Prominent realtor John Weiland shares his views on Cost Rica real estate, and how best to narrow your search and find your own piece of paradise.
When clients come to you with an idea of what they want, how do you help them refine their criteria prior to finding a match?
The first and most critical step is to begin building credibility with your prospect by sharing a brief about my history, my knowledge of the marketplace, and some tidbits of my happy customers – build rapport first. Then it is time to ask questions of what their home or property looks like to them. Perhaps they have seen it in a magazine, or visited before and have some reference to share with me. It is important to connect on the emotional side as many clues to their needs reside there. Asking questions like: “Why are you considering a purchase in CR?”, “Is this going to be a primary residence, second home, or rental property?”, “Are you familiar with buying property internationally?”… Often questions like these reveal important clues about what type of property they have in their dreams and is a good way to build rapport, credibility and learn about their needs.
What is the most important thing you look for when purchasing a home for yourself?
Get educated about the local real estate market. This means doing my homework to determine local values, locate areas that are up-and-coming, talk with people in that neighborhood/community about their experiences, and then spend a night looking around the area I believe I have identified as many clues come out at night.
If you had to choose one piece of advice for first-time home buyers, what would it be?
Determining if this acquisition will be for investment or for primary residence. Many people mix the two and want both from this one purchase, yet the buying signals vary widely as the needs are financial for investments and emotional for primary – significant difference.
If you were not selling real estate, where would you be today?
Back as an investor of income producing apartment buildings, building a portfolio of cash flow properties and servicing my customers (tenants) as to me this is a tremendous opportunity and privilege to provide a quality roof and housing for those in need!
What would you say is your most proud accomplishment as a real estate agent so far?
By far it was experiencing the “A-to-Z” completion of handling the initial email of a prospect seeking to retire in Costa Rica, establishing credibility, rapport and more, then having them come for a week to tour properties, knowing that they were “only going to do our homework this trip.” Then educating them on the local market, showing them some lifestyle to enjoy, building a relationship. To locating their dream home on the third showing, to a few intense evenings of calming the “fears” of placing an offer now. To the acceptance of their offer on day four and to helping them set up their IRA for purchasing the property and all the details that were involved, as they were so unsure throughout the process. To closing the transaction with rather ease. Then to a full remodel of their home utilizing my network of quality resources and being under budget. Then to being the first one to enjoy their first dinner in the newly remodeled, dream home that they did not think was possible. And today now enjoying a friendship with our families and many dinners at their home and swimming in their pool. A customer was created and a friendship resulted.
What property do you currently have listed that you wish more people would see?
When it comes to local neighborhoods, observing how future infrastructure will improve, how the neighborhood is growing, how the buying habit of people is changing to more privacy, to good valuations, with future potential, to primary residence or investment as described above, this home is positioned extremely well in the local market. This home meets about all categories that a buyer might be seeking at a very good price. Built with high quality construction and amenities, the layout is very inviting and has a guest home for extra people. And the ocean view is world-class. Definitely one of the better listings in the area.
At a higher price point I favor this amazing property: Built with European hand-crafted skills and design elements throughout, Viking stove, refrigerator and more and impeccable thought-process from layout and flow, this home is a gem in the rough. Whether seeking a primary residence, investment property or to create a world-class B&B, the design lays out for all categories. And with more acreage to build additional in the future, this property is truly spectacular, with ocean views and privacy to match. Quality, price, location, positioning, are all top notch with this home!