Monday 20 September 2021

San Francisco, Costa Rica or California, Which is Better?

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The Golden Gate bridge San Francisco, California. San Fransico de Heredia is not California, but read Chirstopher Howard's reason why it just might better.
The Golden Gate bridge. San Fransisco de Heredia is not California, but read Christopher Howard’s reason why it just might better.

QCOSTARICA LIVING – Costa Rica living expert Christopher Howard, on his live in Costa Rica blog, explain why it is better to live in San Francisco de Heredia,Costa Rica than San Francisco, California

Howard writes:

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Before I moved to Costa Rica almost 40 years ago, I lived in San Francisco, California. I went to graduate school at nearby UC Berkeley and worked as an educator for the San Francisco Unified School District. I really enjoyed living in the Bay Area. Watching the Super Bowl festivities that took place there last week, brought back a lot of fond memories.

A quiet tree line street in San Francisco de Heredia, Costa Rica
A quiet tree line street in San Francisco de Heredia, Costa Rica

One thing I remember were the low home prices in the 1970s. In the city you could buy a two-flat victorian for around $40,000. Indeed those were the good old days. Today a similar home in a neighborhood like Noe Valley, costs over $1,000,000 dollars. In fact, the median value of homes has skyrocketed, from $670,000 at the beginning of 2012 to $1.12 million in January 2016, a gain of more than 67%, according to, which puts the gain in the past year alone at 14%.


Coincidentally, I now live in San Francisco de Heredia. My two-story home is a little under 2000 square feet and has an incredible panoramic view across the Central Valley from the second floor. The neighborhood where I live is tranquil and conveniently located. I do not need heating or air conditioning because of the year-round spring-like climate. So, my utility bills average under $60 per month. Taxes on my home are under $300 dollars a year. All of this sounds two good to be true but is 100 percent the truth.

Local shopping in San Francisco de Heredia
Local shopping in San Francisco de Heredia

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The bottom line is that it is affordable to live in Costa Rica and you can find real value. Here is what I didn’t have when living in San Francisco, California: Good year-round weather, dirt-cheap produce, low cost medical care, affordable public transportation, the lowest cell phone rates in Latin America at around $20 per month, reasonable hired help, a warmer culture, no San Andreas fault, no rich Silicon Valley jerks, cheap entertainment, beaches with warm water, no freezing fog shrouded summer days and a whole lot more.

Although San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, I feel moving here was the best decision I ever made and do not regret it for one minute.

Try to live in San Francisco, California on a fixed retirement income. Retirees and others here, do it here easily.

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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