Of course, Costa Rica is a country that every tourist would like to visit. It is one of the most hospitable countries in Central America with incredible natural diversity. Therefore, it is not surprising that many foreigners want to buy a property in this piece of paradise on earth.
Firstly, the real estate market in Costa Rica – one of the most favorable for visitors. This is because of a stable socio-economic situation, low levels of unemployment and crime, the absence of a defense tax, and many other factors.
Furthermore, there are no special rules for buying housing for foreigners. In other words, newcomers can buy real estate, land, and other property in the same way as local residents. This is according to the Costa Rican Constitution.
Citizenship, residency, or even presence in the country is not necessary to buy a property.
Advantages and disadvantages of buying real estate in Costa Rica
First of all, the acquisition of real estate in the country is regulated by the National Property Registry. Thus, almost all properties in Costa Rica are registered in the Folio Real computer system. It allows you to find out all the necessary information about the object before buying: area of the house, property ownership, location, all the disadvantages, and advantages.
Besides, property taxes in Costa Rica are not high. They are 0.25% of the cost of real estate.
However, foreigners need to be prepared for some negative moments. When buying an existing home, you should be very careful. Some architectural structures and details can not be removed or somehow changed. Or alternatively, the changes will cost huge financial waste.
Real estate types and purchase conditions
In general, Costa Rica offers many types of properties.
Most often, foreigners prefer to buy private houses. The reason is more space for privacy. However, buying a house is more expensive and requires a lot of money to maintain it.
A condominium is a type of real estate with separated apartments but containing shared areas. More precisely, this is a variant of an apartment building, but with a rich entertainment infrastructure. Meanwhile, it will be an excellent option for foreigners who do not permanently live in the country. After all, this type of property provides such facilities as round-the-clock security, maintenance, and so on. But the disadvantage of condos may be the need to share space with other residents.
In addition, when you desire to buy a home by the sea or the ocean, you should consider some points:
- The first 50 meters of land from the tide line is a public area and cannot be built up. (first of all, this is done in order to protect nature and preserve its beauty).
- The next 150 meters of land are often owned by the respective municipality. They belong to the Maritime Zone Act. But at the same time, it can be leased out on a concession for up to 20 years with the possibility of renewal at the end of the lease.
The process of buying real estate
Initially, before buying the desired property, you need to check its status. It is also important to add that choosing a reliable real estate agent is crucial. It will help you save time and insure against possible losses.
In general, the process of purchaising real estate can be divided into several steps:
- Making a written offer to the seller (in which you must indicate the proposed price and write down your conditions).
- Financing your property, paying a deposit.
- Consulting a lawyer or a notary, verification of ownership.
- Signing a contract.
- Paying the closing costs and all fees.
Usually, the closing fees are split in half between the seller and the buyer. In general, including real estate transfer tax and other fees, this amount is about 3.8% of the cost of the property.
The cost of real estate
Without a doubt, the cost of real estate varies depending on the location and size of the house. As in most countries, the highest housing prices are in the capital, San Jose. On average, it starts at $ 130,000. Also, if you want to live closer to the beach, you have to spend more money.
Of course, buying real estate is a serious step. Hence, it is important to identify all the key points of purchase and consult with local residents as well as experienced agents. After all, “the house is our fortress,” and we must choose it with special trepidation.