STR investment in Costa Rica ?

5 Replies

Hi guys,

My wife and are are thinking about buying property on the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica (Ballena Area). As I'm doing my research and due diligence, it occurred to me that I should ask if anyone here has had experience with this. Specifically, we like the idea of running the property as an STR.

My wife is a citizen of Costa Rica, although we live in the US. I’m not sure if that opens any doors for us doing business there. One of my concerns is finding a competent and affordable PM to turn over the property each time a guest leaves.

The other thing is financing. I don't want to tie up all my capital there and I understand it's difficult to get a traditional mortgage from a local bank there. Does anyone have experience with "alternative financing" in Costa Rica?

Thanks in advance.

@Jeremy Marquez

Hi Jeremy, 

I can not help you but I am interested in what you end up doing, I am also a US city with a Tica wife and we are planning on moving to CR in about 2 years. My goal is to start with REI in the USA to get experience and then continue investing from CR and in CR. We bought a land that is currently under development in the town we are going to be living (Santo Domingo de Heredia) and we have the builder already but have not done the loan yet (I heard the interest rates over there are crazy high) so I was even considering getting a loan here in the States to fund the project over there (don't know if that's even possible).

BTW I met an Investor that had some Airbnb in one of the beaches and said it was a nightmare (the PM) but maybe he didn't do a good job screening the PM? don't know. 

Anyways I would like to hear more from your project.  Good luck!

JRG

@Jeremy Marquez

The only alternative financing would be seller financing, assuming that you buy an existing property. I've never heard of it being done in Costa Rica. It makes sense since it's mostly a cash business there so a seller would rather sell to somebody who pays cash. Indeed, since interest rates are high in Costa Rica, it'd make no sense for a seller to finance you at a lower rate when he could get cash from another buyer and put his money in the bank, without having the risk of you not paying him. SO you'd have to find a motivated seller. Not easy of you're not on the ground.

@Julio R Gonzalez

A bank from one country will never give a mortgage loan on a property in another country because they're not legally allowed to do so and anyway wouldn't want to do it even if they could. The only exception would be if you give the bank another property as security or any other collateral in the bank's country, which would completely defeat the purpose.

@Mike Lambert that makes total sense. Thanks for all the info!

I will have to get my project paid somehow and I will either get a super high interest mortgage in CR or get creative and I love a challenge so I will let you guys know what I end up doing!

Cheers

JRG