SUGEVAL list

After I wrote that blog on the 30th of May 2012, I got a very mad email from a developer and an attorney who threatened to take me to court. The words I wrote that they didn’t’ like were: On the SUGEVAL alert list, you could find CR-Home, a retired couple turned realtor turned developer. I don’t know what they were being accused of. By now they are cleared from the SUGEVAL investor’s list but for those interested, I still have the information on my computer. I am sure the new owners of CR-Home are not aware of this episode of the former owner, Randy Berg. I do not know their developments and maybe they are offering a great deal, each investor needs to do his own homework on that.

SUGEVAL Investment Alert List

SUGEVAL Investment Alert List

Comments on the blog

I offered both the Costa Rica developers and their attorney to write a comment on the blog. And with pleasure, no matter what it says, I will publish it. They both said it was a mistake they are on the SUGEVAL list, so I offered to publish it as soon as they got it cleared up.

The attorney warned to sue me if I wouldn’t delete Randy Berg’s and CR Home’s names from this blog. I’m still waiting to be sued and my offer of a public comment stands. Now, Randy has been able to clear it all up because he is not on that SUGEVAL list anymore.


The reason for my blog about warning those buyers of Costa Rica real estate is because too many investors and future retirees already lost too much money listening to beautiful stories from Costa Rica developers, myself included.

Costa Rica developers
Abandoned project in Santa Teresa – Nicoya Peninsula

When the 2008 real estate crisis hit Costa Rica, many foreign buyers walked away from their investment and didn’t close. Therefore, the banks would not finance these projects anymore and they went bankrupt. Many developers disappeared; others are suing the banks and others just abandoning their projects. Earnest monies were lost from escrow accounts because  they were used to construct the project.

Smart investment

Costa Rica has very nicely finished real estate projects everywhere. I can’t keep up with all the names of the hundreds of condominiums throughout the country anymore. All these condominiums were built by successful and responsible developers with a good track record. Some are 8 – 14 floors high apartment buildings, others are gated communities with townhouses,hundreds of them. Developers like Concasa, Daystar, Grupo Condado, La Laguna, Kirebe and many others can show for thousands of happy clients.

Of course there are always some things that are not perfect, that’s why you should hire a home inspector before you pay them, but that’s another story.

Costa Rica developers
Abandoned Sonesta One Jaco

When you plan to purchase your Costa Rica beach condo or retirement home in a real estate development, you need to do your due diligence. Rather than talk up (or take down) a particular development, I thought it would be better to give you a tool. A great tool that will help you consider your purchase objectively. I hope you use it and if you don’t, don’t complain.

It will be your own fault you lost your money. This Quiz is a gift from the American European Real Estate Group in Costa Rica, enjoy it.

Contact the AE MLS Costa Rica

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Ivo Henfling

Ivo Henfling started the American European Real Estate Network Costa Rica in 1996 and has grown it into the largest Costa Rica MLS with thousands of up to date property listings for sale and for rent. Ivo has written hundreds of articles about real estate and living in Costa Rica for The Tico Times and other online informational sites.

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