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Q&A - Renting Property in San Ramon and the Central Highlands

Quick Note to Investors:  Looking to invest in rentals for San Ramon?  Ask us how you can buy a lot and build 2 rentals in 5 months that bring in 2k/month net for about $130k.

Renters: Rentals in San Ramon Costa Rica and the Central Highlands can be a great way to find out more about the different areas and what attracts so many folks here.  From the Community Action Alliance to Pickle Ball, museums to hand made furniture stores, hiking to waterfalls, fully accredited Bilingual Schools for pre-school age children through Highchool in all the towns, plus the University of Costa Rica’s Occidental Campus, to name a few – there really is something here for everyone.  Love a warmer climate and Volcano views?  Head closer to the Central Valley – Palmares, Naranjo and Atenas.  Looking for green mountains and Ocean views from a cooler height?  Try San Ramon and Grecia.  And remember, for all the great reasons you want to move here – so is everyone else!  Trying to find a rental is proving more and more challenging.  Most of us are used to weeding through scores of rental properties, narrowing it down, visiting a few with our realtor and then having a choice.  While that is still the case in many parts of Costa Rica, including Atenas if you don’t mid the price tag, San Ramon and its neighboring towns can be quite difficult.

Why?  For one thing, many folks who build nice homes here live in them!  The homes that are rented out part of the year are already known in the community and the owners have a list of folks to call the minute their tenants let them know they are moving on – either from word of mouth that there will be an open rental, or from previous requests.  You will find other challenges as well. So how do you find a rental?

Since most of our clients are looking at San Ramon, lets focus there.  If you are looking for a 2 bedroom furnished home just for a few months during the winter around $750, well, honestly, so is everyone else.  And this is where the disparity begins between what some of the living abroad companies tell you, your online research, and what is actually available. This is where your wish list may need to shrink, and your budget may need to increase.  And also why we can help.  More than ever, it really depends on what you need, and a little of what you want, and if you have some good help.  If you are looking to live the high life year round in a large home for over $2500/month for a year – chances are you are not looking in our down to earth neck of the woods anyhow.  Take a look at Atenas where you will have at least a dozen rentals to choose from.  San Ramon, Palmares, Grecia and Naranjo are still tico areas, and you will likely choose our areas because of the cultural aspect that brings, or because you thought it was cheaper than other areas – and you were right.  Atenas will certainly be closer to the city and have many more expats (partly due to the famous reports of National Geographic claiming it had the best climate in the world back in 1996), also bringing higher price tags for those conveniences and a longer history of respected investment.  But San Ramon and the mountain towns further out will have lower temps and lower price tags, along with a lot smaller selection.

Like many expat communities in Costa Rica, San Ramon and the surrounding towns are tight knit, and living here allows us to have access to more of these rentals than if you tried to look on your own, especially as a newcomer with few connections.  And they are not the only rentals!  Of course there are many nice tico owned homes here as well.  Because we are biligual and live in the community, we have access to those as well.  Yes, most of our home rentals are in the country, because these are the ex-pat built homes that have the Ocean views, are built to higher standards, and have the housing amenities most of our renters are looking for.  These include nice furniture, full stoves, real hot water, alarm system, garages, security systems, cable TV and wifi, washer and dryer.  They will run about $1000+/month with utilities.  On the other hand, you can find a nice 1BR/studio rental for about $550/month.   As you get into the center of town, you have tico rental options.  These are budget friendly ($150-$600/month), and are close to public transportation.  But more often than not, the amenities are lacking – things like real hot water (some will provide a suicide shower), a real kitchen (tico kitchen is a big sink, small fridge and an electric range), furniture (usually older if offered), there will be gates on all the windows, doors, and entry areas for security as opposed to an alarm system, a washing machine would be a bonus, probably no dryer – and usually minimal outdoor living space.  The middle ground would be rentals in the tico neighborhoods on the outskirts of town, with nice construction, less views, nice manageable yard space, and usually some modern amenities in the homes ($600-$750+ utilities).  But how do you find these rentals?  The tico rentals are are usually posted by the owners on local bulletin boards – and the directions on where they are may leave you scratching your head in wonderment.  Or, there are signs in the windows – but if you don’t know the neighborhoods, it can be tricky, and maybe even a little dangerous in a handful of areas.  Again, this is where we can help!

So as you can see, there are many rental options here in the Central Highlands, even if you don’t get that beautiful 2BR/2BA house overlooking the Ocean for $750/month.  And if you don’t find what you are looking for right away, take something on a month to month while you keep looking.  The following options have at east 2 rentals so there’s a good chance they have something to rent you in the interim.

La Torre Garden – efficiency, 1BR and 2BR rentals

Cabinas of San Ramon – 2 BR rentals

Vista Valverde Property Rentals – 1BR and 2BR rentals, all inclusive

Maybe you will choose one of these long term like so many others have!  As you can see, we are happy to take some of the stress out of looking for the right place for you.  Contact us sooner than later, let us know your dates of travel and/or dates to move, and we can help with your rental here in San Ramon.

If you are reading this and thinking there is great investment opportunity here – you are correct!  Nice house rentals here are in high demand – and we have several great places for sale, or lots to build nice rentals cheap (check out Eco Casas of Costa Rica).  Live part of the year, and let us handle your rental for the rest, or see low cost “improvement” properties we have available – call us today to see properties that match your investment portfolio.  We can build an eco-friendly, modern house on a smaller mountain or Ocean View lot – all for about $100k, turnkey.  Maybe you don’t need to or want to rent when that is the price tag!  Pura vida!

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