Costa Rica's unique blend of safety, environmental consciousness, property ownership rights for foreigners, and an efficient purchase process positions it as a standout choice for Central American property investment. Its diverse climate and breathtaking natural beauty further elevate its allure, promising a welcoming and fulfilling lifestyle for those aspiring to make Costa Rica their second home.
In the realm of property investment in Central America, Costa Rica distinguishes itself with an outstanding quality of life and an emphasis on safety. As a democratic nation without a military presence, it offers a serene environment, rapid development, a robust healthcare system, and an impressive 97% literacy rate. Renowned as one of the world's greenest countries, Costa Rica minimizes environmental impact, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. The government's commitment to financial security and favorable tax laws enhances its appeal as a secure place to invest and reside. The country's unhurried pace and high quality of life contribute to longer life expectancies compared to neighboring nations. Foreigners enjoy the same property ownership rights as Costa Ricans, with no specific restrictions, and the purchasing process mirrors that of the USA, Canada, and Europe.
Selecting an experienced Real Estate Agent is a crucial step in the Costa Rican property acquisition process. The right Real Estate Agent plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success, ease, and security of your investment. Enlisting the services of an experienced Real Estate Agent in Costa Rica isn't just advisable—it's essential. Their expertise, local knowledge, and extensive network can be the difference between a secure, successful investment and a potentially risky venture. Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, aligning with a trusted Real Estate Agent in Costa Rica is the key to a prosperous property investment journey.
Costa Rica stands as the epitome of the best and safest lifestyle in Central America. As a democratic nation and one of the world's rare countries without a standing army, it offers a unique blend of prosperity, rapid development, a robust healthcare system, and an outstanding 97% literacy rate. Distinguished as one of the greenest countries globally, Costa Rica boasts one of the smallest environmental footprints, making it a haven for those who cherish nature.
The country's commitment to progressive tax laws and financial security, supported by a vigilant government, establishes Costa Rica as a secure and inviting destination for both investment and living. The unhurried pace of life, coupled with a high quality of living, contributes to longer life expectancies compared to its neighbors to the north or south.
Choosing Costa Rica as your home or investment destination not only assures safety and prosperity but also provides an opportunity to embrace a lifestyle that harmonizes with the natural beauty and tranquility that define this remarkable country.
Absolutely, as a foreigner, you can own property in Costa Rica with the same rights as Costa Ricans. The rights associated with properties under Fee Simple Title are safeguarded by the Costa Rican Constitution. Owning property in Costa Rica mirrors the processes and rights found in the USA, Canada, and Europe, offering a straightforward and secure experience for foreign investors. Whether you are considering a permanent residence, vacation home, or investment property, Costa Rica welcomes foreigners to participate in its vibrant real estate market with confidence and legal protection.
Indeed, there are no specific restrictions imposed on foreigners when purchasing property in Costa Rica. Unlike some other countries, such as Mexico, there is no requirement for a foreign buyer to have a local partner to buy and own property outright in Costa Rica. The process is designed to be accessible and straightforward for international investors, allowing them to fully enjoy the benefits of property ownership in this beautiful and welcoming country. Whether you are seeking a permanent residence, vacation home, or investment opportunity, Costa Rica provides an open and inclusive environment for property ownership.
Selecting a Knowledgeable Real Estate Broker: The first crucial step is choosing a real estate broker familiar with your area of interest. A seasoned agent with knowledge of available properties will guide you effectively.
Submitting an Offer: Once you identify the perfect property, your agent will submit your offer to the owner(s) using a Letter of Intent or Option to Purchase.
Engaging a Reputable Costa Rican Real Estate Attorney: Selecting an experienced Costa Rican real estate attorney to handle the legal aspects is essential. Your lawyer will conduct due diligence, ensuring the property has Fee Simple Title and is free from liens or legal issues.
Due Diligence Period: Typically, your offer includes a 30 to 90-day due diligence period. Your lawyer will use this time for a thorough examination in the National Registry to confirm property ownership and address any legal concerns.
Closing the Deal: The closing takes place with a Costa Rican lawyer who is also a notary public. The notary will register the property in the National Registry under your legal name or a Costa Rican corporation (Sociedad Anónima).
Registering the Property Locally: After the purchase, register the property in the local municipality for tax purposes. This straightforward process involves filling out forms, which can be done by yourself, your lawyer, or real estate broker.
As a foreigner, you can own property in your name, but it's recommended to use a Sociedad Anónima (S.A.). This structure helps separate you from potential personal liabilities and facilitates various services. Holding your property in an S.A. streamlines tasks like opening bank accounts and obtaining utilities.
Maritime Terrestrial Zone (MTZ) land may have restrictions, and owning 51% of such property requires Costa Rican citizenship or legal residency.
Possession Properties are untitled and may have a complex legal process for obtaining title.
You do not need to be physically present for the closing. You can grant your lawyer a Power of Attorney (POA) or sign documents at a Costa Rican Consulate.
A 2.75% fee of the purchase price goes to the National Registry and government agencies.
Legal fees for the lawyer/notary public are approximately 1.25%.
Creating a new S.A. may cost $500 to $1,000.
Using reputable escrow companies like Stewart Title or Chicago Title is recommended for secure fund transfers.
All Fee Simple Title properties are registered in the Costa Rican National Registry in San Jose. The Plano Catastro (survey plan) and Folio Real number uniquely identify each property.
A Plano Catastro is the same as a survey plan or plot plan showing in detail the size of your property and the boundaries. It will indicate who the neighboring property owners are and their location in reference to your property. It will also show the Folio Real number of the property and the date it was registered. This will also be registered in the National Registry system.
A Folio Real number is the ID number assigned to all Fee Simple titled properties in Costa Rica. This number will show the province in which it is located. If the property is a condominium then it will indicate that designation with an F for (Finca Filial) at the end of the number.
You can check the status of a registered property for free through the National Registry's online platform (www.rnpdigital.com).
Click on Certificaciones y Consultas, located on the top left side of the page.
Next, click on Consultas Gratuitas.
Click on Consulta por Numera de Finca.
Enter the Folio Real number.
The information on the property will show up on your screen. You will be able to confirm that the property is free of liens or if it has anything registered against it.
Municipal property taxes are 0.25% of the property's declared value, with an additional 0.50% for luxury tax if the value exceeds $250,000.
A valid passport is required, and a 90-day tourist visa is granted on arrival for Americans and Canadians.
Fill out customs and immigration forms; personal items are allowed, but limitations exist for alcohol and tobacco.
No vaccinations are required for visitors from Central America, North America, or Europe.
A valid driver's license allows driving for 90 days; residency is needed for a Costa Rican driver's license.
Anytime is ideal; the dry season (December-April) is sunniest, while the rainy season (May-November) offers lower prices and a relaxed atmosphere.
The official currency is the colon, but US dollars are widely accepted.
Foreigners can get married in Costa Rica. You will need the following documents so a lawyer can execute the legal marriage contract:
1. A certified copy of your birth certificate.
2. A valid passport.
3. If you are divorced, you will need a certified copy of your divorce decree. If you are a widow/widower then you will need a certified copy of your previous spouse’s death certificate.
4. If you have not previously been married you will need to make a statement to that affect before a notary who will certify it.
Laws vary from state to state in the USA. Contact your county clerk’s office where you plan to live and ask what the procedure is in your state in order for your marriage to be recognized.
Legal residency or citizenship is needed for employment, though exceptions exist.
Costa Rica does not use daylight savings time. So based on the season, the time is the same as either Mountain or Central time zones of the US and Canada.
In order to bring a dog, cat, or other pets to Costa Rica you need to contact the Costa Rican Consulate in your country. You will need a health certificate from your veterinarian stating that your pet was examined and found to be healthy and free of any infectious diseases. Dogs need to be vaccinated against distemper, leptospirosis, hepatitis, rabies, and parvovirus. Cats need to be vaccinated for rabies.
It is recommended that a state or federal (VS Form 18-1), US Interstate and International Certificate for Small Animals be used.
The accompanying health certificate should be made out in duplicate.
The health certificate does NOT need to be notarized by a notary public, nor does it need to be stamped by the Costa Rican Consular office.
Animals exported in commercial lot numbers must be accompanied by an import permit. Personal pet dogs or cats do need an Import permit.
The rabies vaccination certificate should accompany the health documents.
Take all of these papers to the Costa Rican Consulate where they will stamp and process these documents allowing your pet to come into the country.
Costa Rica, with its laid-back lifestyle, stunning beaches, and abundant wildlife, offers a friendly and ecologically conscious environment. Embrace the conveniences of a developed country, where every day is an adventure. Pura Vida!
Latitude 9 Realty specializes in Manuel Antonio, Dominical & Uvita Real Estate, Investments, and the finest beachfront development properties in Costa Rica. If you are interested in buying or selling Real Estate in this wonderful country, you have come to the right place.