Here is our list of the 4 things we hear most that people didn’t know they needed in a Costa Rica home
There are some things you just can’t learn unless you experience them first hand. Math is one of those things. You don’t learn math theory before learning how to solve for 2 + 2. Language is another that is best learned first hand. But there are other things that you can learn vicariously that if you don’t, could end up costing you a lot of money, effort, and headaches. And a very important topic in this regard is what makes for good real estate in Costa Rica.
As a notably tropical country, warm weather is something that most people account for. In fact, they are looking forward to the warm weather. What they weren’t looking forward to is a stuffy home, mold issues, or a constantly tepid pool. And on that note, here are 4 things you didn’t know you needed in a Costa Rica home.
It’s best to build a perfectly deep pool
Pools are something that are rarely uniform. In Costa Rica, pools are most often built to fit the shape of a space that gets good sun and a nice view. This is because people know that they will want to spend a lot of time cooling off in their private pool and enjoying the tropical setting. What they may not know is that if you build a pool that is too deep (because you think you might want to dive sometimes), you might be in for a shock! Because that deep pool is most likely going to be cold, even in the hot sun! If you think that’s not possible in Costa Rica, you’ll be surprised to find out that you are a lot softer than you thought! The opposite goes for pools that are too shallow — it will be too hot for you to cool down in and it won’t be an appetizing thought to go in there. So what’s a perfect depth? About shoulder height on a 5’10 person. If you prefer a slightly cooler pool, try putting up a partial shade over top.
Outdoor kitchens are the envy of their neighbors
Those who are fortunate enough to build their dream home in Costa Rica will likely want to design a home that is similar in style to what they know, aka with bedrooms upstairs and a kitchen and living room downstairs. Some people with a bit more foresight might recognize that as they age, they will want their home to be all on one level. But most people won’t think that they will want their kitchen to be outdoors. They will realize this fact quickly once they recognize that they use their bbq a lot more frequently than they’ve anticipated. And that’s not strictly because they like char on their food. It’s because cooking is hot and if you are going to do it, it helps to have maximal airflow. And it doesn’t matter how many windows you have, a structure with walls is always going to be less breezy than the outdoors. Eventually, you will come to admire your friends’ homes who have their kitchens outside. And they can share space with you while cooking and entertaining, too!
It’s ideal to face your home the “wrong” way
Speaking of breezes, home orientation is crucial to capturing the most of those ocean and mountain breezes. So rather than thinking that you want all of your windows pointing at the ocean view, once you live here, you will want your windows to be facing the direction that the winds most regularly blow. That means that if you want a breeze in your bedroom at night, you will want to be facing the mountains. When it comes to the sunny afternoons, any indoor space with a window that’s facing the sunset will be hot and uncomfortable, which is less and less compensated by the beautiful view as time goes on. Think about it: are you going to be watching the sunset from bed most nights? Is it worth it to have the setting sun heat your bedroom just before you go to bed? Our suggestion is that it’s best to leave the views to the outdoors and focus on capturing the winds and a bit of shady respite inside.
You will want more roof overhang than you ever thought you needed
Most people who visit Costa Rica, even if it’s for months at a time, will come during the dry season. This season includes December to about May, after which comes what we full-timers affectionately term ‘the green season.’ But for all intents and purposes, it is wet. It may not rain constantly and, in fact, most of the days during this season will have sunny, bright blue skies. But there will be those hours in the day where it’s coming down in buckets. And what helps most for comfort is to have plenty of dry space so be sure to plan a generous overhang for your roof. Because even though the weather is a bit cooler, you will still want to be outdoors to enjoy the green foliage, the flowers, and the rejuvenating rains from a dry location. There is nothing more soothing than the sound of water falling nearby while swinging in your hammock with a tea and a good book.