Other Important Considerations for Purchasing Property in Costa Rica
There is no doubt a diversity of options when it comes to the real-estate market in Costa Rica. From the streets of San Josè to the emerald blue waters along the Corcovado, purchasing a home in Costa Rica can be as enticing as the lifestyle. That said, there are some important considerations and precautions that should be addressed before you transfer any funds.
Using a Costa Rican Real Estate Lawyer
You will want to find a real estate lawyer and possibly a notary public for your property purchase. Your lawyer will be essential during several steps of the process.
During the due diligence period, they will conduct a title search to make sure the current owner has a clear title and research any liens on the property. If you are purchasing a condominium or a home in a gated community, your lawyer should ensure they receive a letter stating all HOA fees are paid and up to date. During the closing, they will be part of the document preparation, distribution of funds, and transfer of title.
Fees for your real estate lawyer will depend on the sale price of the property.
Making an Offer on Costa Rican Property
Once you have found the perfect property, you will want to make an offer. Before you do, make sure you understand what taxes you will need to pay over the long term and to whom — for example, your home might be subject to a luxury home tax.
When you are ready to make an offer, your lawyer will put together the purchase price and agreement. Ensure you review the offer thoroughly and ask questions before it goes to the seller. When drawing up an offer, it is also good to verify your understanding of any fees like transfer taxes, notary fees, legal fees, closing costs, and more.
If the seller accepts, the next step is to deposit the down-payment to an approved escrow account. Then, you enter into the due diligence period — when your lawyer researches the titled property, home inspection, and survey, often along with a notary public. You can also use that time to purchase title insurance.
At the end of the due diligence period, your lawyer will help you complete the sale. In Costa Rica, it is typical for the buyer and seller to share closing costs for the real estate transaction. Finally, the transfer deed will need to be accepted by the Public Registry and then returned with the proper stamps.
Immigration Considerations for Property Owners in Costa Rica
For most people, purchasing and moving to a property in Costa Rica is not enough to grant long-term living. While a program called the Inversionista Program grants residency to someone investing a minimum of $200,000 in commercial or residential property, it is only applicable to the individual investor and not any family members.
Typically, those choosing to live long-term in Costa Rica choose between the Pensionado Program and the Rentista Program. The Pensionado Program requires proof of a minimum $1,000 per month income from a lifetime pension program. In addition, the source of the funds must come from a source approved by the government. The Rentista Program requires proof of $2,500 a month in income for two years (making a $60,000 deposit in a Costa Rican bank is also acceptable).
Relocate Is Here to Help With Questions About Costa Rica
Overall, Costa Rica continues to be one of Central America’s biggest hot spots for relocation. Whether enticed by Tico, Dominical, Jaco, or somewhere else — with gorgeous and exciting places to explore, quality health care, and a reasonable cost of living — the country has something for everyone to enjoy.
If you are ready to start planning your move to Central America, you can start by learning more about Costa Rica and digging through relevant material about relocation. Submit general inquiries or request direct consultations with qualified Costa Rican Advisors.
Get Started. Get Going. Transcend Borders.