Real Estate FAQ’S

  • Does speak your language.
  • Understands your project, respects your budget.
  • Will get the right legal information concerning the property.
  • Goes beyond her own listing to reach out to your ideal home.
  • Has true experience investing and living in Costa Rica.
  • Will have the guts to turn you off a property if your project does not legally fit the place.

YES, Everyone must hire an attorney for their real estate purchases.
Find a lawyer who speaks your language and answers questions promptly; this will ensure the smoothest transaction possible.

Your attorney will help you through several steps of your purchase, including a title search, contingency releases, distribution of funds, title transfer, and more.

Make sure your attorney has a SUGEF (Financial Institution Superintendency) and approved escrow account to avoid any legal problems.

YES, Costa Rica is one of the safest countries to invest in America.

It is secure and peaceful as shown by its unmodified Political Constitution since 1948, the abolition of its army the same year and the redirecting of that budget towards healthcare, education and environmental protection.

The above allowed Costa Rica to have a strong democracy and a safe judicial system that makes it suitable to invest in.

The Costa Rican government value foreign investments as the most important income for its economy and therefore constantly improve their juridical security.

YES, the Costa Rican Constitution doesn’t make any difference between foreigners and locals; they both have full legal rights to purchase and own property.

The Concepts of  “private property”, “individual rights”, and “complied justice” are present within the Costa Rican Political Constitution and guarantee local and foreign people the same rights toward those matters.

YES, any person of legal age is allowed to create a Costa Rican corporation, be a shareholder, and be part of its board of directors.

The foreigner is allowed to own 100% of a company’s shares

It is a very easy, cheap and short procedure

YES, any person,  regardless of its migratory condition or citizenship, may purchase real estate in Costa Rican under it a personal name.

Sometimes, there are benefits to purchasing a property in a company name, it can include greater options regarding taxes and liability.

Don’t make any verbal offers.

Although there is no established procedure, your real estate agent will write up the offer and take it to the seller. Once agreed on, your lawyer will write up a formal purchase-sale agreement.

However, a due diligence process should take place to protect the purchaser’s best interests.

Your Costa Rican lawyer will:

  • Draft a promissory purchase agreement, preventing seller to engage the property with third parties
  • Address a due diligence process to confirm there are no inconveniences that may affect the property and that the property is up to date with the adequate taxes
  • Verify the property use of soil
  • Verify  any other restrictions that could affect the desired project to be developed by the purchaser,

When signing the promissory purchase agreement, the 10% down payment will be delivered to the seller through a transfer in escrow to guarantee the funds will be returned in case the due diligence result is not positive.

Finally, the specific balance shall be provided at closing.

Yes, it is.

When purchasing real estate in Costa Rica, you must transfer the title from the current owner to the purchaser.

However, if the property belongs to a Costa Rican corporation, the seller may sell the corporation shares to the purchaser, to avoid transferring the title and reduce some expenses.

When purchasing the corporation shares, parties should sign a sale and purchase contract in which seller guarantees there are no pending debts or obligations and that should be enough to transfer all potential claims to seller

The Public Notary Fees, Public Registry Stamps, and property transfer taxes are established by law and are detached as follows:

  • Public Notary Fees: the Public Notary’s fees may vary between a 1% to a 2%, depending on the purchase price and the complexity of the transaction.
  • Public Registry Stamps: 0,8%.
  • Property Transfer Taxes: 1,5%.

According to Costa Rican law, these percentages must be calculated over the highest amount between the purchase price and the property fiscal value.

Likewise, please note there may be some additional expenses associated to the transaction for the due diligence process, escrow services,

Property taxes corresponds to a 0,25% of the property value that is registered at the corresponding municipality.

Property taxes must be paid every three months but may be paid per year

Since Costa Rica has so many protected areas for nature conservation, you will find setbacks from rivers and forests, which are always annotated in the National Registry. The zoning will show if it is agricultural or residential and what the restrictions are.

Immo Costa Rica will provide you that information.

Property taxes must be paid every three months but may be paid per year

Only the “activate corporations” must present a declaration form before the tax authorities and pay taxes calculated over the gross income.

Likewise, according to Costa Rican law, all the Costa Rican corporations must pay an annual fix tax, which goes from US$120.00 to US$400.00 per year, depending on the gross income declared.

YES. Every time you open a bank account, you can ask for 2 accounts: one in Colones, the local Currency and the other one in US $.

NO, the Costa Rican government does not collect capital gains tax. 

Bank financing is complicated due to local banking politic.

However, many sellers offer partial financing.

There also are trusted founds we can help you with that lend you money with a building guarantee (interests of 10-12 %).

That depends on what you want. If you find your dream property already built, chances are you can negotiate a great deal. However, purchasing your ideal land and building can also prove an amazing value, so it all depends on your preferences and needs. 

In most cases, new construction runs $50-$125 per square foot ($450-$1,350 per square meter). Very simple construction starts around $30 per square foot ($315 per square meter), while luxury homes can climb to more than $200 per square foot ($2,152 per square meter).

None. The real estate agency’s fees are supported by the seller.