By Ivo Henfling
Most emails I get have the important question "do I bring my furniture with me when I move to Costa Rica or should I buy new when I arrive there"? When you relocate to Costa Rica or buy a home in Costa Rica, you’ll find that sometimes the sellers don’t want to take their furniture with them as that would mean shipping and sometimes paying import duties and insurance on their old furniture. You, when you move to Costa Rica, will be doing the exact same thing.
When looking at Costa Rica real estate, you should look in the description of each property as it will tell you if the seller will either sell the house "turn key", including everything that you see or without. On another day, I will write more about turnkey homes. The purchase or import of appliances is another issue that we will leave for another day.
Now you have decided to live in Costa Rica and you don’t know if you should bring your car and your furniture. If you have not bought any new furniture in the last 5 - 10 years, this is the time to get rid of the old stuff. Of course you might have some old family heirlooms you would not want to leave behind but most of the old stuff you can probably give away to your neighbor’s kids, your grandkids or the Salvation Army.
You can get a quote from any mover for free, so just call one in your area or contact Winmovers, our trusted moving company in Costa Rica to give you a contact your area as they will need to work together anyway.
We do not have a large choice of furniture stores here in Costa Rica, especially quality stores. If you are ineterested at buying some real Costa Rica furniture, for hardwood dining tables, rocking chairs, beds and nightstands, you might like to visit the town of Sarchi. You will be surprised at the good quality of the furniture they sell there even though most of it is casual furniture. On the main street there is a great variety of Sarchi furniture stores where you can buy this kind of furniture at very reasonable prices. For sofas, sofa beds, recliner chairs, Murphy beds and some other furniture you are used to back home, you might have a very hard time to find any. While there, contact Brooke Bishop, our Sarchi real estate specialist to see some homes for sale in Sarchi.
Unfortunately Costa Rica doesn’t have a large enough market for large stores like El Dorado furniture store, with a huge online furniture catalog. There are good sized furniture stores like La Artistica and Ashley (owned by La Artistica) but their warranty is really not worth a dime as I have had many bad experiences with clients and my own furniture there. Their quality is not very good and when you have a problem they do not take any responsibility. There are some good quality modern contemporary furniture stores in Escazu, but the furniture there is more expensive than what you are used too, mainly because of the import duties, but also because of the exclusivity. Check stores like Octubre 54, Mi Casa, Altea, BoConcept, Akiro and Atmosphera for more formal furniture in Costa Rica. Most furniture stores are located in the Central Valley. Areas like Guanacaste, Caribbean and the Central and South Pacific areas offer hardly any furniture stores. While at it, check with me to see some nice condos in Escazu for sale that I can show.
My recommendation is to do your due diligence with the moving company back home, our friends from Winmovers and ask your GoDutch Realtor which stores you should look at if you plan living in Costa Rica.You can get furniture in Costa Rica at very reasonable prices, depending a lot on your lifestyle.
Ivo Henfling, your Escazu and Santa Ana homes specialist.