Buying a property In Costa Rica as a foreign national: detailed guide
For many years, Costa Rica has been a popular country for expats looking to relocate, buy a second home or even investment property. Find out more about how to buy real estate in Costa Rica as a foreigner, what is the average cost and the best places to buy real estate in Costa Rica
According to statistics, 30% of people in the world want to move to live abroad forever. Therefore, the issue of purchasing real estate in another state is acute for citizens of many countries of the world.
Real estate prices in Costa Rica have been increasing in recent years, so buying property in the country is a good investment that will bring decent returns in the future.
Can foreigners buy real estate in Costa Rica? Today we will tell you all about the housing market in the country of expats and the bright sun.
The best countries in Europe for expats to live in 2023 are here.
Why Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is the most successful country in Central America. The state has a low crime rate, and the education and health care system is the best in the region. Another definite advantage of the country is the warm climate and low cost of living.
Many Germans choose Costa Rica as a place to meet their old age, Americans go here for low taxes, and the British for good weather. Whether you're planning to buy a home in the country for your own family or are considering it as an investment, our guide will be equally useful to everyone.
Can foreigners buy real estate in Costa Rica?
The good news is that foreigners can buy most real estate in Costa Rica without restrictions.
The main exception is certain areas, known as marine zones, located directly on the beach and considered public lands. Here, foreigners can only own up to 49% through a corporation (equivalent to an LLC) and sometimes require prior approval before making a purchase.
You do not need to be a resident of Costa Rica to buy real estate here. Foreigners, residents or non-residents, have the same rights as Costa Rican citizens when buying and owning real estate in Costa Rica.
How to buy real estate in Costa Rica for a foreigner: step-by-step instructions
1. The procedure for purchasing real estate should begin with the search for a reliable realtor. Many Costa Rican realtors have extensive experience working with foreign buyers and can help navigate the process of buying a home abroad. Ask your friends for recommendations on good professionals or check out social media forums.
2. Decide on the location of the real estate and choose the most appropriate housing option for you.
3. When you decide on a property, it is worth conducting several inspections of your own, in particular, visit the house several times, preferably at different times. Building standards vary widely, and since Costa Rica experiences extreme weather conditions, you need to be sure that your new home can withstand torrential rain and stay cool in the heat. You can also ask for more information about the home's energy consumption and regular maintenance costs to create a budget.
4. Find a real estate lawyer to help you process the purchase.
5. Discuss the final value of the property and make an offer to the seller. At this stage, you need to agree on a sale price and have your solicitor write a formal offer to the home owner. Be prepared that the price may change, especially in today's busy market.
6. Inspect the property and make a down payment. It is best to cooperate with a lawyer at this stage as well.
7. Complete the purchase and close the sale. You will need one or two months to complete the deal. At this stage, you will register your property and pay the full price for the property.
The best places to buy real estate in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to bustling cities, tranquil beach resorts, tropical jungles and stunning national parks.
The most popular cities among foreign investors are:
● Tamarindo is a city located in the Guanacaste region, on the northern coast of the Pacific Ocean. The region is home to a number of wonderful beaches. Due to its popularity, Tamarindo is one of the most expensive places to buy real estate in Costa Rica, but it is also considered a fairly safe place to invest.
● San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and therefore expats often buy real estate here. The city is characterized by good infrastructure, medical facilities and schools, as well as many shopping centers, fine restaurants and golf facilities.
●Santa Ana is a safe city that combines Costa Rican traditions and modern conveniences. It is located very close to San Jose, but is a more peaceful place for people who want to escape from the city noise.
What is the average cost of real estate in Costa Rica?
Real estate prices vary greatly depending on the type of property and specific location.
However, the average price per 1 m² in Tamarindo varies from $1,900 to $2,385, in San Jose from $1,300 to $1,800, and in Santa Ana from $1,700 to 1,900.
Real estate taxes and fees in Costa Rica
In addition to the cost of housing, the buyer must pay additional taxes. The exact amount depends on the price of the property:
● Real estate transfer tax – 0.75% of the value of the object;
● Documentary stamp – 0.18% of the value of the object;
● Notary fees – 0.5%-1% of the value of the object;
● Stamp of the register of residential real estate - 0.45% of the value of the object;
● Real estate agent's commission – 2.5% - 5% of the object's value.
Buying real estate in Costa Rica is a good investment, but it is important to have an experienced, highly qualified attorney represent you in any real estate transaction. And it should be your lawyer, not the seller's specialist. You can order a consultation from a reliable consultant using the link.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Costa Rica;
Lawyer for business in Costa Rica;
Insurance for international students in Costa Rica.
We monitor the accuracy and relevance of our information. Therefore, if you see any error or discrepancy, please write to our hotline.
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