Buying property in Costa Rica and renting Casitas. Any experience?

Hello everyone,
I came across this forum and decided to join. We are in a process of evaluating options of buying a property in Costa Rica. Ultimately, we want to build a family home near a trending beach with a few small vacation "casitas" to rent out. Hopefully, I will come across people who already have similar experience.

Hi. I do not want to discourage you on your plans but there's a surplus of rental places, at least on the beaches I know and lived in some: Tamarindo, Flamingo, Conchal, Playa Grande, Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa, all in northwest Pacific, Guanacaste Province. If you have children, good schools are private averaging $300/mo tuition plus other expenses. Beaches are hot, very hot, so you have to think on AC for you home and the rentals. I worked on real estate, selling and renting, managed vacation homes and started 5 condo construction that folded because of the lack of water  supply (when the water had been approved previously to obtaining permits). And talking about permits, it is a headache, not to say a nightmare. To get responsible labor you would need to have a big bottle of aspirin. You need to know the laws about hiring people. Perhaps if you were to buy already built things would be easier. I lived almost 10 years on the beach but won't go back to live there. Better come for a couple of weeks, travel around before making your move.

Thanks for the answer.
I forgot to mentioned that I lived in Costa Rica for a year in 2014. I spent 3 months in Tamarindo and 9 months in San Jose. I am aware of the local mentality to a certain extent. I also have a very close friend who is Tico but has lived and graduated in the US. He is in the car business and from what I saw and experienced with him in terms of business relations, I can say Im not impressed. Its always tomorrow. Hardly you can rely on them and the lie is a figure of speech. After all, I just give it to their culture. I think that there are ways around it if you are persistent enough and if you really want to achieve what you are going for. I do want to leave on the beach for half the year and I think its doable.
As for the rental surplus...the place we laid eyes on apparently is still developing. Our main goal is to have our family house and then vacation rentals.

I agree with MauroN. Water is a major issue, and will continue to be so.

I wouldn't suggest that anyone purchase anything until they have lived in the immediate area for at least a year.

With many homes, rooms and apartments now being list on websites like airbnb, legitimate, tax paying  rentals are suffering, and there is an excess in many areas. A/C could cost you, hundreds of dollars a month...a unit.

Remember that legally, one cant 'work here' until a Permanent resident. and hiring laborcan be an expensive  nightmare.

First of all, never move to an area or buy in an area to move to without living there in THAT area, first. Live there for at least a month or two, but preferably half a year or more.
My suggestion would be that you rent at your "trending beach" for as long as you can afford to - 6 months to a year? - and observe the tourism, see how it is to live there, and decide within that time if you really want to live THERE and if you really could make a go of renting casistas THERE.

Since you'll be renting, if you like living in Costa Rica after 6 mo-1yr, you may decide "Yes we can make a go of it here" or you may decide "I want to try another location."

My advice would also be that if you require a good income from this business once you move here, then buy one that can prove there is already a good profit there, a profit you can live on. My guess is this would cost a lot of money. Also be SURE to double check the facts and figures they give you, take them to your own attorney to check that the books aren't faked and that all licenses are in order and so on. This will cost money but not doing it will cost more in the long run, in fact it could cost everything.

I would not want to move here and rely on making a living here. Yes people have done it and yes it is possible. But it's not easy and I think it's increasingly harder as the price of real estate is higher than ever and the cost of living is higher than ever and competition for renting hotels and casitas and so on is higher than ever. These are not researched statements but this is my opinion based on being here and knowing people in the bed and breakfast /hotel business and people who rent houses.

If, on the other hand, you have a lot of extra money laying around, then maybe it might be worth a roll of the dice.

Otherwise I would move here first, begin to check things out, talk to other hotel or b&b operators or landlords and learn the ropes before you make a big commitment.

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