When purchasing a property with a pre-existing building or as part of development, as well as for those who are interested in developing property, it is important to take note as to whether or not the property up for investment has underwent a formal or informal development process. In the end, the difference of approaches will reflect in the property’s overall, long term value.
As a general rule, those projects that undergo, the scrutiny of a formalized project plan are those that result successful ventures. The estates that do not have the approvals required from the relevant government institutions, give that they do not undergo the proper analysis of factors such as population density, building density, maximum height, and maximum supply of drinking water, are development projects that put our ecosystems in peril, and in extreme cases, the structures themselves could even be at risk. The studies that are complete within the formal process are undertaken so that we can ensure the proper use of the land, it´s stability and more importantly and often forgotten, the correct use of one of our most cherished and valuable natural resource. WATER
Regrettably, informal development is frequently use to save on upfront costs, however it does not adhere to many of the analyses required to truly understand the impact we have on our surrounding environment. When skipping the studies there is a tendency to make oversight, that lead to mistakes. Overtime an o a large scale, they can cost a community or a project it´s future viability. Conversely, when projects are conceived formally, important factors are analyzed at the offset of the project. Some aspect studied, among many are: flora and fauna, geology, topography and groundwater. These elements are reviewed during the environmental impact studies and during the approval process of construction drawings, as well as prior to any infrastructure work. These studies are completed long before placing the first rebar on the construction site and will save you being added towards project completion. Te formal process alleviates these concerns and biggest benefit to formal development, especially in Costa Rica, is that the process answers to a series of regulations and requirements that have been well established for many years now and allows us to safeguard our investments for ourselves and our future generations.
Costa Rica is one of the pioneers in conservation of natural resources worldwide, we are one of the first the preoccupy ourselves with the proper management and protection of flora and fauna which sustains tourism to our “Rich Coast”, which is also why we have a duty and obligation to comply with laws that set out to protect it. That being said, on matters concerning protection of resources, your own investment should be top of mind. A piece of land that underwent an informal development does not have the same value as that same piece of land that did undergo a formal design and approval process. A property can have the best panoramic ocean view with a very luxurious home, nonetheless, if it lacks specific environmental studies or previous approvals, the assigned value is mere speculation.
In past years, in the southern region of Costa Rica there has been a dominance of the informal development in real estate. And so as we experience growth in the area, we are sure a change of mentality will benefit our children, grandchildren, our visitors, and more important, our planet – EARTH!