As we continue to hear all the excitement and see the overwhelming attraction to Costa Rica grow, not only as a wonderful vacation and tourist spot, but also as it races up many lists to become the number one real estate investment location in the world, one can not help but be intrigued and want to know more. More and more people are seeking vacation homes, retirement homes, rental homes, and even full time homes in beautiful, exotic Costa Rica. It's a tropical country – What's not to love ?!
Shopping for real estate in Costa Rica can be challenging from your current location, so here are a few tips that will help you select the perfect Costa Rican dream home for you!
1. The most important thing is to make sure you get to see up-to-date photos of what the interior and exterior of the home currently looks like. If there are no photos available, then you should keep looking. Also, do not go strictly by brochures and guide books-they could be very outdated. There's no saying when those photos were taken. Luckily, most Real Estate agents are very accommodating in producing current photos of houses.
2. Make a list for yourself of the amenities that are absolutely necessary, and those that you would simply enjoy, but are not really deal-breakers. Keep that list handy while evaluating possible real estate. This will help you easily eliminate the homes that do not fit your needs.
3. Once you've selected a few prospect homes, call the owners personally. This will give you the opportunity to speak with them directly, which may affect your final decision. You might learn that they have nearby amenities you did not know about before and would very much enjoy. Or you may find out that the nearest town with restaurants and shopping is an hour away … all things you'd want to learn about before making a final choice.
4. Go check it out for yourself! Costa Rica is a short plane ride from the States. One visit will be all it takes before you and your family will want to have a piece of land for yourself. Find a nice hotel near the area you are considering and spend a few days personally visiting each location. There are so many factors at play- unless you go see it for yourself you may end up with an unpleaser surprise! Visiting Costa Rica to view the piece of real estate is very important and will give you a chance to learn the language while building trust between you and your realtor and lawyer.
5. While you're there, make friends with your neighbors! They may be able to fill you in on some less commonly known secrets of the area- like an amazing restaurant most people do not know about, or the best place to go dancing!
6. When purchasing real estate in Costa Rica, it is prudent to find a licensed broker to help negotiate prices while educating you about available financing options. You will also want to make sure that your beautiful piece of Costa Rica real estate has the legal title for liens, the status and ownership documents, and surveys to confirm the property's full size. It is worth your time and patience to visit Costa Rica's Land Title Office in Zapote, near San Jose; to confirm your purchase of Costa Rican real estate.
7. As in the States, you will need to hire a lawyer to draft a transfer deed of the Costa Rica real estate to confirm the transfer of ownership from seller to buyer. Additional fees are to be expected.
8. There are a few books that focus on real estate in Costa Rica. Bill Baker's wrote "The Rules of the Game: Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica." Also, Alvaro Carballo wrote "Purchasing Real Estate in Costa Rica."