Friday, July 6, 2012

Costa Rica Real Estate Law & Property Rights

Real Estate In Costa RicaThis holds true for both Costa Ricans and foreign investors, who benefit from similar property rights and privileges of the locals. The state, however, imposes a firm decree on the details of land ownership prior to the purchase of foreigners who are not permanent real estate of Costa Rica.

  • Land Ownership:

Costa Rican laws and the constitution guarantees private ownership of land. By law, foreigners have the same property rights as citizens. For foreigners, there are almost no restrictions to ownership of private land. However, there are government programs that sell or give land to Costa Rican citizens. After a time period, these lands can be freely traded or acquired by foreigners. You do not need to be a citizenship, residence, or live in the country to own property.

  • Clear Title Registration and Information:

Costa Rican law requires that all property documents with clear title must be registered in the property section of the Public Registry (Article 460 of the Civil Code). All property must contain a titled registration number, the Folio Real. The national database can be searched with this number or by name index.

This report, the informe registral, will provide all detailed information about the property. The information including the name of the titleholder, all boundary lines, tax appraisal, any liens, unpaid mortgages, recorded easements, and all other recorded instruments that would affect clear title for the property. To protect the buyer, Costa Rica follows the doctrine of first in time, first in right, all recorded instruments regarding land for sale presented to the Public Registry are given priority according to the date and time in which they are recorded. For the buyer, this means that any mortgages or liens, which are not recorded by the national registry at title transfer, are not valid. Since the certificate of title issued by the Public Registry is conclusive evidence for clear title on the date issued, any lean or instrument not recorded at the time the certificate is issued is invalid by Costa Rican Real Estate law. This means that there is no need for title insurance, because any instrument not in the report is deemed invalid. 

  • Registration Procedure for Title Transfers:

Costa Rica Real Estate Property RightsOne of the responsibilities of the legal counsel is to make sure that the property title is taken care of after settling all the bills. It is the obligation of the specific notary public who made the transfer to present and register the deed with the Public Registry’s Property Department. As the selling or buying party, it is imperative for you to ask for updates on your property’s title transfer. The office of the Public Registry does not recognize deed transfers with unsettled or pending registration and tax bills. Among the other needed documents is a certified copy to be obtained from the Finance Ministry office after providing certifications of the seller’s current payments on property taxes.

Supporting documents can be easily acquired from the local municipal office, where both parties are required to settle municipal tax requirements. As soon as the transfer is acknowledged for registration, the registry office will give back all original papers, complete with documentary stamps. Transfer papers must be registered with the office forty five to sixty days within its presentation.  

  • Property Closing Expenses for Land Title Transfers:

The sale of land includes spending on legal fees, such as transfer charges and stamp tax, to name a few. This aspect of the sale covers about three to six percent of the total cost of sale. Charges involved in the transfer are paid for by the buyer. The amount of transfer tax is based on the declared worth of the property as assessed by the realtor. Legal fees charged on the sales cost of the property also depends if the property in Costa Rica is held by a local corporation, or a multi-national group of investors. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Finding Certified Real Estate Broker in Costa Rica

Finding Certified Real Estate Broker In Costa Rica
The Costa Rica Chamber of Real Estate Brokers (CCCBR) is a self-regulating institution, founded in 1974, with a goal of providing consistency and integrity in those who conduct real estate brokerage services within Costa Rica.  The Costa Rica Chamber of Real Estate Brokers, while not under national regulation, adheres to a strong ethics code and actively advocated for the requirement for all brokers to obtain a real estate license.  Costa Rican law does not require that a real estate broker have any certification so it is important to incorporate your own good judgment when selecting the criteria that you find to be vital in deciding whether a potential broker is qualified to represent you in the buying process. Membership in this group does not guarantee the knowledge and expertise that you may deem requisite for an individual to represent you in a real estate transaction.

It is not mandatory to have broker representation when buying Costa Rican real estate.  If you are well versed in Costa Rican property law, assessing property value, and speak fluent Spanish, it is possible to go it on your own.  However, a good broker with experience, a track record of satisfied clients and knowledge of the area can always help.

Sales commissions of 5% to 11% are paid by the seller so it is important to recognize that their loyalty may not be with you.  How do you tell if someone is going to do a good job advocating for you?  Many North Americans find asking prices that are way too high and brokers that are not as professional as they should be.  Some of the larger real estate franchises have moved into Costa Rica and bring a big and familiar name.  Franchises charge up to $30,000 for membership, annual dues of up to $500, a brokerage service fee of 2% per successfully closed real estate transaction, corporate overhead and advertising fees and regional advertising fees.  All of these costs must be recouped and the burden is placed on their buyers.  There is no legitimate affiliation between owners of the franchises and you can easily find one who is unethical and under-handed in their dealings.

So if you cannot rely on certification or big named companies where do you go?  The answer is to use some of these perimeters like certification with the CCCBR, but most importantly incorporate your best judgment.

Judging experience, integrity and area knowledge?
·         Does your broker have formal real estate training?
·         How long have they been in the business?  In Costa Rica Real Estate?
·         Can they introduce you to satisfied clients from the past?
·         Are they Costa Rican or are they legal residents of the country?
·         Are they fluent in Spanish and in English?

Real Estate Broker In Costa RicaJudging professionalism

·         Are their listings current?
·         Are they a full time broker?
·         Are they timely and accurate with appointments and contact with you?
·         Do they seem to constantly sell real estate?
·         Are they helping you understand the entire process? (prices, location, contracts, financing, terms, transfer fees and legal process)
·         A good broker should give you a free registered survey map of a property of interest with a unique registration number..
·         Are they asking the right questions to help you find what you are looking for and showing you Costa Rica properties that match your requests?

In summary it is important for you, a prospective real estate buyer, to not only look at certification from outside organizations, but also use your own judgment in the certification process.  A CostaRica real estate purchase is a very personal thing.  The most important criteria is your confidence that a broker will do their best for you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Why Properties in Costa Rica?

The acquisition of real estate is one of the most significant investments a person makes during his or her lifetime. It can also be one of the most stressful. In foreign countries such as Costa Rica, the normal stress of the purchasing process can be compounded with other risk factors, such as language barriers and unfamiliarity with local laws and procedures. That said, foreigners can and do legally and successfully purchase property in Costa Rica. In fact, Costa Rica offers potential buyers many types of real estate products including houses, condominiums, time-shares, farms, finished lots and beachfront property. 

Dominical real estate, Puntarenas - Costa Rica Real Estate :

Dominical real estateDominical has an easy going atmosphere, with a large community of foreigners. There is a great choice of accommodations to suit every purse and style, some young surfers sometimes just like to set camp on the beach and to sleep under the stars. The food is really good and those who like fish and sea food will be in heaven; there is a large array of restaurants and sodas serving fresh fish, lobster and crab everywhere in the area.
The beauty of the area, the diverse community, the property prices and convenient infrastructure has transformed it into a tourism paradise and a thriving hub for active travelers and nature lovers. The diverse wealth of activities, ranging from bird-watching, whale watching, horseback tours, swimming and movie nights to ultralight flights, sport fishing and live Community Theater. Through infrastructure improvements and thoughtful management this area has matured into a hotspot for luxury real estate. Evenly paced and holistically minded, the Costa Rica real estate market here achieves an exemplary balance of nature and convenience; those are the reasons why all the owners and associates of our office have personally invested in Dominical real estate.

Uvita Real Estate - Costa Rica Real Estate :

Uvita Real EstateThe Uvitareal estate market has witnessed a steady pulse – with interest increasing yearly here, more and more people are discovering the beauty of Uvita Costa Rica.

The Uvita real estate market is trending in a different direction aside from the norm in Costa Rica real estate. Here we are seeing more properties being segregated and sold off with the help of an existing model home or some sort of structure at all.

Ojochal Real Estate - Costa Rica Real Estate:

Ojochal Real EstateThe Southern Pacific currently offers some of the best real estate investment opportunities in Costa Rica. Boasting one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world this area is characterized by rich green foothills, white sandy beaches and clear pacific waters. This is where the mountains meet the sea, where dolphins play amongst the waves and where humped backed whales and turtles come to visit throughout the year.
Like many towns in the South Pacific, Ojochal real estate is expanding but local residents are eager to keep this to a minimum. Ojochal has a real sense of community and this is what makes it so special. Families moving to this area can be sure they will be welcomed with open arms.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Beaches to Lounge in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s coastlines have more awesome beaches than can be listed in a single post, so we’re going to take a look at them in smaller groups and this week we begin our journey with a photo tour of the Top 10 Beaches of Guanacaste which is located in the North West of Costa Rica.

1. Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Tamarindo is one of the most well renowned beaches in Costa Rica and not without reason. There are amazing sunsets and a wonderful nightlife. You have a huge variety of Tamarindo Vacation Rentals or beautiful hotels to chose from. Tamarindo is definitely a place to catch some good surf and sun bathing.

2. Bahia Salinas

Playa Bahia Salinas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Bahia Salinas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Bahia Salinas is the North most beach in Costa Rica. It offers tons of great activities and Natural parks to visit there. You can also enjoy some wind surfing and kite boarding as well as a fun nightlife and a visit to Bolanos Island.

3. Potrero

Playa Potrero, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Potrero, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Potrero is a beautiful beach off the beat and path. The town offers white sand beaches with beautiful views of boats and fishing. It is a quiet little town with a lot of residential. Houses are simultaneously beautiful and simple all wrapped up into one. Not too many hotels around here but you can reserve a Costa Rican Vacation Rental not too far from here.

4. Samara / Carillo

Playa Samara / Carillo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Samara / Carillo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Samara/ Carillo is a quite beach town a little less developed but still offers a beautiful and calm beach that’s simplicity is part of its charm. One to check out if you desire a mellow day with just you, the sun, and the sand.

5. Flamingo

Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Flamingo, also not too far from Tamarindo or Portero, offers white sand beaches and sport fishing locations. Fun and lively nightlife that locals also enjoy. Several restaurants and a couple of casinos. Lots of great Costa Rica Vacation Rentals, condos and villas.

6. Playa Del Coco

Playa Del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Playa Del Coco is close to many other beaches and not that unique in the actual beach activities. However, the nightlife here is fantastic and a great place if you have a night with some time to kill with friends. Perfect to experience some Costa Rican nightlife.

7. Ocotal

Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

If staying in Playa Del Coco you should definitely check out the snorkeling and scuba in Ocotal beach not to far from there. Beautiful but mellow at night, definitely a place to come check out.

8. Pan de Azucar

Playa Pan De Azucar, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Pan De Azucar, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Pan de Azucar, or better known as Sugar Beach, is also close to Flamingo and is a great place if you are looking to escape the crowds. A very mellow beach with the wonderful ocean at your fingertips, great for snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing.

9. Grande

Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

If you happen to have a Tamarindo Vacation Rental you should also take a walk over to Grande. You can take a short boat ride across the Estuary for a dollar or two. Walk along the beautiful stretch of beach here or bring along a surfboard for some amazing surf.

10. Panama

Playa Panama, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Panama, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Playa Panama is a different style of beach, which offers a more unique dark sand beach and a variety of more exclusive resorts. Beautiful and elegant and a great place to kick back and relax.

11. Hermosa

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Costa Rica’s newly Accessible Property Paradise

Costa Rica is a beautiful country of Central America and is situated just south of Nicaragua and north of Panama. Costa Rica possesses some of the beautiful beaches, wildlife, waterfalls, rain forests and numerous thundering rivers, and excellent lakes for windsurfing and boating. 

2011 has been highlighted as an excellent year to invest in real estate market in the south pacific of Costa Rica. This area is well known for its panoramic ocean views, lush tropic rain forests and the sandy beaches and the once small beach town of Uvita is at the forefront of property investment opportunities in this area. There is no doubt that the Uvita real estate market is in for a busy year.

The room for growth is in Uvita means little grape. The coastal mountain range that snugs up against the beach at Dominical runs parallel to the ocean along the zone between Dominical and Uvita. At Uvita, the coastal mountain range angles inland and then comes back toward the ocean. These results in a triangular rim of mountains creating a bowl-like configuration around the flats that are Uvita.

To buy real estate in Costa Rica is a different process than in your home country. Factors to consider are unfamiliarity with local laws and language barriers. In Costa Rica potential buyers are offered many types of real estate. Houses, entire farms, small pieces of land, finished lots and beach front properties are some kinds of properties.  

Dominical Beach is famous for its surf, and on any given day you will see local “surfistas” as well as foreign surfers hunting for perfect waves or just hanging out in a very relaxed atmosphere. At the present time, in town and the surrounding area, many hotels, bars, and restaurants are being built. Almost any business that meets the demands of the local and foreign community grows quickly. You can also book hotels, activities and transport in one single place. You will be able to book directly with the hotel owner the room you need, but you also will be able to see features, photos, check the discount offered by hotel owners and more. The list is filled up by the same hotel owners, for that reason in most of the cases prices are right.

At last I would sum up as Costa Rica real estate is a best option for investors to invest for high out returns. The different states of Costa Rica i.e. Uvita, Dominical and Ojochal are recognized for natural beauty. So they are best places for tourists and nature lovers. Invest in Costa Rica or live in Costa Rica. Both are helpful in achieving goals and dreams.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Productive Tips To buy Costa Rica Real Estate

This article is meant to give you some general tips on buying Costa Rica properties to help you make the right choice when buying your dream home in Costa Rica.

Tips to Investing in real estate and buying a home in Costa Rica:
  • Define a cohesive strategy: in talking with your real estate agent, define your needs according to your budget.
  • Develop a basic understanding of Costa Rican real estate law. Your agent and your attorney will help enlighten you on the subject (see tips below).
  • Familiarize yourself with local market conditions: Costa Rica real estate listings with your agent in order to compare products and prices.
  • Once a property has been identified, contact a reputable real estate attorney.
  • Start and conclude purchase with the help of your agent, the office's broker, and your attorney (see resume at the bottom).

Your Costa Rica real estate investment is not something you want to leap into blindfolded. There's too much money involved and too many things can go wrong. Here are a few places to look into before you leap.
Things must considering to buying land in Costa Rica:
  1. There is no nationwide Multiple Listing Service in Costa Rica so trying to establish even a rough idea of what property is worth can be difficult.
  2. Do not send money before visiting the plot of land and verifying legal details.
  3. Remember real estate laws are different in Costa Rica than the United States.
  4. While many people in Costa Rica speak English, all legal documents are in Spanish. Take the necessary steps to understand what the documents say.
  5. Make sure the real estate agent you are working with comes recommended and has verifiable references. If the agent is an American, make sure he or she is licensed in Costa Rica to work in real estate.
These are the basics that a purchaser follows when buying a property in Costa Rica.

Step 1: Sign an Option to Purchase with Seller.

Step 2: Deposit 5-10% of the purchase price with Escrow Company,or approved attorney's escrow account, or in some 100% safe cases-directly with the Seller. Please remember that wire transfers from the States typically take 2-5 business days.

Step 3: Title research performed by an approved Notary Public-Lawyer and/or Title Company attorneys.  In Costa Rica all notaries must be attorneys, and are registered with the Bar Association, ( Colegio de Abogados.)

Step 4: Closing with final transfer of funds, execution of Transfer Deed, Endorsement of Shares and/or Mortgage Deed.

Step 5: Register new owner with Public Registry (Registro Nacional). In about 6 weeks, receive official Title and guaranty (if purchased).

Contact us  for more information on Buying a home in Costa Rica or making a real estate investment in Costa Rica,  or call us at

Friday, June 22, 2012

Costa Rica Property to invest or live in

If you are thinking of buying property, then you should consider buying property in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is very beautiful country of Central America and is situated just south of Nicaragua and north of Panama. This country possesses some of the beautiful beaches, wildlife, waterfalls, rain forests and numerous thundering rivers, and excellent lakes for windsurfing and boating. The prices of property are currently still inexpensive but rising rapidly.

costa rica real estateFor most foreigners the main beach development areas that are worth considering for retirement and/or vacation homes can be found in Guanacaste areas such as Flamingo, Junquillal, and Tamarindo. The Central Pacific beach areas around the towns of Jaco Beach, Quepos and Manuel Anotonio are also attractive. This Central Pacific area has great potential, as it is much closer to the Central Valley and San Jose. The new Villa Col√≥n-Orotina and Quepos-Dominacal highways will have a huge effect on real estate values in this area, as it will reduce driving time to the Central and South Pacific areas.

Real estate business is the main business of Costa Rica. There are no restrictions on foreigners owning real estate in Costa Rica but buyers must do their due diligence when considering a particular property. Just as elsewhere, ensuring the title to an acquired property is clean and clear is of paramount importance. In addition, one must be aware of some of the limitations that apply to properties in certain areas. "There are government imposed restrictions on how close to the high water mark a person may own land or build. Also, legally speaking, all beaches are open to the public. No one can own the beach or restrict access to it.
The land ownership by both local and foreign citizens in Costa Rica is protected by the country’s constitution and laws. Anyone regardless of race can gain ownership of a private land provided that there are no restrictions imposed on such. Restrictions will be made if that particular land must be acquired by the government for its programs. These particular lands may be sold to Costa Ricans and may not be acquired by foreigners until a certain time period has lapsed.

visit Costa ricaProperty prices in Costa Rica real estate is rising. Investors that purchased a $30,000 property 15 years ago, now find their property is worth as much as $750,000. The prices have dramatically increased as Costa Rica has attracted more foreign buyers and tourists every year.

In the end I would suggest to everyone having capital in hand to invest in Costa Rica real estate. It would be helpful in future for achieving business goals and high out return.