The wonders of Costa Rica and the warmth of its people make it appealing for many to consider buying a property. Recently the country was ranked second by InterNations among the worlds most welcoming countries. The objectives vary; enjoyment, investment, retirement; whatever the reason may be, there are generalities that apply to the overall real estate market.
Buying a second home in Costa Rica or staying forever in the country of Pura Vida, should be a well-minded and studied process, and we are here to help! After daily real estate involvement for over 13 years, here are the key things you need to know before starting your search to fulfill your real estate objective:
Find a Real Estate Agent
It is extremely important that you choose a Real Estate representative carefully. The real estate market in Costa Rica is not regulated, and a license is not required to sell. There are many well established and knowledgeable brokers that can help you buy the property you are looking for with a smooth process, but there are also some people with no experience at all.
We recommend you follow a hiring process as you would do for your business. Have some interviews, do some due diligence and focus on finding someone with a proven record in the local market.
The lack of an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) with all the information for any of the sides means that the facts to make educated decisions comes from whoever is representing you. Since there is no requirement of a license to sell, choosing who you will work with is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Property Title in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a centralized registry of land, allowing you to check and guarantee the title of your property. The registry can also give valuable information about any restrictions the property could have. Of course, your local lawyer will check the property on the registry as a common practice before making an offer, however we advise you to double-check before any kind of formalization.
Living close to a secluded beach or with a stunning ocean view is a common must. Being able to achieve this means buying in rural areas of the country that are beautiful and in real connection to nature, but lacking a zoning plan.
Considering properties within recognized and in-progress Real Estate projects can be a good practice to consider as the externalities that can affect the value of a property should be of higher consideration in Costa Rica.
One of the most attractive reasons of buying a property in Costa Rica is the low taxes. These taxes are paid at a rate of 0.25% of the declared value of the property. It is important to consider that these taxes are collected by the local authority or Municipalidad and there is not a formal notice system so you will have to be very attentive of when the tax should be paid. Regularly local news or local TV will communicate you when is the right time to pay this tax.
There could be other taxes related to your property, also collected by the Municipalidad that you should be aware of like: infrastructure, street lighting and garbage disposal. Be sure to ask your lawyer about the taxes related to your property.
The above points mentioned makes the due diligence important to be made by an attorney who has a good understanding of the area with relevant real estate knowledge.
Of course, there are much more things involved in a purchase or a sale, but the above points can help you make wise choices and help you find the perfect property for you.
We are a local company with a full understanding of the area, we have been present for over 13 years. There are many clients with whom we would be happy to put in touch with you so you can have proof we always work to help you achieve your objective with a smooth seamless transaction. Contact us now