Can Costa Rica Real Estate Recover from Hacienda Matapalo Fiasco
With the recent demise of the much publicized "best-selling" Costa Rica real estate - Hacienda Matapalo - many are wondering if this, coupled with Paragon Properties, will be too much for the market to weather.
San Jose, Costa Rica -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/27/2012 -- It was only 9 months or so ago when Hacienda Matapalo, a development project in southern Costa Rica, was being marketed as the best-selling Costa Rica real estate project in the country with over $65 million in pre-sales. Today however, those statements are now a mere reflection of a marketing campaign indigenous of a handful of others before it.
Florida appears to be home-base for many mega-projects developing land in Costa Rica. The overall layout of the lead procurement to sales funnel/machine all seem strikingly similar.
Strong telephone sales force (most never having visited the country or property) who operate out of a Florida based boiler room with one objective in mind...SELL SELL SELL.
Meanwhile, while the unsuspecting sales team is doing their best to convert leads to sales, behind the scenes, the directors are busy shuffling funds around to keep the illusion of the dream alive while still maintaining a "status-quo" attitude amongst the rest of the bean counters. In fact, often these "ponzi-type-schemes" result in the directors of the companies enjoying lavish lifestyles for a few years until the bubble pops.
Recently that bubble popped for Hacienda Matapalo, a 665 acre property in Playa Matapalo along the new Costanera Highway from Quepos to Dominical.
What is left appears to be a large number of disgruntled and confused investors who are feeling as though they've been taken advantage of.
There are no shortage of lawyers in Costa Rica, however one standout, Gonzalo Gutierrez of AG Abogados, appears to be the front-runner for a legal restitution case brewing for Hacienda Matapalo investors.
"At the moment it is still too early to tell however we are working heavily on this case for investors of the Hacienda Matapalo property to determine what, if anything, can be done." said Mr.Gutierrez in a telephone interview.
But what does all this mean for the Costa Rica real estate industry as a whole?
Considering it took years for the market to recover from the Paragon Properties debauchery, one can only assume that this recent mess, will most certainly leave an even larger stain on an already struggling industry.
There appears to be a new - more wiser - investor emerging. One that has become aware of the necessary precautions to take when buying any sort of real estate in whichever country.
A few of the considerations one must be aware of are:
1. Title - never buy without title.
2. Visit the project/property you plan on investing in.
3. Do a simple background check on the directors/owners of the property. (IE: CorporationWiki.com)
4. Seriously reconsider purchasing "pre sale" projects who'll likely be funding the project on investor money rather than their own.
5. Be aware of the painted dreams using fancy renderings, videos and celebrity spokespeople.
Your best bet is to purchase something tangible - something you can physically touch and see with your own two eyes.
Another important thing to consider when buying Costa Rica real estate is to ALWAYS retain your own Costa Rica lawyer when thinking of investing in the country - after all it only makes sense that in order for a savvy investor to really know what's going on in the country where they are thinking of buying, is to hire a lawyer from that country to check for irregularities.
For more information on buying Costa Rica real estate visit - http://www.costaricanewssite.com/realestate
...and if you have unfortunately already fallen victim to the Hacienda Matapalo fiasco or others like it, consider contacting the most qualified attorney in Costa Rica for matters relating to Costa Rica real estate, Gonzalo Gutierrez at:
Address: Barrio Escalante, 7 Av. 29 St. Building No. 2910, Zip: 10101
Phone: +506 2257 - 0006 | Fax: +506 2258 - 1535 | USA-CANADA (305) 671-3768
Media Relations ContactBrian Bickell
BCRRE - Costa Rica Real Estate