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Buy a Property in Costa Rica

Buy a Property in Costa Rica

One of the main advantages of buying real estate in Costa Rica is that there are no restrictions whatsoever on the types of properties to acquire. Thus, it is easy to understand that if you want to buy land in Costa Rica as a foreigner, you can do that.

Below, our lawyers explain the procedure associated with buying a house in Costa Rica. You can also discover other types of properties you can acquire here, as well as what the process entails.

Who can buy property in Costa Rica?

Anyone can buy land or other types of properties in Costa Rica. However, it is customary to buy a home in Costa Rica as an American, because of the proximity of the two countries. Also, it is also often met to buy property in Costa Rica as a Canadian, as citizens of this state want to have vacation homes in a warm destination.

This does not mean that if you come from another part of the world, you cannot buy a beach house in Costa Rica, for example.

Also, if you decide to move to Costa Rica, having your own place to stay can prove a better decision than a rental.

Steps to buy land or any other property in Costa Rica

No matter if you want to buy a beach house in Costa Rica or decide on a piece of land to build your dream home on, you will need to complete the same steps. These are:

  1. getting in touch with a real estate agent or searching the market yourself;
  2. completing the due diligence required once you find the property to buy in Costa Rica;
  3. start the negotiation process and sign a pre-sale agreement, if you decide on buying the respective real estate in Costa Rica;
  4. complete the transaction before a notary.

Following that, the property must be registered with the Costa Rican Cadaster.

These steps apply no matter if you are interested in buying a home in Costa Rica as an American or a citizen of another country.

The simplest way to buy a property in Costa Rica as a foreigner

No matter if you are interested in buying a property in Costa Rica as a Canadian or national of another country, you have two options:

  • acquiring real estate in Costa Rica as a natural person;
  • buying the respective property through a business one owns in this country. Our agents can also help with company formation in Costa Rica.

Often, it is simpler to buy real estate by opening a company in Costa Rica. Our local specialists can offer more information on this option.

Aspects to pay attention to when buying land in Costa Rica

When purchasing property in Costa Rica, please note that land or other type of real estate within the first 50 meters of the high tide line is considered public land. This indicates that it is protected and cannot be titled. The next 150 meters above this zone is known as the Maritime Zone or Concession Land. While foreigners can easily buy property in Costa Rica, they can only own up to 49% of the Maritime Zone land.

Acquiring a property in this country also enables you to secure Costa Rican residency followed by Costa Rican citizenship.

Taxes to pay when you buy a property in Costa Rica

Here are the main taxes to pay no matter if you buy land or a beach house in Costa Rica:

  • the real estate transfer tax is 0.75% of the value of the property;
  • the stamp duty is 0.18 percent of the property value;
  • notary costs range from 0.5 to 1% of the transaction;
  • the Land Register’s registration tax is 0.45% of property value.

Contact us if you need assistance in buying a property in Costa Rica.