Desperately seeking high-end buyers in Costa Rica

Although a haven for expats, $1 million-plus properties aren't selling like before

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Oct. 19, 2012

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I also spoke with Tor's wife, LouAnn, and asked her about Costa Rica.

"It was a beautiful place to live," she said. "I have never seen nature as beautiful as it is there, the color of the light, so many different colors of green. It's a beautiful land, but we have decided not to move again. We will stay in France."

The Prestgards moved to Costa Rica in 2009 and built or rebuilt all the structures on the property.

"We put more money into the house than most people who are selling down there," LouAnn said. "Unless you go into the million-dollar category, the quality of construction in Costa Rica is poor. For that kind of money, our property is a good investment."

I asked Duffy how he would market the property:

He answered, "If that was my property, I would make a small price reduction to make it more attractive. I would benchmark it against five or six other properties in the area. I would produce an ad that would say, 'Highly motivated to sell due to health reasons,' and I would make it an exclusive listing not an open listing."

To which he added, "The people who were interested in these types of properties and relocating from the United States prior to the Great Recession never lost their interest. They just took a pregnant pause to see if their savings and retirement funds were going to withstand the full force of the recession."

Finally, I questioned LouAnn about missing Costa Rica.

"I miss the coffee," she said. "Even in France, it's awfully hard to drink a cup of coffee from the store, because we used to process our own coffee for our own consumption."

Didn't you take some with you when you left, I asked.

"Not enough," LouAnn and Tor answered in unison!

Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, "Growing Up Levittown: In a Time of Conformity, Controversy and Cultural Crisis," is now available for sale on

Contact Steve Bergsman:
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