One of the topics that we get the most questions on is Real Estate. The Real Estate market in Costa Rica is very robust and buyer and sellers alike need to be aware of the regulations and laws of the Country. This article will answer several of the most frequently asked questions. We always encourage any person selling or buying to retain an attorney with experience or expertise in Real Estate and coordinate a meeting (virtual or in person) to discuss in detail all the aspects and relevant matters.
Q. In my home country, we go through a due diligence process when buying Real Estate. Is that required in Costa Rica?
A. Yes, before any purchase, a due diligence may be performed by the Buyers’ attorney, checking that all the paperwork of the property is in order and ensuring that there are no outstanding charges or taxes and there are no encumbrances or liens on the property. During the Due Diligence Period, the Buyers and Buyers’ attorney shall have the right, but not the obligation, to perform a complete study on the Property, including but not limited to: Physical, Title & Survey, Confirmation of No Adverse Possession, Survey Plan, Boundaries, and Other Documents.
Q. Do I need to be a Costa Rica resident to own Real Estate?
A. No, it is not required by law to be a Costa Rica resident to own Real Estate in Costa Rica
(Concession land is an exception). However, many expats do make the choice to do so.
To apply for residency in Costa Rica, the Costa Rican government requires applicants to provide proof of financial stability in one of three ways:
As a retiree with pension: Certification that the applicant receives a lifetime pension of at least $1,000 USD per month.
As an investor: Must demonstrate a real estate investment in Costa Rica with a value of at least $150,000 USD per recent law #9996 which reduced the amount from $200K.
As the holder of a fixed Annuity: Certification that the applicant receives a guaranteed annuity of $2500 USD, per month, for at least 2 years.
Other requirements are to provide birth certificate, police records (FBI) and marriage certificate, if applicable, duly apostilled or legalized by the Consulate of CR in the country of issuance of the certifications.