author Call Us: +506 2289 5125

Compare Listings

Should you buy or build a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica?

Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes

Should you buy or build a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica?Have you achieved the desired level in life to start thinking about buying or building a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica?

I can give you a lot of good reasons to first visit our beautiful country. More and more future ex-pats are attracted to moving to Costa Rica for business or retirement purposes.

But before you move, have you considered buying a pied-à-terre or building a second home in another country? Or should you stay within your own borders? If not, pay Axis Idaho Realty a visit and see what Southeast Idaho has to offer. This may prevent you from paying the additional expenses and headaches of moving abroad.

If, in your opinion, Idaho is a bit too cold, and you’re more thinking of moving to a warmer destination, we’d like you to keep Costa Rica in mind.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know that will help you decide whether to buy or build a second home in Costa Rica. We will give you all the facts and details so you can make a more informed decision.

Should you buy or build a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica?

Buying a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica

For sure, before you buy a second home in Costa Rica, you’d want to cover some issues and overcome any doubts you might have. Buying a property in another country is easy, as long as you do it right. In this section, you will learn how buying a property in Costa Rica may affect your living, especially when it comes to accessibility and expenses.

Can foreigners buy property in Costa Rica?

Yes, all foreigners from all parts of the world can buy a property in Costa Rica. Foreigners have the same property ownership rights as Costa Ricans and residents have. Buying a property gives you the option to apply for residency. Nonetheless, all you need is your tourist visa, and the budget to fund the purchase of a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica

Is there a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

There are several Multiple Listing Service systems in Costa Rica. Real estate is not highly regulated, unlike other nations, such as the United States and Canada.

It is difficult for a house hunter to compare the value of different homes, depending on their needs and budget. Therefore, you have to do your homework to avoid being one of the victims of scams and fraud.

Should you buy or build a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica?

How much is the property tax?

The property tax in Costa Rica is only 0.25 percent of the property’s value, much lower than in the United States. So, for a home with a value of USD$100,000, the annual property tax is only USD$250.

However, if you’re planning to purchase a home valued at USD$234,000 or more, you will need to pay luxury taxes for your property. The luxury tax in Costa Rica is only between 0.25 and 0.55 percent, depending on the value of the home. At the same time, North Americans should learn all they can about tax deductions in the US on property owned abroad.

Is all property titled?

Unfortunately, no. Property within 50 meters of the high tide line is almost never titled. These government-protected properties are considered part of public land and should not be purchased privately.

Buying a condo or a house in the Maritime Zone is possible but you must do your homework first to understand how this works. Therefore, make sure you hire an expert realtor and a real estate lawyer before you sign any documents.

How to find an agent?

Because the real estate industry is not fairly regulated in Costa Rica, it is not so easy to find an expert real estate broker. It important to hire an agent in the same city or town where you’re buying, so the agent knows the restrictions in that area. Also, it is important to use an agent who checks the title of the property before it’s offered. For that reason, the American-European MLS was created. Our network covers the country from coast to coast.

What is the process of buying a home?

  1. Searching: Start by conducting a property search with assistance from a professional real estate agency.
  2. Buying: When you find the property you’re looking for, ask your agent to negotiate the price, all the details and write an offer on your behalf. When you and the seller have an agreement, ask your lawyer to create a formal purchasing contract. Prepare for the earnest money deposit.
  3. Closing: Property closing may take 30 to 60 days, depending on what you and the seller pretend. Full payment should be settled at the due date. Use your bank account in Costa Rica or an escrow company.
  4. Registration: The last step of the process is registration. The closing lawyer/notary public shall register the deed under your name or a corporation. Buyers should use a lawyer of their own choice, never the sellers’.

Should you buy or build a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica?

Building A Second Home in Costa Rica

In this section, you’ll learn about the basics of building a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica. Building a home is not for everyone. Here is the necessary information to decide whether to buy or build a second home in this country.

Do agents prevent you from custom building?

Some real estate agents will prevent you from custom building your own pied-à-terre. This doesn’t only happen in Costa Rica, it happens everywhere. The reason is that an agent earns a real estate commission on the total sale of the property. Building lots are always much cheaper than a property with a house on it.

Often, clients expect the agent to assist in controlling the construction of the house, but since the commission is so low, the agent will move on to the next client as soon as they have another.

Is building a house easy?

Building a home has never been easy, not here and not anywhere. Constructing is more challenging in Costa Rica because of the language barrier between you and the contractor. The red tape for building a house is as in other countries, but it’s all in the Spanish language. The key to reducing these difficulties is finding good architects and builders.

If you hire a team of experts in each field, every step of building a home will be much easier.

Should you buy or build a pied-à-terre in Costa Rica?

Is building more cost-efficient?

When building a custom home, you can include all the features you want and remove all that you don’t need. When you buy a house that is already built, you have probably paid for some things you don’t need. Some even spend more money in remodeling the home for their own needs, which requires even more money.

Can you build energy-efficient?

Our country offers all the necessary ingredients to be able to construct an energy-efficient home to help you save on energy bills, maintenance, and throughout the building process.

Turning a house that’s already built is much more costly and needs a lot of effort to get decent results.

What to do?

All these questions and answers should allow you to make good decisions. Do all the necessary diligence and hire experts where needed. Then weigh the different options and don’t be afraid of taking the step of moving to Costa Rica and buying or building a pied-à-terre here.

Business photo created by wayhomestudio –

Feel free to leave your comments on this blog. Also, if you like this article, please feel free to share it on your social media.

Contact the AE MLS Costa Rica

If you like this blog, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking the banner below.

 Click here to subscribe to The Easy Times

While we’re at it, I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Finally, please remember the American-European real estate Group’s agents when you refer a friend to a real estate agent because we DO appreciate your business.

Facebook Comments

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.

Related posts

The use of escrow services when buying Costa Rica real estate

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes The safest way to buy real estate in Costa Rica is through...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

Should You Rush to Buy a Beach Home in Costa Rica Now?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes Everybody wants to buy a beach home or condo in Costa Rica now,...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

9 Steps to Updating a Home in Costa Rica Without Renovating

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes Is Renovating in Costa Rica difficult or is updating a lot...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

Join The Discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.