Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica – Blog

A primer guidebook for investing in Costa Rica real estate market

Live in Costa Rica Tours

One of the main reason retirees and other expats come to Costa Rica is to downsize and try to get by on less money. Because of Costa Rica’s popularity, prosperity and high quality of life, housing in some areas has become expensive. However, now there is an affordable housing option -— shipping container homes. Diana Leiton of the company,   Containers of Costa Rica, says that her company can design […]

Categories: Real Estate

Costa Rica continues to grow by leaps and bounds according to El Financiero, the country’s number one financial newspaper. In 2015 Costa Rica’s real estate market is expected to be good. In the upcoming months 35 new foreign companies will set up shop in Costa Rica. Furthermore, 17 new fast-food restaurants, four supermarkets, 35 new upscale coffee shops, 12 convenience stores, 19 stylish clothing stores, six large appliance stores, two […]

Once you have explored Costa Rica and decide that you want to live here permanently, you may choose to look for a home to purchase. The $1,000,000 question is , “How do I find a property?” Fortunately, there many tools at your disposal for locating your own slice of paradise. Below are a few ideas to get you started assuming you have decided where you want to look for a […]

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On my monthly relocation/retirement tours I show a sample of properties so that my guests can get an idea of what different housing options are available in Costa Rica. My clients view properties in the Central Valley, both the Central and South Pacific areas and the Guanacaste region on my different tours. Recently, I have discovered an incredible property that has become a “required stop” on the Central Pacific portion […]

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For the last six years Atetnas has been on the radar for expats for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the price of view property is now sky high. Here is a brief description of the town and what it has to offer. Nestled in the foothills at the western edge of the Central Valley at 2,500 feet in altitude, the rural and picturesque town of Atenas offers panoramic views of […]

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In my last article about tour stops and property viewing I mentioned that on my relocation/retirement tours I include a small sampling of properties to give my clients an idea of different types of living situations. On the second day of my Central and South Pacific Beach Tour we visit Portasol, which is an eco-community located in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica. Only minutes away from Manuel Antonio […]

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I have mentioned in previous articles that on my relocation/retirement tours I include a small sampling of properties to give my clients an idea of different types of living situations. When I started my tours 17 years ago I did not include visits to homes, condos or to see property. However, at the request of former clients I now include this activity on my tour. Don’t get me wrong! I […]

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Anyone thinking of retiring in Costa Rica or purchasing property here will be please to to read the following information about the state of the country’s economy. February 8, 2013 (Reuters) Fitch Ratings has affirmed Costa Rica’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘BB+’. Fitch has also affirmed the Short-term foreign currency rating at ‘B’ and the Country Ceiling of ‘BBB-’. The Rating Outlook is Stable. […]

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If you move to Costa Rica and buy a home, you may end up having a swimming pool built. Many retirees yearn to have a swimming pool in the backyard of their dream home where there can take a cool dip, just relax, swim or even entertain friends. Getting a pool built in Costa Rica is not impossible but there are some things you need to know before undertaking a […]

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When renting an apartment or house in Costa Rica retirees should always have their lawyer look over the rental contract before signing it. Nevertheless there are a few things retirees should know to avoid misunderstandings and headaches down the road. (1) The amount of the monthly rent should be stipulated in a written contract. (2) The amount that the rent may be increased yearly if in colones. (3) The length […]

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About two years ago I was talking to my friend Harold, who is a retired army veteran. Harold mentioned that he bought a lot and was building a 6-unit apartment building in the suburb of Tibás which is about 10 minutes north of downtown San José. My friend Harold figured that after his initial after investment his rentals would generate a good monthly income. What he didn’t count on were […]

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Unless you are interested in a beachfront condo at the beach or an apartment in a Escazú high rise, you will generally find much lower rents in Costa Rica than in most areas of the U.S. You should be able to find a decent rental for around $600 or less on the lower end and something really nice for about $900-$1000 at the upper end. No matter what kind of […]

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With the U.S. and world economy still in shambles with no sign of recovery on the horizon, savvy retirees are looking to live abroad as a way to stretch their retirement dollars and improve their quality of life. Costa Rica has been on the radar for years, but now, more than ever, it’s becoming an option for anyone wanting a better lifestyle for a lot less. The country’s stellar international […]

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If you look at the bottom of this page you will notice that there are areas in the United States where home prices are seemingly lower than in Costa Rica. However, buyers and retirees need to consider the following. The reasons Costa Rica’s prices have remained constant is due to the popularity of the country, its economic stability and the fact that there wasn’t a huge crisis as in the […]

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Anyone thinking of living in Costa Rica is faced with renting or buying an apartment, condo or home. Fortunately, there are many options if you are thinking of buying. One of the newest products available are high-rise condominiums. Prices start at around $100,000 for a condo in one of these structures. Buildings generally offer 1,2, or three bedroom units with nice finishings, a view, a parking space and a good […]

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It helps to be familiar with the alphabet soup of regulatory agencies you will be dealing with during the permitting process. Following, a brief list: MINAET (www.minaet.go.cr): The Ministerio del Ambiente, Energía, y Telecomunicaciones, or Minstery of Environment, Energy, and Telecommunications. This is the big cheese when it comes to environmental regulation in Costa Rica. Permits to cut down trees, drill wells, and mine anything must pass through. SETENA: The […]

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There is no one, single way to do the permitting process, and there is no single entry point. How you do permitting will depend a lot on who you hire and how much you’re willing to spend. Many of the procedures can be carried out in parallel, either legally or extra-legally. Permitting any sizable construction project, however, is not a do-it-yourself experience, and for the most part you’ll start out […]

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From 2006 to 2009 there was an incredible explosion in construction in Costa Rica. Don’t let that fool you: Costa Rica is still one of the most difficult countries in the world to build in. In addition to being expensive in terms of fees and materials, the main hang-up that developers and home-builders face is the enormous variety of permits that must be obtained before building. To develop a property […]

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Title insurance is a relatively new concept for Costa Rica. Until only recently, it was rather difficult to get title insurance in Costa Rica. It is not required to have title insurance when purchasing a property since the properties are usually purchase by foreigners in cash Now, there are some very good options for obtaining title insurance when buying real estate in Costa Rica. Title insurance is not required when […]

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Anyone who lives in Costa Rica knows that we have more rainy months than dry months. Generally speaking winter begins towards the end of April and ends around the beginning of November. Every year the cycle varies slightly. The country’s copious rainfall take as toll on most homes. According to the Costa Rica’s professional school of architects or Colegio de Ingenieros y de Arquitectos (CFIA) around 50 percent of the […]

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Deal with local bureaucracy when purchasing a home or building. Retirees or anyone else who plans to live in Costa Rica and purchase a property has to jump through a lot of hoops when dealing with the local bureaucracy. Property taxes, building permits, and zoning are all handled by local municipalities. The country is divided up into 81 municipalities, each one representing a cantón (like a county) with a seat, […]

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In my last couple of articles about the steps in purchasing property I explained how to use the Registro Público or our local equivalent of the hall of records. However, not all your due diligence can be carried out in the National Registry. If you’re still interested in the property after the title search, your next step is to hire some professionals to do a more detailed assessment of various […]

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It has been a few weeks since I wrote the second part of this series on due diligence when purchasing a home. Here is Part 3: To briefly review Part 2 , after you have done an Online Search for a property by finca number on the Registro Nacional’s (National registry or Hall of Records) Web site www.registronacional.go.cr and checked the following: Naturaleza (This section simply describes the property and […]

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The most basic – and essential – part of any property due diligence is the title search. The goals of a title search are to establish the seller’s legal right to sell the property; and to find out if the property has any legal entanglements, like mortgages or rights-of-way. Remember, however, that Costa Rica operates under a Napoleonic system of law, not a common law system. So whereas title searches […]

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At least visiting a property before buying it should be the no-brainer first step. Unfortunately this isn’t always true in Costa Rica. There are people in the U.S. who buy Costa Rican property site-unseen. Often there are no problems; sometimes, there are big ones. The idea behind scouting a prospective property is to confirm the most basic characteristics of the land. If you’re looking at a finished home, check out […]

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