Why You Should Never Buy a House in Costa Rica

Please, don’t buy a house in Costa Rica, Ecuador, or some second or third-world country because you’ve fantasized about moving to a tropical paradise.

Just don’t do it!

Countless of people fall for this mistake because they want to retire overseas, have been to some conference and now are convinced that they’re ready to make the move.

Arrrgh! I’m cringing here. Noooo!

First, if you want to live abroad, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with that. But know that you’ll save yourself lots of trouble if you just rent.

Before buying, you’re advised by “experts” to spend at least six months in the country to decide if you like it.

But do you really think that six months is going to tell you everything you need to know about a country, about all the intricacies, the red tape, the cultural difference, and the TRUE crime situation? No, it’s not nearly enough.

So rent.

Rent for years if you have to!

You’re not “throwing away your rent payment when you could buy.” This is complete nonsense and is especially false when it comes to buying abroad.

The truth is that buying real estate in Costa Rica (or other “foreign” countries) is not for the faint of heart. Lots of things can and WILL go wrong that you can’t even imagine.

You don’t have the smallest idea how to truly get around in that culture until you spend at least 5 or 6 years there.

Many people realize at some point that it’s not for them and they decide to go home. But they’re stuck with a house that can take years to sell in a downturn.

If you just rent, you avoid all of those problems. And you avoid worse problems too.

If you fancy living in Costa Rica, first just get an AirBNB or something on Craigslist. Try a location for a few months. Then if you still like it, you can try other locations in the same manner.

After at least a year of doing this, you can decide to “settle” somewhere if you feel this country is for you. Then you can get into no more than a 6-month lease at a time.

You can consider buying once you’ve spent 5 or 6 years in the country and you’re 100% convinced that it’s where you want to spend the rest of your life.

I still see too many people getting burned because they bought property in Costa Rica or Ecuador.

Yes, there are a few exceptions of people who are happy with their decision to buy property there. But remember they’re the exception — not the rule.

I’m writing this from my AirBNB on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I’m spending a couple of weeks.

And even though I love Hawaii and would easily imagine spending more time here, I would never buy property until I’ve spent a long time renting and was completely sure.

A good alternative to this is spending as much time as you want in beautiful places without committing to any of them. And you can do it for much less than you think!

For the details, check out my program “How to Travel the World for Free.”


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This version has been updated for 2016 and contains over 2 hours of new material, including brand-new programs on “How to Get to Hawaii” and “A Trip to Italy,” showing you exactly how to plan a trip to those destinations using the system!