Investing in Costa Rica with Marc Ramsay

Regarding investing, Costa Rica is a diverse global destination with exceptional charm. It has gained popularity over the years, attracting the eyes of investors worldwide. The country in Central America offers endless opportunities, especially in the real estate sector. Familiarizing yourself with the investment landscape is essential, particularly if you're a first-time investor. 

Investing In Costa Rica With Marc Ramsay

Regarding investing, Costa Rica is a diverse global destination with exceptional charm. It has gained popularity over the years, attracting the eyes of investors worldwide. The country in Central America offers endless opportunities, especially in the real estate sector. Familiarizing yourself with the investment landscape is essential, particularly if you’re a first-time investor. 

Marc Ramsay, a notable figure in Costa Rican investments, lends his expertise gained from over ten years of living and investing in the country. His insights into the Costa Rican investment scene and his shared experiences prove enlightening for those looking to enter Costa Rican investment waters. 

Marc, a guest on Dave Debeau’s show, shares in-depth knowledge on capital raising for Costa Rican deals, the allure of the country for investors, and the realities of living as a foreigner in the beautiful landscape. Drawing comparisons between the investment process in North America and Costa Rica, he informs readers of the nuances of Costa Rican investment. 

Whether you’re seeking to capitalize on the booming Airbnb market, are fascinated by the idea of owning a large development property, or looking into working remotely while living in the southern zone of Costa Rica, this guide will provide a comprehensive introduction. Join us as we delve into the investment world, Costa Rican style, as illuminated by Marc Ramsay.

But first, if you want financing for your next investment and want to know what type of collateral may be involved, click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity to discuss your specific situation.

The Appeal of Costa Rica for Investors

Costa Rica has attracted investors worldwide because of its stable political climate, established infrastructure, and thriving tourism industry. Marc Ramsay highlighted the investment potential of this vibrant Central American nation in his conversation with Dave Debeau. 

One of the vital appealing aspects of Costa Rica for investors is its strong tourism sector. As Marc Ramsay noted, “Costa Rica welcomes approximately 3 million tourists each year, many of whom choose to stay in Airbnb accommodations.” This offers an attractive prospect for investors looking into the hospitality and real estate sectors. 

Economic Stability: 

The economic stability of Costa Rica plays a significant role in attracting investors. Unlike many other Latin American nations, Costa Rica boasts a stable economy and a well-established banking system. This stability allows investors to enjoy regular profits and relatively minimal risk. 

Robust Infrastructure: 

Costa Rica has developed substantially recently, resulting in improved and ever-expanding infrastructure. From high-quality roads to reliable internet service, the country provides the necessary prerequisites for businesses and, more importantly, the thriving tourism industry. 

  • Roads and Transportation: Costa Rica has developed an impressive network of roads, making it easy for locals and tourists to travel across the country.
  • Internet Connectivity: With most of the population having access to high-speed internet, Costa Rica has become an appealing destination for digital nomads and professionals working remotely.

Attractive Interest Rates: 

Financing on purchases in Costa Rica comes at favourable interest rates, another attraction point for investors. As Ramsay mentioned, “the interest rate on loans for property purchases is just over 6%.” Such rates can offer a competitive edge to investors from areas with higher interest rates. 

Collectively, these factors create an attractive environment for investors. However, as Ramsay keenly pointed out, it’s crucial to understand the dynamics of the Costa Rican market and legal structure to ensure a profitable investment. Highlighting both the opportunities and potential challenges, Ramsay offers a comprehensive picture of what investment in Costa Rica entails.

Understanding the Real Estate Market in Costa Rica

The real estate market in Costa Rica offers unique opportunities for keen investors. However, understanding the ins and outs of this vibrant market is critical to making wise investments. According to the Costa Rican real estate expert Marc Ramsay, the stepping stone is getting acquainted with the regions and properties available. 

Regional Diversity 

Costa Rica’s real estate market is as diverse as its geography. Each region presents distinct investment opportunities, from the lush Southern Zone to the bustling urban centers. For example, the Southern Zone, known for its biodiversity, is ideal for eco-lodging initiatives or luxury villas. Meanwhile, urban areas are ripe for commercial real estate development or residential rental properties. 

The Rise of the Remote Workforce 

The concept of working remotely has seen a significant increase, especially with establishments like Airbnb gaining traction in Costa Rica. With the country’s stunning scenery and high-quality lifestyle, more people want to work and live in beautiful spaces. This increases demand for long-term rentals and short-term vacation homes, opening up two distinct avenues for investment. 

Property Prices and Financing 

Costa Rica’s property prices vary greatly based on location and property type. Luxury villas in prime tourist locations fetch a high price, but plenty of affordable options exist, particularly in less tourist-heavy locations. Financing is also available in Costa Rica, with rates starting just over 6%. As Marc Ramsay highlights, this is an added convenience for international investors, especially those from North America, where financing costs can be much higher. 

The Importance of Local Knowledge 

Local knowledge is precious when investing in Costa Rican real estate. Marc Ramsay emphasizes the importance of understanding the local market, the bureaucracy, cultural nuances, and legal regulations. A good grasp of these aspects will facilitate smoother transactions and safeguard your investment from potential pitfalls. 

In conclusion, although the real estate market in Costa Rica can be complex, its potential makes it an appealing option for investors. By understanding the regional differences, being aware of emerging trends like the rise of the remote workforce, comprehending property prices and finance options, and acquiring local knowledge, you can equip yourself with the tools to make dynamic and profitable investments.

Opportunities and Challenges in Costa Rican Investments

Costa Rica’s investment landscape offers numerous opportunities for savvy investors but presents distinct challenges one must address. As an experienced investor and someone who has lived in Costa Rica for a decade, Marc Ramsay provides invaluable insights into the two sides of the coin. 

Investment Opportunities in Costa Rica 

Firstly, the country’s premier location makes it an attractive investment option. Sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Costa Rica boasts breathtaking natural beauty and a rich biodiversity that attracts tourists. This has led to a booming tourism industry and high demand for rental properties. 

Secondly, there’s a rise in the number of people working remotely, turning Costa Rica into a hub for digital nomads. Therefore, investment in properties for long-term lease is on the rise. Investors can also capitalize on the Airbnb market, owing to the growing influx of tourists. 

Thirdly, raising capital for Costa Rican deals differs from North American deals, often allowing more flexible terms. Additionally, financing on purchases typically goes just over 6%, offering competitive rates to property investors. 

Investment Challenges in Costa Rica 

While the Costa Rican property market is ripe with opportunities, it isn’t devoid of complications. Challenges arise predominantly from the country’s bureaucracy, particularly regarding legal and regulatory requirements. 

Even simple actions like setting up utilities or resolving disputes can become tedious due to language barriers and local procedures. Additionally, the regulatory framework can be complex, with laws regarding property ownership, land use, and zoning that differ from typical North American systems. 

Finally, potential investors must also consider the regional diversity within Costa Rica. For example, the Southern zone of Costa Rica has nuances that investors must know before investing. 

Overcoming these challenges requires a blend of local knowledge, due diligence, and practical strategies. Marc Ramsay’s experience highlights the intricacies of investing in a diverse and dynamic market like Costa Rica.

Navigating the legal and regulatory landscape of Costa Rica should be one of the first steps taken by prospective investors. According to Marc Ramsay, there are several essential requirements, including obtaining a building permit and various paperwork. Both can be complex processes for foreigners unfamiliar with Costa Rica’s laws and procedures. 

Engaging with Legal Services 

One avenue to consider is retaining the services of an immigration lawyer. Their in-depth knowledge and experience with Costa Rica’s legal system can be instrumental in smoothing out the investment process. They can guide you through the intricacies of local laws and regulations, ensuring you’re correctly navigating the legal landscape and avoiding any problematic situations. 

Understanding Cultural Differences 

Understanding and respecting cultural differences is also crucial when dealing with legal and regulatory requirements. Not only will this facilitate easier integration into the country’s business environment, but it can also help build advantageous relationships within local institutions and authorities. Displaying ignorance or insensitivity to cultural norms can lead to misunderstandings or conflict. 

Paying Due Importance to Tax Implications 

No investment venture is complete without taking tax implications into account. Investment in Costa Rica is no different. Tax laws and regulations may vary for foreign investors and may differ depending on the nature of the investment. Hence, Marc Ramsay suggests working with accountants who can better understand these implications. 

Conducting Due Diligence 

Before finalizing any acquisition, investors must conduct due diligence. The process typically involves verifying details about the property, understanding the local market, and assessing various operational aspects. This might include verifying legal documentation, checking out the property’s reputation, or analyzing the financial model of the deal.

The Significance of Banking in Costa Rica 

Marc Ramsay also mentions that dealing with banks can be one of the challenges investors may face, particularly those from other countries. Establishing a relationship with the right bank that understands and supports your investment efforts is crucial. This can sometimes prove difficult due to the regulatory processes that might be unfamiliar to many investors.

In conclusion, successfully navigating the regulatory and legal hurdles in Costa Rica will provide investors with a sturdy foundation for their operations in the country. This will protect investors and their ventures and ensure a smoother and more rewarding investment experience.

Case Studies: Successful Investors in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been an attractive investment destination for many individuals worldwide, resulting in numerous success stories. To illustrate the potential of Costa Rican investments, let’s delve into a few of these narratives and their achievements. 

Marc Ramsay 

Marc Ramsay is a prominent figure when discussing success in Costa Rican investments. Despite being only 23 years old and having minimal business experience when he moved to Costa Rica, Ramsay successfully navigated his way through foreign business procedures, cultural adaptations, and economic fluctuations to become one of the most successful investors in the region over his decade-long residence. 

His focus has primarily been on developing large-scale properties; his in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and adeptness in raising capital uniquely for Costa Rican deals has played a crucial role in his success. 

American Couple Finds Success with Airbnb 

Another impactful example of successful investment in Costa Rica comes from an American couple who took a leap of faith and invested in properties for Airbnb rentals. Costa Rica’s attractive tourist appeal and the rise of remote work turned their venture into a roaring success, offering a significant return on investment. 

This couple’s success story highlights the potential of the tourism industry in Costa Rica and the great opportunities that await those ready to invest in vacation rentals and hospitality services, thanks to the country’s splendid natural beauty and tranquil living environment. 

Young Entrepreneur Flourishes in Remote Work 

An emerging trend in Costa Rica has been the success of remote workers and digital nomads. A young entrepreneur who set up a tech start-up while working remotely in Costa Rica exemplifies the possibilities in this realm. Not only has he enjoyed the country’s diverse lifestyle, but his business has also thrived here, demonstrating Costa Rica’s emerging opportunities in remote work and digital enterprises. 

These case studies demonstrate Costa Rica’s diverse opportunities for those willing to adapt, learn, and grow within its unique environment. They underline that a wide range of successful investments can flourish in this tropical paradise with the right approach.

Risks to be Aware of in Costa Rican Investments

Investing in a foreign country is never without risks; Costa Rica is no exception. Marc Ramsay, an investor with significant regional experience, outlines several potential challenges. It’s important not to be enticed simply by the appealing location or potential of high returns. In-depth knowledge and understanding are necessary to identify potential caveats. 

Political Risk 

Like any other nation, Costa Rica is subject to changes in the political landscape, which can significantly affect the business and investment climate. This risk is often overlooked but can bring unforeseen challenges, especially for those unfamiliar with local issues. 


Costa Rica has a reputation for red tape and slow bureaucratic processes. This can lead to delays and unexpected costs, significantly impacting your investment project’s delivery time and financial feasibility. Foreign investors are particularly vulnerable to complex procedures and requirements that may be unfamiliar and challenging to navigate. 

Financing Risks 

Interest rates for financing in Costa Rica can be higher compared to North American standards. Obtaining financing for purchases in Costa Rica sits at just over 6%, which poses a significant financial risk and can affect an investor’s return on investment (ROI). 

Limited Market Knowledge 

As an investor from another country, you likely lack extensive local market knowledge. This can lead to costly mistakes, missed opportunities, or financial loss. Marc Ramsay emphasizes the importance of research and local knowledge in mitigating this risk. 

Cultural Differences 

The culture in Costa Rica is substantially different from North America, which can lead to misunderstandings and communication gaps affecting your investments. Understanding and adapting to the local culture is crucial to achieving success, from language barriers to different business practices. 

In conclusion, any investment decision in Costa Rica, like any other foreign country, should be approached with a thorough understanding of the potential risks. These risks can be primarily managed and mitigated with careful planning, due diligence, and a deep understanding of the local market and culture.

Advice for First-Time Investors in Costa Rica

If you’re a first-time investor setting your eyes on Costa Rica, it’s essential to understand that investing in this tropical paradise isn’t the same as investing in North America. Here, we’ve compiled some critical advice shared by Marc Ramsay, a seasoned investor,  to help you navigate the Costa Rican investment landscape: 

Establish a Local Network 

Making connections on the ground is crucial. Local contacts can help you navigate the local customs, language, and regulations. They can also provide valuable insider knowledge of market trends and potential opportunities. Engaging with local communities and professional networks can make your investment journey smoother. 

Do Your Due Diligence 

All investments come with some risk, which increases when venturing into foreign territories. It’s imperative to conduct a thorough assessment of any potential investment opportunities. This includes understanding the local market conditions, property prices, associated taxes, the bureaucratic process, and the political climate. When diving into foreign investments, an informed decision will always give you the upper hand. 

Understand the Financing Options 

Financing in Costa Rica is different from North America. Interest rates can go over 6% for property purchases. Be aware of your options and how they may impact your investments. Speak to a local financial advisor or a banking institution to fully comprehend the costs before you commit to any investment. 

Learn the Language and Culture 

Culture and language play a crucial role in Costa Rica. Learning Spanish could be to your advantage as it would make your interactions easier with locals. Also, understand the cultural nuances because it can significantly impact how you carry out your business transactions. 

Prepare for the Unexpected 

The business environment in Costa Rica can present unexpected challenges, including dealing with the local bureaucracy. It can sometimes be slow and complex, impacting your investment plans. It’s wise to keep some flexibility in your plans to handle such surprises. 

Investments in Costa Rica can be rewarding with the right approach and mindset. The key is understanding the market, managing expectations, and, most importantly, learning and adapting to the local way of doing things.

Conclusion: Marc Ramsay’s Perspective on Investing in Costa Rica

Marc Ramsay, an experienced investor who has lived and worked in Costa Rica for a decade, brought his perspective to light on investing in the sunny Central American country. His understanding and insight paint a holistic picture of the Costa Rican investment landscape, outlining its potential, diversity, and challenges. 

Strongly advocating for the region, Ramsay emphasized the essential ingredients of gaining local knowledge, conducting proper due diligence, understanding the cultural nuances, and building robust local networks. He warned about the relative complexity of the nation’s bureaucracy and the necessity of managing expectations when navigating the legal and regulatory environment. 

Ramsay’s success story, centered around large development property, inspires potential investors. He shared his strategies, mainly focusing on the Southern zone, which has been relatively untouched by international demand. The result is a unique blend of opportunities, pairing the region’s natural beauty and tranquillity with the potential for substantial returns. 

Though Costa Rica’s real estate market operates differently from its North American counterpart, Ramsay sees this as an opportunity rather than a challenge. The nature of the financing system in Costa Rica is distinctive and, according to him, presents various opportunities if adequately understood and managed. With financing on purchases available at just over a 6% interest rate, the cost of capital is relatively affordable. 

Regarding accommodations, Ramsay noted the rising trend of remote work in Costa Rica and people renting properties through Airbnb. As such, he felt that the country’s appeal was only set to grow in the post-pandemic world, where the flexibility of remote work is becoming more prevalent. 

Overall, Marc Ramsay’s perspective on investing in Costa Rica is optimistic. While aware of the challenges and hurdles, he sees a bright future for investors willing to understand the intricacies of the Costa Rican market and tap into its massive potential.

If you are ready to start investing today and want more information about how your mortgage may be secured – or are looking to apply for a mortgage today – click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity today.

Listen To The Podcast