Tips for Buyers

So, you have decided to buy Real Estate in Costa Rica? In addition to its beauty, its culture, the laws for foreign buyers are very favorable. In fact, foreigners have the same rights as locals. The only variation with that rule is, if you want to acquire concession land, where as you do need a local partner. Also, most people form a corporation to purchase property for a number of reasons. In the long run, you can simply transfer the shares of the company to a buyer, thereby saving you the property transfer fees. Also, if you rent your property, it may be beneficial from a tax perspective as well.

Know the process.

The first thing to help you, is to know the process. Here is a basic list of what happens and the appropriate steps along the way.

  • Sign an contract to purchase with the seller of the property.
  • Make an earnest deposit. This is negotiable with the seller as to how much.
  • Have your attorney run a title search on the property to verify clear title.
  • Close on the sale.
  • Register yourself or your corporation as the owner with Public Registry.

Find a Real Estate Agent.

When looking for your property, find a reputable Real Estate Agent. You may or may not be new to buying property (especially in Costa Rica), so hiring someone who does it regularly can save you a lot of time and money. Also, your agent will know the pros and cons of the neighborhoods/locations, will know why other people have bought there, and most importantly, will know what the property is worth. By using our system, then can pull up several listings for sale, and other listings that have sold in the area.

Hire an attorney.

Hiring an attorney is useful in many aspects, especially if you are new to buying property in Costa Rica. They can help you with the customs of the areas regarding your new purchase. Also, they can confirm through the Real Estate Registry (Registro Publico) that there is clear title to your potential property via the property ID number much like in the United States. They can also research for a previous survey so that "what you see" is actually what you get. We recommend getting a new survey, if an older one is not found. Better safe than sorry.

Know the price.

Decide how you want to pay for your new property here in Costa Rica. It is possible to finance property through Costa Rican means, but typically it is easier and cheaper to get financing from your native country. Many foreign buyers do this via equity in other properties back home, so their offer becomes a "cash" deal, helping your negotiating leverage.

Have fun.

This is a great time to see what’s out there. There are many different styles of properties, so decide what works best for you. Talk to the locals, visit the neighboring towns, and learn about your new vacation spot or new home.

Our last tip.

Don’t let Buyer’s remorse get the best of you. You have chosen to buy here for a number of reasons, and we hope you enjoy your purchase for many years into the future!

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