2017 Costa Rica Real Estate Starter Guide
REMAX Oceanside Realty, your real estate agents & full service realty office based out of Jaco Beach Costa Rica, put together this Costa Rica Real Estate Starter Guide as a collection of some of the our most common customer questions. For your convenience, this buyer’s guide provides resourceful information on the purchasing process in Costa Rica. However, the best assurance of a smart investment is through the advice and assistance of a local, knowledgeable RE/MAX professional.
Use the Contact us form to the right if you do not find the answers to your questions below. One of the REMAX Oceanside licensed real estate agents will get right back to you shortly.
General Real Estate Overview for 2017 | Legal & Market News 2017
In 2017 the buzz which started in 2015 has continued it slow but steady climb. Purchasing Costa Rica real estate is now more common for those that are acting on there dreams of relocating and retiring overseas. We also see an increase in the Costa Rican wealth hitting the beach especially in the Central Pacific Areas just an hour West of the hottest areas in the Central Valley. This welcome turn in the local market us leaving the plateau real estate market in the distance with a much more solid and stable market on the horizon. Many wonder if Costa Rica has passed it’s prime and find that hidden under surface there are still incredible deal to be had.
Foreign Investment | Why are so many Expats choosing Costa Rica?
Unlike most Latin American countries, foreigners in Costa Rica have the same property ownership rights as locals when purchasing property. This pertains to most of the property bought and sold, but there are a few exceptions that are important to know about including the Maritime Zone. The zone includes the first 200 meters off the coast on both the Pacific and Atlantic. A law was passed in the 70’s allowing owners of beachfront property to gain a fee-simple title to their waterfront land. Only 10-15% of the land owners took advantage of this leaving the remaining 85-90% of the coast a concession zone which is a restricted lease from the government. The restrictions to ownership and development on concession property center around protecting the environment but there are also obstacles to foreign ownership. When buying beachfront condos, homes or lots, we suggest you stick to the titled property which is mostly located in and around the Jaco Beach area on the Central Pacific coast.
Safe Investment | The Real Estate Due Diligence Process
The Costa Rica political and economic state is safe & stable. All properties are registered in a National Property Registry, making the due diligence process transparent and clear. Once the property is deemed clean, most locals and foreigners purchase real estate in a Costa Rican Corporation. The legal entity minimizes personal liability, simplifies the transfer in the case of a death and provides as simple legal structure for shared ownership.
Costa Rica Low Costa of Living
Cost of living is one of the most common driving forces of the foreign buyer so the low annual holding costs are a major plus. Property taxes are extremely low at only .25% of the declared value ($250 per $100,000) per year. Prices of excellent quality services like healthcare and dentistry are 50-70% lower than many other Countries. Phone and cable and high-speed internet service can be found in most developed areas of the country. Unlike many other international destinations the drinking water is drinkable. In Costa Rica you do not have to sacrifice your quality of life to gain an affordable cost of living.
Quality of Life | Climate and Landscape
In Costa Rica there is something for everyone! With very little research you will find there is a variety of pleasant climate types and landscape options from cooler mountains to beaches, deserts to rainforest. The coast lined with tropical beaches that stay in the high 70s to mid-90s all year around. The central valley and mountain highlands boast of spring weather all year with cooler breezes in the mid-60s to mid-80s all year around.
On the coast, the areas that get a little more rain like the Central and Southern Pacific coast (including Jaco, Esterillos, Manuel Antonio and Dominical) says green all year it is called the “Green coast”. The “Gold coast” is the Northern Pacific or Guanacaste peninsula which stays much dryer with landscapes that will remind you of the Southern California hillsides. If you browse through our Expat Community and Real Estate Locations you will find the average temperatures and rainfall included.
The highlands change with the altitude. You can find mountain tops covered with coffee farms, cloud forest, and of course the urban jungle, San Jose which is come to the majority of Costa Rica residence. Nevertheless, approximately 25% of the landmass in Costa Rica is protected environmental reserves so nature is nearby no matter where you end up.
Costa Rica Real Estate Starter Guide | Costa Rican Real Estate Community Reviews
Central Pacific Coast | Puntarenas | Tarcoles & Playa Azul | Agujas Punta Leona | Villa Caletas | Faro & Playa Escondida | Los Suenos & Herradura Bay | Jaco Beach City | Playa Hermosa Beach | Esterillos Oeste | Este & Esterillos Central | Bejuco | Bandera | Parrita | Palo Seco | Quepos | Manuel Antonio
Guanacaste Coast & Nicoya Peninsula | Papagayo | Playa Panama | Playa Hermosa | Playa de Coco | Playa Ocotal | Playa Potrero | Playa Flamingo | Playa Brasilito | Playa Conchal | Playa Grande | Tamarindo | Playa Langosta | Pinilla Hacienda & Playa Avellana | Playa Negra | Marbella | Playa San Juanillo | Ostional | Nosara | Guiones | Playa Samara | Mal Pais & Santa Teresa | Montezuma | Playa Tambor
Central Valley Country side, Ocean & Lake view Highlands | Atenas | Cuidad Colon | Orotina | Palmares | San Ramon | Arenal | Nuevo Arenal | La Fortuna | Monteverde
Caribbean Coastal Communities | Limon | Cahuita | Puerto Viejo | Punta Cocles
Costa Rica Real Estate Market Watch
We hope this Costa Rica Real Estate Starter Guide had helped to spark your interest and calm your nerves. With the ocean, rainforest and mountains at your back door and all the technological amenities at your fingertips, Costa Rica is worth all the attention your are giving it. We hope to see you down here shortly. In the meantime, feel free to create your own login on www.remax-ocr.com which will allow you to save your own searches and stay up to date with the market.