Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
Building strategies for making a home in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica you can build your retirement dream house, if you so desire, since land, labor and materials are inexpensive. Costs depend on location, materials and the size of the home you want to build. A general rule of thumb in the Lake Arenal region is that building costs run from around $60 per square foot to around $80 per square foot, depending on the materials that you decide to use.

If you do decide to build a home on your land, there are several steps required. First, conduct a preliminary study, which should be completed before you buy the land. Also, be sure to see if your lot has access to water, drainage, electricity and telephone services. Arenal Lake Partners will assist you in this, making sure that you are not buying a piece of land which is non-buildable.

While a newcomer can buy an existing American-style home, others have evolved several strategies after buying a property that is often several acres with a typical Tico home. Though there are quite nice Tico homes that immediately provide the comfortable living spaces that North Americans are used to, the Tico home usually is quite small overall with small rooms inside. Even on view properties, they are usually oriented to the road while the view side of the house may have a small-windowed kitchen, a laundry room, and/or storage room. The inhabitants relax by sitting in rocking chairs on the front veranda facing the road. The veranda often functions as a carport on one side of the house.

Some buyers live in the existing house while building a new house on the large property. Others rent while the Tico house they've bought is extensively remodeled or even rebuilt. A third method several buyers are currently using is to continue to live at home in the US or other country while a property manager or contractor oversees construction or reconstruction for them. Of course, one can also rent at Arenal while new house is built on previously vacant land. There are many lots for sale as well as many properties of a few to many acres.

There are a few homes currently for sale in gated communities as well as lots where you may have a home built, either to your own design or to the developer's design.

Whatever you choose to do, we can also help you with the process of building legally with awareness of the environmental impact of your plans. Such awareness would apply not only to your decision as to what property to buy but also to actual construction. New construction requires more governmental oversight than does reconstruction of existing buildings. We can inform you about the several governmental entities who are tasked with protecting the Arenal environment.

US Phone:(318) 239-9990 Costa Rica Phone: +506-2694-5000   
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." - John Wooden, UCLA
Founded by a Broker previously licensed in Colorado and Washington