Navigating the Costa Rica Real Estate Market

Are you thinking about buying a home in Costa Rica? Here are 8 steps to buying Costa Rica real estate.

Buying property in Costa Rica can be exciting. It can also be a bit overwhelming. We’ve put this guide together so you’ll know the exact steps to buying a condo or home in Costa Rica.

Step 1. Choose a Realtor, with credentials, a history of Costa Rica living,

who knows a solid history of Costa rica and who can find you the best deals. There is simply too much red tape, and sometimes a language barrier, for you to try and go for it alone. Choose a realtor who knows the local market inside and out and who can find you the best deals. We’d be more than happy to help you find your next dream home, so please feel free to give us a call.

Step. 2 Make an Offer

Once you’ve shopped around and found your dream home, you’ll need to make an offer. Your realtor can help you draft a PSA (Purchase Sale Agreement), which, like in the states, is a formal letter of intent to purchase. Your PSA will include total purchase price, terms of sale, and any specific conditions, like changes or repairs, agreed upon by both parties.

Step 3. Get Qualified Legal Representation

Finding a good lawyer to represent you in real estate transactions in Costa Rica can be a bit tricky. Laws here allow Costa Rican attorneys to practice outside of their chosen field of expertise without any kind of real consequences. If you are working with an experienced realtor, he or she should be able connect you with a qualified attorney who can assist in the transaction.

Step 4. Set Up an Escrow Account

Once you’ve obtained a lawyer and both you and the seller have signed the PSA, you will need to set up an escrow account for purchase. The escrow party will act as a neutral third party to hold all deposits and closing funds until all contracts have been finalized.

Step 5. Ensure a Clean Title

Your attorney will need to conduct a title search to ensure there is nothing on there to stop you from purchasing the property, like a tax lien. We are happy to assist attorneys on any fieldwork necessary to conduct a comprehensive title search.

Step. 6 Transfer of Title

In Costa Rica, a transfer deed must occur before a Notary Public in order for the title to be transferred from seller to buyer.

Step 7. Closing Costs

Closing costs include government taxes and fees, notary fee, and mortgage costs, if any. In Costa Rica, it is customary for the buyer to pay the closing costs as the seller is responsible to the real commission. The arrangement can be modified, but this is generally how your costs will be determined.

Step 8. Registration of the Transfer Deed

Just one more step until you become an official property owner. Once all fees and closing costs are paid, the title will be registered in the Property Section of the Public Registry.

There are tremendous real estate opportunities to be had in Costa Rica and we would be more than happy to help make your dream of home ownership here a reality. Get in touch with us today and let’s get started.