Not everyone can afford an ocean view property in Costa Rica. Nor does everyone value having an ocean view property. In a recent office poll, Osa Tropical Properties realtors say that their clients tend to desire privacy for their Costa Rica investment as much if not more than an ocean view as the number one quality they are seeking today.
Ocean view properties in Ojochal, Uvita, and Dominical are the bread and butter of our real estate market. Thanks to this rolling landscape rising up from the Pacific Coast, the Osa is known for having incredible ocean and mountain view properties. These types of properties tend to be cleared of trees on the downward slopes that lead towards views.
The hilly texture of the South Pacific Osa landscape lends itself to providing numerous vantage points across the horizon… if some trees are cleared away. But, in some cases, there are also a number of advantages to keeping the jungle in tact and valuing it over what lies on the other side.
As someone who lives on a jungle view property with a tiny ocean view window, let me illustrate for you the many wonders of life on a property encircled by tall trees, thick bushes, and the abundant life that they hold within.
By keeping the land around your home as wild as you can, you are opening your doors to more wildlife sighting than your neighbors with the clear cut views will ever experience. Birders will especially value a line of sight with a varied tree canopy that will bring a cornucopia of bird species.
Every morning, when I wake, I hear a cacophony of bird song in a sequence that educates me on what time of day it is and what the weather will be like. Lately, I have been watching a family of green parrots coming and going around sunrise and sunset, training their young one on their daily routine. Every day is a little bit different and a little bit the same.
Mornings are filled with birdsong from tanagers, thrushes, flycatchers, and woodrails. Hummingbirds flutter past in all directions, feeding frantically, while giant electric blue morphos flap lazily up and down through clearings between the trees.
Later in the day, there will be oropendola, toucans, and aracaris feeding on fruits and insects. The day will finish with frog chirrups and cicadas buzzing, depending on the season.
Keeping the jungle intact — leaving the underbrush, allowing for insects, and leaving room for native plants to flourish — supports a healthy, life-filled ecosystem. The most popular local species to sight rely on a sufficient food chain that starts from the ground up. So if you want to see squirrel monkeys and three-toed sloths make a habit of visiting your property, you will need to leave room for their natural ecosystem.
Clear cutting paves the way for aridification, as can be seen to have happened all over the Guanacaste province in its mad rush to develop over the last three decades. Those in Costa Rica’s South Pacific who enjoy having rivers on their property will want to maintain the jungle that surrounds it.
Not only is it illegal to clear or build on property within the 15m (sometimes 25m or 50m) setback from our Osa river systems, it is integral to this jungled landscape that we love to keep our waterways wild. Rivers are the life-streams of the jungle that provide an integral element of survival to plants, animals, and humans.
Some properties are so large that no government body is likely to know of all of the construction taking place on a property. But people who care about the environment should be mindful of how important the arteries of water are to this body of land.
A Shifting Market
At the start of the year, we asked our team of agents to ask their real estate buyers the top qualities they are seeking in a Costa Rica property. The top three replies at the start of the year were:
– Ocean view
As 2022 proceeds towards the middle mark and the most popular inventory on the market dwindles, the desire for an ‘ocean view’ has shifted to any kind of view that has a wow factor. The desire for a nice view has always included ocean and mountain views, but more people today are seeing the beauty of a jungle view.
Having an ocean view on your property is breathtaking on your first, second, and third sight. But somewhere down the line, even the most stunning ocean view becomes part of the backdrop. A jungle view is anything but background as life moves through it at closer proximity. Even a colorful sunset can be appreciated above a jungle’s canopy in spite of not being able to see the sun drop behind the ocean’s horizon.
Privacy Is King
Price, too, has given way as one of the top buyer requirements in 2022, making way for proximity to beaches and amenities (it is harder to be picky with price when we are in a quick-moving seller’s market). But privacy has remained an integral factor for most of the buyers we work with. Large, jungle properties often come out on top for those with privacy at the top of their list. The jungle property with a pocket ocean and/or mountain view will sell incredibly quickly in this market because on a property mostly surrounded by jungle, a pocket view is unlikely to open a line of sight onto a road or neighbors property and will therefore remain private. Whereas an ocean or mountain view property is always cleared on the side of the view and will more than likely be in sight of other properties, taking skinny dips in the pool off the table for all of us non-exhibitionists.
Ample Shade And Wind
Ocean and mountain view lots are often privvy to great breezes because the parcel of land that has been cleared for the view creates a wind corridor. By building on a strategic location of a jungle-covered property that is slighly elevated above the jungle’s canopy can put you in the full path of the wind rather than just a corridor. You can be in line with the birds and the wind if your home is in line with the height of the trees around it.
Having your home surrounded by trees also means that you will have ample shade and less need for shade-providing structures to cover your building site. You can strategically clear select trees so that you shade yourself from the strongest sun and allow for the morning and afternoon sun to filter through. There are plenty of ways to do this without creating a habitat for mold, as some have been told will happen if you don’t clear all the land around your home site.
Another quality about ocean views that people may keep from you is how hot it gets in a sunset view home. Without afternoon shade from the trees, a sunset view home built to be exposed to the full view will also receive the full brunt of the hottest sun right before bedtime, meaning that these property owners spend more money on climate control for their homes.
Jungle Views For The Win
Not only do jungle view properties have all of the above qualities: more wildlife, nature conservation, privacy, and share. These last-pick properties tend to be much more affordable than their ocean and mountain view counterparts. So if you can forego the most sought-after show piece, you can still be a winner with a large, flat, parcel teeming with life.
And even without an ocean view on your own property, you will never be far from seeing the big blue Pacific meet the bright blue sky at any number of local restaurants, bars, hotels, and spas in the Costa Ballena. Or there is always your friend’s house.