Immigration to Costa Rica: I know the cost of living

Costa Rica, a country with a relatively high standard of living in Central America, has a per capita GDP of 12,200 US dollars (2019), and a per capita monthly salary equivalent to about US$740. The location borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations with my country on June 1, 2007, it has started a wave of Chinese people going to do business, study, travel, and do business, making Chinese people more and more aware of this country that was basically unfamiliar to us in the past.

Costa Rica Housing Market

Costa Rica’s housing market is very strong, mainly due to the country’s booming tourism industry. Tourism income is one of the country’s main sources of foreign exchange income. Since 2010, it has attracted at least 3 million tourists every year, and it is becoming more and more well-known in the world. .

The rental return of houses in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, reached 8.6%, and the income of apartments was 7.5%. In the capital San Jose, the average house price rose by 3.7% to US$1,110 per square meter (as of July 2019). Similarly, the price of condominiums also rose by 1.8%, averaging US$1,724 per square meter. Housing prices in almost all other provinces of Costa Rica are also rising.

According to local real estate experts, since 2013, real estate transaction volume has grown at a double-digit rate. Now, with a small real estate investment of US$200,000 or a deposit of US$60,000 in the National Bank of Costa Rica, it is relatively easy to obtain residency rights.

In addition, Costa Rica has no mandatory requirements for residence time. You can issue a reply letter in about 2 weeks, which is equivalent to a “temporary ID card”. With this, you can apply for bank account opening and children’s schooling. After three years, you can apply for permanent residence after meeting local conditions Right of abode. It is estimated that about 100,000 American citizens live in Costa Rica each year. There are also more and more buyers from residents of European countries such as Canada, France, Germany and Belgium. Foreign investors are attracted because foreigners are entitled to the same ownership as Costa Rican citizens, and there are no property taxes and residency restrictions.

In Costa Rica, the most expensive and fastest-selling properties are in the Central Valley, metropolitan areas (including San Jose, Alajura, Heredia and Escazu), and the Pacific coast. The cheapest properties can be found in new developments in southern Costa Rica, such as the Osa Peninsula.

Below is a group of large-scale housing prices, which can be used as a reference. Guanacaste Province, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, building area of ​​550 square meters, USD 1.275 million; Heredia Province, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, building area of ​​375 square meters, land area of ​​608 square meters, USD 635,000; Puntarenas City, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 700 square meters of construction area, 1849 square meters of land area, 2.7 million US dollars.

Rent a house in Costa Rica

The rent for renting a house in Costa Rica depends on the area you choose. The basic reference is about 300 US dollars a month for a single room, 500 US dollars a month for a double room, and 2000 US dollars a month for a two-bedroom and one living room in the rich area.

Monthly living expenses in Costa Rica

Relevant international organizations are launched every year to help retirees find places where a couple can live easily for $1,500 a month. The evaluation conditions are: purchase and investment; lease; benefits and discounts; visa and residence; living expenses; integration; entertainment and convenience facilities; health care; healthy lifestyle; development; climate; governance and other 12 factors. Costa Rica ranks No. One.

Generally speaking, if a couple wants to live well in Costa Rica, they can spend between US$900 and US$1200 per month. This includes rent ($300 per month for a beautiful two-bedroom apartment and $500 per house for a house), healthcare ($25 per person per month), and a range of utilities and services. Most Costa Ricans live between US$400 and US$600 a month.

The electricity bill in Costa Rica is about US$0.15 per kilowatt-hour, and the water bill is US$20 per month. Watering the flowers in the dry season will be higher; the network fee is US$60 a month.

If you choose to invest directly or purchase real estate for residence, or change to permanent residence after two years, the basic annual real estate tax is based on the estimated value of the place you purchased, usually around $500 for a year’s tax.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with a long stretch of natural and uncut beaches. The dense jungle is full of exotic wild animals, lush green valleys, hundreds of crystal clear lakes and rivers and other natural conditions. Not only that, the country has a good climate throughout the year. The annual average temperature in the capital San Jose is as low as 15°C and as high as 26°C. Neighborly and friendly atmosphere, carefree living plan, excellent medical care, stable democracy, and security are guaranteed. .

Prices in Costa Rica

Some Shanghainese said in the local area that Costa Rica’s price level is not low, transportation and food shopping are still very expensive, and personally feel that it is 20% more expensive than living in Shanghai.

Costa Rica’s “Repubblica” reported on March 25, 2020 that according to the “Economist” global cost of living survey data in 2019, San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, ranked 82nd among the 133 participating cities, and ranked in the cost of living in Latin America. The sixth most expensive city. Other Latin American cities that are more expensive than San Jose are: Mexico City ranked 56th, Montevideo and Guatemala City tied for 72nd, and (Chile) Santiago and Lima tied for 76th. The questionnaire included 150 cost items, including rent, food, transportation, and leisure.

Daily consumption in Costa Rica (supermarket price): A regular small bottle of Coca-Cola (bottled or bottled) is 8.19-9.94 yuan, (for readers’ convenience, it has been converted into RMB, the same below); a 2L bottle of Coca-Cola (bottled) is 23.4 yuan ; A small bottle of local mineral water is generally 7.02 yuan, a large bottle of mineral water for a liter is 8.77 yuan; a liter of milk (bucket) is 29.25 yuan; a can of ice cream (large cans) is 67.15 yuan; a package of local biscuits is a local brand (There are six small packages in a bag) 19.53 yuan, if it is imported biscuits, a bag of 25.09 yuan; a bottle of nuts 75.69, a bottle of peanut nuts 26.00 yuan.

There are also many Costa Rica’s own potato chips brands in the supermarket, which cost 10.35-11.52 yuan a bag. If it is imported potato chip puffed food, it is generally 30.77 yuan. Pringles potato chips (a regular tube) are 17.55 yuan; a bottle of olive oil is 58.50 yuan; a regular Tetra Pak-packed juice is 11.58 yuan; the price of a regular brand of coffee beans in supermarkets is generally 64.99 yuan a bag.

Morning cereals (oatmeal in milk) are 29.19 yuan a box; a bag of rice is 70.20 yuan a bag, about 5-6 kilograms; a large bag of sliced ​​bread is 16.55 yuan).

Laundry detergent (powder) 19.70 yuan; a pack of four to six rolls of paper roll 19.89 yuan;

A dozen eggs is 14.74 yuan; general ribs are about 50.31 yuan per catty; pork chops are about 40.95 yuan per catty; lamb chops are about 58.50 yuan per catty; chicken breasts are about 54.20 yuan per catty.

Pineapple is 11.70 yuan per catty; banana is 0.63 yuan per catty; watermelon is 7.02 yuan per catty; mangoes are 26.09 yuan per catty; apples are 7.02 yuan per catty. Because there are no apples in Costa Rica, they are imported.

Onion 17.55 yuan per catty; lettuce 4.68 yuan per catty; cauliflower 16.59 yuan per catty.

Free medical expenses for Costa Rican residents

Immigrant Costa Rica has a high-quality, low-cost healthcare system. The fact that all citizens of the country have the right to receive medical care under their own system makes the country one of the best in the world’s health care standards. And, if you only need medicines, it is possible to get most types of medicines directly from the pharmacy (even those that require a prescription in the United States). Therefore, retirees can seek high-quality medical services at a small cost. The average life expectancy of Costa Rica is 80 years, which is the country with the longest average life expectancy of a family in Latin America.

A Chinese friend in Costa Rica said that the normal life of a family of three is about 3,000 RMB. Regarding the purchase of a house, Costa Rica can buy a two-bedroom, two-living room or a three-bedroom house for about one million yuan, depending on the area. There is almost no cost for medical care. Children’s education depends on the individual. Public schools are all free. If they study private schools, it is about US$300-400 a month.

In addition to beautiful scenery and fresh air, Costa Rica also has one of the best medical standards in Latin America, and the price is very cheap. Outpatient clinics, childbirth, immunization, and surgery are completely free, and even registration fees are not required. As long as you are a national or a legal resident, you can enjoy such benefits.