Purchasing land, building and maintaining a home in Costa Rica is very similar to the United States. Here are some questions we are often asked about real estate transactions in Costa Rica:
Q: How do I buy and hold land? Can
foreigners own property in Costa Rica?
A: There is no restriction to property ownership by foreigners.
Q: Is title insurance available? What is the form of the title that I will receive?
A: Title insurance is available and recommended. There are several companies that offer the same type of title insurance that is offered in the United States. Many United States title insurance companies, like Stewart Title, back these companies. The cost is about 1% of the purchase price.
Q: Are other insurances, like general liability and property insurance, available?
A: All other forms of insurance are available. You can purchase insurance for your home, car, business, life insurance, and most other insurable items. Home insurance is actually less expensive than comparable insurance in the United States. We can direct you to appropriate contacts to acquire any requested insurance.
Q: Does Costa Rica have property taxes?
A: Yes, Costa Rica has annual property taxes based on the value of the property, but they are usually very low compared to U.S. properties: typically, 0.025% of the recorded value of the property.
Q: Can I have an “American” quality home built in Costa Rica?
A: Yes, our relationships with preferred builders and architects in Costa Rica can build your home for far less than it would cost in the U.S.
Q: Are there zoning laws and building codes in Costa Rica?
A: Costa Rica has zoning laws. Our recommended builders are familiar with the building codes and will construct your house to the specifications that you direct and in strict accordance with the building codes.
Q: How do I maintain my house, especially when I am not in Costa Rica?
A: You can easily hire a full-time maid that will do all cooking, cleaning, laundry, and childcare for less than $350 per month. You can also hire a groundskeeper who will maintain your property, gardens, and watch your property in your absence for a comparable fee.
Q: I don't speak Spanish. Can I get around Costa Rica?
A: There are over 20,000 North American residents in Costa Rica. Many Costa Rican's speak English, since the number one industry in Costa Rica is tourism. Throughout the coastal areas, the majority of the people that live here are English speaking. If you have an interest, there are very good Spanish schools in Costa Rica that can quickly improve your proficiency in Spanish.
Q: How is the health care system in Costa Rica?
A: Costa Rica has an excellent medical system. Most people have access to universal health care, which means that people do not hesitate to visit the doctor when needed. The system covers everything from dentistry, to maternity care, to open-heart surgery. As a result, Costa Rica's population is very healthy and enjoys a life expectancy comparable to that of North Americans. In short, if you need medical assistance, a qualified facility is easily accessible.