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A Guide to Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica

This is where one of the restrictions mentioned before come into place regarding foreigners investing in real estate property. Titled Property: This is the most common form of real estate investing in Costa Rica, all information for the property should be available and provided by the seller and verified at the public registry and corresponding municipality. Properties in condominium and gated communities: When buying property in a gated community, we may be talking about individual residences or townhouses, apartments in vertical buildings, or condos; this has become a very popular option in Costa Rica particularly because it offers advantages such as private security, common areas (pool, green areas, etc.) Purpose of the Property: As we just mentioned in the paragraph above, you must be very clear on what the purpose of the property is before you purchase it; if you are relocating to the country permanently then there is usually no problems, but if you interest in buying real estate in Costa Rica is to make an investment then you need to be more careful and take into account other aspects; for instance, if you want to buy property to use it as a vacation rental make sure the property can be used for this purpose, in the case of condos and gated communities in the city some have restrictions in this sense, consider maintenance and if you are not going to be in the country to oversee things, then a property management service is a good option; if you buy land for development do not leave it unattended, squatters may take advantage of this. Terminology: Some of the terms you will hear when you are going through a real estate purchase property in Costa Rica are: Registro de la Propiedad: Public Property Registry, basically the government institution where all records are kept for properties. The survey plan for a property is recorded at the Public Registry. Taxes: Don’t just take an impulsive decision when you are buying property in Costa Rica, the best thing to do is consult with a real estate attorney or tax expert regarding the exact amount your will have to pay on property taxes annually, generally, taxes on properties in Costa Rica are a lot more reasonable than what you’d pay in North America. Property taxes are calculated as a 0.25% of the value the property has in the public registry. For the most part it is safe to buy real estate in Costa Rica, the country’s political and economic stability makes it a very attractive country to invest in. If it’s a gated community or a brand new project getting details on the construction of the house should be easy, get details on the developers and construction company and past projects; if it’s an individual residence get as many details as possible from the seller, blueprints, etc.