Buying real estate in Costa Rica is much like buying real estate anywhere in the world. It takes time, perseverance, and even a little bit of luck. If anything, buying Costa Rica Real Estate takes more of those, than elsewhere in the world. Just like everywhere else in the world though, if you want to live where everyone else is, you’ll have to pay for.
Now that’s not to say there aren’t still plenty of dream real estate in Costa Rica. It just means you may have to make a few sacrifices to get it. If you plan on trying to maintain your current lifestyle, you will end up paying heavily for it. But if you decide to embrace what Costa Rica offers, and not dwell on what it doesn’t, you’ll be able to get more than your money’s worth.
Costa Rica Real Estate Agents
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There is no such thing as a licensed Costa Rica realtor. Some of the larger real estate offices may advertise US licensed real estate agents, but what does that really mean in Costa Rica? Nothing. Everyone and their brother are real estate agents in Costa Rica. Many of these self employed, Costa Rica real estate agents are Americans, Canadians, and Europeans. Most tend to do a good job, some are bad, and at worst they are crooked. Your best hope is to do some research.
When searching for Costa Rica real estate it is just as important to research your agent as it is property. Spend some time talking to local real estate agents and their clients. Try to get as much feedback from as many sources as possible. In smaller beach towns and communities competition can be fierce. Not everything someone tells you may be true. They may just be bad mouthing other agents to try to win your business. Try to find Costa Rica real estate agents who have been in business for a long time and are well known in the town you are looking to buy.
Another good reason to use a Costa Rica real estate agent is because there is no general listing service, or MLS (multipule listing service.) Typically every realtor has their own set of listings on their private website. They generally don’t share this information because if another agents were to sell the property, they wouldn’t get a commission. So your best bet to finding property is to find a reputable Costa Rica Real estate agent.
Using a Lawyer
Buying Costa Rica real estate requires lots of papers, seals, stamps and long lines. The legal side of buying Costa Rica real estate often means waiting in long line to get papers stamped and then stamped again. This process is long and tiring, so many people hire a local lawyer to take care of it for them.
Lawyers are also useful in helping research Costa Rica real estate. They can check deeds, the national registry, and much more. One of the oldest real estate scams is for your realtor to sell you land that they have no right to sell. Leaving you broke and with no property.