Dominical Real Estate

Real Estate For Sale In Southern Costa Rica
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Dominical Real Estate

  • Costa Rica is known for its diverse and delicious fruits. Here are some of the most popular fruits in Costa Rica:

    - Pineapple: Costa Rica is one of the largest producers and exporters of pineapples in the world. Costa Rican pineapples are known for their sweet flavor and juicy texture.
    - Mango: Mangoes are also popular in Costa Rica, and the country is home to several different varieties. Costa Rican mangoes are known for their sweet and aromatic flavor.
    - Papaya: Papayas are a tropical fruit that is abundant in Costa Rica. The fruit is sweet and juicy and is often eaten as a breakfast fruit or used in smoothies.

    - Watermelon: Watermelon is a refreshing fruit that is popular in Costa Rica, especially during the hot summer months. The fruit is sweet and juicy and is often eaten as a dessert or snack.
    - Guava: Guavas are a common fruit in Costa Rica, and are often used to make jams and jellies. The fruit has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor and is high in vitamin C.
    - Passionfruit: Passionfruit is a tropical fruit that is grown in Costa Rica. The fruit has a tart and tangy flavor and is often used in desserts and drinks.
    - Starfruit: Starfruit is a unique fruit that is shaped like a star. The fruit has a sweet and sour flavor and is often used in salads and drinks.
    These are just a few of the many delicious fruits that you can find in Costa Rica. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the country, be sure to try as many fruits as you can, or if you are already in the country, we invite you to go to the nearest feria!
  • How to Buy Real Estate in Costa Rica



    Buying real estate in Costa Rica is pretty parallel to how you would do it in your home country, with a
    few differences.


    1.) Find a property you love. To do so, look on local websites rather than just doing a scattershot online search. There is no MLS in Costa Rica, so listings get shared around and some agencies are better at keeping their websites up to date. Instead of “Real Estate in Costa Rica” try something like “Real Estate Agency in (name of town or region). Hint: You will always do better by selecting one agent in the area of interest and sending any interesting listings you find to that agent. Otherwise, you’ll waste time on expired listings, overlapping listings, and listings that haven’t been updated.

    2.) Make an offer that works for you. It is very hard to find “comparables” in our markets, so pricing is plus or minus. Assume there will be some negotiating with the Seller in order to arrive at a price acceptable to both of you.

    3.) If you reach an agreement, your offer will be formally turned into a Sales and Purchase Agreement. If you are from North America, you might think of this as the “Earnest Money Contract” that your agent would do for you as part of their service, but here an attorney does it and you pay for it.

    4.) While these things are happening, you will need to open an Escrow account. This is probably the hardest part of the process for new Buyers to understand. In order to comply with money laundering laws, the escrow company is obligated to gather a “ridiculous” amount of information about your finances. The whole point is to be very sure that you are legit and the source of your funds is legit. It’s just something that you have to do, so meditate for 30 minutes, take a deep breath, and walk through it step by step.

    5.) You may also want to have your attorney create a Costa Rican corporation to “own” the property for you. This has advantages in terms of liability, so it’s something you should at least discuss. It only takes a week to ten days to do this, so it is easily finished by the time you go to closing if you start early.

    6.) Once your SPA has been signed by both parties, you will typically send a 10% deposit to your Escrow Company. That triggers the Due Diligence period.

    7.) Due Diligence will be coordinated by your attorney and done by several people that may include surveyor, home inspector, agent, municipality and others. It needs to be done well, and if you decide not to do parts of it, you should do so with your eyes wide open. At the end of the Due Diligence, you will be given a report that allows you the opportunity to accept the results or reject any part of them. If there is a “fatal flaw,” you can simply withdraw from the deal and get your deposit back.

    8.) If you accept the Due Diligence, your deposit will go hard (nonrefundable) and you will send the balance of your payment to your escrow company. Then you will close within a few days and your property will be recorded in your name in the National Registry.

    9.) Once you own the property, it would be wise to make sure you understand what your obligations are and how to fulfill them. Write down how to pay your utilities and taxes, and make sure you understand how much, when, and how to pay your corporation taxes. You may need to set up a bank account to make this simpler, especially if you will not be living at your property full time.


    That’s it! Follow the steps and you will end up with peace of mind about a beautiful property.

  • Buying Beach Property in Costa Rica




    With one exception, foreigners can buy property in Costa Rica with the same rights and obligations as Costa Rican citizens. The exception is in the Maritime Zone. 

    Along the coasts and any portion of a river that is affected by tides, the first 200 meters of land is owned by the government and cannot be owned by anyone else. (There are a few small exceptions that were grandfathered in as titled land.) 

    The first 50 meters may not be developed. They are for public use. The next 150 meters are usually available for development if you get a long term use permit, or “concession.” 

    You get a new concession by hunting for a property that doesn’t already have one. Of course, such properties are hard to find now, but if you get lucky, you can apply for a concession at the appropriate municipality. This is best done by an attorney who specializes in such things because it can be tedious and complicated. In the process, you have to specify what you are going to do with it. Private residence? Hotel? Restaurant? Resort? 

    One very important difference between the Maritime Zone and titled land is that no foreigner can hold the controlling interest in any property in the Maritime Zone until that foreigner has had legal residency in Costa Rica for at least 5 years. Until then, at least 51% must be held by a Costa Rican citizen. 

    Obstacles to getting a concession would mainly be environmental. Any areas that are wetlands or have mangroves growing on them are automatically off-limits. Other areas might have forests or wildlife that can’t be cleared or disturbed. Some users might be rejected if they don’t fit with the municipalities’ zoning plans. 

    In response to your application, the municipality will either deny the concession or approve it. If they approve it, it will be valid for 20 years and they will attach a value to the proposed development of the property so they can levy an annual use tax, known as the “canon.” That would be in lieu of a property tax but can be quite a lot higher because it is a specialized property. 

    Once you have a concession, you have 2 years to do the development or lose the concession. If you do the development, pay your canon as required, and do not violate any of the laws or restrictions on the property, renewal should be straightforward as long as you do it on time. 

    Those are the basics for getting a new concession. Realistically, however, you would most likely be buying a concession that is already established, rather than starting from scratch. So how does that work? 

    Until you have been a legal resident for 5 years, assume you will be buying shares in a corporation in which you are not a majority shareholder. When you buy the concession, the appropriate number of shares will be transferred to you. That is something you need to check thoroughly so you are comfortable with the arrangement. A good lawyer can help you sort it out. 

    If you are buying undeveloped land, you need to know what use and value the concession permitted because a) you will need to build that and b) your canon will reflect that. 

    If you don’t build on time, you can lose your concession. If you are buying an existing business or home, you need to make sure all of the laws and restrictions have been followed. There have been cases of homes being bulldozed or businesses being shuttered because laws were broken or the concession’s requirements weren’t followed. For example, if a wall or pool infringes on the 50-meter restricted zone, you could be required at some point to remove it! 

    In summary, there are extra concerns to research when you buy concession property here. Do your homework. There are some great concession properties available for purchase, and there are some that will pretty much be a series of migraine headaches. Don’t ever let an agent fast-talk you into thinking “It will all work out.” 

    Do the Due Diligence and hire someone who specializes in concessions to protect you. If you do that, you could end up with one of the most desirable properties in the country. If you don’t do that, you could end up with nothing but regrets.

  • Wildlife in Costa Rica


    When you are looking for real estate in Southern Costa Rica, you will, of course, be scanning through a ton of listings for properties in Quepos, Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal, and beyond.

    As you read through the listings for condos, homes, hotels, undeveloped land or whatever else, you are going to read some version of the following sentence over and over: “There is abundant wildlife including monkeys, toucans, parrots….”

    While that statement is true, it isn’t all that useful in choosing a property. Why? Because pretty much every property in Southern Costa Rica has abundant wildlife. You’d have to stay cloistered away like a monk to not see wildlife all around you.

    To own a property in Southern Costa Rica is to become a wildlife photographer. Almost everyone down here who has a Facebook or Instagram account is sooner or later posting pictures of sloths, interesting bugs, gorgeous plants, iridescent birds, and more.

    This isn’t by accident, nor is it the “norm.” There was a time when deforestation was happening just like it has in so many other countries in Central and South America. Loss of habitat threatened whole species and the amazingly biodiverse world of the tropical forests was thinning out. In addition, hunters both local and foreign reduced some animal populations dangerously either to put food on the table or a stuffed trophy on the wall.

    With the encouragement of some environmentally conscious visitors, Costa Ricans realized years ago that one of their most valuable resources is dynamic forests filled with wildlife. They passed laws to protect those forests and that wildlife. They made it illegal to hunt anything ever. The made it illegal to cut down big trees without a permit and made it difficult to get that permit. They encouraged people to set aside conservation areas and paid them to do it. They allow foreigners to get residency by putting a certain amount of money into reforestation projects. They recently passed a law allowing insurance payments to farmers who have lost livestock to large cats, so the farmers won’t hunt and kill the cats.

    Old timers remark over and over about the difference that has made. My wife and I have only been here 6.5 years and we ourselves see changes. On our property we’ve seen wild pigs, sloths, agoutis, coatimundis, deer, hawks, parrots, toucans, dart frogs, toads, a few snakes (they tend to “run” and hide) and much, much more. We even caught a puma on camera stealthily creeping past our home at 3:00 in the morning. At the micro level, I take macro pictures of crazy cool insects.

    So the natural balance of life is slowly returning. It’s a long process that requires both time and protection. There are ways that you can give it a boost:

    First, look more closely. There are the obvious birds and animals, but our morning walks have now become chances to see things we never did before. We look for tent bats. We can identify some dart frogs by sound. We’re watch out for the golden orb spiders so we don’t wreck their huge golden webs.

    Second, learn some names and stories. Nothing makes the natural world come alive like knowing what you’re looking at and some of its natural history. Scientists are trying to invent a way to duplicate the strength of those golden orb spider webs. Leafcutter ants are ancient farmers and have an unbelievably complicated social structure. Little mimosa ferns can “learn” and “remember.” Every sloth is a microbiome. And so on.

    Third, learn the connections. In a healthy forest environment, your first impression is how cool everything works together in lasting harmony. However, as you get to know it better, you begin to see that everything in the forest is battling everything else for light, food, and reproductive rights. Alliances are created for mutual protection or sustenance. Trees work together. Army ants have dozens of insects and birds following them around. The more you learn, the more amazing it all is.

    Finally, do your part. Plant native trees that attract birds and monkeys. Leave sections of your property for “natural landscaping.” Avoid toxic chemicals. Get serious about reducing your use of throwaway plastic bags. Volunteer for organizations like Community Carbon Trees ( or donate to their projects.

    The bottom line is, one of the most appealing things about Costa Rica is its wildlife. That’s intentional, so if you are too, this will continue to be a country that leads the world in environmental awareness and reforestation.

  • Where to Eat in Dominical, Costa Rica

    Resultado de imagen para restaurante costa rica

    Whether you are looking for things to do in Costa Ballena or looking to purchase real estate in Southern Costa Rica, within a few hours you’re going to be looking for a place to eat.
    In the Southern zone, once you leave the Quepos area heading south, the first sizable community you come to is Dominical, about 45 minutes south on the coastal highway. That’s not to minimize the smaller communities along the way, but to say that when you hit Dominical your options for activities to try, places to stay, and things to eat increase dramatically.
    Even before you get to town, look left in Matapalo for Langosta Feliz right beside the highway. It has some of the best seafood in the area. In Dominical itself, there are about 16 restaurants varying from a back-of-the-grocery-story delicatessen to a Mexican fusion kind of place on the
    Dominical is pretty easy to navigate, with only one main street, so you’ll see options just by cruising through town. In case you wants some ideas of what to look for, watch for these:

    For specialty foods, consider Sol Frozen Yoghurt (desserts), Phat Noodle (Asian noodle fusion), Mono Congo (Drinks, Bakery, Cool Stuff), Sushi, Pescado Loco (fish tacos) and Del Mar Taco (Tacos, burritos), La Casita Pizza, Mama Toucans (deli sandwichs and salads), Fuego’s (Microbrewery and restaurant) and Tortilla Flats (Mexican fusion plus).
    For places that offer a bit of everything, from steaks to seafood to typical Costa Rican dishes, check out Villas Rio Mar, Su Raza, Diuwak, Coco’s and Maracatú. To get a more authentic Costa Rican experience, don’t overlook the little “Sodas” along the
    way. Sodas are hole-in-the-wall places to eat. Tucked into nooks and crannies, they offer Costa Rican food that often rivals anything you’d get at the fancier places.
    Don’t know what to order? 
    Try a “casado”. You’ll have a choice of meats and the dish will come with rice, black beans, salad, and maybe fried plantains. It often includes a fruit drink too, making it one of the most filling, economical dishes around.

    South of Dominical there are a couple other worthy mentions. Por Que No has a different kind of menu that’s popular as well as a killer view of ocean waves breaking on rock formations (make a reservation in high season). La Parcela sits on a finger of land so you can see ocean breakers on both sides. Villas Alturas has such a fantastic view that you won’t care what you’re eating. And Cuna del Angel’s menu is classy and gluten free.

    Much more could be written, and has been, about dining out in Costa Rica. So just a few

    You can drink the water. Costa Rica has done a very good job of ensuring water quality around the country. We rarely hear complaints about stomach problems, and when we do, we doubt that it was the water. Portions are often generous. We keep our own “take home” containers in our car to save on single use plastic or Styrofoam when we want to keep some for another meal. You might consider that too. We even have our own stainless steel straws. Every little bit helps.

    Fruit smoothies are the elixir of the gods here. If you don’t like them too sweet, don’t forget to mention “no sugar.” Usually the fresh fruits used in the smoothies are sweet enough by themselves.

    Tipping is confusing. Check your bill at fancier restaurants and you’ll see that a 10% (minimum) service charge has already been added. So do you add more of a tip yourself? It’s up to you. Most Costa Ricans do not tip any more than what’s on the bill. Many foreigners do so out of
    habit. You do what you are comfortable with.

    Finally, enjoy the culinary adventure and interact with the people who cook for you and serve you. Food is embedded in culture, so your appreciation for “their” food automatically translates into your appreciation for “them”.
  • Where on Earth Does the Sun Set?

    Where on Earth Does the Sun Set?

    -By Ron Snell

    I just finished showing some clients a few beautiful luxury homes with stellar views of the
    Pacific Ocean. Those were Wow! moments, soul filling in the literal sense where you suddenly
    realize you haven’t been breathing normally.

    Always when looking at that view, the question comes up: “So where does the sun actually
    set?” Because the only thing more beautiful than the ocean in all of its moods is a blazing
    sunset where you can watch a glowing red ball sizzle right into the water way out there on the
    horizon, and you can picture a long, narrow burning path reflected across the water coming
    right to your feet, and the clouds flash brilliant colors, and you wear out your Instagram or
    Facebook followers with picture after picture of it all.

    Back to reality. Astronomical reality. Where, really, on that beautiful horizon, does the sun set?
    How much of the year can you actually watch the sun sink into the ocean as it wraps up the
    day? Can you believe the property description, your agent, or the homeowner?

    Three things complicate the answer:

    First, our coastline doesn’t generally run north and south. If you are standing square to the
    coastline and looking at the Pacific Ocean, you are tempted to think you are looking west, and
    since the sun “sets in the west, well….” Usually, you aren’t. You’re looking southwest, and the
    sun will mostly set to your right.

    Second, the sunsets travel a lot between December 21, when they are the farthest left (south)
    they will go, and June 21, when they are the farthest right (north) they will go. I won’t explain
    the astronomy behind this, but you can Google it and spend a fascinating hour refreshing your
    memory about things you were supposed to learn in earth science about 50 years ago.

    Third, it’s highly unlikely that your agent has ever actually stood on the property both June 21 st
    and December 21 st and marked where exactly the sun sets. Instead, it is highly likely that the
    agent has heard the owner say, “You can watch the sunsets over the ocean” and has
    immediately driven back to the office to include that in the property description.

    So what are you to do? How do you know how often you’re going to see sunsets over the ocean
    instead of behind the trees or an inconvenient mountain? It’s pretty easy, really.

    Point a phone app or a compass due west. Because we are about 9 degrees north of the
    equator, on December 21 st the sun will set about 23 degrees to the left (south) of west. On June
    21 st it will set about 23 degrees to the right (north) of west.

    No amount of fast talking by your agent will change that, so trust the science and set your
    expectations. Keep in mind that from September to early December it isn’t going to matter a
    whole lot anyway, because it is highly likely that there will be heavy overcast or rain that time
    of day. So focus on late December through June. That’s when you are most likely to see the

    If you are the sort of person who enjoys this stuff, you would like the app I found for my phone:
    Sun Surveyor Lite. It’s free and shows you where the sun will set on any day of the year, among
    many other things like times for sunrise and sunset.

    By the way, if you’re a photographer, whether amateur or less amateur, this little app has some
    very practical value because you can set up shots based on where the sun will actually be,
    instead of where you wish it were going to be, any time of day.
    Check it out.

  • 5 Key Attributes That Lead To Success As A Real Estate Investor


    5 Key Attributes That Lead To Success As A Real Estate

    There are more than 5 key attributes that lead to success as a real estate investor;
    however, we feel that these aspects are important and vital to any investor. What do
    you think is important when buying real estate? Good credit? Having the money to
    pay it off? Of course, those are factors that determine whether you are an investor or
    a buyer who cannot really afford to do what he or she is doing. Let’s take a look at
    the 5 key attributes that lead to success as a real estate investor:

    1. A Worthy Rental Strategy

    Every good decision starts with a plan or strategy, especially when it
    comes to buying a property and renting it out. You need to determine
    whether or not you are going to rent out your property the traditional
    way, or Airbnb style. Which is more convenient for you and is Airbnb
    too precarious? The location of your property will play a part in your
    rental strategy as well. Which option will be more profitable and easy
    to manage?

    2. Location, Location, Location

    The location of your property will play a huge part in the success of
    your rental income. Being located in a high touristic area will likely
    result in more rental income. You can always renovate your property,
    but you cannot change the location of it. Supply and demand will play
    a large role in finding the right location. You want to be in a place with
    lower supply and higher demand. The location usually determines
    how much rent you can charge.

    3. Cash Flow

    Being an investor usually means you have the capital to invest. You
    want to make sure you have enough cash flow coming in to make a
    responsible decision and be able to maintain your properties. Cash
    flow is profit coming from your rental property. This will determine
    your ROI (return on investment). The more cash flow, the more
    equity you are obtaining.

    4. Monetary Consideration

    You need to understand the monetary considerations that come with
    owning a rental property. A successful investor will analyze the charts
    and determine the best way to go about financing. The reason a real
    estate investor is successful is because they take time to go over every
    possible option and outcome to figure out if they are making an
    accurate decision.

    5. A Sense of Property Management

    It’s easy to buy a property but knowing how to manage one is
    completely different. You need to have the time, money, and skills to
    manage your income property. If something breaks down, you as the
    owner are responsible to fix the problem in a timely manner.

    Therefore, you need the money to do so and the skills to make it
    happen or hire it done. Since you are a real estate investor, you need
    to have the skills necessary to advertise your property and find
    appropriate renters. Look for someone who has paid his or her rent
    on time and will not damage the property.

  • Owner Financing In Costa Rica:

    Owner Financing In Costa Rica:

    Owner financing is when the seller of the property finances the property with the
    buyer, or entity acquiring it. When going the route of owner financing, you eliminate
    bank fees and associated fees that come with buying a property in Costa Rica,
    especially if you are a foreigner. If you have a good handle on real estate in Costa
    Rica (like we do here at Dominical Real Estate) you will know the ins and outs and
    the advantages of owner financing. During slow economic periods, owner financing
    is strongly encouraged. Before experiencing the market slump, many Americans
    paid cash for their properties. Since the bank charges much higher fees when
    financing, many buyers opt for owner financing in Costa Rica because the fees are
    substantially less.

    Owner financing is a great option for buyers because they have the utmost
    advantage in regards to the transaction. When looking at the terms and conditions
    of the contract and finance agreement, the terms are more flexible. As the buyer, you
    will pay the seller directly. This is a great option for buyers who have more liquidity.
    Most owner financing deals are assisted by a promissory note that includes the
    terms and interest rates, as well as the penalties of nonpayment.

    Owner Financing in Costa Rica enables investors to buy, which might be the only
    hope for some people to own real estate in Costa Rica. You are recommended to pay
    off your seller within a 5-year timeframe to be fair. Many financers offer a longer
    pay period in order to meet the needs of the buyer and he or she may be willing to
    extend the period if the buyer has been consistent with their payments

    Here at Dominical Real Estate, we offer owner financing on some of our properties
    because we want to make your experience as easy and effortless as possible. We
    believe in trust and our goal is to help people make the best investment and find the
    best possible property here in Costa Rica for you to enjoy! Whether you choose
    owner financing or you want to do everything through the bank that is up to you.
    The option is out there and the advantages are in your favor.

    One thing to note about owner financing is that the room for negotiating on the
    property price is very small to obsolete. This is because the seller is agreeing to hold
    your mortgage. The down payment all depends on the owner who is providing the
    finances to you. Most owners will require a down payment of 50% of the property’s
    value. Then the seller is agreeing to finance the remaining 50%. The average interest
    rate is around 7% give or take.

    If owner financing is not something you would consider, there are a few other
    options we can speak with you about. We are here to find you a property in Costa
    Rica that meets all your wants and needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us, as we are
    always willing to share our knowledge about real estate in Costa Rica!

  • The Process Of Purchasing Real Estate In Costa Rica

    The Process Of Purchasing Real Estate In Costa Rica


    Can a foreigner obtain real estate in Costa Rica? Of course they can, and every foreigner has the same rights as a citizen in Costa Rica, excluding voting rights.

    Since foreigners have the same rights as citizens when it comes to buying property; the government has made the process very simple. There are a few key factors you need to know in terms of where a foreigner can purchase real estate, and you will learn all about that in this article.

    It is important to know that a foreigner cannot own 100% of the property if it is located in a Maritime Zone. Titled property is any piece of land that is beyond 200 meters from high tide. The first 50 meters from the high tide line, is public property that is protected. Within 150 meters adjacent to the high tide line- this is known as the Maritime Zone and the property can be leased from the government.  

    Real Estate Attorney:

    It’s essential to hire a real estate attorney and someone who is bilingual if you don’t speak Spanish. Hiring an attorney with experience will ensure no problems will arise with the property you want to purchase. They will look over everything and make sure the property is in good standing.   

    A Good Real Estate Agent:

    It doesn’t matter if you are buying property in Costa Rica or anywhere in the world; it’s always essential to use a good/reliable real estate agent. Choose a real estate agent who has been in the business for a few years and who is familiar with the area you want to invest in. Make sure they match all your requirements and they postulate outstanding service. It’s always good to stick with one agent and get to know them on a personal level. This will make the buying process that much easier.  If you are speaking to several different agents, you will get confused and you won’t have that hands-on experience that one agent is willing to provide you. With Dominical Real Estate, we ensure you have a positive experience from the first time we speak to you- to after you are settled into your property. Our agents go above and beyond to assist you with every possible need. We are only a call, text, or email away from finding you the property of your dreams.

    Making An Offer:

    You will want your real estate agent to write up an offer and deliver it to the seller instead of making a verbal offer. It is always better to have this information written down on paper. After the offer is accepted, your agent will have your real estate lawyer draft up a formal purchase of sale agreement. When both parties sign the agreement, you will be required to send 10% of the property price into an escrow account that you will need to set up. Once the 10% deposit is deposited into the escrow account- the agreement becomes lawful.


    Depending on whether you will be in Costa Rica during this process if for some reason you will not be- you should leave the power with your attorney, or real estate agent. They will be able to obtain the real estate property in the name that you approve of. You will need to have your property registered in your name or a corporation. Remember to always look at all the fees associated with your property. From utilities to condo fees, corporation tax, property tax, etc.

    If you have any other questions regarding the process of purchasing real estate in Costa Rica, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I would be happy to answer any questions. I want to make this process as easy as possible for you and ensure you have a positive buying or selling experience with Dominical Real Estate! ☺

  • Why Buying Property In Costa Rica In 2019 Is A Good Investment ?

    Why Buying Property In Costa Rica In 2019 Is A Good Investment? 


    Let’s face it- Costa Ricans are some of the happiest people in the world, with Costa Rica being ranked as one of the happiest countries in the biosphere. Why wouldn’t someone want to buy property in Costa Rica with a classification like that?

    Buying property anywhere in the world is typically a safe investment; nonetheless you want to look at places that will exploit your income in the long run. Deciding when to buy real estate and where, are usually the two big questions. When it comes to buying property in a foreign country for the first time, you want to take many factors into consideration and make sure you are aware of the process. Costa Rica is currently a buyers market and has been for a few years. There are many different places on the market, which allows you to be picky and find the perfect place. With the abundance of real estate on the market, come more affordable prices that make investing in real estate more cost efficient for foreigners. It’s always important to take your time and not make any decisions based on impulsiveness. A lot of people come to Costa Rica for the first time and distinguish they will be back for good. Take some time and experience the country a bit, once you see how scenic and tranquil it is, than make your purchase.

    Let’s take a look at the different reasons as to why Costa Rica is a good investment for the upcoming year:

    • Minimal taxes
    • Growing tourism
    • Buyers market
    • A safe country
    • The market is down
    • Permanent Residency
    • The weather
    • The diversity in the country

    Costa Rica is known for their minimal land tax. You have to pay 0.25% of the registered property value in your municipality. You have the option to pay this on a quarterly basis or one payment for the year. You will get a small tax break if you pay it all at once. In terms of the growing tourism here in Costa Rica, many people are coming to Costa Rica because of safety reasons and all the places to explore around the country. Costa Rica is an extremely safe country to travel around and to live and many female expats travel the whole country by themselves.  In the past 10 years, the tourism industry in Costa Rica has grown at a steady rate of approximately 8% each year. Tourism in the country generates about 13% of employment.

    With the crash that happened in the real estate market in 2008, the market is still recovering. With that being said, prices of real estate are down, which makes this the perfect buying opportunity for anyone who wants to own a property or income property in Costa Rica. With the tourism rate growing at a fast 8% each year, the market will eventually stabilize and real estate will rise. The government is working to cultivate new areas of the country and continue with new highway development. A new international airport is suppose to develop in Orotina in 2025, which will compete with the hub of Central America in Panama.

    Between the beautiful weather year around and the diversified landscapes spread out across the country, what better reason to invest in Costa Rica? There are beach properties close to the turtles and fishing ports, and there are properties in the rainforest, which are surrounded by monkeys and sloths. You have the choice to pick where you want to invest in Costa Rica. Also, after an investor invests over $200,000 they are granted temporary residency. Then they would wait three years and could opt for permanent residency or citizenship.

    For any real estate questions pertaining to properties in Costa Rica, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, as I would be happy to assist you through out this journey! ☺

  • Eco Friendly Costa Rica

    Written by Jason Mueller
     Costa Rica is the ideal country for anyone to relocate to that is conscious about their footprint on mother earth. Costa Rica is the perfect place for anyone looking to retire and they can even do it on a budget when saving money living a greener lifestyle. This pristine piece of paradise is very popular for tourism coming to see the abundance of wildlife and beauty within. The countries residents and government are very conscious about keeping Costa Rica as beautiful as it was before tourism became the number one income earner for the country. You must learn how to become more sustainable before you step foot in this country in order to pay your full respect.

    This is a peaceful country where you will rarely find a negative confrontation. In fact, Costa Rica renounced their army in in 1949 making it one of 15 countries with no army. The prior military budget was put towards culture, health and education. The most popular words that come from every one's mouth is “pura vida” This translates to pure life and seems to be a way of life for laid back locales.

    Costa Rica is rich in bio-diversity from coast to coast. The country is incredibly small with only 19,730 square miles. That equals .03% of the surface of the globe. However, the country is proud to say that it is home to 5% of the total biodiversity in the world.

    Over 25% of the countries land is protected by national parks and conservation areas. The government even pays landowners to conserve their own private land, this is referred to as “selling the air, yes you can even make extra money while doing your part to save the planet in Costa Rica.

    Roughly 50% of Costa Rica is forested and 7.5% of that is classified as primary forest. Primary forest is the most bio-diverse forest known or unknown to man whichever way you look at it. Primary forest means that there are no clear indications of human activities and the ecological processes are left undisturbed.

    Renewable Energy

    When you turn on the lights or use any sort of electricity in Costa Rica you can feel a little better about your decision knowing that the country runs nearly 100% on renewable energy. In 2016 the country ran for more than two months straight on 100% renewable energy. They accomplished this task twice. That means the country ran for 150 days on 100% renewable energy. One of the biggest goals for the country is to be completely running on renewable energy in the near future.
    Costa Rica is giving huge incentives for those looking to go green and import an EV. Import custom duty taxes of 52.29% on new vehicles and 79% for vehicles 6 years or older make vehicles super expensive in Costa Rica and fully electric vehicles under $30,000 are 100% exempt from customs taxes. Also, there is a 10-year exemption for EV parts.

    ECO Tours

    The country does capitalize on the natural ecology for tourism that is for sure. There is an abundance of eco tours to choose from. The most popular eco-tours are the nature tours such as monkey tours, tree top tours, crocodile tours, and turtle tours. Many of the beaches are protected areas for turtles to nestle, only certain guided tours are allowed to explore these beaches. It is highly recommended that a guide accompanies you into the wild because there is so much that you would miss if you were all alone.

    There are 9 volcanoes in Costa Rica and all of them are a sight to see. The most popular and spectacular ones are Poas, Irazu, and Arenal. Turrialba has recently been active in 2016 and the beginning of 2017 canceling some flights in and out of the San Jose International Airport.

    Manuel Antonio National Park is the most visited park in the country and is only 45 KM from Dominical. There are 184 species of birds in the park and 109 species of mammals. Monkeys are the main attraction and you are certain to spot one when visiting the park. The trails within the park are in great condition offering an easy path for elders to enjoy the scenery. The white sand beaches within the park are the perfect place to relax for the day.

    One of the best ways to really appreciate the land is to join a tour that teaches you all about the agriculture in Costa Rica. There is an organic pineapple tour and organic coffee tours. Saint Michaels Organic Farm offers free education for sustainable farming, they also welcome volunteers looking for a free place to stay, look for them on WWOOF.

    Adventure meets eco-tour with the affluence of zip line canopy tours in the country. Many people don’t know it but zip lining was first invented in Costa Rica. Biologists first used this method in Costa Rica to access previous unreachable and unexplored rainforests.

    A Canadian expat, Jason Muller is currently living in Costa Rica and operating a small business. Jason enjoys travelling to many exotic locations and enjoyed meeting new people and telling related stories. Life is short, live your dream.


  • Guide to Importing a Car and Other Household Items into Costa Rica

    Written by Jason Mueller         

    It’s understandable why anyone would want to move to Costa Rica. The country has a majestic landscape, exciting outdoor activities, low cost of living, favorable foreigner/expatriate policies and ample working opportunities. Costa Rica is however known for high import duties. Living in Costa Rica as a foreigner is easy. Moving is the main hurdle especially if you want to move with your car and personal belongings such as household items. To move seamlessly, there are several things you must know/understand.

    Laws and regulations
    Costa Rica's Customs Law has several articles relating to the importation of used goods/items. Duty varies depending on several factors i.e. when and how you import the goods. Here’s an important criteria to consider.
    Your household items are exempt from duty if; you are an adult who is importing the goods for personal use (not for sale). The items must also be used (at least 6 months old) and the importer must enter Costa Rica within three months (90 days) prior to custom clearance. If your shipment meets the above criteria, your household items will be exempt of duty. If you have new items, duty is based on CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) as well as the value of those items. It is worth noting it is cheaper to ship more items.

    Shipping a vehicle
    Shipping a vehicle to Costa Rica is costly (costs more than shipping household items). Total costs vary depending on factors such as the; tax, size of the car, age of the car, how the car is shipped (i.e., in a container). It’s worth noting that taxation is charged against the original price, not the age or condition. The average retail value of the car is considered. The import value of a car can be established in the Ministry of Treasury Valuation Database: .

    Total cost of importing a car to Costa Rica is highest for older car models. Cars manufactured in 1999 or earlier pay approximately 80%. Cars manufactured in 2000 to 2004 pay approximately 65% while those manufactured earlier i.e. 2004 and earlier pay approximately 55%.
    International moving companies such as A-1 Auto Transport Inc. can assist with moving household goods and vehicles to Costa Rica. For more information visit

    Important considerations


    After considering the cost of shipping your car and household items to Costa Rica, you may become reluctant. However, most foreign residents, as well as Costa Ricans, prefer imported goods from countries like the U.S. because they are of better quality. If you value quality, you may want to go ahead and import. If you don’t mind living without luxuries, you can consider living in furnished apartments or consider what you need locally. Remember, what you need to import solely depends on your own preferences and budget. However, don’t ship what you can get cheaply or easily in Costa Rica. You should also make an effort to declutter before shipping. Also, avoid bulky items to avoid excessive shipping and taxation costs. It may also be smart to talk to foreign residents in advance just to get firsthand insights.

    Port proximity

    You should also consider shipping from the nearest port. If you live in the U.S. for instance, you should ship your car and household items from Miami, the U.S. port that is nearest to Costa Rica to enjoy lower shipping costs.

    Tax waivers on household items

    Foreign residents in Costa Rica are allowed to import merchandise worth $500 tax-free after every 6-months. This waiver is in addition to regular traveler’s luggage. You can take advantage of this waiver to import the items you need overtime. However, you must not exceed the $500 limit to avoid additional charges and customs restrictions.

    Container shipping

    It is very expensive to import large items by air. For items such as refrigerators, washing machines, etc. that exceed 500 pounds, consider shipping such items in a large container. You can choose a large or small container (40-foot or 20-foot). It costs approximately $1,500 including tax to ship items to Costa Rica using a 20-foot container. Large 40-foot containers cost approximately $2,000.

    You need a customs agent to get all your household items and belongings (such as your car) out of customs seamlessly. You can find a reputable customs agent by conducting a simple search online or asking for referrals.

    Required documents

    Documents required to clear a shipment through customs include; a copy of your passport (the main page) plus the page containing last entry. This is required for your shipment to be treated as personal effects given customs must clear personal items within 90 days of a person’s arrival. You also need a packing inventory showing the value of the declared items. If the items are imported via air, you need an original airway bill. Freight forwarders send airway bills with shipments. Airline agents usually give you this document after you pay Terminal handling fees.

    The above information summarizes the process of importing a car and other household items into Costa Rica. Since it is a lengthy and tedious process, most people prefer paying custom brokers/agents to handle everything on their behalf. It may cost more; however, you will save valuable time and effort.

    Best of luck and pura vida!
    A Canadian expat, Jason Muller is currently living in Costa Rica and operating a small business. Jason enjoys travelling to many exotic locations and enjoyed meeting new people and telling related stories. Life is short, live your dream.
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

                                                       Manuel Antonio National Park - The most visited of Costa Rica's parks.

    Located in Central Pacific Area in a small conservation National Park.
    Know for its Banana boat rides, beautiful beaches, hiking trials, and their mammals and tons of species of birds. 

    Manuel Antonio beach offers you the banana boat ride adventure for a great price. Perfect for a group of friends that just want to take a wild ride in to our oceans! This consist of an inflatable  in a shape of a banana being pulled by a boat and just drifting away while enjoying the beautiful sites.

    This Costarican beach is just amazing with its crystal clear waters, no danger what so ever and perfect for 1st time surfers.
    An awesome get away for friends and family to enjoy a nice and peaceful vacation. This beach is known for its calm waves, warm waters, quiet and relaxing.
    The beach is a long stretch of clean sand. So natural but still not isolated!

    This beach offers you an amazing hiking experience where you get to see all kinds of animals like the 2 toed sloths, over 184 species of birds like the kingfisher, brown pelican, laughing falcon, 4 different type of monkeys and iguanas recharging in the sunlight. A great place to enjoy the natural wildlife. 

    There are 5 different types of trials.
    The Main Trail: which is a 1/2 mile long on sandy land, this trial passes by mangrove swamps on its way to the beaches.
    The Cathedral Point Trail: An outcropping of land that used to be an island but is now joined to the mainland, the trail might be a little slippery at times but only in the rainy season.
    The Trampa Trail: Connects the beginning and end of Cathedral Point Trail, a very short path.
    The Playa Gemelas: A mile walk through the forest to two other beaches of the same names.
    The Mirador Trail: The most challenging climb close to a mile long to a beautiful lookout gazer.
    6There's more to Manuel Antonio National Park - from horse back riding to snow cones and live music to jet skiing and drinking fresh coconut water.

    Domincal Real Estate is located only 30 minutes from Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the great things about living here is that you can go and enjoy the beaches any time you want! Many people decide to buy property here because of Manuel Antonio and all that it has to offer!!!!
    Here is the link to one of our featured listings in the Manuel Antonio area.......

  • Real Estate for Sale in Costa Rica: Attractive Options for Retirees

    Posted by Saul Rasminsky

    Every person has his or her idea of what makes the ideal retirement location. Many pre-retirees are drawn to places where the climate is mild and senior-friendly amenities are plenty, while some favor neighborhoods close to urban centers with top-notch healthcare and entertainment facilities as well as opportunities for employment. Still others are content to stay put in their current communities and enjoy the retirement lifestyle choices and benefits in store for them.
    Real Estate for Sale in Costa Rica: Attractive Options for Retirees
    For those who decide to retire in another state or even country, comfort, security, and the availability of healthcare and other essential services are paramount. Incidentally, Costa Rica scores high on all these aspects as well as those pertaining to cost of living, retirement infrastructure, ease of integration, and real estate. A recent Tico Times article sums up the findings of an International Living report as regards the top retirement destinations in the world.

    "This year's ranking states that Costa Rica’s “legacy of year-round warm weather, as well as longtime political stability and public safety” earn the country a ranking in the top 10.

    The publication also highlights the country's health care system and states that Costa Rica “is still going strong because the country continues to tick the boxes of those looking for their place in the sun. Plus, because of its long history as an expat haven, it’s easier than ever to start a new chapter in your life.”"

    International Living also cites the affordable yet high standard of living in Costa Rica as a key factor why as many as 20,000 U.S. expatriates and retirees choose to take up residence in this Central American nation. It also helps that the country is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, biodiversity, and pleasant temperatures throughout the year. Such factors make it quite clear why prime real estate for sale in Costa Rica, whether along the coast or further inland, has enjoyed stable demand from international buyers.

    Whether you’re looking for an investment property or somewhere you could comfortably retire, you’ll want to work with a trusted real estate firm—such as Dominical Real Estate—that knows the local property market quite well. When considering the best options in relation to real estate for sale in Costa Rica, it certainly pays to have a reliable expert by your side.

    (Article Information and Image from Costa Rica still one of the best retirement destinations, says International Living magazine, Tico Times, 6 January 2014)
  • Costa Rica Real Estate: Stable Demand despite Modest Growth Prospects

    Posted by Saul Rasminsky

    With its breathtaking natural beauty, high quality of life, and remarkable economic and political stability, it’s no wonder that a lot of folks looking for investment or retirement properties seek to own a piece of real estate in Costa Rica, also known as the Switzerland of Central America. Quite a number of businesses are also drawn to this tiny nation (bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the southeast) due to the relative ease with which they can set up operations, as well as the highly skilled workforce and the general affordability of commercial real estate.
    Costa Rica Real Estate: Stable Demand despite Modest Growth Prospects
    Tourism is another major contributor the country’s economy, with as many as 2.3 million tourists arriving each year and consequently generating about 2.2 million dollars in revenue. In an article for World Property Channel, Michael Klein sums up the recent developments in Costa Rica’s real estate market as follows:

    "While the first-boom buyers bought for investment, buyers now are buying for lifestyle and income. Interest in land or plots to build on in particular is predicted to see a larger focus during the remainder of this decade. Costa Rica's inventory of both mountain and coastal land plots and parcels is larger this decade as many first-boom investors have now shifted money into land purchases rather than more condominium development and resales. 

    Evidence of a rapid recovery or the start of a "second boom" can be found in the Costa Rica news media. Recent surveys show an uptick in 2013 inventories and upward trend in sales and prices, citing better international awareness, buyer demographics, improved U.S. economy and higher consumer confidence as primary factors."

    While Klein maintains that the current real estate boom is not as spectacular as the one that took place before the global economic slowdown, private and commercial real estate in Costa Rica nonetheless remains a hot commodity. The key is to time one’s purchase precisely and to snap up available land or property while prices are still favorable. Interested investors can enjoy a wide range of choices when it comes to prime properties along the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.

    Property buyers are also advised to do business with reputable Costa Rica real estate agents who know the lay of the land and either originate from or have lived in the country for quite some time. Experts from trusted firms like Dominical Real Estate can offer interested investors access to a convenient Multiple Listing Service that lets them search for available residential, commercial, or ranch properties.

    (Article Information and Image from Second Boom in Costa Rica: Slow and Steady, World Property Channel, 19 December 2013)
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