1. Do I need a Costa Rican to own property?
No. Foreigners in Costa Rica can own property in their own names. Purchasing property through a new or existing corporation (Sociedad Anonima or S.A.) is also very popular.
2. How do I know if a property is titled?
All property in Costa Rica should be registered in the Public Registry, whether the property is fee simple or concession. Your attorney will be able to confirm that the seller possesses ownership of the property, and to determine if there are any restrictions, encumbrances or liens.
3. How much are property taxes?
Property taxes in Costa Rica are very low, only .25% of the registered property value.
4.How much are closing costs?
Closing costs are approximately 3.5% of the declared value of the property. About 2.25% goes to the government in the form of stamps and taxes. About 1.25% goes to your attorney. In private sales between an individual Buyer and Seller, closing costs are often split equally.
5. Will I need a Lawyer?
Yes. We strongly recommend that you have your own representation in any transaction. The closing costs as noted above include the fees for your attorney.
6. Can I get financing?
If you need to borrow funds, it is generally far simpler and interest rates much lower in your home country. If your credit rating is exeptional, you may be eligible for financing through institutions such as Scotia Bank and Stewart Title. Ask if there is any owner financing available.
7. Should I be concerned about squatters?
Although Costa Rica has laws to protect locals who have lived and cared for a property for many years, also known as squatters rights, squatting is extremely rare in developed areas of the country. If you plan to purchase in a very remote area, it is advisable to have a caretaker check the property regularly to ensure that nobody unauthorized is living there.