Costa Rica Real Estate

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So You Wanna Buy Property in Costa Rica

Sound advice when you're thinking about purchasing land in Costa Rica.
Sound advice when you're thinking about purchasing land in Costa Rica.

What’s not to like, a stable government, steady economy, outstanding social benefits, pristine landscapes and not to mention the exotic wildlife- it’s no wonder Costa Rica’s real estate market is flourishing. But before you sign on the dotted line, lets review a few tips that can make this a pleasant, and LEGAL transition.

Tips for purchasing property in Costa Rica

Get good, sound legal advice.

Buyers should either use their own lawyer or deal with renowned broker companies. With Costa Rica’s unique legal system, buyers need to use a trustworthy lawyer to research liens, encumbrances, boundary lines, name of the title holder, as well as other technicalities that could affect the title or subsequent construction. Buying property abroad, or anywhere for that matter, is a big purchase and since it’s an important investment, one should take the necessary precautions to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. It is also important that the buyer ascertain his or her own attorney to perform an independent title search and inquiry rather than depend on the seller’s attorney.

Have an understanding of Costa Rica before buying.

It’s called ‘Paradise Syndrome,’ and you need to avoid it. Many vacationers and tourists are quickly taken in by Costa Rica’s amazing scenery and hospitable and easy-going people. Especially after a couple beers down at the beach with monkeys hanging about and the sights and sounds of the surf right in front of you. But reality is not a never-ending vacation. Reality here is- bills, chores, work, and cultural adjustments. People should definitely live in Costa Rica for awhile or visit a few times before investing in a home and moving here. Also do a little research, talk or read articles about people that have made a similar move which may offer various perspectives and give one a better feel for the country.

Whatever you're looking for- it's HERE in Costa Rica.
Whatever you're looking for- it's HERE in Costa Rica.
Research the location.

Think about your ‘needs’ and ‘wants.’ Do you want all the modern conveniences that you’re used to like- internet, cable TV, public power grids and shopping? Or would you prefer to live more rural, or deep in the rainforest, with only the wildlife as neighbors? For a small country, Costa Rica has a wide variety of climates, from Guanacaste’s dry lowlands to Heredia’s alpine mountains to the tropical rainforests that are found along the Caribbean coast. Once you’ve discovered the location and climate you prefer, be sure to check to see if it’s in close proximity to the things you find important, whether that’s defines as a great surfing beach or first-class shopping. Be sure to check out everything that surrounds the potential property and ask yourself a few questions- “How close is it to town? Are there banks and schools and appropriate medical facilities nearby? Does the property have electricity and water? Are roads easily accessible or paved? These are just a few of the questions one must ask before plunking down a deposit.

What sort of community will you be living in? Do you want to live around other gringo’s or expats such as in Manuel Antonio and Escazu or you may be thinking of a more Costa Rican area, for total cultural immersion.

Consider the Pros and Cons

Make a list of pros and cons once you’ve seen a variety of properties. Consider market conditions and other cost factors, quality of construction, surrounding neighborhoods and preferred amenities. With a written detailed analysis, the decision process will be easier.

Enter the Culture

It’s not easy to move to another country, but it can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Make sure you learn some conversational Spanish; this is always good way to meet your neighbors and shows you’re trying to immerse yourself in the culture. Take a cooking class or Latin dance class and make sure you go to the farmers market to purchase your produce. The more you immerse yourself in the culture, the quicker the assimilation process will be.