Build it and they will come


In 2016 the demand has been for smaller homes and condos under $350,000 with a few exceptions. When buyers cannot find a home that is in their price range that fits their criteria, they buy a condo.

Since the US elections there has been a surge in buyers as it is now very clear who will be the next president. Stock markets are up and there seems to be a new atmosphere of confidence. The continuous expansion of the Liberia Airport and flights now arriving from most major cities in the US,  Canada and many European locations has made our area easily accessible with a huge reduction in air fares in recent months. Playas Del Coco has grown from the once sleepy little fishing village to full blown little town that every tourist within a 50 mile radius visits during their vacation. It is also where we all go for shopping with 4 large grocery stores, meat and vegetable/fruit markets, medical and dental services, Post Office, hardware stores, restaurants and bars.

Our inventory for homes and condos under $350,000 is quickly depleting. . Fortunately there are a few local builders that see the demand and have introduced some new “German technology”  where they can build any size home for about $100 a square foot and reduce building time. Within this price range ocean view lots  that are running in the $150,000 range make it challenging to stay under $350,000 once you add the home construction, a pool, window coverings, landscaping and furniture  but you can have a beautiful 1500 -2000 sq. ft home with lots of outdoor living space, on a 1 ¼ acre mountain/valley view lot in a gated community for well under $300,000 or less if the home size is reduced.

Developments like Vista Ridge Golf Course, Costa Rica Estates and Lomas Del Mar all offer gated communities with lot pricing starting at $29,000. All these developments are within 7 – 15 minutes to Pacific beaches, Playas Del Coco for shopping, medical services, the CIMA Hospital and the Liberia airport being 20-25 minutes away. Another very important issue is water and all three of these developments have good wells and potable water where a builder can getting a building permit easily.

Property taxes are still .025% of the home value which is a fraction of what you pay in North America.

 


Liberia Airport Expansion


Expansion at the Liberia airport will include new boarding gates, VIP lounges, shops and offices.

(Via ICT)

Works to expand and improve Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR), in Liberia, Guanacaste will begin next month, Casa Presidencial confirmed in a  statement.

Airport administrator Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones (CORIPORT) will invest $10.3 million to expand the terminal and increase its current capacity by about 20 percent.

The project, originally planned to start this year, is now scheduled for completion by next November. It consists of building new boarding gates, VIP lounges, shops and offices over an area of 2,633 square meters (some 28,340 square feet). It also involves the renovation of 1,485 square meters (16,000 square ft) of current waiting and baggage claim areas.

The company will install a new X-ray system, new video and audio systems for passenger information, and an improved wireless network for Internet access.

CORIPORT General Manager César Jaramillo said in a news release that the company hopes all these improvements will allow it to continue offering first-class service for travelers. The expansion will also allow the terminal to receive new flights from at least five more airlines in the short term, he said.

Jaramillo said that new Liberia-Denver and Liberia-Mexico City flights are already scheduled to begin operating next year.

Tourism


Daniel Oduber Airport is a key terminal for the tourism industry in Costa Rica, thanks to its proximity to some of the country’s main tourist attractions such as beaches, volcanoes and national parks.

It’s located 12 km (7.5 miles) west of Liberia, approximately 40 Km (35 miles) east of the Papagayo Peninsula, and 79 km northeast of the Tamarindo, Conchal and Flamingo area.  The airport is approximately 220 Km, or 137 miles, from the capital, San José.

CORIPORT expects to end 2016 with a 35 percent increase in the number of travelers compared to last year. The terminal in 2015 received 426,336 visitors, the company reported.

According to a survey conducted by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) in 2015, 98.5 percent of travelers who entered the country through Liberia came for tourism, pleasure or recreation. Four percent of them have already been in the country and wanted to return. More than half of them travel as a couple, ICT reported.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

Green Season May 2016


May 2016 Green Season Has Arrived

Last week’s rain was a pretty clear indication “Green Season” has kicked in.  In such a short period of time the burnt brown landscape has come to life with a carpet of green and blossoming trees.

May through November are my favorite months with temps dropping to 32-35 daily and evenings to 20 – 25.    A little more work for me now living on acreage verses a condo but it is  enjoyable.  The eaves   troughs have been  cleaned, more gravel for the    driveway, lawnmower  blade sharpening and  maintenance on  the small  fleet of lawnmowers’ and  garden tractors we have  accumulated.  Turn off the  automatic watering  system and  spray the property  around the house for  the new generation of  bugs  and critters seeking  refuge from the rain.

Real Estate in the First Quarter of 2016

Meanwhile it has been a very active first quarter for real estate  and my prediction is it will get even busier as we see the  Canadian Dollar slowly climbing and as the US elections draw closer.  In regards to the Canadian Dollar it has always been at an “average” of 81 cents to the US Dollar over the last 40 years with a few highs and lows.  I can remember visiting my grandparents in New York in the 60’s and getting a $1.10 for my Canadian dollar, 10 cents more candy, what a bonus!  Many Canadian clients have been waiting for years to purchase hoping for another peak in the Canadian Dollar but in the meantime the inventory we had as we slowly recovered from the recession (when our real estate values dropped 30%) has long gone and the fire sales are far and few between.In my opinion there has never been a better time to buy property in Costa Rica with real estate pricing correction and just on the verge of going up, simply by demand. 

We have direct flights coming into the Liberia International Airport from many major cities in Canada and fares have gone down also. I just flew to Liberia-Calgary-Victoria and what a difference from all the connections in the US I have had to take over the last 18 years.

    

 

Our once little airport is now undergoing another $10 million Dollar expansion as new flights are added monthly from locations across the US, Canada, Central and South America and Europe.  Just short of 1 million people travelled through Liberia Airport in 2015. OK, I am finished lecturing why as retirement approaches or is already here ………. Canadians should not be waiting any longer from experiencing this wonderful, easy accessible country and enjoying retirement. Don’t procrastinate any longer as the Americans, Venezuelans and Europeans are snapping up the deals as they come up.

US Election

A delicate subject as over the years I have learned how “passionate” Americans are about 2 items….. NFL Football and Politics. 

Playing my “Canadian Card” all I can say is that the “Plan B” option has many Americans thinking of relocating for either a part time of full time residence and we are seeing this happenning.

Over the last 18 years I have watched US Presidents come and go, with Americans in my car looking at properties, 50% pleased with the results, 50% not……. but I think I can safely state  that there has never been a Presidential Election  like the upcoming one……..that I can recollect.  

With new flights from almost every major US city being announced almost weekly, Liberia is now a 3 -5 hr trip and you are on a beach or in your condo 25 minutes from clearing customs. The average price this year has between $200,000 - $350,000 for condos and homes in beach communities with many more homes and condos priced at $400,000 and up for luxury properties. We still have a good inventory but properties are selling faster each year. Just 10 – 15 minutes from beach towns are developments like Vista Ridge Golf Course, Lomas Del Mar & Costa Rica Estates that are selling 1 ¼ acre lots from $30,000 up and with building costs at $100 - $125 a sq ft.

Now we have new private schools, new hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies, high speed internet, new roads, more shopping options, an easily accessed airport, a stable  government, fresh food farmers markets, wonderful climate and the friendliest people you can image………..our area of Guanacaste is VERY desirable for those looking for a quieter, fulfilling lifestyle.

 

 


 

Costa Rica’s Liberia airport announces $10 million expansion plan

L. ARIAS | MARCH 15, 2016

 

CORIPORT, the company that manages the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Costa Rica’s northwestern Guanacaste province, announced it will expand the terminal in coming months prompted by a significant increase in passenger traffic.

Work at the terminal, located in the canton of Liberia near many of the country’s popular northern Pacific beaches, will include the expansion of current waiting and baggage claim areas as well as new spaces for shops and offices that will extend the terminal’s area by 20 percent, the company reported.

The expansion represents an investment of $10.3 million and is scheduled to begin during the second quarter of this year. The airport’s administrator expects work to be completed by the second quarter of 2017.

CORIPORT General Manager César Jaramillo said, “Liberia has grown as a tourist destination, and this reflects in the increase of routes and seats, as well as the arrival of new flights at the terminal.”

Jaramillo also confirmed that during the second half of this year the company will launch operations for a cargo terminal aimed at facilitating businesses for exporters and importers, mostly from the northwestern region of Costa Rica.

The Liberia airport last year received a total of 888,227 passengers – 98,352 more than in 2014. That figure represents an increase of 12.4 percent.

The terminal saw its busiest months in January, March and December. During each of those three months the airport facilitated the transit of more than 100,000 passengers.

Three airlines – two from the U.S. – launched operations in Liberia last year. SouthWest Airlines opened a route from Houston, and Alaska Airlines is now flying from Los Angeles. British carrier Thomson Airways also opened a direct flight from London.

 

 

Escape the Cold and Travel to Costa Rica With Alaska Airlines

 

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines

SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines will chart new territory this fall when it adds new service between Los Angeles and Costa Rica’s two major international airports, further strengthening its southern California focus city. The eight weekly flights from Los Angeles to San Jose (SJO) and Liberia/Guanacaste (LIR), Costa Rica, are scheduled to begin Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 respectively, and are in addition to new daily service the carrier will add on Sept. 9 between Los Angeles and Baltimore.

Liberia is the gateway to the Guanacaste region in the western part of the country, renowned for surfing and sport fishing. While the capital city of San Jose, located about 130 miles from Liberia, boasts museums and historic Spanish colonial architecture. On the blog: Read an Insider’s Guide to Costa Rica.

“As the most popular Central American tourist destination for U.S. travelers, Costa Rica is a mecca for eco-tourism, surfing and sport fishing and has been a top request from our customers who enjoy outdoor adventure,” said John Kirby, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of capacity planning. “Our new Costa Rica flights are well timed for Los Angeles travelers and offer convenient roundtrip connections for our Anchorage and Seattle customers, while our new Baltimore service provides passengers greater access to the nation’s capital, complementing our daily nonstop service to Reagan National Airport.”

Summary of new Los Angeles-Costa Rica flying:

Oct. 31
Los Angeles-San Jose
Departure 8:40 a.m.
Arrival 4:35 p.m.
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat

Oct. 31
San Jose-Los Angeles
Departure 5:35 p.m.
Arrival 10:05 p.m.
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat

Nov. 1
Los Angeles-Liberia
Departure 8:50 a.m.
Arrival 4:25 p.m.
Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun

Nov. 1
Liberia-Los Angeles
Departure 5:25 p.m.
Arrival 9:35 p.m.
Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun

Flight times based on local time zones

Summary of new Los Angeles-Baltimore flying:

Starting Sept. 9

Los Angeles-Baltimore

Departure 10:10 p.m.
Arrival 6:15 a.m.
Daily

Starting Sept. 10

Baltimore-Los Angeles
Departure 7:30 a.m.
Arrival 10:40 a.m.
Daily

 


Hard Rock Cafe coming to Playas del Coco


The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The new Hard Rock Cafe in Guanacaste, located at Playas del Coco, will open in the second half of this year as confirmed by Gustavo Araya, president of the Costa Rica franchise.

“The design has been approved and we are hiring a construction company to start renovations within the week; it’s a remodel so we expect to be ready by the second half of the year,” said Araya.

The design of the new facility will be different from what is currently inside the Hotel Wyndhan Herradura in Belén de Heredia, retaining only the stage for musical performances.

They are planning a beach concept for the restaurant that fits in with the area and franchise. The building is 650 square meters between two floors, one of them accommodating offices and warehouses and the other is the restaurant, which has a capacity of 170 people. They expect to hire about 44 people once the construction is complete.

“Playas del Coco is certainly the area that has the most international recognition for being the closest beach to the airport. We also considered Tamarindo, but the problem is seasonality, which is very pronounced in low season; most restaurants close their doors. In Playas del ​​Coco we have a national clientele that not only lives in that canton but it’s also close to Liberia where there are large populations, allowing us to remain open,” said Araya.

 

 

 

 

 

New International Airport to Ignite Costa Rica Real Estate and Development Boom

Previously slated to begin construction in 2025, the new international airport at Orotina, Alajuela is seven years ahead of schedule, with construction on the new Costa Rica airport to begin...

Previously slated to begin construction in 2025, the new international airport at Orotina, Alajuela is seven years ahead of schedule, with construction on the new Costa Rica airport to begin in 2018. While the original plan for the new mega airport in Costa Rica was to begin construction upon the conclusion of the contract at Juan Santamaria International Airport, a recent surge in tourism in Costa Rica has given the country a pressing need for a larger facility that can accommodate larger aircraft with more gates.

As a positive indicator for Costa Rica real estate development, this new international airport is anticipated to spark a second real estate boom in the next decade.

Tripling International Access to the Country, Costa Rica Land Development and Real Estate will be the Hottest Commodity in Latin America by 2025

It is widely known that international access is the primary contributor in regards to infrastructure and real estate development and growth, and industry experts in Costa Rica real estate are predicting the new Orotina International Airport to be a major catalyst in the next Costa Rica real estate development and continuing tourism boom.

After the Liberia Airport in Costa Rica’s northern pacific region expanded its airport to accommodate international access in 2002, the Guanacaste province saw the largest boom in infrastructure, land development, real estate and tourism in Central America’s history. The tourism boom is spilling over into the Costa Rica real estate market at an exponential rate and the need for greater international access and improved infrastructure has sparked the early construction of the new international airport in Costa Rica.

Since Costa Rica is already the leader in tourism and real estate in Central America, the new Orotina International Airport is expected to move real estate development in Costa Rica even more to the forefront of international investment markets world-wide.

The new international airport in Costa Rica is to be constructed in the region of Orotina, near the Pacific Coast of the country. The concept is to construct a Central American Mega Worldport that would connect “the heart” of Latin America with the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.

The Orotina International Airport will double in size in comparison to Juan Santamaria. It will have two runways and a super terminal to accommodate larger airliners including the Airbus A-380s, A-350s and Boeing’s 747-800s, 777s and the 787s Dreamliners.

Upon completion of the new international airport in Costa Rica, Juan Santamaria International Airport will be used as a regional airport for Central American flights, charters and executive airplanes.

With the potential to triple international access to the country by 2025, the new Orotina International Airport will make Costa Rica land development and real estate the hottest commodity in all of Central and Latin America.


Tax on “luxury” homes must be paid by January 15th


January 12th, 2015 (InsideCostaRica.com) The annual tax on “luxury” homes, known as the Solidarity Tax, must be paid by Thursday, January 15th to avoid penalties and interest.

 

This year, the tax applies to homes with a construction value in excess of  ¢128 million (~$242,000) for tax purposes.  Last year’s threshold was ¢117 million.

 

In calculating the construction values, all construction, fit and finish, as well as electrical and plumbing systems are included.  If the construction value exceeds ¢121 million, the home is considered to be a ‘luxury home.’  After the construction cost is calculated, the value of the land is added, and the tax is finally calculated at a rate of 0.25% to 0.55% of the total estimated value, based on a sliding scale.

 

The Solidarity Tax came into effect in October 2009. The government uses the tax proceeds to build housing for those in extreme poverty.

 

The only way to register and pay the tax is with Form D-179. This form is available electronically on the Hacienda website and may be filed and paid electronically, or printed and taken along with payment to authorized collection agencies.  The luxury home tax must be paid by the 15th of this month to avoid penalties, which include a 1% per month penalty on the unpaid taxes due plus interest.

 

 

 


December News


New video promotion from ICT Costa Rica

Save the Americans and Canadians. (Turn on your sound)

 

Bings search engine reports "Costa Rica" as their top vacation destination

Microsoft’s search engine Bing on Monday released its annual list of search trends for 2014, and Costa Rica tops the list for “most popular vacation destination among US holidaymakers.”

The company launched the listing at Bing Trends 2014, a site that takes a look back at some of the most popular Bing web searches from around the world over the past year. The site lists the top 10 searches for a variety of categories, including favorite vacation destinations.

Tropical destinations took six of the top spots, with Costa Rica beating other world-famous tourist attractions such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Panama and Aruba.

The full list of the top 10 most popular search terms among U.S. Bing users in the category of vacation destinations for 2014 is:

1. Costa Rica

2. Hawaii

3. Puerto Rico

4. London

5. Jamaica

6. Paris

7. Lake Tahoe

8. Panama

9. Aruba

10. Amsterdam

 

The Wyndam Hotel Chain comes to Playa Panama

The Wyndham Papagayo Yu Resort will open in Playa Panama, Guanacaste following the signing of a franchise agreement.The 151-room hotel, which will be owned by ASECCSS, is set to open by the end of 2015. It will be a mixed-use property affiliated with vacation ownership company RCI and Wyndham Exchange & Rentals. The resort will be located on Playa Panama in Guanacaste, about 12.5 miles from Liberia International Airport.

“A key factor in our growth in Latin America and the Caribbean is further expanding the Wyndham brand’s resort offerings in key leisure destinations,” said Paulo Pena, president and managing director of Latin America for Wyndham Hotel Group. “Guanacaste’s popularity among international travelers as a top vacation spot makes it an essential location for us to be present. We’re thrilled to work with ASECCSS to break ground on Wyndham Papagayo Yu Resort, which will be a beautiful retreat for travelers and a shining example of the resort experience the Wyndham brand offers.”

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has 127 hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean.


News articles and business updates in our area


 

 

 
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