Make Your Place in Paradise Pay For Itself

Whenever we arrive at our own tropical paradise, we look forward to the first morning when our lack-of-schedule beach routine starts. My wife, Brenda, and I take an early-morning stroll down the main thoroughfare. We enjoy watching the town come to life after a quiet night. Scarlet macaws fly overhead, screeching their “good mornings” as we stop in the park to watch the parakeets devour a snack on one of the palm trees. Once we reach the far end of main street, we cut across to the beach and walk back along the sandy shore.

So goes a typical morning in our beach paradise… We amble back toward our apartment, stopping for some piping hot bread or pastries at an organic, whole-foods bakery. Once we get back, we wash off the salt water in one of the outdoor showers, then enjoy a dip in the refreshing pool.

We purchased our home in Jacó on the coast of Costa Rica in 2015. We considered a number of locations in Europe, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean. But the more we looked, the more we found our hearts and minds returning to Costa Rica.

Jacó is a beach town of approximately 10,000 residents. It is a surfer’s haven as well as a popular beach destination in Costa Rica—and is only a 90-minute drive from the capital, San José.

When we were in the process of looking for a suitable property and dreaming and planning, we checked out Beth Carson’s method. It was invaluable. We used it to inspire us and help in the planning process when on a property-shopping trip to Costa Rica.

We purchased our Jacó property with two things in mind: its use as both a vacation rental and as a part-time retirement home in the future. Our home, Comfy Condo, has two bedrooms, a kitchen area, living room, and bathroom. It’s located in a secure, gated community with a pool and is within walking distance of the beach, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, laundrettes, movie theatres, bakeries, doctors, dentists, tourist shops, and all manner of stores and businesses.

Once we had completed the sale, we made further trips back to Costa Rica to make decisions regarding decorating and furnishings. We now have our place listed on all three sites—Airbnb, VRBO, and FlipKey—along with a slew of photos.

It took a few months—and a few trips—to get our vacation rental ready. But thanks to the tips and tricks we learned, we were making money as soon as it was up and running. So far, the return has been just short of $1,000 a month and the property is right on track to pay for itself.

From Beth’s program, we learned about the value in buying low and renting high, helpful tips on decorating and furnishing a rental, and the information on vacation rental websites and how they work was fantastic.

And, now, we have a wonderful home to return to; our own place in paradise.

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