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Costa Rica Raw Land  RSS feed

 
Berni Cam
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We are a couple of very private people looking to buy a very private piece of undeveloped land in Costa Rica for homesteading.

We're looking for land bordering a national park in the Costa Rican highlands (altitude of above 1200m (3600ft)) with it's own plentiful water source. Great for off grid living, year round growing and seed saving. Our budget is $150k, and there are good opportunities out there. However for not a lot more money, the land choices become really interesting: large tracts with a lot of forest and utter privacy.

So we are wondering if there is anyone out there that is interested in pooling resources? Financial transactions and land titles would be individual, we just need to find other folks interested in the same kind of terrain and with similar ideas in terms of living a very private and quiet life with like minded neighbours.

We live in the south of Costa Rica right now, so are well placed to look for land and get the proverbial ball rolling. If you have an interest in knowing more, post to permies or PM me and we can exchange email addresses and take it from there.

Thanks everyone!
 
James Graham
Posts: 64
Location: Cranston, Rhode Island
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Hi Berni,

We are looking into purchasing more land in the South of Costa Rica. We have a finca near San Vito and one in Ojochal. Neither are as isolated as we would like. We have looked at a couple of tracts near Parque Amistad and the Panamanian border.
What particulars are you looking for?

Jim
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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We live in Costa Rica and own about 900 acres. If you wish to talk to me about buying land, let me know.
 
jim spencer
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i could also be interested in this, wont be in costa rica until january probably. if you have properties that you have seen or are aware of and think they have potential, i would be interested in hearing about them. you know .......something to create a little exitement! it seems to me that there is ALOT of gringo money that wants to get out of costa rica, looks like they spent too much thinking that they would be real estate millionaires and now that europe is a mess, as is the u.s. economy, should be some good deals popping up here and there.......
peace, js
 
M Cedric
Posts: 3
Location: Brussels, Belgium
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Hi Bernie (and others),


I'll be in CR this December and January, and plan to look at properties for homesteading.

I feel pooling resources is a good way to go too (we have a similar budget). And independent titles and financial transactions is certainly safer

We share the requirements you listed (altitude, water, undeveloped,...), so I guess it would be good to talk further

I'm all ears about opportunities you are considering for now, and would gladly pass by your place in December to discuss further...


Cheers,
Cedric.

 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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jim spencer wrote:i could also be interested in this, wont be in costa rica until january probably. if you have properties that you have seen or are aware of and think they have potential, i would be interested in hearing about them. you know .......something to create a little exitement! it seems to me that there is ALOT of gringo money that wants to get out of costa rica, looks like they spent too much thinking that they would be real estate millionaires and now that europe is a mess, as is the u.s. economy, should be some good deals popping up here and there.......
peace, js


Yes, I think you are right, there are plenty of deals out there right now. One thing to be clear, aside from one place, we really don't have anything to sell, though we own all the land, it is in use. But, if someone wishes to pick my brain about buying land, I can help you figure out how to get a good deal.

Usually, the last people you want to talk to is real estate people, unless you want to pay twice what you should.
 
Valentine Carstensen
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Land seekers,

Having been in the Southern Pacific Zone for 12 years now I may be able to share some experience(s) with you. It also happens that I purchased 160 acres of land along the way. The property is located within a Kilometer of one of the lowest altitude extensions of Parque La'Amistad between the villages of La Lucha de Potrero Grande and Capri. Although the Altitude is not as high as you expressly are seeking it is around 800 meters altitude and for whatever reason the coffee crops still sell as high altitude coffee by price and label. The Days are a bit warmer than what you will experience in San Vito and the nights are similarly cool or perhaps cooler. The temerature conditions are an effect of the large Coto Brus Valley bottom and the High Cordillera talamanca Mountains in such close proximity to the zone.
As mentioned I've been here while.... Since 26 Years old. In these 12 years I have brought four children with my Costa Rican Spouse Karen, purchased and paid for land, and have tempered my idealism a little bit.
Early on the community solicited donation of a parcel of land for the purpose of constructing a highschool. Now 5 years since that donation we are happy to see that construction has initiated. A donation of land was realized last year for the realization of a comunity cemetary.
The farm was originally purchased in a mixed condition of Primary Forest, Secondary Forest, and Thicket where there were Cafetales, Pastures, and Sugar Cane (7 years abandoned). During my time with control over the farm we let it remain fallow an additional Seven Years and Beginning in 2012 began reclaiming the previosly farmed areas and installing Cacao (5 acres), Cafe (3 acres), some small patches of pasture and miscellaneaous fruit tree species.
Our family lives in San Vito. This is a decision based entirely on education for my part. I do agree with your instinct to distance yourself from major developement and larger population centers. In our circumstance however removing the children to the very rural education environment would be to do them a terrible disservice. I do not now have the recources to remain at home consistently enough to educate them myself and my spouse is not prepared to do so either. The rural schools in Costa Rica receive second class treatment with respect to material and most importantly talent. That said I would otherwise prefer very much to live on the farm.
The farm is in a very nice setting with magnificent views all about. The absence of human noise pollution is divine. it is the last farm on it's respective branch of the Grid and has Public water aqueduct for potable water. There are also springs about for larger scale water use. There is also a nice creek which runs through the center of the farm which could be utilized for hydro electric.
Let me know if you'd like to explore posibilities and pay a visit sometime.

Sincerely,

Val
 
Valentine Carstensen
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I apologize everyone. I forget that message forums remove indentation and thus make different paragraphs one long rant.
 
Elena Ross
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I hve been living in Costa Rica since 1990. We have a small eco-community in Londres. http://directory.ic.org/22059/Esperanza_de_Finca_Amanecer
and Londres is the gateway to Cera Nara and http://www.cerronara.org/ProNara.html has been established to preserve the pristine nature there. MANY of the land owners will work with you, and you don't have to BUY the land. Some just need caretakers, others want partners, others just to share the beauty... vamos a ver. paz y amor, Elena
 
Jacob Freepons
Posts: 33
Location: Costa Rica
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If any of you proposed land buyers are possibly looking for a highly skilled development partner on your properties please let me know... I am in the country now and networking for opportunities.

My post on this is here.
http://www.permies.com/t/27230/WWOOF-organic-farm-volunteers-interns/Permies-home-NorCal-Costa-Rica

@ Fred, I believe you are also in the Northern half of CR? I would really like to talk with about design factors up here and Fish...

J
 
J.D. Ray
Posts: 107
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My wife and I are relatively new to the whole concept of moving to Costa Rica. Generally we like what we see, but it seems a lot more like a dream than a possible reality. The tropical climate, with the opportunity to live in more "normal" (to us, who live in the PNW) climates by climbing into the mountains; the (relative) low cost of living; the ability to grow our own coffee... So, as we read about this, we have questions. Maybe someone here can help us understand things better.

  • We understand how much land it takes to raise crops and livestock here in Oregon. What's the productivity of the land like in Costa Rica? I understand that land quality differs, but in general terms, can we expect to get good productivity out of a (relatively) small parcel of land? Or do we need to be looking at similar-sized plots as we do here in Oregon (over 100 acres) to make farming viable?
  • What sort of cash-viable crops grow in Costa Rica? Here in Oregon, if I were to buy a farm tomorrow, I'd plan for pigs, chickens (meat and eggs), goats (meat and dairy), filberts (a.k.a. hazelnuts), and some perennial row crops like tomatoes and peppers. Additionally, if I had the land, I'd make a timber reserve.
  • What's the cost to build a house in Costa Rica? Are we better off to find someplace with a house already on it, bare land, or find a "fixer" (we have remodeling skills we can apply)?
  • How much can we expect to pay for a manageable-sized farm? Are leases viable, or do we run a significant risk that the landowner will wait until we have infrastructure in place, then boot us out?
  • My income would rely on Internet connectivity. How prevalent is modest high-speed connectivity? How expensive is it?
  • What important questions am I not asking?

  • Thanks for whatever input you can give us. If we were going to move to Costa Rica, it would likely be in the fall. We're not against the idea of partnership, but we're leery of situations that seem rosy up front, yet turn out to be all thorns once you get into the thick of things.

    Cheers.

    J.D.
     
    Berni Cam
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    Hi everyone! Thanks for all of your great ideas, suggestions, and questions. Just wanted to update on a potentially great property we came across during our search:

    www.intertica.com/rural/tahira.htm

    There is more and pics here:

    http://www.rainforestproperties.com/listing--all-organic--15-acres%3Cbr%3E-delicious-water-with-old-growth-forest-117.html

    I assume the price difference between the pages are due to the fact that the first page is for sale by the owner directly and the second page is hosted by a real estate agent.

    What do you think?
     
    Berni Cam
    Posts: 9
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    Berni Cam wrote:Hi everyone! Thanks for all of your great ideas, suggestions, and questions. Just wanted to update on a potentially great property we came across during our search:

    http://www.intertica.com/rural/tahira.htm

    There is more and pics here:

    http://www.rainforestproperties.com/listing--all-organic--15-acres%3Cbr%3E-delicious-water-with-old-growth-forest-117.html

    I assume the price difference between the pages are due to the fact that the first page is for sale by the owner directly and the second page is hosted by a real estate agent.

    What do you think?
     
    Jacob Freepons
    Posts: 33
    Location: Costa Rica
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    J.D. Ray wrote:My wife and I are relatively new to the whole concept of moving to Costa Rica. Generally we like what we see, but it seems a lot more like a dream than a possible reality. The tropical climate, with the opportunity to live in more "normal" (to us, who live in the PNW) climates by climbing into the mountains; the (relative) low cost of living; the ability to grow our own coffee... So, as we read about this, we have questions. Maybe someone here can help us understand things better.

  • We understand how much land it takes to raise crops and livestock here in Oregon. What's the productivity of the land like in Costa Rica? I understand that land quality differs, but in general terms, can we expect to get good productivity out of a (relatively) small parcel of land? Or do we need to be looking at similar-sized plots as we do here in Oregon (over 100 acres) to make farming viable?
  • What sort of cash-viable crops grow in Costa Rica? Here in Oregon, if I were to buy a farm tomorrow, I'd plan for pigs, chickens (meat and eggs), goats (meat and dairy), filberts (a.k.a. hazelnuts), and some perennial row crops like tomatoes and peppers. Additionally, if I had the land, I'd make a timber reserve.
  • What's the cost to build a house in Costa Rica? Are we better off to find someplace with a house already on it, bare land, or find a "fixer" (we have remodeling skills we can apply)?
  • How much can we expect to pay for a manageable-sized farm? Are leases viable, or do we run a significant risk that the landowner will wait until we have infrastructure in place, then boot us out?
  • My income would rely on Internet connectivity. How prevalent is modest high-speed connectivity? How expensive is it?
  • What important questions am I not asking?

  • Thanks for whatever input you can give us. If we were going to move to Costa Rica, it would likely be in the fall. We're not against the idea of partnership, but we're leery of situations that seem rosy up front, yet turn out to be all thorns once you get into the thick of things.

    Cheers.

    J.D.


    Hi JD. I will try to give what input I can...
    I highly recommend coming to Costa Rica if you have not been before and spend at least 3 months and 6 if you can. Getting a feel for the culture, the climate(s) and the community is a high priority. In addition I would recommend not buying anything on this first trip. It is easy to fall in love with CR and the dream of living here. Observation is the basis for all good designs, in life and land. Partnerships can be great but anything pushy and without a long intro period is not a good idea. I have lived in the PNW and have found several ares here that feel very similar. Cooler temps, big trees, etc.
    Getting clear on what your goals and needs are would be a good practice. Growing your own coffee is one thing, running a large farm will be another as I suspect you know. In general the soil here is less fertile, though there are exceptions and using permie techniques that fertility can be improved. I always suggest that a thorough analysis of your market(s) is critical. Many ticos here have cows, chx, etc. They wont really be a market for you and subsidized food in the markets is cheap, really cheap. There is a growing awareness of organics and this market is mostly to the retiree gringo community. A diverse and and well planned farm will support your family and the excess will find a market, which one is the question. CR is an amazing place to start food and agroforestry projects. Biomass builds quickly and animal systems can be integrated with ease. Timber crops will be valuable in the longer term of project.

    - Housing can be dirt cheap... there is the most amazing clay here and bamboo is abundant. You can hire a contractor and get a home built to spec just like you would find in the states for a similar price...
    Most farms will have a functional tico house that can always be upgraded.

    - Farm pricing is a big variable, depending on in place systems, location, etc. CR land is not cheap per se and as always you get what you pay for. There are very affordable places though with good infrastructure bases that could be developed into permaculture farms very economically. Leasing is a possibility but as with all things here there are scammers and awareness is needed.

    - Internet connectivity and cell phones work great here. prices vary based on your needs for speed and hardware.

    - What important questions am I not asking? Have I been to Costa Rica? Do I have the will and funds to leave life in the states behind? Are you open to adventure and new cultures?
    I am sure there are more to ask...

    If you are interested I can advise you on some areas and farms to visit that may fit your ideals.
    Happy dreaming and Pura Vida!

     
    Jacob Freepons
    Posts: 33
    Location: Costa Rica
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    Berni Cam wrote:
    Berni Cam wrote:Hi everyone! Thanks for all of your great ideas, suggestions, and questions. Just wanted to update on a potentially great property we came across during our search:

    http://www.intertica.com/rural/tahira.htm

    There is more and pics here:

    http://www.rainforestproperties.com/listing--all-organic--15-acres%3Cbr%3E-delicious-water-with-old-growth-forest-117.html

    I assume the price difference between the pages are due to the fact that the first page is for sale by the owner directly and the second page is hosted by a real estate agent.

    What do you think?


    Hi Berni. I was recently in the San Vito area and really liked it. Beautiful and great climate. It looks like this place will be nice and private as per your intention. Depending on your development plans there seems to be a good amount of resources on the land, good soil, food forestry and water.

    I am interested to hear how things go...
     
    thomas shank
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    Pura Vida,

    I have lived in Costa Rica since 1988 on the central Pacific coast. Met my Brazilian wife there when I was building my first home which we ran as a B&B in the mountains. During the last decade I purchased over 2000 acres along the coast, developing and built on some of it but basically letting nature take over the rest. We have recently moved to Brazil to be closer to my wife's family and are currently building a new home there. In the meantime we a constructing another B&B in the mountains above Parrita midway between Quepos and Jaco. We still have over a thousand acres there at very reasonable prices. The price of the 15 acre parcel listed in the post above in my opinion is very high for a farm which is 10 acres forest (montana) and 5 acres usable. The price was $2.25/m2 but for usable area it comes to $ 6.75/m2. The $2.25/m2 for usable farm land is very high, the $ 6.75 is quite frankly out of the question. My property is located in the Parrita river valley which is some of the best farm land in the country and depending on the size of the farm it can be purchased per meter for 45 cents to a dollar. There is also residual value as most of the property overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Take a minute and check out the area. First link is from my B&B I sold and the next is the listings of my properties on goswap.org. located in the same area. The most important thing to remember when investing in Costa Rica where sales comps are not made public is to find out what property is actually selling for. If one buys property at a good price you can make some mistakes along the way and still come out alright. If one pays too much he can do everything perfect but at the end of the day will come out upside-down. Give me a shot if you are interested at shank32095@gmail.com

    pura vida,

    Thomas Shank

    http://www.vrbo.com/396098

    http://goswap.org/index.php?option=com_cmsrealty&Itemid=158
     
    Keira Oakley
    Posts: 79
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    I have been thinking about CR...Never been there, but planning to visit in a few month or so. I am from northern Europe, but have plans to move to a warm, beautiful place, where there are a lot of fruits and good growing possibilities and wild nature. Been a bit in S E Asia, but it's not really possible to own land, also the language and culture are not easy to get into... How is it in CR, can a foreigner own land? Do you need to do visa runs as in Asia, or can you stay in the country all year? Costa Rica seems really like the tropical place I'm looking for... how are the everyday costs? Is it a cheap/expensive country to live in?
     
    Cheri Lynn
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    Hello, we have a community with a small but growing permaculture farm, and may possibly have a non-profit organization set up a school here for permaculture, including natural building techniques in the tropics. The community has sold some 17 lots and already has 12 houses built in a modern-balinese style, and there are three lots left for sale. Two of those lots in particular offer a lot of opportunities for food forests, as they were previously used for cattle and therefore do not have a lot of tree canopy. The community is called Alazan and is located halfway between Jaco and Manuel Antonio just inland from the small town of Parrita. We offer lovely views of the Parrita river valley, and some lots have views out to the ocean and Manuel Antonio. Check it out and don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions: alazancostarica.com. We are really hoping to bring more people in who are interested in sustainable living!
     
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