The Costa Rican real estate market is now flooded with fully furnished American-style homes. Six years ago that was not the case.
Six years ago, Costa Rica had an intense real estate market that did not have many American-style homes already constructed for sale at a reasonable price. There were plenty of Tico-style homes for sale; however, many American expats learned that while the Tico homes were in the price range they wanted, these homes did not really meet their lifestyle preferences.
Tico homes tended to run smaller and did not always include certain amenities Americans expected, such as a dryer hook-up in the laundry room, hot water in the shower or an open floor plan. Expats were left with the choice of building their ideal home in paradise from scratch, or spending an exorbitant amount for one of the few American-style homes available.
Fast forward to today and a search of real estate listings shows a new trend. There are American-style homes for sale at reasonable prices and they are being sold fully furnished. Many of these homes served as rental properties and the owners do not wish to deal with the logistics of moving, selling, or getting rid of the furnishings involved.
The advantages to purchasing a fully furnished home for the buyer are:
· They do not have to outfit the home from scratch. The buyer can walk through the home and pick and choose what furniture and appliances they wish to keep, and what they wish to replace.
· They do not have to ship down a whole household from the States. Everything that comes into Costa Rica has to go through customs and gets assessed a duty tax (even used items). The buyer of a fully furnished home could choose to only ship a few key items, saving a great deal on shipping costs and duty fees.
· They have time to ship and/or replace items. The buyer of a fully furnished home could prioritize the items they want to replace and plan strategically how they will do so. They can choose whether or not it is an item that they need to import from the U.S. or whether it can be purchased in country. There is more flexibility because the home is usable as is.
· They may move-in or rent the home immediately. If the home is a primary residence, the home buyer could choose to move-in immediately and slowly renovate as they wish. If the home is intended as a rental, the buyer can almost immediately turn around and rent it out.
It appears that this trend of selling fully furnished homes has become a major selling point in Costa Rica’s buyer’s market as property owners and real estate agents try to get the sale. Nearly half of the constructed homes for sale are listed with the option of purchasing it fully furnished.
The Ackerman’s relocated to Costa Rica a number of years ago and now sharetheir experiences and other tips regarding Costa Rica in hopes of helping others contemplating a similar move. If you are interested in subscribing to their blog or to keep up to date on the property listings, including those available fully-furnished, please sign up at http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/subscribe-today/.
Some examples of fully furnished properties that are currently for sale are:
- Villa la Costa. This estate is a blend of modern and traditional elements and was featured in “Estilos y Casas”. The main house involves 2,450 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms, and 3 ½ bathrooms. The guest house has a bedroom and bath, plus a living room and fully equipped kitchen. The property has been designed to blend indoor and outdoor living. It comes with a large terrace, private pool, and views of the beach just beyond the backyard. It comes fully furnished, including some modern art pieces created by local Costa Rican artists. The asking price for this house is $1.1 million dollars. (http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/properties/villa-la-costa/)
- Casa Exotica. Located in Esterillos Este this home is situated between major tourist attractions. It’s equipped to sleep 10 people with 4 bedrooms and 4 ½ bathrooms. Fully furnished, in this case, means the house comes with kitchen and laundry appliances, furniture in every room, and entertainment items (i.e. ping pong table, books, games, TVs, DVD player, etc.). It is satellite and internet ready. It has a garden and pool. The fully furnished home is on the market for $800,000. (http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/properties/casa-exotica/)
- Casa de Vista. If you’d rather, up in the mountains of Costa Rica is a 7-acre property that overlooks the Orosi Valley. The open floor plan offers panoramic views with access to wrap-around balconies and decks. The main floor consists of a well-designed kitchen and great room divided into living spaces with the furniture. A master suite takes full advantage of the views. Below the main floor is a separate, fully equipped, one bedroom apartment. On the property is a caretaker’s house. You can purchase this property fully furnished for $550,000. (http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/properties/casa-ackerman-2/)
· Rio Tranquilo Home.On the Osa Peninsula just outside of Puerto Jimenez, lies a boutique development that technically does not fall into the "move-in ready" category. However, it is investment-ready. It has already been subdivided into lots. Amenities have been brought to the property. There is a caretaker on the grounds. One lot has been developed with a home and garden. Another lot has young teak trees that will be ready to harvest in a short while. The asking prices for these lots range from $85,000 to $175,000. (http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com/properties/rio-tranquilo-lots/)
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