How To Buy Real Estate In Costa Rica

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It is always important to have a trustworthy lawyer and real estate agent working with you when buying real estate in Costa Rica, but it is also wise to familiarize yourself with the process of purchasing property in Costa Rica so that you can understand what is going on and better manage the transaction to ensure your real estate investment is secure.

It is important to address the significance of property rights, to understand why it is so crucial that the transfer process be completed properly. Real estate generates wealth in an economy because it can be owned, bought or sold, and that ownership can be enforced, guaranteeing security of purchase. Costa Rica has the stability, and legal structure to be able to guarantee that ownership, although disputes can arise on occasion due to poor documentation, or undocumented changes in the past. For this reason it is imperative that the registration process be followed to the letter to ensure that the legal system will stand behind you in case of a dispute.

There is still some property which is not yet titled in Costa Rica, though it may be tempting if you’re offered a good deal, it is extremely risky to purchase un-titled. The problem arises because all property must be legally registered and if it is not, it does not exist under the law, and therefore the legal system will not grant ownership.

Registration of the property is the number one most important thing in Costa Rica, more important than the actual deed to the property. All property is registered at the Registro Publico, so you will begin your title search there, and obtain the escritura, a written title document that details the property and how it is registered in the Registro Pubilco. The escritura defines the property, including whether it’s commercial or residential, the location, land size, etc. It also states the current owner. But most importantly it outlines all liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances against the property. If issues arise during this initial background check they must be addressed before proceeding further. These are the sorts of things which could cause disputes regarding the ownership of the property at a later time.

Next you will need to find the catastro, the plan, or graphic drawings of the land. The catastro is filed separately from the escritura and note that while it is legally required that the escritura be updated when there is any change, it is not required to update the cadastro. Because of this the catastro and escritura may not be 100% in agreement due to transactions which took place but were not properly recorded. One of the most important things to watch for when buying real estate in Costa Rica, is consistency between the escritura and catastro, the 2 documents which officially define the property. It is important to verify both of these documents by doing a topographical study of the property and defining the property boundaries clearly. Any inconsistencies between these two documents must be resolved before proceeding with the purchase of a property.

Once you have verified the title, and checked for any problems, the seller will provide the buyer with two tax documents. The first is a copy of the tax receipt, or impuesto territorial, showing that all taxes and registration fees have been up to date, and the second is a tax clearance certificate issued by the Municipality where the property is located called a constancia municipal.

Now you are ready to have a notary draw up the sale agreement as a testimonio, or public deed. In Costa Rica all notaries are lawyers. The notary should work for both the buyer and seller and should not be biased. If you are financing your purchase with a bank or other lending institution, the institution may reserve the right to designate the notary as a condition of the financing agreement. The notary responsible for the closing will draft the purchase contract, and be present at the closing.

On the day of the closing you are required to present proof of payment to cover several taxes and duties involved in the purchase transaction.

The taxes and duties are calculated based on the highest stated purchase price and the property value appearing on the Registry. The notary will certify an affidavit that the payment was made and it will be included in the documentation.

The purchase contract will then be incorporated into the notary’s register, under a specific deed number. Once it is signed, it the notary is responsibility for registering the purchase as soon as possible.

When the papers have been filed, the affidavit of the transfer deed will be reviewed by the Registry and if all is well, it is recorded and the buyer is declared the formal owner. Should there be any problems, the document will be returned to the notary for correction and re-filing.

Once your deed is registered, you can request an original copy of the deed, or testimonio, or a copy of the closing document with the seals showing the registration for your own verification and records. In addition, your property will have a folio real number showing you as the owner, which can be verified at the Registry.

Is It Time To Buy?

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Costa Rica is a great place to move to in order to finally achieve the lifestyle that you have always dreamed of living. Owning a place of your own in which to create your own paradise, whatever that may be, is available to you, now. Don’t miss the opportunities available right now on Costa Rican land, especially in developing areas like Guanacaste in Northern Costa Rica.

Don’t let the dismal news about the real estate market that bombards you daily discourage you from living your dream. Just the opposite is true. This may the best time in your entire life in which to buy land in a tropical paradise. All the factors involved with buying real estate have come together in a financial ‘perfect storm’ to make this the perfect time to buy land in Costa Rica.

Real estate prices around the world have decreased to levels that make buying real estate an attractive investment alternative today. While there is no guarantee that prices won’t decrease further, prices right now are at levels that makes real estate a good buy. In relative terms, land prices in Costa Rica are a great value when compared to similar properties in other parts of the world. With the Costa Rican government’s infrastructure improvement policy and their commitment to promoting tourism, values of land should increase in the coming years as international demand grows. Even land in paradise is subject to the universal laws of supply and demand.

Interest rates around the world are at historically low levels as Reserve Banks make money readily available in order to stimulate the world’s economies. In America interest rates are at 50 year lows and interest rates around the world are extremely low, making payments on any mortgage loans that you obtain very low. Even if you have the money to purchase your Costa Rican land outright, you can obtain a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage and profit financially, when inflation returns.

With the billions of dollars that the Reserve Banks are pumping into economies around the world, it is only a matter of time before inflation returns. When it does, the cost of every commodity, including land, will increase. As history has demonstrated over and over again, a large supply of cheap money eventually leads to inflation. It is only a matter of time before land prices begin to appreciate as demand for real estate increases and the money supply continues to increase.

A savvy investor will realize the opportunity in the real estate market right now and take advantage of it. Most people ask, “Where’s the best place to invest right now?” Warren Buffet, the billionaire American investor, thinks just the opposite. He asks, “Where’s the worse place to invest right now?” He is looking to invest in out of favor stocks or investment areas. By buying land in Costa Rica you can have the best of both worlds. You can invest in land when no one else to wants to buy, allowing you to find great deals. You will also be buying land in one of the best places in the world in which to live. Yes, paradise is on sale right now in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Don’t let this opportunity of a lifetime pass you by.

Costa Rica is a great place to move to in order to finally achieve the lifestyle that you have always dreamed of living. Owning a place of your own in which to create your own paradise, whatever that may be, is available to you, now. Don’t miss the opportunities available right now on Costa Rican land, especially in developing areas like Guanacaste in Northern Costa Rica.

Don’t let the dismal news about the real estate market that bombards you daily discourage you from living your dream. Just the opposite is true. This may the best time in your entire life in which to buy land in a tropical paradise. All the factors involved with buying real estate have come together in a financial ‘perfect storm’ to make this the perfect time to buy land in Costa Rica.

Real estate prices around the world have decreased to levels that make buying real estate an attractive investment alternative today. While there is no guarantee that prices won’t decrease further, prices right now are at levels that makes real estate a good buy. In relative terms, land prices in Costa Rica are a great value when compared to similar properties in other parts of the world. With the Costa Rican government’s infrastructure improvement policy and their commitment to promoting tourism, values of land should increase in the coming years as international demand grows. Even land in paradise is subject to the universal laws of supply and demand.

Interest rates around the world are at historically low levels as Reserve Banks make money readily available in order to stimulate the world’s economies. In America interest rates are at 50 year lows and interest rates around the world are extremely low, making payments on any mortgage loans that you obtain very low. Even if you have the money to purchase your Costa Rican land outright, you can obtain a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage and profit financially, when inflation returns.

With the billions of dollars that the Reserve Banks are pumping into economies around the world, it is only a matter of time before inflation returns. When it does, the cost of every commodity, including land, will increase. As history has demonstrated over and over again, a large supply of cheap money eventually leads to inflation. It is only a matter of time before land prices begin to appreciate as demand for real estate increases and the money supply continues to increase.

A savvy investor will realize the opportunity in the real estate market right now and take advantage of it. Most people ask, “Where’s the best place to invest right now?” Warren Buffet, the billionaire American investor, thinks just the opposite. He asks, “Where’s the worse place to invest right now?” He is looking to invest in out of favor stocks or investment areas. By buying land in Costa Rica you can have the best of both worlds. You can invest in land when no one else to wants to buy, allowing you to find great deals. You will also be buying land in one of the best places in the world in which to live. Yes, paradise is on sale right now in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Don’t let this opportunity of a lifetime pass you by.

Investing In Costa Rica Real Estate

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Despite being located in Latin America, the small country of Costa Rica enjoys a stable economic environment and offers numerous real estate investment opportunities. And, because the cost of living in Costa Rica is a mere fraction of what it is throughout North America, more and more people are drawn to the area, not only for monetary reasons but also for the country’s stunning vistas and diverse collection of wildlife.

Costa Rica boasts a low violent crime rate, a democratic government that’s been in place for a half century, a tropical climate, and plenty of activities to do all year round. With fragrant flowers and trees, exotic birds, fascinating sea creatures, and mammals like monkeys all making their homes in Costa Rica, one will certainly never be at a loss for nature.

Investment opportunities in the States have dwindled in light of the recent economic crisis, but in Costa Rica, the opposite is true as both home and land prices are as much as 25% cheaper as opposed to the U.S

The cost of property maintenance is also far lower, making the country the ideal place to invest in business and real estate investments. Investors are flocking to the country from all around the world to take advantage of enjoying the same equal property rights as the native citizens.

In comparison with countries in Europe as well as larger cities in the United States, Costa Rican real estate is incredibly affordable. Property taxes are also noticeably lower than in other countries and even the most luxurious of homes will have a minimal tax applied.

Foreigners are faced with few rules and restrictions when it comes to owning land or property and relocation to the country is fairly simple provided all of the paperwork is properly completed and in order.

The area known as the Central Valley is one of the prime real estate locations in the country, most specifically in Grecia, which offers pleasant living conditions and reasonable home prices. However, as the country’s popularity continues to grow with investors and tourists, real estate prices continue to grow as well, making it important to act quickly if you think you’ve found something.

Public land auctions announced in Costa Rica’s official government publication “La Gaceta” may occasionally feature a few good deals and remote areas like the Osa Peninsula haven’t seen the increase in prices as other areas in the country have.

As you would expect, real estate prices encompass a wide range based on variables like location. A beachfront home with one quarter acre of land might be anywhere from $40,000 to more than $200,000 while those with more property can be in the millions.

In addition to the Central Valley region, the fastest selling properties are along the Pacific coast, and it is here where some of the most expensive homes and buildings are located. In general, the farther away you are from metropolitan areas like San Jose or Alajuela, the cheaper the properties will be.

Financing does not exist in Costa Rica the way it does in North America to foreigners who will have to buy properties with existing mortgages or assume legal residency in order to qualify for a bank loan. Owner financing remains the one of the best options for foreign investors looking to buy real estate in Costa Rica.