Costa Rica real estate is well know to investors. The country offers many different real estate investments, such as time-shares, single-family homes, condos, and even working farms. Living in Costa Rica can save you money. In fact, San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city, has one of the lowest costs of living in the civilized world.
Stretch Your Dollars
Your real estate investment buys more house in Costa Rica than a similar investment would buy in North America. Costa Rica real estate is very affordable, particularly away from the coastal areas and in the capital, San Jose. As in the United States, Costa Rica real estate prices vary widely. New condos can be found for slightly over $100,000 near the airport in San Jose, as can $500,000 waterview condos near the coasts. Single-family homes in middle-class neighborhoods start at around $200,000 and increase to over $1 million for waterfront estates.
Amenities also vary widely. Air conditioning is common as are community features, such as pools, tennis courts, and activity centers in condo complexes. Many single-family homes have private pools, and beautiful vistas in Costa Rica are not limited to beachfront properties. Mountain views and sweeping forest views are equally lovely.
Finding an Agent
Remember that English is a second language in Costa Rica and that most real estate contracts will be written in Spanish. In addition, Costa Rican 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. As in the United States, Costa Rica real estate transfers carry a laundry list of fees, such as title fees, notary fees, and transfers fees.
Similar to practices in many European countries, both occupation and ownership rights are sold. It is important to know which you are purchasing. It is common for Costa Rica real estate to be purchased by corporations, instead of individuals. By Costa Rica law, two persons are required in order to incorporate.
American real estate firms, such as REMAX and Caldwell Banker, have outlets in Costa Rica. In addition, there are dozens of Costa Rica real estate companies happy to help you with your investment. As with any home purchase, choose an agent with whom you feel comfortable.