replied to the thread The inside track
on the Costa Rica forum on April 17, 2014:
Very well written Steve. Personally I can't understand how tacos can afford these new SUVs and houses in condos, unless they pay for all cash. The interest rates are ridiculously high for me as of Scandinavian origin and used to 2.5-3.5% interest rates when buying property and having the bank financing it. In Costa Rica the only logical choice for me and my wife was to buy a house cash and exchange the rest of the savings to colones and then head up to one of the cooperatives, like COOPENAE, and lock this money in a 12 month CDP which pays 11% interest. Working here for a slave salary and being forced to pay high interests rates to the bank was not an option. Instead we saw the opportunity to take advantage of the high interest rates, but of course you'll need the savings and must be ok with exchanging foreign currency to colones... Cars are expensive, but real estate is not expensive IMHO, and definitely not overpriced when compared to other places where I have had properties (Chile, Sweden).
Those who live in Costa Rica always say it's gotten SO expensive. They are obviously not living in the US and have forgotten what our largest expenses are. It is not dining out, paying for gas, going to a national park or even going to Tabacon. In the US it is TAXES, INSURANCE AND HEALTHCARE. take away the cost of taxes, insurance and healthcare and the US is cheap, like Costa Rica is...
Here in Florida, I am paying $6300 for property tax, sure I am a baby boomer and sure I have a nice house but $6300 per year. It's also near the water so my insurance cost for this house is over $7,000, for flood, hurricane and home owners. We in the US have to pay for Hurricane Sandy, Katrina and the host of other natural disasters we encounter each year. Check Costa Rica and the last "natural disaster" it had. Check out property insurance from INS. Now throw in the cost of Obamacare or whatever health care option you have in the US, I have a policy with my wife, with a $10,000 deductible EACH per year and we pay $1875 per quarter, non smoker, 57 years old and she's 47, both in excellent shape, not overweight, no preexisting conditions. I won't even go into the cost of things like my water and sewer bill, my internet, cell phone and electric.
So now you can understand how in the SUPPOSEDLY SUPER EXPENSIVE COUNTRY OF COSTA RICA, where the average per capita income is just over $11,000 per year, you see Ticos and Ticas with new SUV's, iphones and at the beach each weekend since they are not spending their money on stuff they don't want to pay for...
Keep in mind that sure I do sell property in Costa Rica therefore I am surely biased but also keep in mind that I work with International Living and host or sponsor nearly every event so I visit lots of other countries and can compare better than 99% of you speaking out on this board. I visited 15 countries last year.
Go to Cancun and tell me it's cheap, I was in Panama City last week for the International Living event that I sponsored, called Live and Invest in Panama. The hotels and taxis are the same price as in Costa Rica but if you own a rental in Panama, try $2000 in property tax for your $150,000 rental, compared to about $400 in Costa Rica. You people are misinformed if you think Costa Rica is expensive or you have been out of the US too long. My big expenses in the US are not eating out, if I ate out every day it would cost me about $15,000 per year. Well I can save that much just in taxes, insurance and healthcare.
Had a root canal lately in the US or a crown perhaps? Try $1600 for both, versus under $500 in Costa Rica. How about a colonoscopy, try $3000 in the US versus $400 in Costa Rica. Rented a full size SUV lately in the US, $50 to $60 per day, happens to be the vehicle of choice in Costa Rica's rental market, did the tourists want that SUV for the experience and exploration and thrill, you bet they did and the cost was ab out the same as in the US.
I can go to the Hotel Costa Verde in Manual Antonio, get a great room for about $100, in the most visited town in all of Costa Rica. Now try to head to the most visited town in the US, maybe New York City, LA, or Maimi and tell me you can get a comparable hotel for $100.
Have you been to the grocery store lately in the US, checked what fruits and vegetables cost (what we should be eating anyway) versus in Costa Rica at the farmers market? Or are you trying to live like an American in Costa Rica and going to Walmart and Mas o Menos and then complaining that fruits and vegetables are expensive.
Been to a national park in the US lately? I was just at Yellowstone, $25 for the car and $16 per person. Get a clue about the cost of living before you tell people it is expensive... Check out rents in Costa Rica, a 2 bedroom home ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. Now look in some major markets in the US, like Boston, Miami, Chicago or LA. Your money will go much further in Costa Rica than it will in the US. Sure if you buy a house in the southern Pacific region where I am selling, you will pay $200k or more but the HOUSE IS AN ASSET, NOT AN EXPENSE.
Did anyone notice that Travel and Leisure Magazine's November issue said that the Bahia Ballena coast, right where our developments are located, is one of the top two destinations in the world to visit in 2014. Tell me it's expensive? Check on Expedia for hotels, click right on the links to the left for homes for rent, you supposed experts in Costa Rica missed the boat on this one if you insist on telling people it is expensive.. You have been in Costa Rica too long to remember what expensive is.
Did you also mention that the colon just lost nearly 10% against the dollar (or should I say that the dollar has about 10% more buying power in the last 4 to 5 months? Seen the interest rates in the bank in the US lately? I could go on and on, anyone wants to contact me directly or come on one of our property tours and see for themselves, here's my contact info...
Pacific Lots of Costa Rica
877-481-0300 US only toll free
Read our blog: www.PacificLots.com/Costa-Rica-Blog/
Photos of our Developments http://picasaweb.google.com/pacificlots