|If you are thinking of buying real estate in Costa Rica, then you are clearly feeling the exhilaration that comes with the thought of living in paradise. Unlike many tropical countries, buying real estate in Costa Rica is for the most part a safe and legal process that protects the parties involved legally, so if you take the proper steps, you should have no trouble completing this transaction without unnecessary hassles or delays. |
Of course, like any country, there are standard rules, regulations and laws that exist and that govern the typical real estate transaction, an overview of which is provided below. If you’d like to be sure that no law goes overlooked, the best immediate step is to seek a personal referral for a Costa Rican attorney who can guide you through the process seamlessly.
Procedures for Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica: The first step you’ll need to take is to obtain an understanding of the types of ownership that are available in Costa Rica, and a brief description of each appears below:
- Fee Simple: The fee simple estate is much like that in the United States, in that the owner has absolute right of ownership and exclusion of others.
- Concessions in Maritime Zone: There is a particularity to remember if you’re thinking of buying beachfront property. Concessions are in place for roughly 200 yards from the high-tide water mark, and foreigners do not have the same ownership rights as citizens within this zone.
- Properties in Condominium: Many people will think this concept is just like owning a condo in the United States, but this is also a Costa Rican legal term that basically allows the developer of the property to set limitations on anyone who makes a purchase within this development.
- Untitled Property: Untitled property would be considered the ‘wild west’ when it comes to buying real estate in Costa Rica. These plots are not recorded with the local government, and they can be squatted upon, as many have for generations.
The next step you’ll need to complete is to gain an understanding of the purchase process as required under Costa Rican regulations. Generally, there are five accepted steps that lead to the ultimate transfer of property in Costa Rica:
- Signing an Option to Purchase/Sale with the Seller
- Depositing funds into an escrow account
- Title search
- Registration of Deed
Surely, many of these steps sound familiar, and for the most part they share many characteristics of a property purchase in the United States. However, there are local variations that could apply depending on the specifics of your situation.
If you are ready to begin the process of buying real estate in Costa Rica, the best decision you can make is to find a personally-referred attorney to help you through the process from start to finish. He or she will be able to help you with the title search and purchasing title insurance to make sure that you do not encounter any unpleasant surprises. Beyond that first protective step, you’ll soon find that the choices available to you in Costa Rica are nothing short of limitless and exciting.
|Javi the Frog's Costa Rica Blog|
|One Day In... Monteverde|
In Spectacular Views - Tuesday, May 21, 2013
|Navigate through Costa Rica with a car rental|
In Day Tours - Sunday, May 19, 2013
|Plan a post-retirement trip to Costa Rica|
In The People - Friday, May 17, 2013
|My visit to the Arenal Volcano Inn|
In La Fortuna - Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|Enjoy the natural and man-made sounds of Costa Rica|
In The People - Monday, May 13, 2013
|See all Javi the Frog's Blog posts|
Top Activity Picks in Costa Rica