Imagine coffee on your terrace as you enjoy spectacular views of lush green mountains and the valley and town below. Parrots glide overhead as the sun sets over the mountain…
A lot of living is done outdoors here in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica.
A major draw is the comfortable year-round climate. The elevation, between 3,000 to about 4,500 feet, means temperature highs in the mid-80s F during the day to lows in the mid-60s F at night. Yes, even in tropical Costa Rica. The higher in elevation you go, the cooler it is on average. Many expat homes take advantage of this weather with large terraces or covered patios. No need for A/C or heat—windows and doors are left open to let the air circulate.
One town in particular has attracted quite a few retirees—Grecia.
To the west of the capital, San José, less than an hour away, just a half-hour from the country’s main international airport, Grecia is a market town with about 16,000 people.
There’s a sweet spot when it comes to real estate here. Due to the rural nature of the area, it’s rare to find condos or apartments. The name of the game is mid-sized homes, two or three bedrooms, comfortable for two people, with a small yard perfect for pets, as well as large covered outdoor areas that allow you to live outside and enjoy the climate.
The finishes and amenities inside are North American-style—custom hardwood cabinets, large windows and sliding glass doors for lots of natural light, dishwashers, and hot water throughout the house. Why make a big deal about these amenities? Many Costa Ricans don’t have those things; the phrase ”Tico-style” is shorthand for this on real estate websites.
To give you an idea, I found one three-bedroom home with two-bathrooms and 1,900 square feet on 3.5 acres. There is a river on the property, which is surrounded by forest and coffee plantations and comes with spectacular mountain views from the terrace. The home—available for $239,000—comes fully-furnished, down to the cutlery in the kitchen and linens in the bedrooms.
Just 15 minutes from Grecia you’ll find a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with stunning valley views and banana and citrus trees. There is a rancho, a Costa Rican-style covered outdoor kitchen with sink and barbecue grill, and a large fenced area perfect for keeping pets. It’s listed at $175,000.
Not one, but two rivers run through another property where you’ll find gorgeous and peaceful gardens and views of the forested valley below and the town of Grecia in the distance. It’s on 2.5 acres, is 1,200 square feet and comes with a two-car covered carport and a large shed for storage. This property is available for $99,000.
Many retirees say Grecia reminds them of 1950s small town America. The pace of life is slower, elders are respected, and time with friends and family trumps all.
I certainly enjoy it there…
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