Why We Like Costa Rica – The Happiest Country In The World

Published March 8th, 2018

The Equity Residences team has just returned from launching a new beachfront house in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Greg Salley, the Managing Director says that “it may be our best property yet!”

Read below to find out why we are excited about this new acquisition and why Costa Rica beachfront real estate makes a good investment.

Equity Residences beachfront house Guanacoste Costa Rica

Costa Rica provides great weather and ease of travel.

Costa Rica is a year-round summer vacation destination. What’s more, it is easily accessible from both the East and the West coasts in the United States.

Liberia is the major airport in Guanacaste Provence, and it receives daily direct flights from JFK, LAX, Atlanta, Houston, and New Jersey. Flight times vary by the location in the US, but it takes between 3.5 and 5 hours, depending on the originating airport, to jet off to the paradise.

Once at the airport, booking a rental car is a cinch, and a short drive later, you can exchange your traveling clothes for a swimsuit and jump in the warm, calm waters of the Pacific.

Unlike California and Florida, where water can get too cold and choppy for swimming, the Pacific Northwest coast of Costa Rica is a swimmer’s paradise all year – round. Beaches in the Guanacaste province have silky smooth sand that entices travelers and presents a contrast to the warm, deep blue waters of the Pacific.

Costa Rica is the happiest country on Earth.

As a country, Costa Rica ranks high for multiples scores: its Happiness index is 44.7, number one in the world.

American and Canadian expats living happily along the beaches of this beautiful country cite low taxes, high quality healthcare, constant access to nature and outdoor activities, strong sense of community and a feeling of unity with their neighbors, high quality of education, low levels of crime and stress, and constant sunshine as major factors that contribute to their well-being.

Costa Rica has a low ecological footprint.

This small Central American country also leads the world in renewable energy. Over 99% of this country’s electricity comes from renewable sources, which is a feat no developed country has so far accomplished.

Real estate development regulations are strict. Builders have to comply with laws that forbid developing homes too close to the waterline and to cut down old-growth trees.

Getting building permits and approvals can be a costly and lengthy bureaucratic procedure, but Costa Rica is known for its nature and biodiversity. This what made this county a destination for eco-tourism. Therefore, environmental regulations have to be adhered to in order to maintain human development in harmony with nature.

Electricity costs in Costa Rica can run high, especially for large luxury residences the Equity Platinum Fund invests in. This necessitates builders of high-end homes to invest in high-quality construction materials and good insulation, which in turn supplies the residential real estate market with a quality housing stock.

Costa Rica is economically developed and safe for tourists.

To an untrained eye, Costa Rica may seem like a poor country with its unpaved dirt roads that send travelers on scenic and amusing drives resembling rollercoaster park adventures; with its small, tin-roofed houses situated near the aforementioned dirt roads; with its narrow sidewalk – barren streets that send cars driven by tourists to maneuver out of the way for the fear of striking pedestrians who seem oblivious to danger and just continue walking on a narrow strip of dirt that separates wire fences from the (sometimes)paved streets.

But, despite all these “drawbacks” the sun keeps shining, the birds in the trees keep singing, and the locals keep smiling and speaking English to American tourists, be it in the town bodegas or the lobbies of Five Star hotels.

Speaking of Five Star hotels. One can find no shortage of high – end resorts in the Guanacaste province. Four Seasons is basically synonymous with Papagayo Peninsula, and Rosewood is planning a new development in the area. High net worth individuals get access to top-notch golf courses, restaurants, beach clubs, and spas when they come to Guanacaste.

Some well-heeled expats and tourists prefer to stay outside of the international enclaves and choose instead to experience the “real” Costa Rica. They buy stately mansions or rent beachfront vacation homes along the “golden coast” of Guanacaste. This way, they maintain an authentic feeling of being in a beautiful host country, connecting with the friendly locals, and exploring the nearby bustling towns of Potrero and Tamarindo.

There is something for everyone in Costa Rica. Visitors can participate in countless activities and adventures, including white water rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, and traveling around the country. Tours are available for everyone’s taste and wallet: from high – end concierge services to tour operators. Even the budget-friendly services are prompt, friendly, and oriented towards English –speaking audience.

Costa Rica is known for its laid-back vibe.

Some expats mention how casual everything is about Costa Rica. There is no pressure to impress the neighbors unless it’s with your kindness. A millionaire and a waiter wear the same sandals and dress in the same brand of t-shirt. It seems as if the tropical climate acts as a major equalizer and an eraser of the class boundaries.

What’s not to love about a country where a well-heeled visitor or an expat can go incognito and forget about his high-pressure job and responsibilities to act and look the part?

What our investors need to know: reasons why we chose the house on Potrero beach.

Equity Residences Costa Rica Potrero luxury home on the beach overlooks Pacific Ocean

Our market analysis shows that real estate prices in Costa Rica keep growing and finding great investment opportunities is becoming harder.

We felt like we found the right investment opportunity for the following 9 reasons:

  1. A survey shows that our investors strongly prefer a beachfront house in Costa Rica.
  2. Low seasonality and high rental rates in Costa Rica. Some homes we looked at had annual rental occupancy of >90% and charged its visitors high rental rates comparable to the US price levels.
  3. Costa Rica property values are still recovering from previous market peaks.
  4. We found a unique deeded property. Less than 3% of the beachfront property in Costa Rica comes with a deed, as most of the land is government-owned. The home we put under contract is an exception to the rule, ensuring security and peace of mind for our investors.
  5. This home has access to the beach and direct ocean views. This home is located mere steps to the beach. Just open your back gate, walk a few feet, and jump in the ocean!
  6. The home is situated in a private, gated community with 24-hour security.
  7. The nearby town of Potrero keeps growing and boasts a micro-brewery, wine shop, a beach club, a nice hotel, a new marina will add value to your investment as the area develops more.
  8. The builder of this home impressed us with her high attention to detail, as manifested by the neighboring homes she developed. She invests in her houses both financially and emotionally and delivers high-quality, solid construction on time.
  9. The tranquility of the gated community and direct access to nature. There is an estuary located outside of the front door full of local birds and wildlife. If Costa Rica’s main attraction is its nature, you are literally surrounded by nature when you stay at this house.

We are excited to welcome our investors into this new home and make sure that the experience meets and exceeds all their expectations.

For a detailed guide on what to consider when buying a vacation home for investment, read our blog.

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An accredited investor is someone who earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 if married) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year; OR has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence).