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6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know about

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes

6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know aboutAs a foreign buyer, you should know a few important facts about Costa Rica Real Estate. Many foreign buyers assume that real estate here functions the same as it does in their home country. Wrong!

Although Costa Rica offers an incredible variety of different options for places to retire or make your home, you really want to know more about these facts.

By the way, did you know you can just take your pick from dry heat at the beach or humid heat at the beach, warmer weather in the Central Valley, or cooler weather in the Central Valley? You can also pick the amount of rainfall and sunshine.

These facts will influence your ability to search for a property, influence the title, secure the title, and might even influence your decision to do more diligence than you are used to.

Discover the 6 important facts about Costa Rica Real Estate that you probably didn’t know:

1.    Property Size

6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know about

Land in Costa Rica is measured in square meters and in hectares. Costa Ricans do not measure in square feet, yards, or acres. One acre is equivalent to 0.4047 hectares (4,047 square meters), but most agents use 4,000 m2 to a hectare for easy conversion. For easier understanding, check the Land Measurement Chart we show in another blog.

We recommend you hire a surveyor before closing on a property that is not fully constructed, so you can be sure there is no difference between the property size in the National Register and the Cadastre.

Nonetheless, we make it easy for our foreign clients. Our website shows property sizes in m2 as well as in acres.

2.    Home Size

6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know about

Houses and condos in Costa Rica are measured in square meters (m2) and not in square feet (ft2). Just like everywhere else, the construction is measured on the outside of the walls and the thickness of the walls is not subtracted.

In many countries, only the livable areas with A/C or heated areas are included in the total construction. The total construction of the buildings on the property is not formally registered anywhere. When you see a house or condo advertised, real estate agents include all the construction under the roof. This includes terraces, a garage, and a carport.

3.    Title Insurance

6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know about

Title insurance does not exist in Costa Rica. It was never customary to use title insurance here but was sold only by one company for a few years. INS, the insurance company owned by the Costa Rican government is the only company authorized to sell title insurance by law, is not interested. Nonetheless, for those looking for options, it is interesting to learn what title insurance is all about.

4.    Utilities

6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know about

Power and water usually stay in the name of the seller until the purchase/sale is registered and the property is in the new owners’ name. The reason is that these utility companies will only allow the property owners to register the service in their name. Often, buyers prefer to keep these services registered in the former owner’s name, for less hassle. Power and water can be paid at every bank as well as in supermarkets.

If you are not a citizen or resident, you cannot own a phone line in your name. The best solution is to get a pre-paid SIM card for your cell phone. Prepaid SIM cards are sold at the airport, the phone company, and at many grocery stores and pulperias (mom & pop stores).

Cable TV and Internet are supplied by many cable companies. You will need to organize the installation of a new service well because they will only tell you which day they’ll come. You might have to sit around in an empty house for many hours to get these services installed.

For more information on easier and hassle-free connections and change the name on the utilities, this blog might assist a bit.

5.    Beachfront Property

6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know about

Although we have over 800 miles of coastline, very little of it is titled. So if you plan to purchase beachfront property you need to be aware of some issues, before you purchase. inside the maritime zoning. Your agent will guide you through the hurdles of a real estate concession.

6.    Multiple Listing System (MLS)

6 Important Facts about Costa Rica Real Estate you should know about

Real estate licensing is not mandatory in Costa Rica. Nonetheless, there are two real estate boards that have an MLS. Unfortunately, agents don’t take these MLS very seriously and they’re not functioning. Nonetheless, many agents are knowledgeable, responsible and experts in their area. Some belong to the American-European real estate network with an MLS of over 2,000 properties from coast to coast.

Are these facts about Costa Rica Real Estate helpful? Are you now for a nice lifestyle and beautiful places to retire? Then you have now found your destination: Use our MLS to search for it and then contact us.


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Ivo Henfling

Your West-side of San Jose real estate agent, covering Escazu and Santa Ana, Rohrmoser and Ciudad Colon. If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the Central Valley or looking for any property for sale in Escazu or Santa Ana, you need to contact Costa Rica real estate agent Ivo Henfling. Ivo has been selling Costa Rica real estate on the westside of San Jose, in the locations of Rohrmoser, Sabana, Escazu, Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and those other areas. For Ivo, a deal is not a good one unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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