Costa Rica Mountain Homes
Costa Rica Mountain Homes

      NOW is the time to Buy  

                Costa Rica!


Thats right the Costa Rica Market is now in a up turn and there are still some bargins before the prices start to raise, because of the  boost is the high demand from foreigners. 

Foreign investors buoy the housing market

US buyers are driving up property demand in Costa Rica. There are also an increasing number of buyers from Canada, France, Germany, and Belgium.

“Higher median prices in the USA are now driving buyer interest in higher priced and luxury real estate properties, particularly for ocean view, beachfront, and great mountain views such as in Grecia.

Buyers from hot markets in the USA like California and Florida see Costa Rica as offering great value in comparison to similar beach real estate in the United States. We still have luxury condos for under $200 per square foot, pricing that is rare in the USA. A lot of the retires are going for the cooler mountains of Costa Rica.

Aside from its scenic beauty and lower cost of living, many Costa Ricans, foreign investors and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) are increasingly attracted mainly because foreigners are entitled to the same ownership rights as Costa Rican citizens, and there are no property taxes and no residency restrictions.

Where  in the world can foreigners come to a country with no soldiers, a government that caters to investors and fee-simple real estate with no restrictions and  foreigners are entitled to the same ownership rights as Costa Rican citizens.

Most foreign homebuyers pay in cash, since mortgages are not easy to obtain and mortgage interest rates are relatively higher than in their home countries.

Residential construction is really booming

During the first half of 2016,  construction was up 23.2% (by number of buildings) and by 21.7% (in area) from the same period last year, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos de Costa Rica (INEC).

During the first half of 2016:

  • The number of residential building permits rose by 31.6% to 14,707 units from the same period last year, according to the INEC.
  • The area of residential building permits increased 31% to 1.38 million square meters (sq. m.) over the same period.
  • The number of residential building permits increased 35.8% to CRC351.35 billion (US637.8 million).


In 2015, construction work increased 8.2%, rising in all provinces. Limon registered the biggest rise of 17.4% in 2015, followed by San Jose with a 15.2% increase.

Central Valley has the highest number of developments underway, especially in places such as San José, Alajuela and Heredia, according to The Association of Engineers and Architects. In fact the pre-crisis construction boom has made houses more affordable. Buyers can have a decent house for as low as US$50,000 up to US$250,000 in Tico neighborhoods. Low-end condominiums sell at a minimum amount of US$150,000 in Ezcazú and Santa Ana. The eastern part of San Jose had seen a construction boom in recent years.

No matter if you like cool or hot weather Costa Rica has it all. Most or our friends chose Grecia for its cooler climate and go to the beach for the day or week-end. The mountains give you a great tan without the hot air and high a/c electric bill. No need for A/C in the mountains.  The time is right to buy in Costa Rica.



Why Grecia, Costa Rica Real Estate?

What Luxury Living  in the Mountains of Grecia Offers !

 Living and buying Real Estate in Grecia, Costa Rica.

One of the major factors for many expats who choose to live in Grecia is the affordability of its quality real estate; safety, peaceful; cooler, minim traffic and most all your needs are  right here in this town. Only 35 mins to the SJO Airport,  Grecia has a hospital with the major Hospital Cima only 50 mins away. It also has a mall, Walmart a few large hardware stores, pharmacies, department stores, great downtown area and movie theater. Grecia has one of the best open Fresh Markets around.

Grecia in comparison to the more crowded towns of Escazu, Santa Ana,  does not have that American city congestion or crime. You might say, Grecia is a little more laid back with a smaller town feeling and  luxury comfort. It is for mid age couples, artist, writers, off the beaten path, privacy  that want a more country feeling. Downtown is only 15 mins away and parking places are not hard to find. Many new cuisine restaurants and even a PaPa Johns Pizza has open in Grecia.

Grecia has several communities and neighborhoods that have become popular with the expat community including El Cajon, San Miguel and San Isidro. San Miguel is often referred to as the Beverly Hills of Grecia and is a short 15 minute drive from downtown. San Isidro also features several gated communities such as High Valley Ranch as well as large free stand estate style properties. Quality homes in the area start for as low as $150,000 and go to well over $2,500,000.

The area offers stunning views of the Central Valley, San Jose and the Poas volcano, green pastures, coffee plantations, amazing forests and crystal clear mountain streams and water falls in some areas.

 This area is a great alternative for those looking for a fair value, often times 20-30% less  than other popular expat communities such as Escazu, Santa Ana and Atenas and a lot less traffic jams and congestion. 

Look at: 



Luxury Home Search for Grecia, Alajuela, San Ramon, Puriscal, Atenas?

                                                                Searching for a Luxury Home in Costa Rica?

       You are using keywords Luxury Home in Costa Rica on Google or other search engine, right? 

    What do you expect to find? What defines a luxury home? Is it defined by the price? Or is it defined by the size, or maybe

the finishes? What you will see advertised as a luxury home on most of Costa Rica real estate websites, is probably not what

you expect to see, that is the reason for this blog.

What is the definition of a Costa Rica Luxury Home first of all depends on the experience the Real Estate Company or Agent has.

The real truth is in Costa Rica, on what is available in the market, most any home that is above average can be turned into a

luxury home by the listing realtor.


Here in Costa Rica the real estate market luxury property for sale is very different than it is in the Palm Beach’s, Boca Raton,

Naples, Beverly Hills, Hamptons, Hollywood or Greenwich Conn.  One cannot compare any upscale location in Costa Rica with

these luxury locations where homes run into the tens of millions of dollars. Costa Rica is mostly retirement, investors and vacation

home destination for many different reasons, that is because Costa Rica is very different. My point is, that a luxury home in 

Costa Rica has a very different meaning.

A high price alone doesn’t define a luxury home. Here at Costa Rica Mountain Homes we would define a 

Luxury Home in Costa Rica as having a very original architecture design with high end finishes including top of the line appliances as well as luxurious amenities. You will know it when you see it.

Here in our luxury real estate market, a tropical location, manicured landscaped gardens, perhaps a beautifully designed infinity pool, a panoramic Ocean view or Mountain View and architecture that is not cookie cutter are signs of being more than a luxurious home. Most of our buyers would call a property with all those specifications a luxury property.

Luxury homes here in Costa Rica can be located in a beach area like the South Pacific, the North Pacific or the Central Pacific. If you are looking for a luxury home in the city, you will probably be looking for luxury communities like Villa Real, Parque Valle del Sol, La Hacienda, Cerro Real, Cerro Alto, Hacienda del Sol or Bosques de Lindora. You can of course find a nice choice of luxury homes for sale on any of the golf courses in the country. If you desire Mountain Views then Escuzu, Heredia, Santa Ana. For a more peaceful and open space, Grecia is an up and coming town.

There is an amazing amount of features that can make a home a luxury home, to name just a few:
Gourmet kitchen with elegant custom cabinetry, monogram or other top of the line appliances, double-wall ovens with self-cleaning, convection, roast and bake features, a beverage center, a wine chiller or an out door kitchen.

Architectural detailing throughout the home like an elegant entry door, concrete tile roof, custom crafted wood stair rail, coffered and vaulted ceilings, designer-placed media niche, dramatic down lighting or designer lighting packages or high-performance double-paned windows.

Bathrooms with handset tile vanities, handset tile showers with glass enclosure, designer faucets, oversized jetted tubs and custom made cabinetry. In a luxury bathroom you might being able to do yoga poses in your shower or you might have a relaxing spa environment in your bathroom.

On top of all the above, the luxury home should probably have some extravagant features like an indoor pool, a movie theatre, a boxing ring, a secret room, a balcony pool, an indoor basketball court, a wine cellar, an indoor bowling alley or a music studio.

Not just a simple landscaped garden should be enough to define the home as a luxury home if it doesn’t offer a sunken tennis court, a circular driveway, ivy-draped arbors, terraced ponds and formal gardens with perfectly manicured boxwood hedges.

If you plan to move to Costa Rica and you expect your future luxury home to have all those features and amenities, I am sorry, you might be looking for a long time. You can expect your luxury home in Costa Rica to have a different architectural design, upscale finishes like granite and marble countertops, custom made kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, a well-designed swimming pool with covered terrace and panoramic views and details that are just different than a property that doesn’t belong in the luxury real estate niche.


Costa Rica Mountain Homes website has luxury properties for sale and is your best source for Costa Rica luxury real estate. Our agents are a leader in their own area and can show you the best luxury homes available. Contact us and give us your list and desires for your  in your Luxury Home.

Costa Rica is Safe, Isis doesnt want Costa Rica!  








                 My wife and I have travelled all over the world  and this year. (we were in Germany)  We’ve been having a boatload
of fun for most of the last few years. Now, we have returned to the USA and have a different feeling of where we want to be. 

We dont feel safe to travel to Europe anymore and even the USA is getting Scarry.  We are seeing alot of our friends wanting to go to a safe, fun, haven.  Costa Rica.  We dont like hot, but Costa Rica has many climates- pick one! Cool, Hot, Forest, Farms, Beach, Rain Forest, they have many mini climates in Costa Rica.
If you are dreaming about moving to Costa Rica, why not stop dreaming and start putting a plan together to start making your life more exciting, adventure and safe? I wil add in Safe and FREE feeling.

It’s not as difficult as you think and, nobody is forcing you to move to Costa Rica forever! Sit it out and wait and see what
is going to happen to the USA and Europe with this Isis War.

So why not come to Costa Rica for a two/three year adventure, a great cultural experience and learn a little Spanish while you are here? We have not seen  or read any controversy about Isis in Costa Rica.

Then you can decide what you want to do and, before you know it, you’ll be emailing friends back home saying sentimental
things like:
“Our only regret is that we didn’t do this ten years ago…”

They have every  home accomadation from low cost housing to  Estates and Mansions. 


                                                 We feel real Freedom and Safe here.


Jamie and Jeff Myers. ( Philly)

Thank you GeeGee for your great help and honesty.

 Love , Live and Free to be who you want to be in Costa Rica.


                                IN A HEALTHY LUXURY LIFE STYle


                   LGBTQIA.... Living in Costa Rica:


Costa Rica is probably the most gay-friendly of Central America countries, particularly in the capital city of San Jose. Here at Costa Rica Mountain Homes we are LBGT friendly and accommodating to help you find your perfect home, estate, mansion  or rentals. We try hard to give you the best information and service for a new life here in Costa Rica.

 There are a number of welcoming gay bars and discos, such as La Avispa ("The Wasp"), open since the late 1970s. Colours Oasis Resort is a gay, lesbian and straight-friendly luxury boutique hotel in San Jose.

Manuel Antonio (and the neighboring village of Quepos) is another gay-friendly Costa Rica travel destination; several bars and hotels aren't just inclusive, but gay-owned.

All of this said, many want to settle down and live in Costa Rica. This is where you have to decide if you want Peace, Quiet and Tranquility or the Beaches, lots of socializing and party's. Many that want the calmer life style have chosen the mountain area, such as Grecia.

Grecia, Costa Rica is a town located in the Central Valley and despite the name (it means Greece in Spanish), there are not many influences from Greece around. It’s actually a fairly nice city surrounded by mountains and rolling valleys with a fresh and cool climate.

Grecia is known for housing one of the largest expatriate communities in the country with foreigners retiring in Costa Rica’s best year round climate.

Named as one of the cleanest cities in Latin America, Grecia is the ideal place to visit to see a typical Costa Rican town and observe the culture.

It is only 45 mins to the City of San Jose for a party night or 1 hour to the beaches of Jaco. Whatever your fancy is a lot of Gay Bars and entertainment is not far away.

Most have a high level and life style that they like and their Luxuries. Grecia housing can offer that. If you want to start a B&B, Restaurant/Bar, or just enjoy a nice home, Estate, or Mansion Grecia is the place to look. It is so centrally located and has a cooler climate than central San Jose and its busy traffic jams and tight living spaces.

Whatever your fancies, do take a look at Grecia if you are considering living here in Costa Rica. We will be glad to help you.


GeeGee at 561-693-5509 USA or 506-2495-0149 Costa Rica





 6 Reasons to buy a Turn Key home in Costa Rica.

San Isidro de Grecia Jose Casa $210,000

Why we recommend purchasing a Turnkey home for sale in Costa Rica!

Looking for a great deal? Would you purchase a turnkey home for sale in Costa Rica,  or would you prefer to just purchase any home you like and then start from scratch on the furniture part?

Why am I asking?

The reason is that we always have a lot of listings of great homes for sale that come completely turnkey and there are always some pretty good deals to be found out there.

Usually that happens because sellers are looking to downsize and don’t want all that furniture in the small condo they’re moving to or they’re moving to another country and don’t want to go through moving all that furniture and stuff. 

It also happens quite often that furniture was purchased for that particular condo or home for sale, it matches the curtains, the furniture made to fit, and so on and so forth

Turnkey or furnished

There is a difference between a furnished home and a turnkey home for sale. The first comes with chinaware, pots and pans, large and small appliances, beds and linen while the second comes only with certain pieces of furniture and appliances and nothing else. That’s the reason to always make sure your real estate agent includes an inventory list in the sales agreement.

Most Turnkey, Furnished homes between $100,000 to $375,00 the price that was added  is minimal to what you would pay to ship to Costa Rica. On the higher end homes most owners did the dirty work for you and shipped new from the USA for their more luxury homes $400,000 or up.


There are 6 great reasons for you to buy a turnkey home for sale, especially if you’re moving to Costa Rica from another country. 

1. Sellers who offer their home or condo turnkey, are moving out of the country and don't want to take a shipping container full of stuff. For that reason, most are very motivated sellers, which are an advantage to you, the buyer.

2. You don’t have to ship your old furniture  Costa Rica, which costs about $10,000 for 20 ft. container from Ft.Lauderdale Florida. You will need to sift through what you want to take to Costa Rica and what you want to get rid of. Pack everything (or have it professionally done), make an inventory list for the moving company and attach to the manifest. It’s a hassle and a lot of work and you’ll hate yourself for doing it once you’ve moved into your new house in Costa Rica. If you still insist on bringing your old furniture, as when it arrives in Costa Rica, you have to go through the hassle of getting it through customs and hope it is not broken.  When you import furniture into Costa Rica, you will have to pay Import Tax, even if it is your own old furniture from 40 years ago.

3. Your furniture from back home is probably ready to be renewed anyway because it has been in your possession for decades. A new life in Costa Rica deserves new furniture and why not, a different style furniture too.

4. Costa Rica is a tropical country and I bet your furniture is not tropical at all. Why bring furniture that will not fit your new tropical lifestyle anyway?

5. Perhaps the furniture that comes with the turnkey home for sale is not exactly your taste but you like the home and you want to purchase it? Negotiate the price and once you have moved in, take your time to shop around for new furniture in Costa Rica that you like better and give the old pieces that came with the home away to neighbors, friends or the maid, sale it or just put it at the side of the road. You’ll be surprised how fast it will be gone.

6. If the home or condo for sale was used for a Vacation Rental or as a beach vacation home, you might find that the furniture is especially sturdy to withstand the ruthless behavior of vacation tenants. 

I recommend, before you start packing your stuff back home, to have a serious look at turnkey homes for sale and furnished home listings first and if you don’t find a good fit there, then look at other homes for sale. 

Why move to Costa Rica IF TRUMP IS NOT ELECTED.  "You wont be able to pay the Taxes in the USA".

View from the mountains onto San Jose from Grecia ...... For Sale
Happy couple living in the cool mountains of Grecia !



















Lets not forget that we here in Costa Rica are not out Shoveling SNOW and catching colds. :)

Lets not forget that we eat better and are healthier here in Costa Rica.

Lets not forget that Costa Rica has lower dental and Medical Doctors and great hospitals.

Lets not forget that our Taxes here in Costa Rica are very Cheap.

Lets not forget about our children and grand children much  safer and better life here in Costa Rica.

Lets not forget Isis does not want Costa Rica.

Lets not forget it is a Safe country and the money and banks are secure.


7  MORE Reasons why people that Move to Costa Rica are instantly healthy:

1.You get more sunlight
2.You have less stress
3.You have access to cheap local fresh fruit products
4.You walk more
5.There is less pollution

6.People are happier here



 Thank God... We are healthier and safer here in Costa Rica!

 You can now get a Bank account in Costa Rica for non-resident foreigners!

It use to be a major obstacle for foreigners moving to Costa Rica to open a bank account in a Costa Rica bank because a residency card  or Dimex was needed for such a service.

When you move to another country, it is important to be able to wire money to a bank account and from there be able to pay your expenses. Money laundering laws don’t allow you to bring more than $10,000 in cash with you.  Once you had arrive to Costa Rica, where would you put $10K? Maybe under your pillow?


The Costa Rican government is starting to understand that there are thousands of non-resident foreigners  living in Cost Rica  who request residency as soon as they arrive, and it’s the immigration authorities who need one year or more, to approve this residency. Meanwhile, you’re on your own and have to figure out how to handle your money issues like paying rent, utilities and your living expenses.

Starting Jan 1, 2016, by executive order of the Costa Rican Presidency allows the use of simplified bank accounts by all regulated financial institutions in Costa Rica. For now on, all foreigners without being a resident of Costa Rica can open a simplified bank account with a maximum of $1,000 balance with their passport.


Banco de Costa Rica is the first bank opening up for this new system, but we recommend you visit any bank closest to your residence and ask if you can open a “cuenta simplificada.”

We know $1,000 is not much money, even for those who are on social security, but it is a start. Once you open your simplified bank account with the bank of your preference, you will be able to make automatic payments on your utilities, make bank transfers through the SINPE system to other people and use ATM machines.

If your household consists of two people, you can open an account each and transfer legally $2,000/month to make your monthly payments on time.

This executive order might be the start of the Costa Rican government having a better understanding for the needs of the thousands of retirees and vacationers who move to Costa Rica every year, staying here as a tourist and having to leave the country every 3 months to buy the government time to approve their residency.

It looks like there will soon be solutions for other governmental services such as renewal or a driver's license and medical insurance by INS for which you need residency.

The Costa Rican Bank Association (ABC) representative María Isabel Cortés criteria is that once the simplified bank account is fully in use, it is possible that other financial services for non-resident foreigners will follow.

This is fantastic news for all those who are looking to move to Costa Rica soon or the expats that are living in Costa Rica on a tourist visa as perpetual tourists.  Call us for your Real Estate needs.

 The buying time is now. Costa Rica is a Safe Haven for Americans to live.

Note:  For those that are not living on a social security check and have savings and are more affuent ...

Living here will seem much cheaper. A housekeeper is $20.00 a day, gardener is the same. Services are cheaper and if you

live up in the mountains... NO NEED for a/c. but on the beach you will find Electric expensive if you run a/c.


Travelling to Costa Rica on a vacation is quite different from moving to the country as an expat, so don’t form your expectations based on your Costa Rican beach holiday! Moving to a new country always presents its fair share of challenges and Costa Rica is no exception. There are various aspects of life and services that will affect your move, so it’s important that you give all of them due consideration before you actually relocate. Whether you are pondering a move to Costa Rica or already have your bags packed, take some time to learn about the differences not just in culture, but also in the standard of living, quality of essential services, cost of living, public transport and so on.

Here are some things that you should consider before making the move to Costa Rica:

Cultural Differences

Patience is a virtue that you had best cultivate fast. Costa Ricans or Ticos, as they are called, are extremely amiable, fun loving and relaxed, so it’s not hard to get along with locals. Unfortunately, they are so easy going to the point of being laid back, or at least it would appear that way to anyone moving from a fast paced city where efficiency is emphasized. The relaxed and easy going nature of Ticos pervades every area of life and this can be infuriating to those used to strict timelines and fast service. Try to be more flexible with your schedule when you are in Costa Rica and learn to be accepting of the slower pace of life.

Cost of Living

Anyone trying to sell you on the move to Costa Rica will simply say that life in the country is pretty cheap. This however is an oversimplification, as Costa Rica could be cheaper or a lot more expensive than where you presently live, depending on the kind of lifestyle you envision. Expats who wish to preserve their way of life without any changes will be in for quite a shock when they find that Costa Rica is not as affordable as they hoped it would be. Don’t expect to have all of the same commodities you had back home, or a big gas-guzzling car and air conditioning. There are always affordable alternatives if you make an effort to adjust. Public transport in Costa Rica, for example, is extremely cheap, so don’t use a private vehicle and waste fuel unless necessary. Likewise, don’t expect to buy the latest gadgets no matter how unessential they are, as the duty on imported good is quite steep, especially with regard to electronics.


Costa Rica’s taxation system has a lot of perks to offer, but there is a downside to it as well. How it affects you will again depend on your lifestyle choices. Taxes in Costa Rica are fairly low, and anyone living in Costa Rica does not have to pay taxes on revenue earned overseas. This makes it extremely attractive to anyone running their own business remotely or to professionals engaged in freelance work. Taxes on imports and the value added tax can be quite high however, so you need to be prepared to make adjustments to your consumption patterns. Automobiles are also extremely expensive because of taxes that can go almost as high as 80 percent! Electric vehicles are exempt from such taxes however, so it’s not that there are no alternatives. BUT property tax is exstreamly low, about a third or less than  what you are paying in the USA.


High import taxes, the cost of vehicle maintenance, and gas prices can make vehicle ownership and private transport in Costa Rica daunting. Despite this, private vehicle ownership is on the rise and is contributing to a problem of traffic snarls that were once unheard of. Public transport in the country is still excellent, with modern and fairly efficient bus services. The Greater Metropolitan Area is also well connected, with an inter-province train system that is being expanded.

 What are your Property rights in Costa Rica

    Important questions to ask



Many ask me,  Can I buy property in Costa Rica as a nonresident?

Is the property I purchase in Costa Rica titled?

Will the title be in my name?

Can I build on the property?

What do I need to do to keep it in my possession?

Can I incorporate my property?

Can I lose my property to squatters?

It is important to ask yourself all of these questions before buying property in Costa Rica, so you don’t have to worry about it later.

Private property in Costa Rica is regulated by the constitution and gives citizens and nonresidents the same rights to buy and to own titled property in Costa Rica. I am saying “titled property” because there are two exceptions: property located in the Maritime Terrestrial Zone (ZMT) and property donated to a Costa Rican by IDA (Instituto de Desarrollo Agrario), but that’s another article.

Property in Costa Rica is registered in the National Registry, or Registro Nacional, where you will find all pertinent information about any existing property in Costa Rica. If you do a title study of a property in Costa Rica, it will show if that property is owned by a person, several persons or a corporation, the property number, the size of the property, the nature of the property, the neighbors of the property, any liens or mortgages the property might have, and the number of the survey.

Titled property ownership

The purchase of a titled property is documented in a deed, or escritura, where a seller sells to buyer at X sales price. Only a notary public registered in the Dirección Nacional de Notariado de Costa Rica can register a deed in his protocol and present it to the National Registry. Proof of the exact location of the property with its measurements and boundaries is shown in a formal survey, or plano catastrado, registered in a department of the National Registry, the Catastro Nacional.

Proof of ownership, powers of attorney, and property rights show in a personería juridica that can be requested online from the National Registry against payment and at any time or by your attorney.

Zoning or use of the property

Most municipalities in Costa Rica have a zoning plan that regulates what can be built on a property and how the property can be used. The request of this information from the municipality is called an uso de suelo and this will show if the property is zoned residential, commercial, industrial or mixed, what the density is, and how many stories can be built. The zoning will also tell you how large the lots can be if the property is going to be subdivided.

The environment

Larger properties to be subdivided in a condominium or a subdivision have to go through permitting like in most other countries. Environmental studies to be approved by the National Technical Secretariat of the Environment Ministry, or SETENA (Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental, in Spanish), are necessary, along with other documents approved by the different institutions, like AyA (water), Colegio de Ingenieros y Architectos, Ministry of Health, INVU and the fire department.

Property rights and taking care of it

Especially if you purchase property in Costa Rica as an investment, you have to pay attention to the maintenance of the property. This means cleaning the property at least twice a year (most important right after the rainy season), keeping the fences in good shape, paying the property and municipal taxes on time, and ensuring that no squatters move onto your property.


In other countries, you can lose your property to public bidding if you don’t pay your property taxes on time. In Costa Rica, you can lose your property if squatters move onto the property.

Article 277 of the Costa Rican civil code establishes possession rights for a property by means of occupation. These possession rights can be acquired when the owner allows a third party to use and maintain possession of the property for more than a year (Par. 2, Art. 279 Civil Code).

You should not only pay your property taxes on time, but also check on your property for squatters, unless your property is located in a condominium or gated community. For legal information about a property or property rights, contact your attorney, or we can recommend one to you.

  Nov 3, 2015 @ 08:01 AM

Forbes, Want to Be Happy? Move to Costa Rica


This is a Recommendation from Forbes Magazine... they know best.


As part of an online course called “The Science of Happiness,” launched by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center this Fall, approximately 40,000 students from around the world took a Qualtrics survey where they reported their happiness levels. We used this data to address the questions above, among others.

So what did we find?

Topping the list of happiest countries is Costa Rica. This finding is not all that surprising—Costa Rica often ranks high in cross-national measures of happiness. It is not a particularly wealthy country in terms of GDP, but research suggests that GDP may not be the best indicator of national well-being. The per capita GDP of the United States is about four times higher than that of Costa Rica, but the United States ranks 16th for subjective happiness, based on our data.

After Costa Rica come Croatia, Chile, Malaysia, and Colombia, countries that, like Costa Rica, are not particularly high in GDP. Although our data can’t tell us exactly why residents of these countries are the happiest, we can speculate that factors other than income may be at play. One clue is that these five countries are also among the lowest 10 in loneliness (meaning that their residents are less lonely than most other students in the course), and among the top 10 in social connection, based on our data, suggesting that strong social ties may trump income when it comes to happiness.


Geographical differences in happiness may be due in part to cultural differences. Collectivist cultures—those that emphasize group cohesion and shared goals—may rank higher in social connectedness and lower in loneliness due to these cultural values. Individualistic cultures, by contrast, may rank higher on happiness measures that tap into personal accomplishments and self-esteem. The United States, for example, ranked 6th in flourishing, a measure that includes several items focused on individual accomplishments (e.g., “I am competent and capable in the activities that are important to me.”).

A couple of notes on methodology. First, we looked only at data from the 58 countries with at least 25 students who completed the survey. The countries with the largest representation are the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and India. Second, we can’t make generalizations about a country as a whole based on a small sample of its residents, especially since respondents are not a representative sample of the entire country’s population. Nonetheless, we can at least gain some insights about the students taking UC Berkeley’s course.

Recommended by Forbes





Opportunity knocks for house and property buyers in Costa Rica !

Do you think you’ve missed the best properties this year? Shake off your despondency and sift through those listings. Now, is the perfect time to buy a deal, says NBC news and the Telegraph.


If you think the housing market is done and dusted for 2016, and your dreams of a new home are on ice until next year, think again. This is the perfect time to snap up a bargain while the prices in Costa Rica are still coming out of recovery behind the USA.


Housing market outlook:

The Costa Rican property market is expected to continue its positive growth in 2017, according to local property experts in Luxury Real Estate here in Costa Rica and the US.
Costa Rica weathered the downturn remarkably well. While lower priced properties saw a definite decline in price and sales, the median market dropped initially, flat-lined, then saw a resurgence in activity in 2013 and continuing in 2015.
 The luxury market as a whole unexpectedly saw very nice positive growth during this period and industry experts see this luxury trend continuing as Costa Rica continues to improve its international profile and more silver surfers retire.  While the majority of the total real estate transactions in 2015  still come from the United States, there is a noticeable increase in the number of Canadians buyers and European buyers as the United States market is climbing higher and becoming unaffordable. You can still buy a lot for your money here in Costa Rica.


This all adds up to one thing. Buy that home or property you want now or regret when the  

 house values soar like they did 6 years ago. Costa Rica is behind the USA in recovering so now is a great time to invest and buy.

With oil prices falling, interest rates going up, economic recovery talked up and election uncertainty resolved in the spring, there could be a boom late next year. It makes sense to buy now.
What more encouragement do you want? Seize the day.
 Call:  GeeGee 2495-0149 or our USA phone number 561-588-1514.


Information and Stories about Costa Rica

Why not take an Adventure to Costa Rica?

Oct 15, 2015

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Wonderful WaterFalls, Weather in Grecia, Costa Rica

Sep 6, 2015

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Moving to Costa Rica, Great ! ( dont leave your brains at the airport)

Sep 3, 2015

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Tax Free Investments in Costa Rica

Aug 22, 2015
 Cheap Taxes here in Costa Rica

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What is a View Worth and what is available in Costa Rica?

Jun 30, 2015
 Or reading your favorite book! Main Home and Guest home on 2 Acres.

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Show more posts

What are your Property rights in Costa Rica: Important questions to ask!

Mar 28, 2015

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How to find the best areas to buy in Costa Rica.

Mar 28, 2015

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I am from Florida and my husband is from Michigan. I wanted hot weather and he wanted cool weather. We did not want a hurried city life and we did not want a lot of American neighbors. We felt Escazu and Jaco were just too commercial, overcrowded, a lot traffic,  and the homes were very close to each other with too many condos. Plus, these and other all American areas are about 30% more expensive to live, food and to purchase land or a home. We wanted a wonderful view and land to roam. I wanted a garden and land. He wanted to learn the language. After living 4 years in different places in Costa Rica our happy medium was in the Mountains of Grecia. Weather here is spring time almost year round.

This is where I could write a novel. The mountains of Costa Rica Grecia are beautiful and offer a 10- to 15-degree lower temperature than on the coast. The cooler air and lower humidity in the mountains are often preferred when living in the tropics. Scattered throughout the country's mountains are beautiful lake and river views, zip lines and Arial tram rides through the jungle's treetop canopy, river rafting and hanging bridges over roaring streams. This perfect combination of altitude and latitude makes for temperate weather conditions, too. The days are warm and mild and the nights are mild, too. Overall, daily temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Costa Rica is known worldwide as a destination for investment, retirement and vacation. We knew banking and safety were not an issue here.

Costa Rica's beauty goes beyond picturesque beaches, magnificent mountains and beautiful weather year around... its key beauty lies in its people. Costa Ricans are worldwide recognized for being authentically friendly and helpful people that were the other reason we wanted mingle more with the Costa Ricans and get to really know the culture.

The enormous bio-diversity of Costa Rica is best enjoyed from the mountains. There are rain and cloud forests scattered through the mountains, each offering distinctly different flora and fauna. In the mountains of Grecia, the beach is typically about 1 hour 20 minutes by car, so it is easy enough to jump in the car and go to the beach for the day or weekend.

Grecia is a medium-sized town in Costa Rica's Central Valley, about a 30-minute drive from San Jose. It's half an hour that makes all the difference in the world, say expats who live here. While nearby San Jose offers world-class hospitals and all the shopping malls and big box stores anyone could want or need, it's also fraught with big-city woes, especially mega hustle bustle, parking and traffic problems. Not so, in Grecia, where the pace of life is slower and there's plenty of time to stop and smell the coffee. Literally!

The other reasons we chose Grecia is we were about a 30 40-minute proximity to fantastic and affordable health care options of San Jose (Cima Hospital) and the airport for traveling back to the USA to see family or to go exploring and vacationing to other countries. And the other reason is because Grecia is not San Jose. We were looking for quality of life and that is what makes Grecia so special. It is also known as the cleanest city in Latin America. It is the most cosmopolitan of all the small towns west of the Central Valley. With two malls, movie theatre and various restaurants (American fast food chains) an abundance of restaurants ranging from Steak houses to Chinese food also a gym and several internet cafes if you want to come off your property and go downtown Grecia a 10 minute drive. I love gardening and growing a fun garden of herbs and flowers. So I wanted space and privacy, my husband wanted his toys and tinkering. We found this 2 acre lot that has a sweeping view of the Central Valley, Poas and coffee plantations.

Here we have it all. A custom all American home with his state of the art garage, storage for his toys and me with my gardens, my two coral fireplaces flickering at night while we enjoy the skylights of San Jose in the evening smell the fresh mountain air and each other.


Joe and GeeGee Beatty  ~  (03/01/2014)

Grecia, Costa Rica might be a place for you or your elderly parents Healthcare

Costa Rica was conveniently close to our home Florida. It offers excellent weather, from the temperate Central Valley to its many warm beaches... and it's the most stable democracy in Latin America.

There is top-quality healthcare at modest prices. In fact, the World Health Organization praises Costa Rica's healthcare system, ranking it better than that of the U.S., despite the fact that Costa Rica spends 87% less per capita on healthcare than the U.S. does. This was one reason I was bringing my father here. We were paying $3,500 a month for his Assisted Living and he was getting really bad care. He had Parkinson's and the care takers hardly spoke English and did as little as possible for their  well paying residents.

I brought my father here to Costa Rica for a few weeks to try it out. I got  a care taker that was wonderful to him and waited on him hand and foot for $30.00 a day. You do the math, that is $900.00 a month for excellent care and attention. The Cima Hospital is only 40 minutes away from Grecia. To me it was a no brainer and my father was excited to be coming. He had been here as a young man and brought me here as a young woman for ventures and vacations.

In my opinion the elderly are just not treated well in the USA and our present government has done nothing to give or get better health care for the aging. The future for good health care in the USA is scary.

"There's just a lack of civility in general in the U.S. these days," said my dad, "especially when it comes to how older people are treated." Plus, it just costs so much especially up north! "Those heating and air-conditioning bills are awful. Retirees just can't afford to live in the States these days even with an average to upper mid savings account.

It is  something that you might want to look into for your own person reasons/ conditions or for your elderly parents.

I have found here in Grecia, Costa Rica a built-in community of English-speaking locals and expats... and it's healthy, with little pollution and lots of clean water and fresh air, not to mention the fresh foods that you can purchase for a very reasonable price.

The housing prices are more reasonable than in downtown Central Valley, such as Escazu, plus a lot less crime and thievery.  We found property in Grecia and built a home for him and ourselves so that he could have his freedom and space.

These are my own personal feelings and experiences. I feel America is no place to grow old.

Grecia, Costa Rica, though... just might be a strong consideration.

I would highly recommend that you consider taking a guided tour with George Lindquist he will tell you like it is and give you real facts about Costa Rica. You can find his link on the top of this page under ( AREA LINKS)

George will tell you the good bad and the ugly." The tours are very reasonable and will give you a jump start in trying to decide if Costa Rica is for you.

My fathers outlook was this: "Hay, in 2 1/2 hours I can get on a plane and  go back to Florida if I don't like it.  There is always a Assisted Living open ready to take my money."

GeeGee Beatty ~ 2013

Wish our children were graduated from school, Love this property

Dear Mr. Beatty,

Best built estate and fabulous view in Grecia, Costa Rica.
Iris and I have been looking for 2 years for a place in  the Grecia Area. We had seen photos of your Estate before we came to see it. We got there and could not believe the view and impeccable taste, not to mention the quality of your homes and furnishings. You truly have a  very special property with two beautiful homes . I would not make one change. We love it and it is exactly what we were looking for, it has everything and more than we hoped to find.
We wish our children were out of school and ready to move now. It will be a few years and know this property will not be available. It is priced more than fair value for what you are asking, so it is not the price just the kids. I promised them they could finish school and graduate here in Palm Beach with their friends.
You were very kind to spend your time with us and we love it so much, that I hope it has not sold till I get the kids out of high school. I just love everything you have done. We want to stay in touch with you.
Mr. and Mrs. Murray, Palm Beach, Fla. ~ 11/2015

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