Real Estate Professionals in Costa Rica.

Is it important to use a real estate professional in Costa Rica?

So lately I have seen so many people posting that they are buying a property or selling a property on Facebook. It’s fine to take the initiative and DIY it, but do be careful as there are so many scammers out there. For those first-time buyers especially, it is most recommended to get a real estate agent on your side. Remember you are buying in a foreign country and the process is very different than in your home country.  It is also very important you do some research about the agent you choose, make sure the agent has a legitimate website, that the person uses social media such as Facebook and Instagram, and that they are registered on Google Business. Look for reviews, and check if the person is a member of one of the two real estate associations in Costa Rica, these are the CRGAR  or CCBR.


Why is it important to use a professional real estate agent when buying a property in Costa Rica?

A professional agent has been in the business for several years and holds invaluable experience that can make the purchase process move along smoothly. We are not here just to find the right property, although that is a big part of our job; we know where to look for all the options available providing a source of information. Once you have chosen the property you would like to buy, we can help formulate the offer and negotiate the best price. You don’t want to waste time putting in nonsense offers that will just upset the sellers. It is very important to put things in writing with all the details about the purchase, this will make it clear to the seller that this is a serious offer and opens the door for negotiation.

Here are a few tips an agent can help with:

Which escrow company should I use?

Always use escrow when you are going to buy a property, this gives the buyer and the seller peace of mind when the deposit is paid and then when it is time to sit down for closing. Trying to transfer large amounts of money to different banks especially internationally can be tricky. Once funds are in escrow and the closing document is signed along with the transfer deed then funds will be released immediately.

How do I make a written offer?

A well-written offer needs to contain a lot of specific information about times, amounts, due diligence, escrow, and details about the property. Real estate agents have the experience and knowledge to create a detailed proposal for a seller. It is not just about agreeing on a price, there are many things such as when is closing, what is being purchased with the house, are there inspections or documents that need to be provided.

Premium Vector | Documents and folder with stamp and text contract with approval and stamp

Why is it important to use a professional real estate agent when selling a property?

If you are thinking of putting your property up for sale it would be best to reach out to a real estate agent who can provide some comps and help determine if the price you are thinking of fits with the market. We can provide information about what has sold in the area and at what price. We all want to get the best price possible and can set the price we would like to get but that may not be what the market is allowing. If there are comps we can use it will give us a clear idea of what we can expect. There are seasons in the real estate market in Costa Rica and that is something important to consider, when would it be best to invest in some maintenance and prepare the property for the market?

What to ask for from a real estate agent offering to sell your property?

The real estate agent needs to have a marketing strategy showing you where your property will be listed. A common question is whether to give exclusivity or not? If your agent has a marketing strategy for exclusive listings, then you can follow up and check if that is really happening. A professional real estate agent should put exclusive listings at the top of their marketing plan and invest in promoting the ads to all other agents. Giving exclusivity to an agent can also make the showing process easier because the seller will be contacted by the listing agent who will always show the house. Some buyers contact several agents and if your listing is open it will become confusing who the buyer is working with.

How to prepare your property for listing:

Once you have decided to sell your property it is important to run through a checklist of things to prepare for listing, here is a blog post that can help you. There are documents to be provided, maintenance to be done and plan to be made for moving out. Most people are living in the homes while they are on the market so this makes showing a home different than when no one is living in a house. Remember the first impression is what makes a difference when showing. Each property is unique and has a story behind it.


Subscribe by email, find me on facebook or browse my website. There are several blogs with current information about Costa Rica. I am happy to help answer any questions about Costa Rica real estate so please reach out.







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Costa Rica real estate-finding the right place for you.

Finding your little piece of paradise.

Costa Rica real estate offers a place for everyone, this mix of cultures makes it such a great country. Make sure you find your happy place before investing your hard-earned money.  There is so much to think about and so many places to choose from, but that is why I am here. Sharing my experiences of growing up, living, and raising in a family here in Costa Rica can help you. Tourist towns like Jaco Beach or Tamarindo may seem crowded and not attractive to some people but to others, these are vibrant towns full of activities. Costa Rica real estate has an inventory of homes with amazing views thanks to Costa Rica’s landscape, even places that are miles from the beach have spectacular ocean views. According to the US Embassy Costa Rica has about 6% of the world’s diversity in natural wealth, read article. So make a point of experiencing Costa Rica’s wildlife and adventure, there are numerous tours offered in most areas. Here are some questions you should answer to help guide in deciding where to invest in real estate.

-do you need to find a job in CR? This will dictate which location you choose.

-are you looking for your forever retirement home? Rent in several locations

-are you buying an investment property that you want to rent? Location is important

Costa Rica real estate


The location of your real estate investment is critical to satisfying your needs. I would like to point out a few pros and cons of being in different locations. It is a great idea to put together a checklist of what you need and like, this will be very helpful. Getting an experienced Costa Rica real estate expert to assist you is very important because there are many things to consider when buying real estate.

Pros and cons of being close to Central Valley

  •       short distance from the international airport
  •       large medical facilities
  •       wide variety of larger chains stores like Walmart, Pricesmart. Epa, Construplaza,
  •       numerous restaurants
  •       no beaches
  •       not so crowded during holidays

Pros and cons of being close to the beach

  •     tropical breezes and long walks on the beach with amazing sunsets
  •     a Pura Vida vibe to relax and enjoy
  •     good for rental income
  •     can be crowded during holidays
  •     hot and humid

Pros and cons of being in southern area (Golfito)

  •     offers incredible biodiversity, green all year round
  •     people are very simple and humble
  •     the climate is wet and humid
  •     it is a remote place for those seeking privacy
  •     closer to Panama for doing checkouts


There are many rental options available in different areas but be prepared to spend an average of $1000 a month on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home that is fully furnished. When looking to rent make sure the unit has everything you need and have a contract written up for the rental term. It is easy to find short-term or temporary residences, and this is ideal before committing to a long-term rental. Travel the country and once you have decided what you like, look for a local Costa Rica real estate expert with experience to help you find a permanent home. A professional realtor will have information about the buying process, getting financing and what comes after buying, that is what we are here for.

Subscribe by email, find me on facebook or browse my website. There are several blogs with current information about Costa Rica. I am happy to help answer any questions about Costa Rica real estate so please reach out.









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Where to go in Costa Rica.

Where to go in Costa Rica?

Even though Costa Rica only has an area of 51,100 square kilometers (a bit smaller than West Virginia) it is packed with so much diversity. There was a reason behind naming it the “Rich Coast” even after it was determined there was not much gold to be found. There are so many microclimates to be found within such short distances. For example, you can be in Monteverde’s cloud forest in the morning and on the tropical beach in the afternoon. Each of these microclimates has an attraction whether it be a volcano, a national park, or a beach.

If you have bought your plane ticket to arrive in San Jose then it is most likely you will want to explore the city for a couple of days and then make your way down to the Central Pacific coast.  The city offers many amazing museums such as the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum, the National Museum, the Jade Museum and many more. In the Central Valley you will find four provinces side by side. These are Alajuela, San Jose, Heredia and Cartago. Each of these has its own history and offers places that represent Costa Rica’s past. I have visited each province and found that even though the attractions are varied, the people are always freindly and helful. My favorite part abour


Once you are ready to move on the best route toward the coast is highway 27, and  then turn south on route 34 which passes by one of the most easily accessible and bustling tourist towns known as Jaco Beach. Within an hour you can go from the central valley to the beach. There are many small towns in between but the one that stands out most is Orotina. This is known as the town of the fruits because the climate here is perfect for growing a wide variety of tropical fruits including mangoes and avocados. I would highly recommend stopping in for the Chocolate tour and to buy some fresh fruits at the local market in the center of town.

In the center of Orotina you can find an authentic Costa Rican market filled with small stalls that sell fresh produce, dairy products, local cuisine, shoes, clothes, etc. It is a great place to experience what the local culture is like and nearby there is a church and park that are typical of the country. On the outskirts of the town there are homes on large parcels called “Quintas” where the locals usually have fruits trees growing, this provides a nice country environment and family oriented town. There are so many activities to do in the area and the location is perfect between the Central Valley and the beaches.


Moving down the coastal road towards Jaco Beach you will have to stop at the Crocodile Bridge over the Tarcoles River. Here you can view these ancient creatures from the bridge for free. Many tourists stop on the side of the road where there are small stores and restaurants to make a short stop and enjoy sightseeing the Crocs. Tarcoles is a town inhabited by local fishermen so you can be sure to find lots of fresh fish. It is a kind and friendly local town with a long beach that is perfect for watching sunsets.

There are many residential areas some with homes that offer breathtaking views of the valley and ocean. The Tarcoles river carved its way through the mountains, leaving ridges where homes have been built in the jungle. The inhabitants of this area enjoy abundant wildlife, especially the scarlet macaws that have their nesting grounds in the Carara National Park which is nearby. These homes with spectacular ocean views are in a perfect locating between the San Jose airport and many beaches.



The next popular stop is Jaco Beach where you can find numerous restaurants, shops, adventure activities, and places to stay beachfront. This is the largest coastal town with easy access from San Jose airport. There is a wide variety of rentals to choose from whether you want beachfront or just walking distance to the beach. Walk the strip and you can find great restaurants and souvenir stores. Take an ATV tour to explore the waterfalls in the rainforest or try your luck sport fishing out of the work re-known Los Sueños Marina. The attractive side of Jaco Beach is that there is a place for everyone, whether you are on a budget or looking for a beachfront penthouse. From Jaco there are several nice beaches as you go south such as Hermosa, Esterillos, Bejuco and Bandera.

The coastal road continues down south into Quepos, Dominical and finally Golfito. The further south the more lush and green the landscape is but also more remote and with limited infrastructure. You may want to take some time to explore each area and what it offers. These are the areas I am most familiar with, but it is only a small part of Costa Rica. Living in a country with so much diversity is a blessing and I believe it is best for visitors to plan their trips allowing time to explore each region.

If at any time during your travels, you decide you may be interested in purchasing property here you can read this article about buying property in Costa Rica. I have been involved in real estate for almost 20 years and have run my own independent real estate company for the last 6 years so please feel free to reach out with any questions at You can visit my website at to search for properties and general information.

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What foods to order when you visit Costa Rica.

What foods to order in Costa Rica.

For those of you coming to Costa Rica for your first visit you may be wondering what foods to try when visiting C.R. As a local, I grew up with these foods and cooked them for my family, so it is very easy to offer advice. The foods are nearly always cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients, providing a healthy source of vitamins. The climate here allows for year-round cultivation of most fruits and vegetables, making it easier to find fresh products.

In Costa Rica you can easily find small “sodas” on the side of the road or in the towns and these offer local foods at very good prices. You can get a very delicious and filling meal for and average price of $10 including a beverage of fresh fruit. My husband and I often share these meals and are satisfied, so if you are a light eater take this into consideration and make your budget go further. Below are few options of foods to try when visiting C.R.

The predominant staples in Costa Rica are rice and beans, you will find them in any local home and most restaurants. What you will find on the menu is typically a “Casado” which consists of rice, beans, ripe plantains, a salad and your choice of protein. This very healthy and filling meal will cost an average $6.00 USD. As part of the options for protein, you can choose “carne in salsa”, which is beef cooked in a tomato base sauce; there is also “pollo en salsa”, which is chicken cooked in a tomato sauce.

Monchando a lo Tico

Also, commonly on the menu you will see “arroz con pollo”, rice with chicken; “arroz con camarones”, rice with shrimp; or “arroz con cerdo”, rice with pork. All of these are a mix of rice with whichever protein and seasoned with red bell pepper, onion and lots of cilantro. These rice dishes will look yellow because it is common to use achiote in the CR cuisine and this is a natural coloring that is produced from a fruit. This dish comes with salad and French fries and has an approximate cost of $10, a great meal for two people to split.

Arroz con Pollo - Cuchara Doña Emilce - Hotels Costa Rica

Some sodas offer “olla de carne” on specific days. If they offer this meal to you don’t hesitate to accept. The olla de carne is a beef soup cooked with many typical vegetables such as chayote, yucca, tiquisqui and platanos, along with other traditional veggies such as potatoes, carrots and corn. Many times this dish is made over a wood stove which adds an amazing flavour. This comes with a side dish of white rice and has an approximate cost of $10, also a great meal to split.

Olla de Carne – ElVerdulerocr

I am getting hungry just writing about all these wonderful foods. Hope that when you plan your visit to Costa Rica you consider the local sodas to experience the true flavors our country has to offer. If you are looking to buy property here are a few tips also.

Of course there are many international restaurants in Costa Rica that take advantage of the fresh ingredients to make wonderful dishes. In many towns you can find a few great options to choose from. I always encourage trying seafood as it is freshly caught and delivered. Here you can find lots of information about Costa Rican cuisine.

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Costa Rica, general information and updates, December 2023.

Many of you have started feeling the cold rolling in and have begun dreaming of a warm tropical place. To many that place is Costa Rica. I was raised here in this beautiful country and have a different idea of what December brings. To me, the weather is the best at this time of year with tropical breezes and bright blue skies. Once the breezes start it makes me think of Christmas, a time to be with our families baking cookies and boiling tamales.

But to start the month off we celebrate a very special holiday, the abolition of the Costa Rican army. December 1st was declared a national holiday in 2021 but it was in 1949 that the president actually abolished the army and turned the army headquarters over to the National Museum. Having eliminated the army has allowed the country to focus on organizing the government and being a strong democracy, providing funds to improve the infrastructure, education and social benefits. Read more about the abolition of the army here.

This year December has brought many more gifts to Costa Rica thanks to our current president. It is the first time in years that the price of electricity, propane and gasoline are being reduced during this month. Usually due to inflation the cost-of-living increases at this time of year but this is changing and there is a decrease in prices.

Another great gift is that Costa Rica’s unemployment rate is being lowered according to The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in 5 years at 8.10%. This was for the third quarter of 2023 and it is well known that during this period the economy is struggling due to low season so I can only be enthusiastic about what will come for the final quarter of the year.

There are various indicators such as a recent statement from the IMF (International Monetary Fund), an update from stating the economy is growing, and the Central America Group that are showing Costa Rica as growing economically and becoming a more stable country to invest in. The government is working hard to strengthen the CCSS and provide better service to the population. There are plans for new hospitals and many new clinics that will help provide better medical attention.

The housing industry is growing due to Costa Rica being an attractive tourist attraction after being declared the travel destination of the year for 2024 by Travel & Leisure. The year-round mild climate, a friendly culture known as Pura Vida and stable economy have made this a hot spot for many seeking peace and quiet. So do not hesitate to reach out to us here at JB Real Estate where we can answer any questions about buying homes in Costa Rica and find your dream home.

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What to expect when visiting homes for sale in Costa Rica real estate.

What to expect when visiting homes for sale in Costa Rica real estate.

Here is a bit of information about real estate in Costa Rica! It is a unique experience when taking buyers to visit homes for sale in the Costa Rica real estate industry. This is part of the introduction to the Pura Vida lifestyle that is so popular. It can be overwhelming for some buyers to take in. The real estate agent representing the buyer should explain these differences before going on tour. Of course, it varies a lot in each area and is more noticeable in the rural areas to see marked differences in the preparation of selling homes.

There are many aspects that are important to consider while looking at real estate in Costa Rica:

  1. There are no exact addresses, so as agents we have to use a pin on Google Maps to find the properties when we are showing listings that belong to external agents. It is best to have an SUV because we are never sure what the roads will be like.
  2. Pictures can be very different from reality, so we can easily drive past a place without recognizing it. Some listings do not show a picture of the front of the house, which makes it difficult to know when you have arrived at your destination.
  3. Many sellers do not believe in preparing the property for sale and do not tidy a place for a showing, there can be piles of debris, grown grass, unpainted walls, and more to observe.
  4. It is common for the sellers to live on the property, so there may be a whole family at home when visiting. Everyone is very nice and helpful, but it can make a home seem crowded.

When looking to buy real estate in Costa Rica read information about be prepared to change your mindset of what homes look like. If you are looking for an authentic piece of Costa Rican real estate that is in a more rural area, be prepared to do some maintenance and repairs. The typical homes in Costa Rica have smaller spaces and are divided into separate rooms because most of our time is spent living outside. It is more common to see bigger outside living spaces where the families gather. It is also uncommon to see AC units and hot water plumbing, so if these are important to you, make sure you ask what the status is on the listing.

The newer homes in areas of high development are being built to foreign standards and will most likely be what most buyers are looking for. There are very good designers and builders in Costa Rica that you can hire if you decide to build your own home.

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How to buy property in Costa Rica

One of the first questions that my clients ask is how do I go about buying a property in Costa Rica? It is important to know that buying a property here in Costa Rica is a process and that there is not a lot of financing as easily available or at good interest rates. There are a few banks that offer financing opportunities to foreign buyers these are Lafise Bank, BAC, and BCT. There are also some private lenders who can provide cash to buy. The financing is for built homes and condos or to build if you have already purchased the land. The average interest rate is between 9-12% with a 20-year mortgage.

Having said this I have to emphasize that most people are using cash to buy a property in Costa Rica because they have sold assets in their home country, or others get a HELOC on their primary home. So here are the steps to buying property in Costa Rica if you have cash readily available for the purchase.


Step #1: Find the property that is right for you.

It is important to see all your options and make sure you feel comfortable in the area you have decided to buy whether it be in a gated community or not. Buyers have to decide if they want the property as an investment for rentals or for a full-time retirement home.


Step #2: Get an accepted written offer between buyer and seller.

The buyer’s agent shall prepare a document with all the price, approximate closing date, how transfer fees are covered, who gets a commission and what escrow company will be used for the transaction.


Step #3: Have a lawyer you will work with to begin due diligence.

The lawyer will review that the property is free of any liens, that all taxes or other fees are paid up to date, and that it can be transferred freely to a buyer at the time of closing.


Step #4: Open escrow to put a deposit down on the property to hold during due  diligence.

To open escrow the buyer will need to have proof of funds, purchase agreement signed and other documents filled out such as KYC and  escrow agreement.


Step #5: Once the lawyer gives the green light then plan the closing date. After the lawyer gives the go-ahead it is agreed on what day works for closing and about a week before this the buyer has to send the balance of funds to escrow.


Step #6: For closing both buyer and seller need to be present or give POA.

In Costa Rica a signature from both seller and buyer is required to legally transfer a property. If either or both parties cannot be present then there has to be a special power of attorney given to a person who will sign in place of buyer or seller. Once the transfer deed is signed this is sent to the escrow company and the funds are released as agreed in the closing statement prepared previously by the escrow company.

Other things to consider when thinking of buying a property in Costa Rica is whether to buy in your personal name or to create a corporation that holds the property. This is something the lawyer needs to explain to each client and help make the decision with as each buyer’s needs are different.

It is also very important to know how a buyer will be paying utility bills and property taxes. Some buyers open a local bank account and can pay using online banking, others hire a property manager to pay and oversee the property they have purchased. And it is important that the utilities are changed over to the buyer’s name and that the buyer is registered with the local city hall so that taxes are updated also.

All of this is part of becoming a property owner in Costa Rica and that is why a good real estate agent can help buyers become informed of all aspects of buying in Costa Rica. To us at JB Real Estate it is about providing a full service to our clients and making the process as easy as possible.



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Tips for how to prepare your home for putting it on the market

Once you decide you want to sell your property the best thing to do is take some time to look around and make a list of unfinished projects or small things that could be done to make your property appealing to a buyer. Keep in mind; If I were buying this property, what would I like to see?


The first impression that a buyer receives from the initial visit is what stays with them and makes a property stand out from others they have visited. Here is a short list to check before having a real estate agent come to take pictures of your property:


Tip #1: Pick up any garbage or debris on the property:

If you are listing a house, make sure all garbage is removed from the outside areas. If it is a plot of land, then have the grass cut and any garbage picked up.


Tip #2: Finish any projects you have started:

If there are any little projects you have started try to finish them up before pictures are taken. Things such as damaged wood, tile that has to be laid, gutter repairs, and broken window repairs should be dealt with.


Tip #3: Invest in some paint:

If you are listing a house or condo it really helps to have a paint job done on areas that look bad. Here in CR paint is not that expensive and you can do this yourself, it makes a world of difference to a buyer’s eye. Keep in mind to use neutral colors as people have different likes and could be put off by your bright paint colors.


Tip #4: Do some garden work:

If there is a yard around the house, then have the grass cut for the pictures and often once it goes on the market clients will be coming to see the property on short notice. Prune any shrubs away from the house and clean out any dead plants. If at all possible, plant a few things with some color to catch a buyer’s eye. If it is a small plot of land then have the grass cut so potential buyers can walk on the property and get a sense of where they would build and what the views are like.

If a buyer takes the time to do a few things like I have mentioned above it will allow buyers to see the full potential of what they are looking at. Taking time to improve the property also allows for better pictures and this will help catch a buyer’s eye. In today’s world, we need to provide exceptional pictures and videos of the properties we are selling to make them stand out from others. This is also a way to get the best price for your property as buyers will not ask for deductions to do repairs.

If you need any help on what can be done to improve your property for a better listing price please feel free to reach to me.


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