Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica
If you are thinking about buying a home or a lot to build in Costa Rica? I have done it and I can give you very valuable advice.
If you are not very familiar with Costa Rica and its diverse climates and locations to live : first rent a place for 6 months or even better for one year. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with what the different areas offer: 1. climate 2. close proximity to all kinds of shopping 3. location..it is mountains or is it beach. Do other foreigners live there , and if not do you want to learn Spanish ( if you don’t already speak) The language will enable you to integrate into the community and make new friends.
Property prices are higher if you are a North American (the Ticos simply raise the price for foreigners) because they think we have more money.
Options to Consider: 1. Hire a Tico to look for the property and get him to negotiate a Tico price.
2. Use a reputable real estate company …but first, get several references before using the agent.
3. Ask other North Americans about prices they paid, this will give you some general idea of prices in a given area.
4. But, as I said rent first and then take your time and do a lot of investigation. 5. Never pay the first price quoted, which is usually very high. Negotiate until you feel you are paying a reasonable price.
I recommend buying a house already built since building in Costa Rica is not cheap, ( similar price as in the USA) esp if you use a building contractor…This experience could cause your enchantment with the country to quickly sour.
Beach properties are very expensive…like Fla. or California and often the roads leading to them are in very poor repair and many times there is little shopping options near by.
Keep in mind that the climate on the beach is hot and in the mountains it is much fresher and cooler (depending on the elevation).
You will not want to leave your house alone when you go on a vacation: so I highly recommend that you buy in a gated community where there is a 24 hour guard. Or hire someone to live on your property at all times to keep watch.
Theft is common and thieves are constantly looking for unoccupied houses with easy entry.
Do not confide in maids or gardners..since they could easily tell others when you are not going to be home or where valuables are stored.