New York Times Article About Real Estate in Dominical, Costa Rica

Photo

Moshen and Julie Sadeghi own an 8,000-square-foot Spanish colonial and Mediterranean-style estate with a guest house and private theater on a plateau overlooking the bay in Dominical, Costa Rica. Credit Julie Sadeghi

DOMINICAL, Costa Rica — On the two-lane road running along the jungle-covered coastline, it is easy to miss the steep turnoff for this tiny town, a rocky unpaved road leading to a row of open-air restaurants, hostels and surf shops.

For years, property industry observers predicted that Dominical would be the next boomtown in Costa Rica, after the coastal highway was paved four years ago, connecting the area to the north. But it hasn’t happened.

A few small condominium developments peek out of the lush jungle canopy on the steep hillside, but there has been little of the mass development found on other parts of the coast. The electricity still goes out regularly and most of the restaurants do not require shoes.

Big waves remain Dominical’s primary attraction, drawing surfers from around the world.

“It really hasn’t changed that much,” said Moshen Sadeghi, a resident of Minneapolis, who first started coming here 16 years ago with his wife, Julie. “It’s a surfing town. Kids come here when they have money to spend. They just want to surf.”

The Sadeghis’ driveway is a bumpy, winding three-quarter-mile trail up a steep hillside, best accessible by a vehicle with four-wheel drive. Their home, finished in 2010, is a sprawling 8,000-square-foot Spanish colonial and Mediterranean-style estate with a guest house and private theater on a plateau overlooking the Dominical bay. The surrounding jungle is home to howler monkeys, three-toed sloth and loud toucans.

Before the coast highway was paved, visitors to the Dominical area needed to take a long and often treacherous mountain route from San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Or they would need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to follow the rocky road from Quepos, 45 miles to the north, a journey that could include fording several rivers, depending on the time of year.

“It would take one and a half hours to get here from Quepos, it was so bad,” Mr. Sadeghi said.

Home prices in Dominical soared from 2003 to 2007 in anticipation of the road’s completion and as the building of an international airport nearby was discussed. Several developers announced projects, touting the region’s rugged coastline and secluded beaches.

With interest growing, a two-bedroom villa with a pool close to the ocean sold for approximately $450,000 in 2007, compared with $275,000 in 2005, agents say. (Costa Rica properties are typically listed in dollars.)

But the market stalled in 2008, in the wake of the economic turmoil in the United States. The majority of international buyers in Dominical are Americans, who mostly disappeared after the crisis.

When the paved road opened from Quepos in 2010, after years of delays, it had little effect on the market. “Bad timing,” said Joshua Kanter, an agent with Properties in Costa Rica, a real estate agency. In 2010, “you could make an offer for 30 percent off and get it.”

Today the half-finished shells of projects started in the boom years can be spotted on the hillsides. But sales are picking up, agents say.

“The fire sales are not as numerous now,” said Dave West, co-owner of the Re/Max real estate franchise in Dominical. They sold more property in 2014 than in any of his previous 10 years, closing five deals, compared with two in 2013.

Prices are still depressed but are returning to precrisis levels, Mr. West said. Buildable lots for single homes are also popular, with land prices still about 40 percent below peak levels, he said.

“The people buying lots are 30 to 40 years old,” he said. “They’re reserving their spot for 15 years from now.”

Several small developments are under construction, including the first units in Playa Hermosa Villas, a development planned to include 26 villas and 12 condos, a few miles south of Dominical.

“I’m all in right now,” said Robert Ruggieri, the developer of Playa Hermosa Villas. He said Dominical was “going to go from a little surfer town to a mini-Guanacaste,” referring to the fast-growing region on Costa Rica’s northwest, where Four Seasons and Marriott hotels anchor luxury developments.

Mr. Ruggieri bought nine acres for the project on the coastal highway in 2009 for $700,000, which he estimates was about 50 percent below the price three years earlier, at the height of the market. Prices in his project start at $339,000 for a 1,389-square-foot villa and range to $419,000 for a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom unit with a two-car garage.

Dominical is starting to attract more upscale travelers, beyond the surfers and ecotourists, Mr. Ruggieri said. He has forsaken the Mediterranean style popular in the area for stark modernistic units, with large windows, chrome accents and square edges.

“I took a gamble,” he said. “I think the new contingent is going modern.”

Some local residents are skeptical that Dominical will ever see a wave of mass development. The mountainous coastline makes it difficult to build. And there is little land available along the narrow beachfront, where development is restricted by the government.

“There is only so much that can be built,” said Julie Stewart, a real estate agent based in Austin, Texas.

Last April, Ms. Stewart and her husband, Jeff Windham, bought a house outside Dominical on a four-acre lot, a short drive from the coast. They paid $350,000 for the 2,000-square-foot house with three bedrooms and an infinity pool, after embracing the “relaxed feel” of the area.

“We loved the fact that it didn’t have all the resorts,” Ms. Stewart said.

She would like to see a few more restaurants and small hotels in the area. And it would be nice to see continued improvements in the power grid. But she’s not eager to see the large development found in many Central America beach spots.

“If this stays nice and small and doesn’t have any huge resorts coming in, it would be great,” Ms. Stewart said.

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International Real Estate Listings – My Podcast Interview

Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

by Taylor White

The IREL Podcast by Taylor White > Dominical Costa Rica real estate > Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

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I had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Joshua Kanter from Properties in Costa Rica in Dominical Costa Rica – and we will get down and dirty with the Dominical real estate scene – and have you coming away wanting to investigate it’s local property market further – or, cross it off your short list entirely and continue listening.

Right now from Josh you will learn:

  • Why he passed on the more well known expat communities of Jaco and Tamarindo – and why he believes you could do the same.
  • What constitutes properties located inside the Maritime zone – and then how those are different than fee simple titled properties.
  • Where the heck Dominical is even located on a map of Costa Rica – and what lies all around it.
  • The exact types of properties Josh is recommending today – and explains what “suitcase ready” means and how you can profit.
  • Breaks down strategies to get money together to buy Dominical real estate – and shares data on what percentage of buyers pay with cold hard cash.

Josh’s contact details:Joshua Kanter Discusses Real Estate in Dominical Costa Rica

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Paradise Pic of the Week

This picture of a beautiful end to the day in Lagunas, Dominical was taken from our back porch.  If you have not seen a sunset in person on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, then you are missing out!

#paradise pic of the week - #sunsetCheck out our Dominical Property Facebook page and “Like Us” for more updates and Paradise Pics of the Week!!

Paradise Pic of the Week

Enjoy the first ever Dominical Property “Paradise Pic of the Week”.  This was taken at Playa Ventanas about 30 minutes south of Dominical. The beach is famous for its 2 caves that at low tide you can walk into and at high tide spit mist.

Plus a bonus picture for our Blog readers of one of the Ventanas, which means “windows”.

Check out our Dominical Property Facebook page and “Like Us” for more updates and Paradise Pics of the Week!!

The Local Fish Stand

The coastal beach towns of Costa Rica all enjoy the freshest sea food and everyone has their favorite local fish stand.  In the Dominical area it depends if you want whole fish or already cut filets.

Fish Shack at Playa Dominicalito

For whole fish you can go down to the beach in Dominicalito from the La Parcela Restaurant entrance and then drive to the right once you hit the beach.  There you will find a little shack where most of the fishermen come in with their daily catch.

Whole Red Snapper

Here you can buy whole fish from the same place many of the re-sale vendors and restaurants buy it from for only a few bucks per fish.

Fish Stand in La Macha Parking Lot

If filleting fish is not you thing, then you can buy the already cut filets from the fish stand in the La Macha parking lot.  This is right across from the La Parcela entrance in Dominicalito.

Sushi Grade Tuna Steaks

Here you can buy fresh sushi grade Tuna (Atun), Mahi-Mahi (Dorado), Sea Bass (Corvina), or Red Snapper (Pargo) all for around only $10 per kg or 2.2lbs.  They usually have Shrimp (Camarones) and sometimes even Lobster (Langosta), but both of those are more expensive.

So if you live in the Dominical area or are just visiting; fire up the BBQ and enjoy some fresh fish tonight!!

Costa Rica Offers Baby Boomers a Second Chance at Retirement

This is Dominical Property’s first Press Release and it got a very positive response and even made Yahoo! News and many other online news outlets:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/costa_rican_real_estate/baby_boomers/prweb10102981.htm

Costa Rica is a natural choice for Baby Boomers due to its year round temperate climate, lower cost of living, advanced medical sector, and a short flight from most of the continental U.S. Joshua Kanter of United Country – Properties in Dominical discusses current retirement trends in Baby Boomer retirees.

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica (PRWEB) November 06, 2012

Costa Rica has historically been a retirement haven for ex-pats and will be one of the top destinations for Baby Boomers to retire. The Southern Zone and Playa Dominical area are fast becoming more popular with retirees due to unparalleled natural beauty, laid back healthy lifestyle, easier access, plus convenient hospitals and clinics. Dominical Property, S.R.L. is a local real estate and property management expert that specializes in making the transition to Costa Rica as smooth as possible.

Baby Boomers Facts
-76.4 million Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964 (U.S. Census)
-A Baby Boomer turns 60 every 8.5 seconds (U.S. Census)
-More than 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire every day for the next 19 years (Pew Research Center)

According to Mary Furlong’s book, Turning Silver into Gold the top 3 financial concerns of Baby Boomers are as follows:
1.) Having enough money to retire
2.) Overall financial well being
3.) Having enough money for health care

So what will Baby Boomers look for in a retirement destination? Basically somewhere they can make their savings last and enjoy an active lifestyle, while staying fit and healthy.

The quality of life in Costa Rica is some of the best in the World and it has been ranked #1 on the Happy Planet Index (New Economic Foundation) for two consecutive years. The medical care in Costa Rica is also some of the best in Central America; as many travel here specifically for medical tourism. Most all fruits and produce are grown locally; meat and poultry are fresh; and seafood is plentiful.

Costa Rica has many micro-climates, but more and more Baby Boomers are exploring the Southern Pacific Zone. This area is best known for Playa Dominical, which was 18th on CNN Go’s list of the “World’s 50 Best Beaches”. The Playa Domincal area offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, an abundance of wildlife, miles of secluded beaches, numerous waterfalls, and tons of outdoor activities from adventurous surfing, hiking, rafting, and zip-lining to more relaxing hobbies such as; bird watching, beach combing, fishing, and whale watching.

The Dominical-Uvita area, also known as Costa Ballena, has experienced recent growth and popularity due to the new Caldera Highway and paving of the Coastal Highway from Quepos; now only a 3 hour drive from San Jose. Also the Quepos Regional Airport is 30 minutes from Dominical and services daily commuter flights from San Jose.

Costa Ballena has all the amenities a retiree wants in casual and fine dining restaurants, banks, shopping, supermarkets, mechanics, pharmacies, and clinics. There are also 3 hospitals with in 30 to 45 minute drive in Quepos, San Isidro, and a new hospital in Cortes. The city of San Isidro is 40 minutes from Dominical and is one of the fastest growing cities in Central America. Modern conveniences mixed with a laid back lifestyle and lush rain forest surroundings make this one of the most desirable areas of Costa Rica.

Joshua Kanter of Dominical Property, S.R.L. (http://www.dominicalproperty.com/) says, “Our most common clients are those nearing retirement looking for a second home to eventually live here full or part time. Or those seeking ocean view property to build their dream home. Plus the Southern Zone still has very affordable real estate prices compared to other regions of Costa Rica real estate and this allows an investor’s dollar to go a long way.” He continues, “We have also seen an increased trend in retirees renting long term prior to a purchase in order to make sure the Costa Rica lifestyle is truly for them.”

Dominical Property, S.R.L assists Baby Boomers in retirement relocation with a wide array of Dominical real estate listings for sale and rent. The company can also manage a second home, recommend real estate and residency attorneys, and help facilitate the building process. The Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica is becoming a World class retirement destination and allows Baby Boomers a second chance at retirement.

Contact:
Joshua Kanter, Agent
United Country – Properties in Costa Rica
Website: http://www.DominicalProperty.com
Blog: http://www.DominicalProperty.WordPress.com/
Toll Free: 1-888-679-1227