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Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

Real Estate in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

Summary: Expats and retirees talk about real estate in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica? How do you find a home in Playa Jaco? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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How do I find a place to live in Playa Jaco?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Our first home in Costa Rica (CR) was strictly by word of mouth. We had lived in the area for a few months and told just as many people we trusted that we were looking. In just a few months time, we looked at many properties. We got to know the area very well by renting so we knew the neighborhoods we liked and knew what a good price was to pay. We were in no hurry as we were renting at the time so we didn't appea anxious or desperate to the seller. The purchasing process was a breeze. After 8 years in that same location and home, we decided we wanted a quieter area and we finally were able to realize our original dream of having a water view property. 17 years total in CR ... it's working for us," explained one expat living in Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Playa Jaco?

"We live in single family home in a remote and mountainous area. The other homes in the neighborhood are the same. However, the beach closest to us is primarily condos due to the proximity to the water. Being a popular beach town, the condos are privately owned and very popular seasonal rentals," explained one expat living in Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica.

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What is the average cost of housing in Playa Jaco?

If you are thinking about moving to Playa Jaco, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Our housing costs are lower than in the states. Taxes are very inexpensive in CR and the taxes in the states substantially higher. Private home insurance is less expensive in Costa Rica from our experience. It is very hard to determine the average cost of housing. In this area, the closer the location to the beach, the higher the price. Direct waterfront may cost well over $500,000 to the millions depending on amenities. However in a lower profile condo building with less amenities, you can absolutely find something at half that price. Knowing the market is really key here and return on investment must be weighed in if you plan to rent the unit, seasonally or long term," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

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Should I buy or rent a home in Playa Jaco?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Playa Jaco, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"We purchased our own home. This was an easy process as you do not need to be a resident to own property in Costa Rica. However, I would advise anyone whether renting or purchasing property to hire a reputable attorney to assist with the process," said another expat in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

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What do I need to know when buying property in Playa Jaco?

If you live in Playa Jaco, newcomers to Playa Jaco would love to hear your answer to this question.


When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Playa Jaco, they said:

"Know the neighborhoods and price ranges is key! Spend as much time as possible in your desired area or neighborhood. Go at night especially. Is the neighborhood safe, noisy, close to a nightclub? If you want to live in a condominium complex, observe the type of clientele it attracts in their rental pool. And in this case, find out how much turnover there is (daily, weekly, monthly) As Jaco is a tourist town, make sure your visit your desired neighborhood during "high season" and especially Easter and Christmas holidays as the busiest two weeks of the year," said another in Playa Jaco.

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Are foreigners allowed to own property in Playa Jaco?

When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Playa Jaco, they said...

"Absolutely not. Foreigners can purchase property in Costa Rica. You do not need to be a citizen or resident. If you have the money, look and purchase to your content," added another expat who made the move to Playa Jaco.

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What appliances are typically included in a rental?

We asked foreigners in Playa Jaco what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:

"Generally rental properties are fully applianced. Lower scale rental units will have the basics, no dishwasher, possibly only a stove top and not an oven. A washer may be included but generally not a dryer. On the higher end scale, these will be fully appliances with American style refrigerator, stove/oven, dishwasher, microwave and washer/dryer. Be especially observant if the condo complex has a community área with tables, chairs, sink/wáter availability, bathrooms and BBQ grill. This is especially attractive for entertaining friends and family," said another in Playa Jaco (Jaco Beach).

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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