There’s nothing like a new year to stir up hope and promise. And, after the year we’ve all had, there’s nothing like 2021 to help us look toward the future (literally) and dream of a better tomorrow.
If you’re anything like many New Year’s resolution-ers, your hope and promise, future thoughts and dreams may be pointed toward Costa Rica. Specifically, to moving to Costa Rica from USA.
And luckily, we can help with that.
Cost of Living vs. Quality of Life
One of the most important (and common) questions we get regarding moving to Costa Rica from USA: How much will it cost?
The truth is, the answer is complicated. That’s because lifeis complicated! The monthly cost for a single twentysomething is usually a far cry from the budget for a family of 5 with two kids in private school. And then, there’s location to take into account: Beach living, including at Tamarindo, is highly sought, making it more expensive than life in the mountains or rural Costa Rica.
We could go on. Do you love to dine out? Cook with premium and/or imported ingredients? Travel around Costa Rica? Head home for business or pleasure? Etcetera, etcetera.
So, all that to say – cost of living mostly boils down to you. But, we can help you establish a starting point. We’ll pin it at an absolute minimum of $2,000/month for a comfortable lifestyle for 1; that same lifestyle for families with children in private school ($500-$1,000/month/student), can hit the $5,000-$7,500/month range.
But, it’s not just a number game. Consider quality of life as much as cost of living: Your dollars can stretch to more joy, greater experience and a better life here in Costa Rica. Here, you’ll explore a new culture and spend your free time outdoors (every day of the year!), learn a new language and make friends from all walks of life.
Not to mention, the health benefits of more activity and year-round vitamin D, daily walks on the beach and the Blue Zone lifestyle. The reasons to make the leap are many. So, here’s a taste of life in Tamarindo, Flamingo, and Avellanas – and what you can expect, when moving to Costa Rica from USA:
Costa Rica is just 9-10º from the Equator, which translates to 12+ hour days, warmth and sunshine, every day of the year. It’s true! While the sun sets around the same time every day of the year – around 6:00 p.m. in winter and 6:30 p.m. in summer – but the trade-off is that the weather is just about perfect.
Let’s start with the seasons, since we’re on the topic: Costa Rica may be located in the northern hemisphere, but there’s no real winter here: Instead, we get rainy season (May-November) and dry season (December-April). And, since the dry season – which corresponds to North American winter – is the sunniest, warmest time of year, we call it the summer, or verano. Don’t worry, it’s an easy adjustment to make!
Of course, this is the tropics and therefore, nothing is completely predictable. Leave Tamarindo, and it’s raining on the Caribbean in February. Arenal is wet and windy in March. It can get dip into the 40ºs (7ºC) on the Cerro de la Muerte. So, we have variation. But, as far as Tamarindo goes, we follow the general rules of Costa Rican weather. And it’s glorious.
Read more about Costa Rican weather, month-by-month.
A World Education
Two of the greatest things we can give our children is life experience and a diversified world view. Moving to Costa Rica from USAaffords both.
But, let’s start with the more traditional definition education: schooling. Costa Rica is often lauded for abolishing its army and investing in education. And, for good reason – a Costa Rican public education is solid. But, most public schools are Spanish-only and only a handful offer the International Baccalaureate; the public-school year also runs February-November, which can be tough on expat families.
Private education offers all the benefits of a public education, plus smaller class sizes, English-Spanish bilingual education (sometimes, trilingual!), rigorous educational standards, more one-on-one time and individualized attention, and at some schools, a traditional U.S. school calendar (September-June). In the Tamarindo area, you’ll find a handful of excellent private schools, including CRIA Academy, La Paz Community School, Educarte, and TIDE Academy.
But, of course, education is more than school. Here, your kids will make friends with children from all over the world. They’ll become fluent in Spanish. They’ll put down the electronics and step outside. Their Phys. Ed. classes may even include surfing!
Freedom & Stability
One of those completely unquantifiable, but you’ll-know-it-when-you-experience-it benefits of moving to Costa Rica from USA? The sheer freedom.
We’re not talking so much about the freedom to do whatever you want – although, there’s that, too! – but rather the ebullient joy and vast liberty afforded by more free time, year-round excellent weather, and actually craving the sun-splashed, blue-skied outdoors.
Here, you’ll relish every moment you have to explore. And is just. so. much. to explore! From beaches and surf breaks to waterfalls and white-water rivers, you can fill every free moment of the year, for ten consecutive years, and still have more newness to explore.
And that is, in part, because Costa Rica is a stable democracy – one of the safest in the region. Most days, the biggest problem you’ll have is stopping your car for the cow parade to cross the street.
Moving to Costa Rica from USA: Find a Home + Financing
Ok, ok – so you’re sold. Your heart is, at least. Now, it’s time to work on your brain.
And that often begins with numbers: What does a home in Tamarindo cost – and how will you finance it?
We can help with both. The first, by connecting you with some of the best, most trustworthy, most experienced real estate agents in the Tamarindo area. They’ll not only match your personal needs to available properties, but can help you think toward investment, too: If you don’t plan to reside in Costa Rica, year-round, what property will be the most profitable rental home?
We can also help you with securing home financing, for both a primary residence and second homes. Typically, this is a stumbling block: Non-residents often have trouble securing local financing for a home in Costa Rica, while U.S. citizens frequently run across issues with applying a U.S. loan to a property purchase abroad.
We’re determined: 2021 is not going to be a year of headache! So, the good news: We have experience working in securing financing for homes in Costa Rica, via one of the top home lending companies in the U.S.: registered and licensed through, and in good standing with, NMLS in the US. They’re also registered with SUGEF in Costa Rica.
Here’s a quick overview:
- 30-year fixed rate loans
- Interest rates starting at 7.95%
- Down payments as low as 30%
- Quick closes
- Available to US citizens
- Loan Amounts starting at $100,000
- Loan Amounts up to $1,000,000 (higher w/ approval)
- All mortgaged properties held in a Guaranty Trust
- Cash-Out Refinances
- Primary and 2nd Homes:
- Single family residences (1-4 Units)
Get in Touch
Now? Well, it’s just the right time to take the next step toward your 2021 resolution: Get in touchand we’ll start by pointing you in the right direction: schools and budgeting, real estate and home financing.