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Hola! Welcome to Paradise. My name is Michael Simons - the Owner/Broker of 3 major real estate franchises in the Papagayo Region - RE/MAX Tres Amigos in Playa Hermosa , RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties in Playa Panama and RE/MAX Ocean Village in Playas del Coco.

The majority of people interested in buying real estate in Costa Rica tend to have many of the same questions so I took the time to answer them in detail here in a fun and informative way. This site contains a tremendous amount of information for you and allows me to express my views and pass along wisdom gained while living and doing business in the tropics. Hope you can join us. Pura Vida!

I will respond to your questions immediately with an email or personal phone call.

See you here in Paradise!

Costa Rica Information

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Costa Rica Living

Playa Hermosa beachfront Panorama from Costa Rica Information

 

 

 

 

 

Tree  lined tropical beaches whose warmth is exceeded only by the people who live here, spectacular birds and flowers whose intense colors rival those of an erupting volcano, activities ranging from white water rafting and surfing to sport fishing and golf.  With so much variety, there’s guaranteed to be something to suit everyone’s taste!  One could cross from ocean to ocean in only a few hours.  The climate is idyllic with temperatures ranging between seventy and ninety degrees Fahrenheit.[more…]

Located in the tropical latitudes between the giant biological influences of North and South America and bordered by two oceans, mountainous Costa Rica enjoys an immense diversity of climates and environmental regions.  While Costa Rica covers a mere 0.03% of the planet’s surface, the nation is endowed with over 5% of all life forms on earth.  Costa Ricans have preserved this invaluable biodiversity in protected areas covering fully one quarter of the land.  No other country in the world has so much actively protected area per capita.  Costa Rica is a model for conservation in harmony with community development and economic growth.  An impressive 22,647 miles of roads give easy access to every corner of the country.

Known as the ‘Switzerland of the Americas’, Costa Rica is the oldest democracy in Latin America.  In 1949, a constitutional amendment abolished the army and directed the country’s resources to education, social programs and economic development.  This political stability has attracted many international organizations to Costa Rica, such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, The International Development Bank and the Earth Council.  Costa Rica has one of the strongest U.S. dollar reserves in Central America (nearly 1 billion), a democratic government, and a high level of education, a strong labor force and one of the best infrastructures in Central America.

Free Health Care – Free universal health care covers everything from dentistry, maternity care, to open heart surgery.  As a result, Costa Rica’s population is very healthy and enjoys a life expectancy exceeding that of North Americans.  Quality of health care in Costa Rica is comparable to North America, but at rates 50%-70% less, making medical tourism an important business in Costa Rica.

Private Health Care – While being well known for its free health care system, Costa Rica also boasts one of the finest private Hospital and Doctor networks in the world.  While most of the Doctors are trained in North America or Europe and speak english, they charge significantly less than their foreign counterparts for the same procedures – in some cases 30% of what it costs in the United States with very little difference in level of care or professionalism.  Guanacaste now boasts the brand new CIMA hospital which is the second in Costa Rica behind the wildly successful CIMA hospital in San Jose.

Education – Costa Rica has the highest literacy rate in the Americas of over 96%.  Free and compulsory education for all until the 3rd year of high school, with some of the best universities in all of Latin America, Costa Rica’s highly educated work force is the main impetus behind Costa Rica’s emergence as the world’s new “Silicon Valley” South”: Intel operates one of the world’s largest microchip processing plant in Costa Rica with other companies following suit such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Acer Corp as well as numerous smaller software and outsourcing and near-sourcing companies.  The government’s pro-business attitude coupled with the country’s highly educated work force is quickly making Costa Rica the place to do business.

Transportation – Costa Rica is served by the international airports Juan Santamaria in San Jose (SJO) and Daniel Oduber Quiros in Liberia (LIR).  There are numerous small airports dotting the entire country served with daily flights.  An extensive road system reaches every corner of the country and buses reach even the remotest communities on a daily basis.

Utilities – Costa Rica enjoys potable water through 95% of the country and has electrical service to all but the most remote and sparsely populated reaches of the countryside.  Cell Phone service is very reliable and reaches 90% of the country and is relatively inexpensive to have your IPhone connected to the Internet, etc.  High Speed Internet is available throughout the country with the exception of remote mountainous areas.  Cable Television is good and available in all but the outlying areas and Satellite Television is available throughout the country.

What you need to know when Purchasing Property – The short and easy ‘Gringo’ version

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Buying and Selling Property in Costa Rica, Costa Rica Service Providers, EX PATS in Costa Rica

Purchasing Property in Costa Rica – The decision to purchase real estate in a foreign country can at first be a daunting proposition.  However, it is possible to safely buy property in Costa Rica with the assistance of a reputable realtor and attorney.   Your realtor should be able to help you to locate property suitable to your needs, educate you as to property values and investment opportunities in your chosen area, and assist you with negotiating a fair price. It is important to choose an experienced attorney with a solid reputation who can handle the financial aspects of the transaction and ensure that your property has legal title and is purchased free of any liens or encumbrances.

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