Sell all your stuff, get on a flight to Costa Rica and buy a horse farm in a magical valley with waterfalls. That’s how the dream starts with Linda Gray, an American woman from Massachusetts who becomes a tour operator and real estate developer after moving to Costa Rica.
Happy Ponies in the Diamante Valley
Sometimes our dreams require more financing than we can sensibly provide. Getting there requires making deals or improvising. For Linda the dream starts when she walks away from a retirement tour and discovers 200 acres of undeveloped land in rural Costa Rica. Instead of buying into someone else’s development project she builds a community on her own to finance ponny paradise.
I came to my senses and realized there was no way I could maintain a property that large. So, I ended up subdividing it into nice large farm lots, installing roads with proper drainage, electric service, and a water system…but it took seven years and over half a million dollars to get the project done, paying for it a little at a time, as each lot got sold.
Selling the Dream in Costa Rica
If you are thinking of buying property or starting a business in Costa Rica, then chapter Nine, titled Selling the Farm is especially informative. Many expats buy or invest in Costa Rica and give little thought to what comes next. In Linda’s Case she sells her business, and decides to buy a home in Esterillos Este, a beachside community known for cattle ranching and cowboys.
Linda was fortunate in that she sold the farm on favorable terms. But the property market in Costa Rica moves slowly. Waiting until your are ready, or need to go isn’t always easy. Finding a buyer can take 5 years or more. If you are fortunate, then selling the dream, won’t also mean having to abandon Costa Rica. Your journey won’t just be a destination.
Reading the experiences of Linda Gray teaches us that life, even when we are following our dream is full of hard work, and sometimes tragedy.