Ask any expat living in Costa Rica about why they decided to move there and you will hear different reasons: low cost of living, the friendly people, their eco-system, low cost of health-care, the weather, their beautiful beaches and so much more! Many visitors find themselves craving the lifestyle, the easy, laid back attitude of “Pura Vida” “Pure Life” sums up what Costa Rica is all about. Living in the present, in a country known to have the “happiest people in the world” according to The World Database of Happiness.
Once you figure out that you want to give Costa Rica a try, the next logical question is: do I want to rent or buy? You will find lots of answer out there in social media but my advice is: rent until you are ready to buy. Take some time to travel the country if you can. If you have an idea of where you would like to establish yourself either because you have visited or in our case you have friends and love the area, you should rent for a couple of years. As an expat, you will not have the option to borrow money, so more than likely, you’ll have to pay for the property upfront.
Make sure to find a reputable and experienced realtor, one who can advise you on government law, real estate law, concession law, etc.
According to the U.S. State Department as many as 50,000 expats live in Costa Rica many of them, baby boomers.
Costa Rica Spanish: [ˈkosta ˈrika]; “Rich Coast” officially the Republic of Costa Rica.
Spanish Republica de Costa Rica, is a country in Central America bordered by Nicaragua to the North, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. In 2018, Costa Rica has an estimated population of 4.95 million. The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose with approximately 300,000 of “ticos” living there.
Costa Rica has remained one of the most stable, prosperous and progressive nations in Latin America. It abolished its army in 1949 becoming the only country in the Western Hemisphere without a national army.
Costa Rica plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. By 2016, 98.1% of its electricity was generated from green sources particularly hydro, solar, geothermal and biomass
Costa Rica has a highly educated workforce.
Its economy has diversified to include finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals and ecotourism.
Costa Rican Climate
Because Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round. However, the country has many microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and by the geography of each particular region. When it comes to weather there really is something for everyone in Costa Rica: from the tropical paradise with it’s sun, sea and surf that we’re familiar with, to the cooler climate in the Central Valley anyone can find their “happy place”
Dry season vs. green season.
Dry Season: For most of Costa Rica, the dry season lasts from mid-November through May. March and April are the hottest months of the dry season. Dry or “high” season brings blue skies and warm sunshine. Day temperatures vary in the low 80’s around the Central Valley, while the mid-90’s are common for coastal areas.
Pros: Ten to twelve hours of glorious sunshine per day making these conditions ideal for outdoor activities from sunrise to sunset; as well as festivals, parades and holidays.
Potential Negative Aspects: Considered high season you’ll pay full price for hotel rooms, transportation and tours.
Green Season: Also called wet season or Costa Rican winter and lasts from May through November. It doesn’t rain all day during the day. Showers typically roll in the afternoon hours sometime later. September and October are usually the rainiest months, especially in the Central Valley and Pacific. Temperatures are comfortable, averaging in the 70’s in the Central Valley and 80’s on the coast.
Pros: Beautiful, green, lush landscapes. Best time for surfing, white water rafting, turtle watching in Tortugero and whale watching along the Osa Peninsula.
Potential Negative Aspects: To avoid the rain, you’ll need to plan outdoor activities for mornings and early afternoons. If you plan to Monteverde, the Osa Peninsula, or other remote locales, you’ll need to rent a 4WD vehicle which may be more costly than a standard transmission.