By Ségolène Poirier, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The municipality of Maricá is situated on the coast of Rio de Janeiro State just about twenty kilometers away from Niterói, and only about sixty kilometers (forty miles) north from the city of Rio. Not only does Maricá provide residents with plenty of calm and tranquility, but the small city and long coastline offers a variety of rental and purchase options much more affordable than in Cidade Maravilhosa.
It is divided in four districts – Maricá (central), Ponta Negra, Inoã and Itaipuaçu. The city of Maricá, with a population of about 120,000, is surrounded by a large lagoon which is part of a series of lakes; Barra de Maricá, do Padre, Guaripina and Jaconé.
Maricá combines this peaceful environment with the proximity of a big city and can be reached within an hour from the heart of Rio, as well as Buzios in the other direction. It is accessible by four highways – RJ-106, RJ-114, RJ-104 and BR-101 – that connects it to the cities of Niterói, São Gonçalo, Saquarema and Itaborai.
Maricá also has a large urban area formed by dozens of neighborhoods and condominiums however downtown, most of the properties are for permanent use. It is in coastal areas and at the shores of the lakes, that the residences are mostly used for short-term and tourism rentals.
An agency named Investments on the Beach offers a large variety of oceanfront properties for purchase or to rent, as well as undeveloped lots. Anthony Giuffrida, owner and manager originally from the U.S., explains: “The city is known for its natural beauties, picturesque landscapes, the simple and tranquil life. Living costs are about fifty percent of what they would be in Rio – and housing is about ten percent of what it would cost in Rio,” he adds “Some of the most affordable beachfront properties in all of Brazil.”
For instance, in comparison with Zona Sul (South Zone) of Rio, R$500,000 will only buy you an average of 50m² in Copacabana, meanwhile in Maricá it could afford you a beachfront mansion with a guest house and a caretaker house. However, a budget of R$280,000 will purchase a four-bedroom beachfront house in Maricá.
Concerning apartment purchases, the approximate average apartment area is 65m² and the approximate average cost per m² is R$2,010. This 56m² one-bedroom apartment is close to the beach and part of a condominium with pool. It is listed at only R$120,000.00 (R$2,143 per m²).
Rental options offered by Investments on the Beach can be weekly or monthly. For example, this Oceanview Villa For Rent has two floors and a pool is R$6,600 monthly, or R$2,800 weekly.
Eric Araujo, who lives in Maricá, says that there are only good reasons to live there, “It’s very calm and tranquil out here. And yet, there are many things to do, like restaurants and bars, plus the lake is a great environment to do sports [like jogging, biking, hiking…].”
For those interested, Maricá seems a great option for its affordable living costs and high quality of life. Giuffrida says “A few hundred expat families are currently living and investing here especially along the beach. It seems the foreigners value the beach and enjoy buying second homes, investment properties and early retirement properties here.”