Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Pool Designs for a Caribbean Home

Pool Designs for a Caribbean Home

Pool Designs for a Caribbean Home

Pool Designs for a Caribbean Home

The only place to put a swimming pool in the Caribbean is outdoors!  Unconstrained and unconfined, you can place your pool anywhere under the sky, on the sea, a river or the good green earth!

When planning the swimming pool for your new Caribbean home, there will be design and budgetary decisions.

When it comes to style and design, choose how big a part of your lifestyle the pool is going to play.  In cooler climes the warm kitchen or a roaring fire in the living area is the heart of the home, in the tropical Caribbean a cool well designed pool can be the heart of the home.

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5 Luxury Homes in Central America

5 Luxury Homes in Central America

Deciding in which Central American country you would like to live and spend some or all of your year, requires very careful thought and planning! Read our blog on 5 Steps on to Buying Caribbean Real Estate.

5 Luxury Homes in Central America

5 Luxury Homes in Central America

To give you an idea of available luxury property for sale, we briefly compare four very different Central American countries and showcase 5 different properties in Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico.

Nicaragua is a country of lakes and volcanoes and will be the site of the second trans-americas canal bringing shipping from the Caribbean through to the Pacific.

This will bring prosperity and jobs and Nicaragua will change, in the same way that Panama adapted to its world class status over the last hundred years as a result of its Canal.

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Living the Dream in Costa Rica

Living the Dream in Costa Rica

Do you dream of living abroad? If so, what’s holding you back from pursuing that dream?

Living the Dream in Costa Rica

Living the Dream in Costa Rica

Many people think they need to wait until retirement, when the kids are out of the house, to pursue that foreign living experience. In fact, doing it with your children just might be the most rewarding, enriching experience of your life…and theirs.

In September 2005 my husband and I packed up our kids—then ages 7, 8 and 10—and moved from the ‘burbs of Wisconsin to the jungles of Costa Rica. We came for a two-year adventure and, 4.5 years later, we remain here for the lifestyle.  We are living the Dream in Costa Rica. Continue reading

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Break Free and Thrive in the Latin Tropics

Which is the Best Caribbean Destination along the coast of Central America?

There is really nothing quite like the first time you step foot on a white sand beach and swim in the turquoise ocean. The warm water and powdery shore can spoil you for all other kinds of beaches in the future. The gorgeous beaches are one of the many reasons why people choose to relocate to the Caribbean coast of Central America.

A different flavor of cuisine and culture is another. Spicy coconut seafood, reggae music, calypso dancing, and the laid-back vibes tempt people from all over to fall in love with this incredible part of the world.

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Changes to Costa Rica Immigration Policies

Costa Rica Changes Their Immigration Model

Several Caribbean countries offer residency in exchange for good police records and proof that you will be contributing to the local economy. An acceptable proof in some cases is a guaranteed monthly income ie a pension income or other guaranteed income.

Costa Rica Immigration

Costa Rica is one of these countries. However, on March 1st 2010 they will be changing their immigration model, and the minimum income that was set at US$600 per month to qualify for the ‘pensionada’ residency status will be increased to US$1000. There is also a 250% increase on the minimum for the ‘rentista’ residency – which will be increasing from US$1000 per month to US$2500.

Apparently this is due to the inflating numbers of migrants coming into Costa Rica from El Savador, Nicaragua, USA and Canada. Costa Rica has one of the highest levels of migrants with 1 in 10 of the population being from another land.

Costa Rica now feels that it has to get a hold on it’s immigration situation and has started to add new residency stickers to the passports of 16,000 people who are entitled to stay in Costa Rica. There will also be more focus on investigating new marriages to understand whether they are based on love or passport acquisition. All legal migrants will also be expected to give a contribution to the national social security. The two residential statuses above do not allow migrants to be employed for work in Costa Rica but it will allow them to start their own business which can include rental income from properties. The residents who already have their papers, will not be expected to suddenly come up with a much larger income though.

Some pensioners can still afford the US$1000 limit, but it will stop some others from being able to live in the country and they could look towards Panama and other countries where a lower level of income is accepted.

Rumor has it that the government of Belize, whose current policy for retirees is an income of US$2000 per month, will shortly be upping their ante too. They have almost reached their self imposed limit of 20,000 new residents. Read about Belize’s Retirement Program here.

Small countries need to protect their resources for their own people, otherwise resources and the demand for them can get out of balance. But it also makes me wonder if one day, these small countries will completely close their doors to newcomers unless they qualify through marriage or employment – as the bigger countries usually insist. If you do want to move to a Caribbean country, it might be worth getting your foot in the door ahead of the game.

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Costa Rica Properties

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica properties are getting a lot of interest from potential buyers. Costa Rica is the flavour of the month with Google’s search results for ‘costa rica real estate’ with up to 90,500 searches for this term per month.

According to Costa Rican newspapers and realtors, there is ‘guarded optimism’ that the valley of the economic crisis is on it’s way behind and out of view for real estate affairs.

A program named Happy Planet Index, which was introduced by the New Economics Foundation – measures ‘happiness’ in terms of human well-being and satisfaction and the environmental impact caused by the country. Costa Rica was No 1 of 143 countries measured in 2009. That isn’t an easy success I’m sure. The country is planning and working it’s way to becoming the first country to be ‘carbon neutral’. This is planned for 2021.

A 1987 Nobel Peace Prize is held by the president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, for his work towards bringing peace to Latin America when it was going through a period of turmoil. He has also changed the economic focus of the country onto a more modern agricultural focus (flowers and exotic fruits) and tourism as opposed to coffee and bananas. However, production of gourmet coffee beans is bringing an income for the country.

That isn’t all for Costa Rica to bring to the party though…. in terms of tourism, Costa Rica is known for it’s great surfing opportunities and it’s ecotourism. It rates 2nd in the Caribbean, just behind Barbados and 1st out of the Latin American countries on the scale of attractiveness for developing a travel and tourism business (Travel & Tourism Competitive Report – 2009).

With all of these factors combined, does this mean that Costa Rica is one of the first to emerge from the world’s downturn with it’s real estate focus…? We will have to wait and see, but it seems that Costa Rica properties are under the spotlight for investors right now.

If you would like to know more about Costa Rica properties, please visit our page on Costa Rica Properties or contact our sales agents.

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Nature Air – Costa Rica's Carbon Neutral Airline

Costa Rica’s Carbon Neutral Airline

A few months ago I wrote about the problem of airline emissions being worse in the tropics. I’d love to be reporting to you now that things have changed, the problem is solved and we can all live happily ever after but unfortunately not. Climate change is real and a huge challenge for the Caribbean and the entire world.

However, the optimist in me still wants a positive story so I’m posting about one airline who is actually addressing the climate change issue head on and striving to make a difference. Nature Air in Costa Rica has been a ‘zero emissions’ airline since 2004. No, they are not running their planes on air but they do offset their emissions by paying local landowners to preserve threatened portions of the rainforest. According to the company they have saved about 500 acres in the Osa Peninsula which has equated to an offset of 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
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