The Costa Rican government confers the same property rights to foreigners as its citizens, which makes the country an attractive destination for foreigners to buy homes in that country. Most importantly, it does not require the buyer to be a resident of the country to buy any property. Even a non-resident foreigner enjoys the same property rights as that of the citizens. Buying a property for rental income by setting up a vacation home holds good prospects for investors who can buy properties at a very affordable cost. The tropical paradise of Costs Rica is attracting investors from the US, Canada, and Europe who can choose between making it their second home or use the property for wealth creation by using it for vacation rentals.
However, when buying a home in Costa Rica as a foreigner, you must also be aware of some exceptions. Foreigners cannot have 100% ownership of properties located in the Maritime Zone, and they cannot own any property donated to poor farmers, which are known as IDA property or INDER property.
Safe property transaction
A big advantage of buying a property in Costa Rica is that almost all properties have a title, which means these are all legitimate properties. It is easy to search the title of the property to know its antecedents, and there are minimal chances of fraudulent transactions. The real estate agent will provide buyers with all documents to prove the legitimacy of the property that eliminates the risks of putting your money at the wrong place.
You can own a beachfront home in Costa Rica, which is among the most in-demand properties but ensure that you do not infringe the law. You cannot buy any property located within 50 meters of the high tide line because it is a protected zone meant for public use. The adjoining 150 meters enjoys protection as the Maritime Zone. Very little property in the Maritime Zone has title, and the land is a concession by the municipality that foreigners can own only up to 49%. A farmer owning agricultural property donated by the IDA can sell it only after owning it for 15 years. The properties that remain without title are under the possession of people who reside on it, and they can apply for the title of the property after living on it for 10 years.
Hire a real estate attorney
Property transactions entail various legal compliances, and to make the process of buying property smooth, you must hire a real estate attorney who can guide you through the entire process. Not only must the attorney be experienced in real estate transactions but also conversant with the local language and English or another language so that he or she can represent you well. Only a notary public is eligible to record a property purchase in the National Registry by registering a protocolized deed.
The estate attorney must either use a title company or have a SUGEF approved escrow account for depositing the earnest money. Having a real estate agent with you will make the property search easier.