Buying real estate in Costa Rica - FAQs

Q: Is the Costa Rica market really active?

A: The market in Costa Rica and in Samara, more specifically, is fairly active given the size of the town and number of properties in general. We have seen constant growth in the market over the past few years.

Q: Is it expensive to live in Costa Rica?

A: While the cost of living is generally lower in Costa Rica than in many North American and European cities, it is not as cheap as other Central American countries. However, it is one of the safest and most stable countries in Latin America. Imported goods, like vehicles, are highly taxed making them more expensive than many might expect.

Q: Is property in Costa Rica fee simple?

A: Most property in Costa Rica is fully titled, fee simple property. There are 2 exceptions: (1) Concession property. Concession property is usually beachfront property in which the government leases out the land with 10, 15, 20 or 25 year leases. 95% of beachfront coastline in Costa Rica is in concession. (2) Derecho. This type of property is essentially fractional ownership of a larger parcel or finca. In most cases, properties that are smaller than 5,000 m2 and do NOT touch public road are not eligible to be titled property.

Q: Are there any restrictions to foreigners owning property in Costa Rica?

A: There are no restrictions to foreigners owning titled property in Costa Rica with the exception of concession property.

Q: Do I need a Costa Rican corporation to own property in Costa Rica?

A: It’s not 100% essential to have a Costa Rican corporation but it is recommend. This is in anonymous way to own property and a better way to protect you and your asset. It is also beneficial when deal with the local utility companies as some have restrictions about foreigners having accounts.

Q: What type of Costa Rican corporations are there?

A: There are two main types; Sociedad Anonima (SA) and Sociedad Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL). Each are more or less the same but the SA needs 4 acting members and the SRL only needs 2.

Q: Do I need an attorney to purchase property?

A: Yes. You will need an attorney for the due diligence and drafting and filing the transfer deed at the National Registry. Keep in mind we will work to make the process as

Q: Do I need a Property Manager to look after my property?

A: Yes. Property Management services are available in Samara and it is crucial to have someone looking over your property if you don’t plan to relocate to Costa Rica full time.

Q: What are the building costs for land in Samara?

A: Building costs vary greatly depending on the materials used and the level and quality of the finishes. A fairly accurate range would be $90 - $120 per square foot but it could go up from there.

Q: Are there schools in Samara for my kids?

A: There are two private schools in Samara: Samara Pacific School and Mareas International Homeschool.

Q: Is there an expat community in Samara?

A: Yes, there is a decent sized expat community in Samara. It is mostly a mix of Europeans and North Americans.

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Nick & Gustavo from Coldwell Banker Samara made the selling experience a delight. Sold in 2 weeks at 95% of asking price, and they handled all the details quickly and professionally.
Nick Jeffrey, Costa Rica

Recently fulfilled a long-term dream of purchasing land with the help of Nick Ruhlow. Can't express enough of what a wonderful experience the entire process was. Nick was a true professional from start to finish. Not to mention easy to be around. He is straight forward and honest. He was patient with viewing properties and helpful with all our questions. Trust was built quickly, and honestly, I am not sure I would have felt so solid without his help and guidance. He has referred me to other professionals needed and has definitely gone the extra mile. I encourage anyone who is selling/buying to meet with Nick.

Melissa Helper, Costa Rica
Liz Wegman was Representing the sellers of our recent Bungalow purchase. She was so helpful, Knowledgeable in understanding the process of buying in Costa Rica. She went above and beyond our expectations. If you're thinking of buying or selling a piece of PuraVida she is who you want.
Dione Hodges, Costa Rica

Thank you so much Bryan for all your help, knowledge and advice; it was such a pleasure and a relief to work with a such a dedicated professional!

Tia Tait, Costa Rica

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