Real Estate for Sale in Costa Rica - A Guide
There is plenty of real estate for sale in Costa Rica and foreign investors are made to feel welcome in that country. In fact, Costa Rica offers North American real estate buyers many different investments, including time-shares, single-family homes, condos, and even working farms. What's more: the cost of living in Costa Rica is much less than in most North American cities. San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city, has one of the lowest costs of living in the world.
Making your Real Estate Dollars go Farther
Your real estate dollars buy more in Costa Rica than a similar investment would buy in North America. Real estate for sale in Costa Rica is very affordable, particularly those properties away from the coastal areas and in the capital, San Jose. Just like in the United States, prices for real estate in Costa Rica vary widely. Newly built condos near the airport in San Jose can be purchased for slightly over $100,000, as can $500,000 waterview condos near the Pacific coastline. $200,000 will purchase an average single-family home, and high-end investors can find real estate for sale in Costa Rica's waterfront areas for over one million dollars.
Housing amenities in Costa Rica also vary widely. One common feature is air conditioning, and many condo developments offer community features, such as pools, tennis courts, and activity centers. A large number of single-family homes have private pools, and beautiful vistas in Costa Rica are not limited to beachfront properties. The country's mountain views and sweeping forest views are equally lovely.
Finding a Real Estate Agent
North American real estate investors are wise to enlist the aid of a local agent when looking for real estate for sale in Costa Rica. Remember that English is a second language in Costa Rica and that most real estate contracts will be written in Spanish. Also, Costa Rican real estate law is based on the French Napoleonic Law as opposed to Common Law-based Canadian and United States real estate laws. Unless you are fluent in Spanish and have an International Law degree, it is a good idea to hire a good real estate agent or even a real estate lawyer to guide you through all of the formalities. Just as in the United States, Costa Rica real estate transfers carry a long list of itemized fees, such as title fees, notary fees, and transfers fees.
As is common in many European countries, both occupation and ownership rights are sold. It is important to know which you are purchasing. It is also a common practice for Costa Rica real estate for sale to be purchased by corporations, instead of individuals. By Costa Rica law, two persons are required in order to form a corporation.
Several American real estate firms, such as REMAX and Caldwell Banker, have outlets in Costa Rica. In addition to that, there are dozens of Costa Rica real estate companies happy to assist foreign investors. As with any real estate purchase, make sure to choose an agent with whom you feel comfortable.
Costa Rica bestows residency to foreign nationals for a number of reasons, such as marrying a Costa Rican national and showing that the person won’t become a burden to the state. There are two classes of self-sufficient residency cards offered in Costa Rica: the resident pensioner, with a guaranteed regular income of at least $600 per month, and a resident annuitant, who must have a guaranteed monthly income of at least $1000. Both residency status cards must be renewed every two years.
To live in Costa Rica and to own property in this lovely, friendly country is not an impossible dream. Costa Rica is accessible, affordable, and breathtakingly beautiful. Consider purchasing a home in Costa Rica. You might just find your own piece of paradise.
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