Purchasing Property

The process of purchasing property in Costa Rica is fairly similar to that found in theUnited States and Canada, with a certified ‘escritura’ and ‘plano’ required for most transactions. You will want to have a thorough title search done, in the official PublicRegistry, called “Folio Real”, to ensure there are no legal issues or debt on the property. A title search will show all data on the property; including area, ownership,boundaries, location, mortgages, and other liens. As always it is highly advisable to use a local Real Estate agent as they are familiar with the overall process, can refer the right contacts, and will help ensure that all the right paperwork and the most important points that are unique to your purchase are covered. Laws and policy change constantly; the local professionals are your best source of information. Soil tests are of utmost importance and ensuring access to a water source is imperative,these are details or costs that should not be overlooked.

‘Bienes raices’ The Spanish word for Real Estate gives meaning to the expression “laying down roots”. ‘Bienes’ translated means property or possessions, ‘raices’ means roots, put them together “property roots”!

Concession The only area where purchases become more complex is with beachfront property, considered to be in the “Maritime Zone”. Some people simply refer to it as concession. This affects 95% of beachfront property and is defined as 200 meters along the shoreline. There are two factors at play: the first part of the law states that the first 50 meters of tideland and the areas exposed during low tide are inalienable public property, the second part of the law states that the next 150 meters can be granted for leasing by the local governing body to private individualsor corporations. It is worth noting, leases are not granted to anybody with less than 5 years of residency.

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