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Request a home inspection before closing on a property in Costa Rica

Request a home inspection before closing on a property in Costa RicaYou should get a serious home inspection before closing on a property in Costa Rica. Why is that?

You’ve found this great bargain property in Costa Rica. And you are sure you’re going to save yourself lots of money buying this property. Should you just go ahead and buy it or have a better look at it by hiring some expert advice?  Of course, you know this guy who knows this guy who knows about construction. Who should you use for a home inspection before closing?

Many buyers of Costa Rica real estate don’t realize they have the option to request an inspection by a home inspector. Buyers who purchase on FSBO have simply fewer options of negotiating a property in Costa Rica.

This is because you might not know the customs, the country, the language and the way of doing business. The seller is definitely not going to tell you either. An experienced and reliable real estate agent knows how to write up an offer. Therefore, the agent should include issues like

  • who pays for the cost of the option to purchase agreement,
  • pay for the closing,
  • do a property title check
  • and last but not least: a home inspection before closing.

Titled searches and other issues with the property

Many buyers of Costa Rica real estate fall in love with a property that has liens against it or some other problems they are not aware of until it is too late. Of course, it is VERY important to make sure the title of the property you plan to buy is clear, but when you are buying a newly built home in Costa Rica or a home that has already been lived in, you have no idea what can be wrong with a house.

Everybody has had leaking toilets, a leaking roof, leaking gutters, a broken fence, and lamps that don’t work. Why would the home you are buying be different? Why would you assume that the drains in the kitchen work properly or have a bag of cement in it which nobody noticed that before putting in the faucets? Or that the property is not draining correctly and is losing square footage with every rainy season? Or there is no flashing between the roof and the gutters?

Request a home inspection before closing on a property in Costa Rica

Can you make the purchase subject to home inspection?

Yes, you can make the purchase subject to home inspection but you have to describe everything well in the offer to purchase. Especially if you’re a first-time buyer, you not only need the expertise of a well seasoned real estate agent, but also a good home inspection report. I always prefer to get the home inspection done and approved by both parties before the attorney writes up the option to purchase – sale agreement. Make sure you include with septic, retainer walls, roof, and electrical problems as those are the things that are more costly to get them fixed.

Why save money on a home inspection?

There are so many things that can be wrong with a property and many buyers are not aware of them until it is too late. Home inspectors cannot give repair estimates, but they can give you a list of the defects in the home. They are trained to find problems that may not be obvious to the untrained eye. And they can also let you know the seriousness of those items found during the inspection.

A good home inspector will charge you anywhere between $300 and $1,000 for a good home inspection, depending on the size of the property, the location and the type of home inspection report you are looking for.

Request a home inspection before closing on a property in Costa Rica

Banks now do home inspections

Recently, I had a buyer get a mortgage with BAC San Jose. The appraiser turned out to be also a home inspector. They had the seller fix some electrical problems and even have an exterminator fumigate the property and send in a report to show the property was free of termites. So, if you plan to get bank financing for your purchase, you can probably count on a mandatory home inspection too.

Have any more questions about home inspections? Then read this article I wrote for the Tico Times a while ago. I certainly hope you will request a home inspection before closing on a property in Costa Rica, just to save your self from problems later on.

We enjoy handing our free information such as the above, but we do appreciate your real estate business. Contact us now.


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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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