FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I find a trustworthy realtor in Costa Rica?

This can be resolved by working with a SUGEF-approved Registered Agent. Also, look for permanent residency status and that they are registered with CRGAR the Global Association of Realtors or/+ NAR – the National Association of Realtors. This ensures you are working with an agent who is ethical, understands the law and has been vetted.

2. Is Real Estate Regulated in Costa Rica?

Real estate is an unregulated industry, so be sure you choose an agent who is registered with the CRGAR (Costa Rican Global Association of Realtors), a member of NAR (National Association of Realtors), SUGEF certified and has a permanent residency status. You are safe with us as WE have all the legal credentials to assist you with your purchase.

3. Is there a multiple listing service (MLS) in Costa Rica?

There is no official MLS system in Costa Rica. It is important to choose an agent who is familiar with the area to assist you in finding a property with current permits, the ability to obtain full title of the property and who will represent you throughout the purchasing process. Many of the advertised Listings on websites have been sold, are in distant locations with few services, or are listed by agents who do not have the actual listing.

4. Why is the Papagayo area of Costa Rica the most popular place to buy a home or invest in property?

This area is the warmest, driest, and most developed area in Costa Rica. It is close to the international airport and all amenities. It has beautiful beach locations surrounded by volcanoes and is a sound investment opportunity.

5. Why are Canadians, Americans, and some Europeans buying in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has a tropical climate year-round with spectacular beaches, hot springs, mountains, rain forests and adventure. The buying process and rights to title are the same for foreigners as it is for locals. Also, Costa Rica is a tourist destination making it a great investment. The Costa Rican government encourages foreign investment; property is affordable, well-built, low taxes, and appreciating at a steady rate.

6. Why would I buy a home in Costa Rica?

People buy homes related to the tropical climate, activities, and lifestyle and that it is the safest country in Latin America. Costa Rica also allows you to own the title on your property.

7. What does an appraisal in Costa Rica Entail?

An appraisal attaches a value to a property and looks at square meters, age, architecture, materials, location, key features, current market trends, conditions, amenities, etc.

8. What is a property survey?

A property survey shows the boundaries, area, and features of a property. It ensures the property boundaries are accurately defined and there are no land intrusions from neighboring properties.

9. What is due diligence?

Costa Rica’s due diligence period is 21-30 days. It ensures the property has no liens, encumbrances, or other legal issues preventing you from obtaining a clear title.

10. What is included in a due diligence report?

A due diligence report is a comprehensive analysis that can include obtaining a property survey and checking for zoning and land use restrictions. Verifying ownership and title.

11. How do I finance a property in Costa Rica?

Most homes are bought with funds obtained from your home country. There is financing available but the rates are high. At times a seller will finance a portion of the purchase.

12. How much is the deposit when buying property in Costa Rica?

Once you have agreed upon a price a 10% deposit is wired to a third-party ‘ESCROW’ account that is SUGEF approved. This ensures your money is safe and will be distributed appropriately.

13. What are the closing costs in Costa Rica?

Closing costs include notary fees, land transfer tax, legal fees, stamps, etc. equaling 4.5% - 6% depending on the need to set up a corporation.

14. How long does it take to ‘close’ a property in Costa Rica?

Closing a property from the time of agreeing on a purchase price to signing the title deed into your name takes 35-60 days give or take.

15. What are the property taxes in Costa Rica?

Property taxes in Costa Rica are very low related to the property type, location and other factors. Generally, it is 0.25% of the registered value at the Municipality.

16. What are HOA’s?

An HOA stands for ‘Home Owners Association’ which is a legal framework that represents the interests of homeowners in a particular development. It outlines the rules and regulations of its members (Law 7764).

17. What are the luxury taxes in Costa Rica?

The luxury tax applies to properties over $200,000 (approx. 137,000.00 colones) and an additional 0.55% of the properties total value.

18. What does titled land mean in Costa Rica?

It is called ‘fee simple’ and means you can as a foreigner own a property in your own name or through a corporation with the same rights as a National owner (Citizen).

19. What is concession property in Costa Rica?

Essentially, it is a “lease” of the property with an annual fee of 2.5% of the value per year.Maximum height of construction is 7m and two stories. These properties are part of the Maritime Zone – the first 200 meters from high tide.

20. How long is a government lease on concession land in Costa Rica?

Concession land covers a lot of beachfront property and can be leased for terms of 20 years. You do not own the property and there is a 2.5% of the value per year annual fee.

21. What are maritime zones in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica property that is in the beachfront areas is known as Maritime Zones. It includes the first 50 meters from high tide which cannot be owned – it is considered “public” and no one can own this land.

22. What are the seasons in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has two seasons known as the dry season from Dec. – Apr., and the green season from May-Nov. There are 13 micro-climates throughout the country. The Papagayo area temperature ranges between 76F (24’C) – 93F (34’C).

23. What does Pura Vida mean?

Pura Vida translates to ‘Pure Life’ and represents the easy-going healthy lifestyle in Costa Rica. This term is used throughout the country and means everything is great.

24. Is the water safe to drink in Costa Rica?

The tap water is safe to drink and clean in most parts of Costa Rica, especially in tourist areas. If you are in a remote rural area you may wish to stick with bottled water.

25. Does Costa Rica have an army?

Costa Rica is one of the most stable countries in the region and the only Central American country without a standing army after it was abolished in 1948.

26. Is Costa Rica beautiful?

Costa Rica is the most beautiful country in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler. It is Famous for its dense lush rainforests, magnificent jungles gorgeous beaches and amazing array of exotic plants and animal life.

27. How is healthcare in Costa Rica?

The healthcare system is Universal and is praised for its emphasis on preventative care. It offers state-of-the-art medical technologies and facilities. Many of the physicians are trained in the USA. Costa Rica is a medical tourism destination offering first-class care at a reasonable cost for both Medical and Dental Services.

28. What is Costa Rica number one for?

Costa Rica is officially the happiest and most sustainable country in the world, according to the Happy Planet Index (HPI).

29. What is the National Dish?

“Gallo Pinto” is a dish of rice and beans served at breakfast. Gallo Pinto literally means ‘spotted rooster.’ The name originates from the speckled appearance of the black beans against the white rice.

30. Is Costa Rica considered a third-world country?

Costa Rica has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.809 and is considered as one of the highly developed economies by UN definition. It is a middle-income County (

31. Is there crime in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in Central America. Most crimes are petty theft and drug-related offences. There are strict penalties and prevention initiatives that deter crime.

32. Is there a sales tax for purchasing items in Costa Rica?

There is a 13% VAT tax on all purchases to citizens and an additional 10% service fee tax when dining out at restaurants.

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