As I have mentioned in some of my previous articles and blogs Costa Rica has more American residents proportionately than any other country outside of the United States. Many of these people are of retirement age and choose to purchase a home. There are many types of homes and prices vary according to size, location and the style and age of the structure.
Some retirees buy new homes while others opt for an older home. If you purchase an older home you may be faced with the prospect of doing some major remodeling. While it is difficult to build a home from scratch, remodeling is usually much easier and very, I repeat very affordable.
For example, about a week ago my friend Ernie came over to my house. Ernie has lived here for about 20 years but recently spent time in the States taking care of his elderly mother. Ernesto, as we fondly call him, has had ample experience in the field of home improvement in the U.S. and in Costa Rica. He hadn’t seen my home for a few years since I had remodeled part of it.
First, I showed him my kitchen cabinets. A few years ago while with a couple of clients in the Santa Ana area I saw some incredible cabinetry in a condominium project called Los Jardines. The quality of the work really impressed me so I asked the owner to give me the cabinet maker’s contact information. The guy’s name is Joaquín and he has his furniture business in Santa Ana. To make a long story short, I hired Joaquín to build me a full set of kitchen cabinets and install granite counter tops. Ernie asked me how much I paid for the work. I told him it cost around $4,000. He said the same work would have run at least $25,000 or probably more in the U.S.
Next, I took Ernie upstairs to see my second-floor addition which has a panoramic view of part of the Central Valley on the south side and the mountains of Heredia on the north side. Ernie congratulated me again on the quality of work and asked about the price. He just couldn’t believe that I had paid a little over $10,000 for the addition. He said the same job in the States would have run at least $50,000.
The above are examples of how affordable it can be to remodel a home in Costa Rica. Retirees and others don’t have to purchase a new home here knowing that it is easy and inexpensive to upgrade an older property.