(Guest Blogger: Jason Mueller)
While there are many reasons that a person may consider moving to Costa Rica and every person who has made the move over the years has done so because of the things in life that matter to them. Whether it is because of the peaceful and beautiful landscape of the mountains, the white sands of the shoreline or even because of the quality of the air or the low cost of living, it is best to be prepared before you leave the U.S. so you will have somewhere to go when you arrive and won’t be lost trying to discover which area will work best for you.
Reasons to Make the Move
The first thing that is recommended when contemplating a move like this is that you visit ahead of time, so that you know what you’re moving too. Taking time to travel to Costa Rica a few times before final move will allow time to get to know the local area and choose which location is best for you. Additionally, you want to find out what things there are to do in the area. Some of the highly-rated things to do include the beaches, visiting the mountains, hiking, kayaking and taking in the local culture and friendly people.
Where You Should Live
There are plenty of places to choose from when it comes to where you will purchase a home. Some of the highly-rated places to live in can be found in the Southern Caribbean area of Costa Rica known as Caribe Sur. These places welcome one and all to purchase property or rent an apartment. The cost of living is lower as compared to the U.S. prices. You live comfortably as a family of two with $2000 or less monthly as the general cost of living is lower than in the U.S. You can find homes for sale ranging from around $80,000 USD to more than $1 million USD which means that no matter what your budget, you are bound to find the home of your dreams in Costa Rica.
Shipping Your Items
You can ship the items that you want to bring with you with ease if you choose to use a shipping company. It is best to consider what you’re going to bring and cut down on the amount that you have so that it can cost a bit less to make the entire move as cost-effective as possible. The move can cost between $2,000 and $6,000 depending on what you’re bringing and if you plan to have household items or a vehicle shipped over.
To ship the household goods or a vehicle, you need to have some important documents to give to customs:
- Declaration of household goods
- Title, registration, inspection of the vehicles
- Passport for photo identification
- Pay taxes on the vehicle that you’re having shipped, which can run anywhere from 59% to 79%
It is a good idea to bring your vehicle if you own one that is common in Costa Rica and will be able to be serviced easily. Not only will this provide you with a way to get around, but vehicles do not lose value in Costa Rica like they do in the U.S. so you can keep the value of your vehicle when it is brought with you. Newer cars may not be a good idea to bring if you have a strict budget as the tax rate for imports ranges between 50% and 75% (source: https://www.a1autotransport.com/ship-car-to-costa-rica.php) and when you add a 75% tax rate to a car that is valued at $30,000, you may be looking at paying over $22,000 in taxes on top of the standard shipping fees. Older cars that are mechanically sound and with lower estimated value are usually best to bring in as it can be expensive to buy a car here. Once you pay your shipping fees and taxes, you may find that you will pay the same, or close to, what it would cost to buy a used car when you arrive. The good thing about bringing your own car is the fact that many local used cars are not in the best of shape and you never know when you may end up buying a lemon.
Costa Rica is considered one of the top places in the world to visit as well as to live and once you decide to make your move, you should take plenty of time to learn about the different areas that you could purchase or rent a home, what amenities may be like in the area you like the most and how you will travel to and from the many beautiful attractions that you will find when you move to paradise.