Everything You Need To Know About Buying
Real Estate In Costa Rica
Thinking about buying property in Costa Rica, but not sure where to start? Feeling overwhelmed by the deluge of information online, all the while wondering what is trustworthy and accurate?
With over 15 years of on-the-ground experience helping people make their real estate dreams in Costa Rica come true, we have the up-to-date answers to all the questions you’re asking.
That’s why we’ve put together this FREE Costa Rica Buyer’s Guide. At over 50 pages, this resource is jam-packed with everything you need to know about purchasing real estate in Costa Rica so you can confidently embark on this exciting journey.
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Must Ask Questions When Purchasing Real Estate
How To Qualify and Apply For Residency
And Much, Much More!
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Located in the southern Pacific of Costa Rica, Costa Ballena is where the mountains meet the sea. This unique geographical feature promises panoramic ocean and mountain views at refreshingly temperate altitudes—all within quick, easy reach of the region’s picture-perfect beaches and national parks.
Unlike other more touristic areas of Costa Rica, the southern Pacific has remained a hidden gem. Developers have not devastated the coastline’s natural beauty, and thanks to marine protection, nor can they in the future. This respect for the natural abundance surrounding us extends throughout the region, with local and expat communities building with—rather than bulldozing over—the spectacular scenery.
But just because Costa Ballena has avoided over-development doesn’t mean you’ll want for modern-day luxuries. World-class restaurants, fiber-optic internet, and easy access to state-of-the-art healthcare are just a few of the many conveniences you can expect in the southern Pacific of Costa Rica.
Step-By-Step Guide To
So you’ve found your dream property in Costa Rica… now what? With over 50 million in closed sales, Tropical Investments is here to help you navigate the purchasing process. Here are the top things you need to know about purchasing a home or land in Costa Rica:
1. Set Up A Corporation
It is standard in Costa Rica to set up a corporation in which to hold your property. We highly recommend you do not purchase shares of the previous owner’s corporation; this can have unforeseen grievances from previous caretakers, housekeepers, or other employees—and will ultimately result in you taking on the seller’s problems. Your new corporation will not only protect you personally, but it will also allow you to quickly open bank accounts and acquire insurance.
2. Set Up Your Escrow Account
We recommend opening an escrow account at the time of signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement. Your escrow allows the banking transaction to happen quickly and removes any stress of learning the local banking process. Escrows in Costa Rica act similarly to personal bankers, so you can use your account to pay bills and other needs in the future. The escrow will need to collect documents to satisfy compliance with the central banks of Costa Rica. We’ve outlined this process in further detail here.
3. Start Your Due Diligence
Just as you would before purchasing real estate anywhere, it’s essential to do your homework before investing in Costa Rica. Without a doubt, the most critical point to first assess is the water source. Ideally, your attorney will have reviewed the property’s water source before you’ve made an offer. Water in Costa Rica is administered by the government and has many restrictions on use. There are three categories of water a property can utilize; we’ve outlined them here. Expect between 1-3 years to obtain a water concession on an existing internal source; 2-4 years to drill and concession a new well. To avoid these pitfalls, we recommend purchasing in a community from a trusted developer.
For more on what to look for during the due diligence process, as well as a step-by-step guide to the entire purchasing process, you can download our FREE property buying guide here.
Residency can be simple if you work with a qualified attorney to help you through the process. The cost is typically between $1,500 and $3,000. Tropical Investments is always happy to recommend quality Firms that can help you every step of the way.
The two primary categories to receive residency are Investor Status and Pension. If you purchase a property of at least $250,000 in Costa Rica, you automatically have the option to become a Large Investor Resident. If you have a pension, even better!
We always suggest starting the residency process after purchasing your first property in Costa Rica.
For more details on the documents required to start the residency process, as well as the general timeline, you can download our FREE Residency In Costa Rica guide.
At Tropical Investments, we don’t abandon you after the contracts are signed. We’re happy to assist with any questions you have about relocating to or living in Costa Rica. Our Costa Ballena region boasts a strong sense of community, and it’s our honor to help you become a part of it!
If you’re planning to relocate permanently or part-time to Costa Rica, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive:
Can I bring my pets?
Yes! Costa Rica does not require a quarantine for arriving pets, and the process is relatively straightforward. A rabies vaccination is required and must be administered within 30 days of departure to Costa Rica. You’ll also need your veterinarian to fill out and sign an International Health Certificate.
Should I ship my belongings down?
Many choose to move to Costa Rica to simplify their lifestyles. You can find most things in Costa Rica, but quality can vary, and costs can be higher than what you would pay in North America. A common option is to check extra baggage as a cost-effective way to bring down smaller items. For larger household belongings, shipping containers are your best option. Locally-based international shipping companies can help you determine the smartest way to bring your belongings to Costa Rica. Overall, whether or not you ship your belongings to Costa Rica depends mostly on your unique desires. We are happy to advise on specific items and whether or not they make sense to send or purchase locally, and even offer our opinions on whether or not said thing would do well in the tropical environment of Costa Rica.
Want more advice on relocating to Costa Rica? Get the 101 on moving to Costa Rica here.
– TYLER CORBETT, CANADA