Real estate in Costa Rica. What you need to know before buying a home?
Real estate in Costa Rica is an issue that interests hundreds of visiting foreigners. Someone is looking for a property to rent, someone to buy. When choosing real estate in Costa Rica, it must be borne in mind that the entire coast (about 200 meters from the sea line) is state property, and developments within 50 meters from the sea line are strictly prohibited. In addition, in order to obtain the right to a long-term lease for land in this zone, you need to be a resident of the country for five years and apply to the municipality.
After you decide on a specific object, be sure to check its legal status. All objects in Costa Rica, as well as documents concerning it, are entered into the National Register by law. You need to clarify the registration number of the selected object in order to check the available information. For example, it can be the boundaries of ownership, the name of the owner, the valuation of real estate (often the price in the register is lower than the real one), the right of passage through the territory to any person, the arrest of real estate, and so on. Please be aware that not all information may be provided in the Registry. Next, have your agent do one more additional check.
The next step will be the signing of a preliminary contract. It is necessary to confirm the buyer’s intentions to buy real estate, and on the seller’s side – to withdraw his offer to sell the property from the market. According to the law of the country, your right to the object will be secured only after registration with the National Register. Therefore, only after this action, the right is secured according to the principle of the “first applicant”, that is, the one who is the very first to send the documents (relevant). If a lot of people apply for the object you have chosen, then you need to hurry up with the conclusion of the contract.
Real estate payment process
There are many payment options available. Depending on the method, there are such options:
- In the event that you pay for the transaction immediately, then, as a rule, the contract is drawn up by your notary or lawyer.
- If you pay 50% of the total amount, then you take a mortgage for the remaining amount.
Next, a single agreement is drawn up (drawn up jointly with the lawyers of both parties). This document is called co-notariado. The lawyers of these two persons can also draw up two contracts: on the mortgage and payment. True, the costs in this way will be slightly higher.
The next step is to register the object in the National Register. This process usually takes about 60 days from the date of the transaction. At this stage, your data is entered into the Register as the new owner of the property.
There are some additional costs to consider when buying a property in Costa Rica. Typically, these costs are divided equally between the two parties.
These costs include:
- notary services – 1.25%,
- registration fee – 0.5%,
- property transfer tax – 1.5%,
- registration tax is slightly less – 0.325%,
- for agency services you need to pay 5-10%.
Maintenance costs in this country are made up of property tax – 0.25% of the cadastral price of the object and utilities.
Real estate in Costa Rica can be very different. It directly depends on the location, area, protected area, etc. Be careful when buying a home, this is a very serious process in which there is no room for mistakes.