Trust the Process: 12 Tips to Buying Property in Costa Rica

You open your window, the aromatic jungle breeze enters. Just beyond the window, you see hummingbirds and butterflies hovering over your tropical garden. How does this fantasy compare with where you live now?

If you’d like beautiful views of nature to be your new normal, you should consider buying in Costa Rica. Buying in a foreign country can be daunting, but we’ve got your back. For 12 tips on buying property in Costa Rica, read on!

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a stunning tropical getaway. With rivers, forests, beach, and tropical animals, it has enough natural beauty to keep you exploring over many vacations. So why not have a base there, a spot where your family can spend vacations, and eventually, retire?

Interestingly, foreigners have the same rights to purchase property in Costa Rica as locals do. This is a huge advantage when choosing where to buy or build a tropical getaway. In addition to that, property taxes are low, house prices are competitive, and services are cheap.

All this makes Costa Rica a near-perfect spot to buy or build. But it can be daunting buying in a foreign country. Here are our 12 tips on buying property there, to make it easier.   

12 Tips on Buying Property in Costa Rica

We want to make the process easier for you. So here are our 12 tips on buying in Costa Rica.

1. Enlist Help

Take a close friend or trusted professional with you when you view properties or lots. This gives you someone to bounce your ideas off of. It’s even better if this person is an independent local, who speaks Spanish.

2. Do Due Diligence at Scale

When you invest in property overseas your due diligence has to be more rigorous. Not only will you check the reliability of the company or individual you buy from. You’ll want to also check the political stability and any tax or other changes to the law that may affect you in the coming years.

Luckily, Costa Rica is amongst the most politically stable, peaceful, and prosperous nations in the Americas region. It has one of the highest standards of living in the region. All that should be factored into your due diligence when you compare Costa Rica to other tropical location possibilities. 

3. Consider Whether House or Land Is Best

Once you’ve settled on buying in Costa Rica, you’ll need to think seriously about what you want to buy. Compare the pros and cons of buying land instead of a property, to build your own house. The advantage of the building is you can construct something to meet the exact needs of your family, instead of adapting to the layout of someone else’s home.

However, you may then need to negotiate with local construction companies. And deal with the extra timeline that goes along with deciding to build. You’ll have to put it all in the mix when you decide what will work best for your family.

4. Learn the Language

You can certainly get by in Costa Rica speaking English. Tourism is one of the top sources of income in Costa Rica, so their grasp of English is impressive. But if you really want to make this your home, put some effort into speaking Spanish, the official language.

Language is more than words. It is a way of communicating culture, and a different way of thinking. One day in the future you’ll find yourself dropping Spanish words into your English conversations because you’re not even sure how or if it can be translated into English.

5. Learn About Local Issues

Costa Rica has the sort of biodiversity it’s hard for many of us to imagine. The tropical weather and connection to nature might mean you one day get surprised with pest issues you didn’t even know existed. So when you inspect a property, get some advice from a pest control expert on whether there are any known issues in the area.

That way, you’ll know what you can do to prevent problems down the line. Just like people in fire-prone areas clean dry leaves from roof gutters and those where it snows know to store firewood in a place it’ll stay dry. Know what you’re to be aware of in this new location and what you need to do. 

6. Get a Professional Team Together

When investing in property anywhere, but especially overseas, you’ll want a good accountant and a great lawyer. They can help you check that your papers and finances are all in order.

7. Location Location

How do you want to use this property? Will this change in ten years? You’ll need to know the answer to these questions as you settle on a location for your property in Costa Rica.

What your needs are now will be different in ten years time. Once you retire abroad, you may need to be closer to medical support, or hospitals. You might need a place with public transport if you prefer not to drive.

If you’re wanting to work and put your kids through school, you need to find a location from where you can access a city.

8. Review Local Lenders

Check local lending rates and any limitations they have on lending. Some countries have laws against lending to foreigners, or other limitations on financing. Compare lending rates and policies at several banks, don’t let them rush you into a decision.

9. Consider Lending from Home

You might want to also ask your local bank in the US if they would loan for the foreign property. They might not, or their rates for doing so might be sky-high. But it’s worth asking to compare it with your other options.

10. Talk to People Who’ve Already Done It

It’s overwhelming considering the options and potential hurdles when investing overseas. So talk to people who have already done it. Especially those that have done it successfully in Costa Rica.

Ask them what worked, what they’d do differently if they had their time again. Ask for recommendations of local lawyers, accountants, and landscapers to help you.

11. Research Costs

Find an online or newspaper report on properties in the area you’re considering buying in. This helps you get an idea of what you can get for your money. If you’re smart about it, you can calculate the potential return on investment over a five or ten year period, to feel more confident about this decision.

12. Talk to the Experts

Find a company that specializes in selling, Quintas, lots and land in Costa Rica. They can show you what’s on offer right now, and you can check out the success they’ve had selling previous properties. You can let them know the areas that most interest you and see what they come up with.

EcoQuintas has lots of options in the San Carlos and La Fortuna areas in particular. Our lots are surrounded by nature, and lots can be purchased for construction or investment. Perhaps best of all, they offer 100% financing so you don’t have to worry about dealing with banks.

Your Tropical Escape Awaits!

Isn’t it time you had that stunning view of a tropical garden, in an enviable location? If you’d like to live among biodiversity with volcanos, jungle, beaches and outdoor adventure, Costa Rica is an incredible option. With our 12 tips to buying in Costa Rica, you’re well on your way.

The next step to buying property in Costa Rica? It’s time to get in contact with a reputable, professional company like EcoQuintas. Turn your Costa Rica daydream into reality: ask about our land packages and financing today!