skip to Main Content

How to buy a house in Costa Rica

Can a foreigner legally buy and own real estate in Costa Rica? Are there any restrictions or things to know before buying a property? Can the property purchase be made through a company?

These are some common questions new buyers that come to Costa Rica frequently ask Gap Real Estate and more that will be answered in this blog:


  1. Can a foreigner legally buy and own real estate in Costa Rica?

Regardless of your residency status, everyone has the same rights as a citizen to buy and own property in Costa Rica. The only exception is that no one can own Maritime Zoned property (ZMT).

  1. What is Maritime Zoned Property?

Any land located within 50 meters of the high tide line is public and protected. The following 150 meters from this protected land is the Maritime Zone (ZMT). Land in the ZMT is a concession by the municipality (government), and a foreigner cannot have a concession.

Very little property within the ZMT is titled in Costa Rica, except “grandfathered” property, meaning they got in long ago before the laws changed.

  1. What restrictions and zoning do I need to look out for?

Costa Rica has zoning set restrictions to protect its beaches, lakes, rivers, and forests from new construction. Nature conservation comes first here. If you have water on your property, such as a river, lake, pond, or something similar, you won’t be able to build near it and risk anything in progress being shut down.

Therefore permits are of the utmost importance when looking to build new projects. Some permits can take years to finalize, so Gap Real Estate can ensure they come with your property purchase for you.

  1. Do I need to hire a real estate attorney?

It is strongly recommended and considered standard practice to use a trusted real estate attorney to purchase a property. Gap Real Estate works with a team of attorneys ready to assist you.

  1. Can I purchase my property through a Company?

You can privately purchase the company that owns the property you want or form a new corporation to transfer it to.


Costa Rica is a beautiful country in which people worldwide are looking to relocate to live, work or retire. Gap Real Estate can be your first step in the right direction to making your dream become a reality.


NOTE: Lots of tourists visit Costa Rica, fall in love in this beautiful country and think to stay and make it their new home. If you are ready to make this lifechanging decision, there are several residency categories to choose from. The most popular are Retirees, Rentiers, and Investors.
So if your property has a value of $150,000 USD – congratulations – you already qualify for the Investor category!

If you have any questions regarding obtaining your Residency status in Costa Rica, click HERE.


Contact Gap Real Estate HERE.

+506 8500-2085

Need Residency in Costa Rica? – Click HERE.
Want to invest money? – Click HERE.
Need to borrow money? – Click HERE.
Ready for a Relocation Tour? – Click HERE.

Back To Top