Learn Your Lesson: Problems with buying real estate in Costa Rica
Have you had problems with buying real estate in Costa Rica? Did you put money down on a property in Costa Rica? And now the construction is stalled or the lot is not being developed? The developers are unable to perform on their promises?
The basic problem is that many of these developers used your down payments to finance his first phases of the development project which he has not built yet! But has done “something with you money” And now he cannot borrow any more money -because the banks have frozen lending. So the construction project or development is at a standstill.
The present world financial situation as caused “havoc”. So what do you do?
If you have a Costa Rica attorney in whom you put your trust, of course, you will sit down with him and go over you options. If you do not have one..get one. Talk to Americans who live there and own property for references.
What we don’t always take into consideration first–before embarking upon the purchase of property in Costa Rica is that the Costa Rican laws (and the way things work there) is very different from the USA, Canada, or other foreign countries.
So we cannot assume anything.
You may have been one of the lucky ones and your developer refunded your down payment.
Or you may have been an unlucky one and have found that your efforts to recover you money are in vain.
So what lesson do we learn from this?
First: do not put a down payment to purchase a property in another country over the phone (sight unseen).
Second: in Costa Rica obtain the services of a reputable competent attorney who speaks good English to draw you a contract where you know what is going to happen in all phases of the deal. Make sure if your money is held “in trust” that it will remain in the attorney’s trust account and not paid out to any builder or developer until AFTER he has delivered the first phase (for which the money is going to pay for)
If something does not “seem right to you” then don’t get into it.
Stewart Title operates in Costa Rica.. they claim to guarantee your title free, clear and good
(for a fee) MAKE SURE you read everything in detail that you sign with Stewart Title. And have you own attorney go over it all before you sign it. Because Stewart T. is not cheap, and you must understand what is exactly they guarantee to you.
You may say, well your article is too simplistic. Anyone would know what you are saying…..But, believe me..I have seen many people get scammed. Dont be one of them.
Establish yourself with a reputable English speaking attorney (get references from the American Community..someone who has lived there for a long time.)
“The Wise Man Built his House upon a Rock” Have you ever heard your grandmother say that?