Considerations: What area of the country should I look into for purchasing real estate? Most people relocate to the central valley (which is the area of San Jose, the capital city and its suburbs of Santa Ana and Escazu…Also, Alajuela where international airport is located and the smaller mountainside towns of Heredia, Grecia, Atenas.
There are many reasons to choose these areas. First, you can be close to the major shopping..the Auto mercados which are the American grocery stores, Mas Por Menus Costa Rican style large grocery stores, and the large malls (just like the ones we have in the USA) The largest and nicest one is located in Escazu. Here are the best international restaurants as well as the Mc Donalds and other American fast food chains. Plus there is ample entertainment such as movie theatres, night clubs and other social clubs where all speak English. Then there is the travel clubs, golf and tennis clubs, and much more.
Second: the climate is nice..mild and cool. How cool depends on how high the altitude is where you live. Average year round temperature is around 72-75 degrees F. You dont need heating or air conditioning and this saves you a lot of money.
You probably want to be where you can meet and make new friends (and there are a large number of English speaking people living in these areas. They love to socialize and have formed numerous clubs just for that purpose. Tico Times (English language newspaper list all of these in it’s weekly publication)
Third: There are plenty of homes or condos to rent in these areas. Also if you plan to buy or build you will find many options. Just find a reputable real estate agent and spend as much time as you need looking around. Don’t rush!
Locating on the beach: This is more expensive and the weather is much warmer. You need air conditioning. Plus you are not near the large grocery stores so products are limited and are more expensive due to transporation costs. No movie theatres, etc. If you play a lot of golf, you can find a course on most of the beaches on the Northern and Central Pacific beaches. One thing to keep in mind, the drive from the beaches into the cental valley area is not easy..many of hte roads are in poor repair and it can takes hours, and on week-ends and holidays the roads are very congested.