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Young family arriving at their holiday beach house

By the Experts at Hippo

You’ve just returned from a trip to the beach. You ask yourself: Why should I continue to pay rental fees when I could own a vacation home and rent it out? Unless you’re fairly wealthy, you’ll need to make sure you can commit to buying a seasonal home before you start shopping around. Here are five indications that you’re ready to take the plunge:

1. You can afford one

Can you afford to own a vacation home? If the answer to that question is yes, that’s probably the most obvious sign that buying a seasonal home is something you should consider. You never want to buy a home that will leave you drowning in debt.

Remember, the purchase price is only part of the cost of owning a vacation home. You’ll have to pay utility bills, maintenance fees and insurance premiums. And depending on where your home is located, you could also be responsible for paying homeowners association fees.

To decide whether you have enough money in the bank for a vacation home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have emergency savings (at least three to six months’ worth of take-home pay)?
  • Can you make a 20 percent down payment?
  • If you have kids, have you already put aside enough money for a college fund?
  • Can you still put away enough money for retirement?
  • Have you paid off your existing home?
  • Have you calculated the potential return on your investment?
  • Does it fit in with your long-term investment strategy and financial goals?

Everyone’s situation is different. If you can answer yes to most of these questions, there’s a good chance that there’s room in your budget for a vacation home.

2. You’ve done your research

If you’ve done your homework, that’s another good sign that you’re prepared to purchase a vacation home. When you’re visiting an area that might become the location of your future home, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself; however, doing your research and taking the time to understand what the surrounding area has to offer is important. You’ll also want to make sure you visit during different parts of the year. That way, you can get a feel for what it’s like to live there during different seasons.

Think about the short- and long-term implications of buying a seasonal home, especially if you plan to spend plenty of time there. When you retire, for example, the amenities included in a vacation home may take a backseat. Having access to a hospital and activities that improve your overall health and well-being may be critical.

3. You know what’s happening in the market

If you can keep up with what’s going on in the housing market, buying a vacation home might make sense. If you analyze changes in sales prices, you’ll be able to time your home purchase carefully, and you’ll be able to make the most appropriate decision based on seasonal demand, which drives home prices.

In 2016, new, single-family home sales reached their highest level in a decade, although there was a decline in home-buying activity among vacation home buyers, according to a survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). A rising demand for housing and a shrinking supply of options has pushed up prices, making it more difficult for many people to purchase a vacation home. In 2016, the median vacation-home sales price was $200,000, up from $192,000 the previous year.

4. You have a plan

Buying a seasonal home could be worth considering if you know how you’re going to use it. Maybe you view the home as an investment property that can serve as an additional source of income. Maybe you’ve decided that you’re going to find guests online through a website like Airbnb or Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO).

Keep in mind that if you intend to rent out a vacation home, you’ll need to think about advertising and logistics. You’ll need photos of your rental property and a detailed description of its amenities. You’ll also need a rental agreement and a plan for how you’re going to accept payments. Will you use a service like Venmo or PayPal, or ask guests to mail you a check?

You’ll probably need to hire someone to clean your home and check for signs of damage and theft before new guests arrive. Hiring a property management company might make your life easier, but agencies often charge between 25 and 50 percent of your rental income.

5. You’re prepared to pay taxes

Rental income must be included on both state and federal tax returns. If you are renting out your vacation home or even a portion of your vacation home (e.g., a bedroom), you might be considered an innkeeper. That means you might be expected to collect the same lodging taxes that hotels collect and make payments to your county, city and/or state. In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for example, among tourists who pay for lodging, a 12 percent tax is due.

For many people, the decision to purchase a vacation home is serious. If you decide to take that leap of faith and you already have homeowners insurance, make sure you find out whether your current policy will cover a second home. Also, if you intend to rent out the property, consider purchasing rent loss insurance. It covers the loss of rental income following natural disasters and catastrophic incidents.

Hippo is an InsureTech company that’s reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners, building policies with more comprehensive coverage for today’s consumers. Hippo Insurance is available to homeowners in 10 states throughout the U.S. and will be available to more than 60 percent of the nation’s homeowners by the end of 2018.

http://blog.rismedia.com/2018/5-signs-youre-ready-buy-vacation-home/

Excellent list but I would add that one also needs a currency exchanger, who can save you quite a bit in fees and rates, locking in the rates for months and an immigration attorney who has knowledge of VISAs and the most up-to-date laws.

NEW YORK – If you’re going to purchase foreign property to grow your wealth, the U.S. is one of the easiest and most profitable places to purchase your investments.

If you’re a U.S. citizen living abroad, your financing options will be different than if you’re a foreign national looking to buy U.S. property. However, the process for buying property will be the same.

Here’s a list of the most important considerations to make prior to jumping in:

1. Know your rent market, not just home prices

Even if it takes you several years to see capital growth, investing in U.S. property (in certain areas) can be more lucrative than other countries – like Australia, for example.

Using Australia as an example, your returns have the potential to be greater when you buy in affordable U.S. markets like Texas and Arizona. You’ll pay more for a two-bedroom apartment in Australia than you will for a four-bedroom home in Texas, and the rents will be comparable.

It’s possible for both a $260,000 property in Australia and a $100,000 property in Texas to command the same monthly rent. If each market commands $1,000/month rent, the U.S. house is going to be the better investment.

Don’t assume you can charge higher rent just because you paid more for a property.

2. Know when to buy and sell

In the U.S., spring is the best time to sell a house. Houston property management company Green Residential discusses a recent study performed by Zillow that proves this. The study revealed homes sell three weeks faster, and for more than the asking price. This means April to May might not be the best time to buy. You’ll be competing against multiple buyers, and you’ll end up paying more.

The same data showed November through January are the worst times to sell, likely due to cold weather and funds being allocated for the holidays. If you find your dream investment home during the winter, you’ll probably get a better deal since the market won’t be flooded with buyers.

3. Do you have a structured entity?

To purchase U.S. property as a foreign national, you need a valid U.S. entity like an LLC or corporation. This structure determines your tax obligations as it relates to your property. Doing this wrong can result in severe tax penalties. To understand this in depth, read a detailed explanation of how foreign investors are affected by taxes when purchasing a U.S. property.

4. Do you have a U.S. bank account?

To own property in the U.S., you’ll also need to open an American bank account in person. There is no way to do this through email or by notarizing documents and mailing them in. Your physical presence is required.

5. Do you have a good interest rate on your loan?

If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you can’t take out a traditional mortgage. Unless you’re paying in cash, you’ll need to obtain funding from private lenders.

Private financing requires a larger downpayment (sometimes as high as 50 percent), and comes with higher interest rates. For instance, if the home you’re buying costs $100,000 you might need to pay between $30,000 to $50,000 in cash. A traditional mortgage might only require a downpayment of $10,000 to $20,000.

Sometimes adjustable interest rates can start off great and become burdensome. As a non-U.S. citizen, you’re already going to pay a higher interest rate, so you want to start with the lowest rate possible. If you can’t avoid an increasing interest rate, at least minimize the amount.

6. Do you have a property manager?

When you buy foreign property, you need someone to manage it for you – like a property management company will. They’ll handle everything from tenant screening to collecting rent and even managing maintenance needs.

If you’re not living close by, you need to have a local team working on your behalf. Hiring a professional property management company means you don’t have to hire multiple individuals, manage them, and hope they’ll do it right.

7. Do you have a tax professional?

Your taxes will get a bit more complex when you invest in foreign property, but it’s nothing a tax professional can’t handle. It just means you’ll need to pay for someone to do your taxes for you.

No matter where you buy property, you’ll be governed by tax rules and other regulations. Don’t rule out foreign investments just because it looks complicated. You’ll always have to play by the rules no matter where you buy property. Choose the investments that offer the largest returns, and don’t be afraid of learning as you go. The best investments require some aspect of risk, and the rewards are well worth it.

Copyright © 2017, Bizcommunity.com. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info). All rights reserved.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Oct. 2017 – Higher home prices and a tight supply of homes for sale may be the mantra nationwide – but certain markets are still offering lucrative options for investors, including two in Florida.

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.

Real estate sales and auction company TenX released its top picks for investors. Texas had the most markets on the list, scoring three out of the top five, as it continues to post strong growth in employment and home construction. San Antonio topped TenX’s list for best places for investors, posting strong population growth for six years and having incomes hit all-time highs. San Antonio is followed on the list by two other Texas hot spots: Fort Worth and Dallas.

Home prices are rising quickly in Texas, but they remain low compared to some other hot markets, like in California, TenX notes.

“If you look at our report, probably eight or nine of the top 20 markets in terms of housing performance are in either Texas or Florida,” says Rick Sharga, executive vice president at TenX.

“The Florida markets will be more directly impacted because Irma hit everything, but even in Texas, a lot of the construction and labor and materials and so forth that’s been going to build new properties in Dallas and Fort Worth and San Antonio might get diverted to rebuild Houston, and that could have a noticeable impact on home sales and home starts over the next six to nine months.”

Investors have had to shift course in many cities as the number of low-priced or foreclosed homes dries up.

“What they’re really looking to do now is make money on the month-to-month rent, so in a lot of cases they’re buying properties at full value,” Sharga told CNBC. “In some cases, they may even be slightly overpaying for properties, but they’re making it up in the rental income over the period of time.”

The following are the top 10 markets for investors, according to TenX:

  1. San Antonio
  2. Fort Worth, Texas
  3. Dallas
  4. Columbus, Ohio
  5. Tampa, Fla.
  6. Orlando, Fla.
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Nashville, Tenn.
  10. Raleigh, N.C.

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.

Source: “Want to be a Landlord? These Are the Top Markets This Fall for Investing in Rental Homes,” CNBC (Oct. 13, 2017)

 

Technological change will determine which cities will outperform, Cushman & Wakefield says

New York was the most sought-after market for real estate investment, according to the survey.
New York was the most sought-after market for real estate investment, according to the survey.

Global property investment rose by 4% in the year to June to $1.5 trillion, reflecting improved sentiment in 2017, Cushman & Wakefield reported Thursday.

from:http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2017/10/12/us-dominates-global-cities-for-real-estate-investm?&slreturn=1508455425

According to the firm’s annual survey of global commercial real estate investment activity, high interest from regional buyers drove growth.

It said the economic background for real estate was now more encouraging than many analysts had anticipated, with the International Monetary Fund having raised global growth forecasts for the first time since 2011.

The U.S. dominated the survey’s ranking of global cities for investment, but Asian markets made the most impressive gains in the past year.

2017 Top Cross Border Investors

Out of the 150 most populous cities, these 25 got (mostly) high marks from WalletHub in four categories.

Thanks to increased interest in buying land for development, Asian markets grew by 24.6%. By comparison, European and North American markets experienced declines of 11% and 7.5%.

Although the top 25 gateway cities in the survey declined by 120 basis points, they remained dominant with nearly 50% of the market. Half the cities in the top 10 underwent volume declines over the past year; now the 10 cities represent just 29.5% of total volumes, down from 32.9%.

New York maintained its position as the most sought-after market for the sixth consecutive year, according to the survey. The other cities in the top 10 were Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Dallas, Paris, Washington, Hong Kong, Atlanta and Shanghai.

London saw volumes fall by 25%, and was bumped from the top three by San Francisco, while number nine Atlanta displaced Tokyo, which fell to number 11.

London continued as the most attractive city for international investors, but several German cities rose in the rankings: Berlin to number five and Frankfurt to number seven. Number two New York and number three Paris were popular rivals to the British capital. Athens real estate reached a 10 year peak.

The survey found that sector concentration was highest in the office sector, with 61% of all office transactions occurring in the top 25 cities. Multifamily followed, with 49% of volumes in the gateway cities.

The report said a key factor determining which cities would outperform was technological change. Developments such as virtual reality and big data will enable more rapid change, and will start shaping cities and tenant demand within months rather than years.

It said cities will need to be able to adopt smart designs in buildings and infrastructure, and have a strong focus on their target audience of talent and businesses.

Four things will facilitate this process, according to the report:

  • City connectivity, as the importance of linking families and businesses across borders grows
  • Supportive governance with integrated strategies
  • The size and quality of a city’s institutions
  • Access to services, healthy living and cultural appeal

 

http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2017/10/12/us-dominates-global-cities-for-real-estate-investm?&slreturn=1508455425

 

Alexandra Nikos Sekouri , President of the Hellenic Association of Realtors, was Pinellas International Council’s guest speaker via Skype on Wednesday. She gave an excellent and very informative presentation on Greece & the real estate process. Thanks to our Pinellas Realtor Affiliate Business Partner sponsors who providing us with international appetizers and wine, the 25 PIC members and guests and, of course,  Alexandra Nikos Sekouri!!

 

Please join the Pinellas International Council Friday, July 21st for the Certified International Property Specialist course, Asia/Pacific and International Real Estate. This informative course is being taught by Jorge L. Cantero, Realtor®.

 

Friday, Jul 21, 2017 8:30am – 5:00pm at Pinellas Realtor Board, 4590 Ulmerton,Road, Clearwater, Florida.

This course offers you practical information on working with Asian/Pacific buyers and investors.  Historical and cultural influences, regional relationship, and investment opportunities are also covered.

In this new world of globalized business, we are in contact with people from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines. Their economies count on countries of the Americas and the Pacific Rim to provide access for their goods to our markets.  We count on them to supply us with quality merchandise at reasonable prices and providing new markets for the products of the Americas. One such product is real estate.This course provides information, insights and skills for working with Asian investors seeking overseas properties and for investors from the Americas seeking investments in Asia.

SPEAKER: Jorge L. Cantero  CIPS, CRB, CRS, GRI    20678_100139880023748_5432507_n(3)

Jorge is licensed in real estate in Florida since 1985, and previously a recipient of a New York State Broker’s License. Mr. Cantero’s international experience prior to that was a result of being involved in the chemical industry with a series of multinational companies, and having extensively traveled in Europe, Latin America and Asia.  Mr. Cantero’s specializations include residential resales, marketing of foreclosures; and in particular serving inbound international investors and residential real estate exchangers.  Mr. Cantero is a Past President of the Residential Association of the Miami Association of REALTOR®, and was the recipient of the Association’s Educational Award in 1994, and of the REALTOR® of the Year Award for 1995. Furthermore, he is a member and director of numerous committees of the Miami Association, Florida Association and National Association of REALTORS®.

In addition to having earned the designations of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Mr. Cantero holds a Master Degree in Chemical Engineering from New York University (NYU), 1972.

This course counts towards the CIPS designation. Click here for more information about the CIPS designation.
Upon successful completion of this course, a real estate professional will be able to:
• Discuss the social, economic, political, and geographical characteristics of major countries in the Asia/Pacific region.
• Identify important characteristics of the real estate market in certain Asia/Pacific markets, including influential laws and real estate and brokerage practices.
• Evaluate opportunities in certain Asian markets by analyzing significant investment patterns, investor profiles and real estate activity.
• Discuss ways to develop a business network to start or enhance an international practice with Asian clients or properties.
• Discuss techniques to promote properties, markets, and professional services.

SCHEDULE:
7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, and breakfast
8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Course

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Seating is limited and registration is required at LEAST 24 HOURS prior. 

REGISTRATION:
PRO Members ($95):
Click here to register.

Non-PRO Members ($95):
Click here to register.

***This course is one of the courses required to earn the prestigious Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. The CIPS Network comprises 2,500 real estate professionals from 50 countries and is the specialty membership group for global business practitioners of the National Association of Realtors®. The CIPS® designation prepares Realtors® to service the growing international market in their local community by focusing on culture, exchange rates, investment trends, and legal issues. Click here for more information about CIPS and the requirements to earn this prestigious designation.

Contact: Jan Dean
Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004
Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

Pinellas International Council 6th Annual Global Symposium-Thank you to David Bennett CEO of PRO, John-Paul Mario Chair of the PRO Business Affiliates, Susan Inez-Poskus CPA from Roberge Poskus, Maria Grulich from Florida Realtors, Bill Risser, VP of Digital Strategy from Fidelity National Title, Don Gonzalez Attorney, Carlos Fuentes NAR instructor, the nearly 100 attendees and all of the PRO Affiliates who sponsored this informative event. Thank you all for making this such great day!!

PIC logo   PIC Platinium logo

The Pinellas International Council will be holding the Asia/Pacific and International Real Estate course on Thursday, June 16th, 2016 from 8am to 5pm at the Pinellas Realtor Organization building in Clearwater, Florida.

In this new world of globalized business, we are in contact with people from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines. Their economies count on countries of the Americas and the Pacific Rim to provide access for their goods to our markets.  We count on them to supply us with quality merchandise at reasonable prices and providing new markets for the products of the Americas. One such product is real estate. This course provides information, insights and skills for working with Asian investors seeking overseas properties and for investors from the Americas seeking investments in Asia.

Upon successful completion of this course, a real estate professional will be able to:
• Discuss the social, economic, political, and geographical characteristics of major countries in the Asia/Pacific region.
• Identify important characteristics of the real estate market in certain Asia/Pacific markets, including influential laws and real estate and brokerage practices.
• Evaluate opportunities in certain Asian markets by analyzing significant investment patterns, investor profiles and real estate activity.
• Discuss ways to develop a business network to start or enhance an international practice with Asian clients or properties.
• Discuss techniques to promote properties, markets, and professional services.

SPEAKER: Carlos Fuentes

Mr. Fuentes has been involved in commercial and international real estate for the last 25 years, having earned the CCIM (Commercial R.E. Specialist), CIPS (International R.E. Specialist) and TRC (Transnational Referrals Certification) designations. His activities have included land acquisition and site development, office, retail, industrial and second home resort properties in the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S. Contract and financing negotiations, market and investment analysis are all areas in which he has gained valuable experience. He has successfully completed a significant number of 1031 Exchanges.

Carlos has published articles in several national and international magazines and been a presenter at both national and international seminars and panels. He is a member of the NAR Speaker Cadre, a Certified CIPS and TRC Instructor as well as a Federal Court Certified Interpreter (English/Spanish).

He served as 2011 NAR Executive Committee Liaison to Global, Resort and Second Home Real Estate Group, Regional Coordinator for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, NAR and Florida REALTORS® Director, Past President of My Florida Regional MLS (with 34,000 users) and the Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®. Mr. Fuentes received the 2003 NAR International Outreach Effort Award and the 2006 NAR President’s Liaison Award. He was the recipient of the 2008 GTAR Deal of the Year Award, recognizing a unique transaction, and named 2009 GTAR REALTOR® of the Year.

SCHEDULE:
7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, and breakfast
8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Course

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Seating is limited and registration is required.
REGISTRATION:
PRO Members ($95):
Click here to register.

 *SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE*
PRO Members – would you like a scholarship to help pay for this course? The REALTOR® Professional Development Scholarship is available for you, courtesy of the Pinellas REALTOR® Foundation and the Affiliate Business Partners of PRO. Click here to learn more and apply. Note: the scholarship does not cover any additional costs associated with obtaining the certification. If you’re interested in the scholarship, REGISTER AND PAY FOR THIS COURSE FIRST, then fill out the application on the webpage linked above. We request that you register and pay for the course first to guarantee your spot since scholarships and seating are limited. If you are awarded, we will issue you a check.

Non-PRO Members ($95)  Click here to register.                                       CIPS logo

***This course is one of the courses required to earn the prestigious Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. The CIPS Network comprises 2,500 real estate professionals from 50 countries and is the specialty membership group for global business practitioners of the National Association of Realtors®. The CIPS® designation prepares Realtors® to service the growing international market in their local community by focusing on culture, exchange rates, investment trends, and legal issues. Click here for more information about CIPS and the requirements to earn this prestigious designation.

Contact: Jan Dean at Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com   Phone: 727-216-3004

Location:Pinellas REALTOR Organization, 4590 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater FL 33762

 

Buy or Sell?  The conundrum for Foreign Property Investors in the U.S.A.

 

The following informative article was recently written by a dear friend of mine, David Nixon-Business Development Executive at Currencies Direct.

When you buy an investment property in the US you’re probably motivated by a number of reasons.

Perhaps you want a destination for family vacations, maybe it gives you an additional income from rentals and – of course – there’s always the likelihood of your property increasing in value.

Buying a property in the US is, in effect, an investment in the US economy. That’s why Wednesday’s Federal Reserve announcement of the first interest rate rise since the birth of the iPhone is not necessarily a bad thing.

With economies all over the world in turmoil, the US dollar continues to be a safe haven. The decision to raise rates was data dependent, and that data has been positive enough to bring about this change: Compare that to the Europe, Canada, Brazil or China where troubles in the respective economies have been well reported.

If you want to buy an investment home in the US, it means you should be keeping a close eye on not just the fluctuating property prices, but also on the strength of the US dollar. The US economy has gone from strength to strength over the last 18 months, especially when compared to the countries of some other major currencies.

Take this example:

In the last 18 months, property prices in the vacation property haven of Polk County in Florida have gone up 8.6%. For a realtor this is an excellent selling point to attract new international clients.

It means that a property bought in June 2014 for $200,000 is now worth around $217,200. Typically, expectations are that property values will continue to rise steadily.

The currency rates are far more volatile. They can go in your favor or just as easily move against you. Look at the difference of major currencies in the same time frame (June 2014 – November 2015):

Great British Pound Sterling

US$200,000 in June 2014 was worth around £117,647. Today, it’s worth about £133,333 – an increase of 12%.

Canadian dollar

US$200,000 in June 2014 was worth in the region CA$216,000. Today, it’s worth approximately CA$268,000 – an increase of 20%.

Euro

US$200,000 in June 2014 was worth roughly €146,000. Today, it’s worth around €188,000 – an increase of 22%.

Brazilian real

$200,000 in June 2014 was worth somewhere around R$440,000. Today, it’s worth about R$830,000 – an increase of 53%.

This data could be great for those realtors who want to attract listings, and could also be an indicator to those of you who are foreign property investors that now is an excellent time to sell.

However the same data, coupled with continued uncertainty in the rest of the world, may also be a persuasive argument for now being the right time to invest in a property in the US.

David Nixon

david.n@currenciesdirect.com

Below is a brief overview of what you might find if you decide to own a vacation or primary home in Costa Rica. The original article is quite long so I’m going to break it up into several distinctive subject posts. Just a taste so you will want more & more…

International Living

 

Costa Rica Beach

 

Join the 20,000 American expats already living
“la pura vida” in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s fame as a retiree destination is richly deserved. You’ll find the tropics along the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts, while most of the Central Valley is cool and breezy. If you find it difficult to choose which climate you prefer, you will be glad to know that the mild temperatures of the Central Valley are just two hours by car from the tropical beaches of the Pacific Coast.

Expats are attracted to Costa Rica for numerous reasons, which include the low cost of living, excellent health care, modern telecommunications structure, beautiful beaches, rainforests, lush valleys, and cool mountains…not to mention the theaters, art galleries, and fine dining. There are more than 20,000 expats living in Costa Rica and many well-established expat communities.

Tucked between Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica may truly have it all: a year-round tropical climate, modern cities, Caribbean beaches, Pacific coastline, rainforests, lush valleys, and mountains.

In March 1997 we took Costa Rica off our recommended list. Twelve years later, in 2009, Costa Rica was back on our list of Top Retirement Havens and remains there still. Yes, after 12 years off our list of affordable opportunities for profit, IL has discovered that there is an unknown—and still affordable—side to one of the world’s most coveted overseas retirement destinations.

Long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls…mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…all these things, and much more, are drawing people back to Costa Rica.

Whether expats live in this beautiful country full- or part-time, they relish the climate, neighborly atmosphere, low cost of living, excellent health care, stable democracy, and countless ways to have fun. This is a middle-income, developing economy, with a tradition of democracy. The life expectancy at birth here is one of the highest in the world—outstripping both the U.S. and the UK. Tourist facilities are extensive, and because English is a second language for many Costa Ricans, the country feels very visitor-friendly.

In Costa Rica, the good life is called “pura vida.” For those who retire in Costa Rica, pura vida is a daily fact of life in this beautiful, exotic, and surprisingly affordable country.

There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership as such, although no one can own property within 50 meters of the ocean, and for the next 150 meters real estate comes under Maritime Zone laws. These laws permit development only under government “concession.” This means that anyone shopping for property should be doubly cautious about buying oceanfront real estate, including condos. Before entering into a transaction, insist that your attorney verify that the title is legally consistent with Maritime Zone regulations.

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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