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Important facts about property ownership in Costa Rica

Here are some important facts about property ownership in Costa Rica;

  • A foreigner has the same ownership rights as a Costa Rican (with one exception which is concession property ownership which we will explain later)

  • You do not have to have residency to own a property in Costa Rica.

  • You can open up a bank account in your name or your Costa Rican corporation

  • Yes, you can ship your household goods to Costa Rica, but you have to pay import taxes (same with a vehicle). We did this and can share our experience if you would like.

  • We have several different types of property ownership:

    • titled properties

    • concession properties (the first 250 meters of the coast - measured from the high-tide mark, of which the first 50 meters are "Public Beach" and no one can own. the next 200 meters are "Maritime concession" properties which means you own the home, but lease the land from the government. (Jaco beach is 100% exempt from this rule and ALL are titled properties on the beach.)

    • derecho properties is a property of which you own a percentage of the entire property - your specific lot is not indicated.

    • co-derecho properties

  • You will need a Costa Rican attorney to represent you during the closing process. Make sure the attorney is a real estate attorney and has expertise in the area you are purchasing!! (Very important). Your real estate agent should be able to refer you to trusted and professional attorneys in their area.

  • We highly recommend you use an insured Escrow company that is also registered with SUGEF (financial regulatory agency in CR) to wire your funds for your deposit as well as closing. The escrow company should be independent from yours (or the sellers) attorney. STLA is a highly recommended escrow company.

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