Retiring In Costa Rica Why You Should Consider It Real Estate Math Do You Know These Simple Formulas What S The Value Of A Real Estate Blog For Investors Understanding Queen Anne Architecture

Many people are now seeking to retire in Costa Rica – often called the “Jewel of Central America”, and its popularity is growing.

So, why are more people than ever looking to retire in Costa Rica? The major reasons for retiring to Costa Rica are:

. Close proximity to the US



. Natural beauty

. Culture

. High standard of living for a very low cost

Quite simply, social security checks go a lot further in Costa Rica than they do in the US.

Geographical Location

For many people retiring to Costa Rica, one of the major advantages is its geographical proximity to the US.

Costa Rica is only a few hours flying distance to the southern U.S. mainland. Flights from Costa Rica to the US and Europe are frequent – making traveling easy. In addition, the time difference between Costa Rica and most US cities is just a couple of hours.

Cost of Living

Another reason for retiring in Costa Rica is that the cost of living is so much less than in the US.

For example, dining out will cost you around $12, and a maid will cost you just $150 a month. General household items are about 60% cheaper than in the US, and utility bills are also far cheaper.

In fact, you can quite easy live comfortably on a couple of thousand dollars a month.

Tax Status

When retiring to Costa Rica, one of the major advantages for Americans is its tax haven status – Americans retiring in Costa Rica do not pay income taxes on social security received from the U.S.

Cost of Real Estate

When you retire in Costa Rica, you’ll enjoy affordable housing – houses of an equivalent standard to those in the U.S. are available at a far cheaper cost.

While real estate has risen in price over the last few years, you can find small, basic homes from around $80,000 – with a choice of homes to suit your pocket and your lifestyle.

Costa Rican law and its constitution protect private ownership of land – and foreign nationals get the same rights as citizens. Costa Rica has a history of stability and democratic government.

The comfort of a stable political environment – as opposed to other Latin American countries, means retiring in Costa Rica gives you peace of mind, due to your legal rights.

Of course, if you buy a house when retiring in Costa Rica you become part of the real estate boom, that has seen houses bought for $30,000 15 years ago, rise to around $700,000 today.


For many years, Costa Rica has provided healthcare services to visitors from around the world – where they’ve been able to get world class healthcare at a fraction of the cost of that available in the US and Europe.

When retiring in Costa Rica, most people take out the medical insurance offered by the government’s insurance company – this offers cover at just $900 per year for an adult male, aged between 45 and 50 – and this covers 80% of medical costs!

In fact, the United Nations consistently ranks Costa Rica’s health services the best in Latin America – and in the top 20 worldwide.

When retiring in Costa Rica, it’s nice to know that as you get older, you can enjoy some of the best healthcare around – at a fraction of the cost of the US or Europe.

The Country

Costa Rica is a very small country of around 32,000 square miles – and a population of only 4 million.

Many people retire to Costa Rica for the slower pace of life – and because it’s one of the safest countries in the world. In addition, the infrastructure is first class.

Costa Rica is also a beautiful country with diverse scenery. With stunning sandy beaches, mountains, rolling hills, beautiful lakes and huge volcanoes – Costa Rica is truly a country of beauty and wonder.

Another attraction for many retiring to Costa Rica is the climate. For example, if you want the heat of the beach you can have it. However, if you like a cooler, less humid climate – then you may prefer the “Eternal Spring” of the Central Valley and San Jos
How much real estate math do you need to know if you are investing in real estate? There are computers and calculators for calculating interest rates or amortizing loans. What you need to know is a few simple formulas for determining if a property is a good investment or not.

The Real Estate Math You Don’t Need

The gross rent multiplier is one formula you don’t need. I bring it up because people are sometimes still using it, and there are better ways to estimate value. A gross rent multiplier is a crude way to put a value on a property. You decide that properties are worth 10 times annual rent or less, for example, and simply multiply the gross annual rent a building collects by ten to get your value.

There are obvious problems with this formula. You need to constantly change it to reflect interest rates, because a property might be profitable at 12 times rent when interest rates are low, but a money loser at eight times rent if the financing is expensive. Also, there are just plain different expenses for different properties, especially when some include utilities in the rent, for example. Gross rent doesn’t say much about the factor that makes a property valuable: the net income.

Real Estate Math You Need

Rental properties are bought for the income they produce, so this is what your real estate valuation should be based on. That is why your real estate math education needs to start with the how to use a capitalization rate, or “cap rate” to determine value. A cap rate is the rate of return expected by investors in a given area, or the rate of return on a property at a given price.

An example might make this clear. Take the gross income of a property and subtract all expenses, but not the loan payments. If the gross income is $76,000 per year, and the expenses are $32,000, you have net income before debt-service of $44,000. Now, to arrive at an estimate of value, you simply apply the capitalization rate to this figure.

If the normal capitalization rate is .10 (ask a real estate professional what is normal in your area), meaning investors expect a 10% return on the value of their investment, you would divide the net income of $44,000 by .10. You get $440,000 – the estimated value of the building. If the common rate is .08, meaning investors in the area expect only an 8% return, the value would be $550,000.

Simple Real Estate Math

Estimated value equals net income before debt-service divided by cap rate – this really is simple real estate math, but the tough part is getting accurate income figures. Is the seller is showing you ALL the normal expenses, and not exaggerating income? If he stopped repairing things for a year, and is showing “projected” rents, instead of actual rents collected, the income figure could be $15,000 too high. That would mean you would estimate the value at $187,000 more (.08 cap rate).

Besides verifying the figures, smart investors sometimes separate out income from vending machines and laundry machines. Suppose these sources provide $6,000 of the income. That would add $75,000 to the appraised value (.08 cap rate). Instead, you can do the appraisal without this income included, then add back the replacement cost of the machines (probably much less than $75,000).

No real estate formula is perfect, and all are only as good as the figures you plug into them. Used carefully, though, real estate appraisal using capitalization rates is the most accurate method for estimating the value of income properties. For putting a value on a single family home, you need another approach. Yes this means more real estate math to learn, but we’ll save that for another time.

Developing a real estate blog allows you to build your business by building up a regular readership of investors and potential buyers. Unlike a website, a blog can bring you more business because people are more interested in the casual tone of blogs and are more likely to read blogs regularly.

If you’re doubting the value of a real estate blog for investors, don’t. Blogs are a wonderful way to build your business if you’re an investor. If you’re an investor, designing a blog intended for investors can help ensure that you have a steady readership of potential investors who may be interested in hearing about the latest property you have to sell.

For example, imagine that you set up a real estate blog for investors to share your best advice for real estate investing and your most recent adventures in investing in your community yourself. Eventually, you notice that you have hundreds of readers regularly. One of your properties is renovated and is ready for sale. You quickly put up an image and video of the property on your blog. That’s it. All your blog readers can look at the property and if any of them want to purchase it, they can contact you.

The truth is, there are many benefits to developing a blog:

1) It’s a great online marketing tool. Blogs are fully searchable by search engine such as Google. This means that if you have a search engine optimized blog, anyone looking for real estate investors in your area, homes in your area, or any of your services can find their way to your blog. By simply considering keyword optimization when you write your blog, you can increase the chances that people will come to your blog from search engine traffic.

2) Its a great way to build traffic to your web site. If you already have a web site for your investment business, you may assume that you don’t need a blog. A blog, however, can in fact boost traffic to your web site. This is because blogs provide reciprocal links to your web site. This ensures that people from your web site move to your blog, and vice versa. The extra links also improve the search engine rankings of both your blog and your web site.

3) It is often far easier to get readers regularly returning to your blog than to your web site. Web sites tend to be static, with basic information and a professional design. While this can be very useful, many online viewers respond to a little bit of personality, humor, and wit. Blogs are a more casual form of online communication, and they allow you to express your true personality online. This can ensure that you get more readers. Plus, since blogs are updated frequently throughout a week, many people are more likely to bookmark blogs and return often.

4) Developing a real estate blog for investors lets you appeal to investors and first-time homeowners. Everyone can benefit from the tips that you outline in your blog. From homebuyers to investors, people may be visiting your blog fairly regularly, and this helps ensure that there is a wide array of potential customers ready to buy your house when you have a property to sell.

Queen Anne style homes are often easy to spot, but hard to define. It’s partially that elusivity combined with distinctness that makes the style so attractive to buyers and preservationists across the nation. Queen Anne homes are often referred to as the most ornate buildings of the Victorian era, and combine a variety of aesthetics and building methods from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

One of the reasons Queen Anne architecture looks so different from other styles is that it was generally only used on houses. While other styles like Gothic Revival and Federal were being adapted for commercial buildings, churches, and public institutions, Queen Anne architecture was specifically made for upscale houses and mansions, using the latest materials and methods of the machine age. Another developmental difference between Queen Anne and other styles is that it didn’t tend to draw on past eras, but instead produced a new building school that helped set the stage for 20th century homes.

The defining characteristics of the Queen Anne style are many and not always consistent, but there are a few key elements. In general, Queen Anne homes use high-pitched, irregular roofs, spindles and lookouts, decorative structure elements such as columns, and covered balconies. Many Queen Anne homes also employ stained glass, turrets, half timbering in the gables similar to the Tudor style, and patterned masonry. Different sub-styles of the Queen Anne movement include Spindled, Free Classic, Half-Timbered, and Patterned Masonry.

While generally very attractive, Queen Anne homes are often derided as being excessive, or “ginger-bread” like. It’s true that Queen Anne architecture was the product of a rapidly changing era, and many of the homes included features never seen before, so the criticism holds some weight.

The name for the Queen Anne style is often attributed to an 1852 novel by William Makepeace Thackeray entitled “The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne,” which was popular for decades in the English speaking world. By contrast, stylish and modern furnishings from the historical reign of England’s Queen Anne, came to be classified in a style known as “William and Mary.”

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