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Laws of Owning
| Costa Rica Real Estate Law:
There are many myths floating around the Internet about Costa Rica Real Estate. Before purchasing property in Costa Rica, it’s always best to hire an experienced real estate attorney to help you in the process. Our experience with real estate in Costa Rica has taught us that by doing some due diligence; people can avoid hassles and potential scams.
Here is a basic legal outline of how property is purchased in Costa Rica:
• Find the property you wish to buy.
• Negotiate a price and arrive at an agreed upon number with the seller.
• Start the process of transferring the title via a Notary Public
Property is transferred through a transfer deed in Costa Rica. All deeds are kept in the Public Registry (Registro Nacional).
Again, it is always best to have an attorney to guide you through this process.
We have several reputable attorneys in our network that can help. Most attorneys will tell you it’s best to purchase property through a local corporation. (An S.A. in Costa Rica.) On occasion, a buyer can purchase the company that currently owns the property if that company does not hold any other assets. (This avoids having to register a new corporation and allows you to purchase property in a corporation as well.) Each case is unique, and an attorney will make a recommendation on case-by-case basis.
In Costa Rica, properties have what is called a “Folio Real.” This helps locate the property in the Public Registry record. This is important to know so you can have the peace of mind that you own a clear title on the property and that there are no leans or easements on the property.
Closing Costs are determined by the declared value of the property. They are normally 3.5% (subject to change, contact us for more details) with 2.25% paid to the government in the form of stamps and taxes. The remainder of the cost goes to the attorney. (Again, this information is subject to change; please contact us for more information.) Closing costs, like in most other markets, can be negotiated and paid by either party depending on the agreement made.
As laws are subject to change, we encourage you to contact a knowledgeable attorney prior to making any real estate investments in Costa Rica.
Check out the guide to buying