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How to renovate in Costa Rica

Renovating your home in Costa Rica or anywhere else is always a daunting task, whether you are “flipping” a new purchase to quickly put back on the market for profit or modernizing your current living situation.

Here is a checklist for you to follow to get the best results:


  1. Deal with suitable real estate agents

Not all real estate agents are the same and may not have your best interest. Hiring a real estate agent should cost you about 6% commission. Do not sign exclusive contracts as you limit yourself to just their marketing. Gap Real Estate works with open agreements that maximize your marketing efficiency.

  1. Consider the property’s location

Remember the three Ls to real estate: Location, Location, Location. Where your property is located and who your neighbors are will drastically affect your property value. Having the only luxury home on a street of average homes will diminish returns. When renovating, try not to have your finished product exceed 20% value higher than the average home in your area if you want to sell quickly.

  1. Inspect the build quality before purchasing

Never buy sight unseen as you don’t want to get stuck with a “lemon” of a project. Ensure the quality of your new purchase yourself, or hire an expert if you lack confidence. In Costa Rica, you are looking for concrete structural walls reinforced with rebar. Costa Rica is prone to earthquakes, so extra reinforcement is always a plus. Always inspect the plumbing and electrical system, especially with properties built in the 80s or before.

  1. Pick the proper contractor

The most crucial part of the whole operation lies in the hands of your contractor if you aren’t doing everything yourself. You need to be able to work with this person flawlessly, so communication is vital. Everyone may have a recommendation for you but use your filtering process to ensure you receive the quality of work you need.

  1. Budget accordingly

Avoid being a foreigner that’s taken advantage of or also known as “gringo” by researching and comparing building supply prices yourself. If your Spanish language abilities aren’t up to par, having a local buddy assist you with the procedure can be advantageous.

  1. Build and sell at the right time

The most lucrative time for businesses, including real estate, is during the dry season in the beach areas. The dry and green seasons can differ significantly from province to province, so make sure you’ve researched your specific area. Building during the green season can have challenges as the precipitation levels increase.

  1. Maximize your profits

Don’t just think of the interior when renovating your home; the exterior is your first impression, and you only get one chance at a first impression. As silly as it may sound, hiring a landscaper, power washer, and maid to prepare your home before viewing or taking photos can be crucial. Remove the clutter and allow the client to envision their potential new life there.


Follow these steps and set yourself on the right track to accomplish your goals.


Contact Gap Real Estate now!


NOTE:  if you spend $150,000 USD or more on a property, you qualify for your investor category residence.


+506 8500-2085

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