We understand that buying real estate in a foreign country can be a confusing and complex process with different rules and laws than you are accustomed to. That is why we are proud to use the most respected Costa Rican attorneys who help us navigate through any legal issues that may arise. Below you will find some of the basic questions about buying and investing in Costa Rican real estate. As always, if you still have questions please feel to contact anyone of us at anytime!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What form of ownership rights do I have?
Foreigners have the same rights as Costa Ricans when it comes to owning real estate here. Costa Rica also has a national centralized property database
What is a concession property?
The Costa Rican government owns the first 200 meters of the beachfront area, known as the Maritime Zone. The first 50 meters are public beaches on which absolutely no construction may take place or any concession be granted. The remaining 150 meters may be developed via special “concessions” that are granted by a governing municipality. There are a few areas of the country, like Jaco beach, where the beach frontage is titled to the 50-meter mark and are not under concession law.
Is financing available?
Yes, on the projects we promote at ERN, we have financing pre-arranged specifically for foreigners (North Americans and European) and Costa Ricans. Foreigners will enjoy the comfort of formality on your new investment because as buyers, you will fill out much of the same paperwork here in Costa Rica as you would if applying for a loan in your respective home country.
Do I need an attorney and how do I get one?
Yes, in Costa Rica an attorney is needed to close a real estate transaction. We have a list of experienced and qualified attorneys.
What about property taxes?
Property taxes are typically 0.025% of the recorded value of the property and are paid annually.
Do I need to setup a corporation?
Yes and No. There are advantages of owning property in a corporation such as tax and ownership anonymity and ease of transfer when you sell. Please ask your attorney to expand on the advantages and disadvantages of owning a property in a corporation.
How do I get title insurance in Costa Rica?
Title Insurance is available from many familiar providers here in Costa Rica, Land America, Stewart Title and Chicago Title just to name a few. Ask your ERN agent to assist you in this process if necessary.
Are Internet, cable and phone lines available?
Yes. Costa Rica has its own cable television network with popular channels like ESPN, CNN, Fox, Discovery, HBO, and Cinemax in English and Spanish (Direct TV and Satellite TV is also available). Internet is available through DSL and wireless broadband in many locations. Phone and cell phone lines are also available. Many newly constructed units in Costa Rica will be wired for all three.
Do I need a Passport to Travel to Costa Rica?
Yes, a valid passport is required to visit Costa Rica.
What is the currency in Costa Rica?
The Costa Rica currency is the Colon, but US Dollars are typically the currency of choice for Real Estate Transactions.
Can Foreigners buy real estate in Costa Rica?
Yes, foreigners have equal ownership rights in Costa Rica.
What is the process for obtaining residency in Costa Rica?
There are several ways to obtain residency in Costa Rica: temporary resident, pensioner, and Foreigner government. For legal information contact your local Costa Rican consulate.
Is Costa Rica divided Politically?
Yes, there are 7 political regions: San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, Cartago, Limon, Puntarenas (where Jaco, Hermosa, Esterillos, Bejuco, Quepos and Manuel Antonio are all located) and Guanacaste.
What borders Costa Rica?
North – Nicaragua, South – Panama, East – Caribbean, West – Pacific Ocean
What do I have to do to bring my pets (dogs and cats)?
Dogs and cats entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, endorsed by a veterinarian service (VS) veterinarian. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to traveling to Costa Rica. The required vaccinations are: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies (for animals 4 months or older.) From ICT.