Real Estate FAQs
Can foreigners own property in Costa Rica? - Yes, foreigners are permitted to own property outright in Costa Rica. Also, foreigners have the same property rights as Costa Ricans. Private property is protected by the Constitution of Costa Rica. It is no different than owning real estate in the US or Europe. Costa Rica is definitely a beautiful country in which to live, invest and retire.
How can I be sure my purchase is secure? - Transferring a property from one owner to another should be no problem as long as you employ a professional to help with the process and protect your money. To guarantee that your purchase is completely secure, you should work with a reputable real estate attorney. LEP Costa Rica and your attorney can make sure that:
- The property has a free and clear title.
- You enter into a purchase agreement that guarantees all the conditions of the sale and maintenance of the property until closing.
- All monies will be deposited and held in an escrow account. For extra security, you can also purchase title insurance.
- Within a few days of the closing date, you should be able to look in the national registry to make sure the property is recorded.
How do I know if a realtor is reputable? - The Ministry of Economy issues real estate licenses on recommendations from the Chamber of Real Estate Brokers, which is dedicated to raising standards of both competence and ethics. LEP Costa Rica is a proud member of the Chamber.
Is it possible to own commercial real estate in Costa Rica? - Yes, you can also buy and operate a business in Costa Rica.
What are the Closing Costs? - Closing costs for a sale include a transfer land tax, a stamp tax, and legal fees. Closing costs typically run 5% to 6% of the selling price and are usually split 50/50 between buyer and seller. The transfer and land taxes are assessed based on the declared value, while legal fees are charged based on the SALE PRICE of the property.