Costa Rica is an amazing place to move to and call home, especially if you’re looking for a quieter life away from the cities. There is plenty of land here and you can find land near beaches and mountains cheaper than a parking spot in Manhattan.
Buying real estate in Costa Rica is definitely a different experience than buying your first home back in the US. The real estate market is a much different beast with far fewer restrictions and regulations in place to keep you from getting ripped off. Don’t be discouraged there are amazing properties here and good deals to be had but you need to protect yourself. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to buying property here.
Find Where You Want to Live First
First thing you want to do is spend some time exploring with a local guide to figure out just where you want to live. Talk to other expats there and find out about prices of land or homes, what utilities are available and what the local infrastructure is like. Be very specific about the amenities you want and need and don’t be in a hurry to buy.
Find a Local Realtor
In the US most properties for sale hit MLS or one of the other sites like Zillow and you will find property online here too. However, in Costa Rica they still rely pretty heavily on word of mouth ( your realtor knows a guy, who knows a guy who is selling their property) and that is how buyers and sellers are connected. A local realtor, along with a local attorney are going to be your new best friends in your hunt for the perfect property. Here is a look at the basics of buying real estate here.
Get Realistic About the Cost
Bear in mind that finding the right property is only the first step, there are other cost considerations too. Are you going to need a new road or power lines connected? If you find an existing property with a house already on it, it may be cheaper to build new rather than to try and renovate. Finding the right property is only the beginning of establishing a home here.
All of this may sound discouraging but it shouldn’t, armed with the right information you can find the perfect piece of real estate. Understand that this is a different type of real estate venture but it could be the beginning of a brand new chapter in your life.