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How do I get financing in Costa Rica?

Bank financing is very complicated to achieve due to local laws and bureaucracy.

As a foreigner, you typically can’t borrow money until you are a permanent resident unless the stars align for you.

Our recommendation is to go through our sister company at:

Can I qualify for residency from buying a property?

Yes, you can! If you purchase a property $150,000 USD or more you can qualify for the investor category residency.

Visit for more information.

How much commission does GAP Real Estate charge?

Only when a client of Gap purchases the property will Gap receive a commission of the standard 6% of the agreed-upon sale price at the closing.

According to Costa Rican legislation, real estate commissions may be in the range of up to 10% of the purchase price. The seller is legally required to cover the whole real estate commission fee unless the buyer consents to a cost-sharing arrangement.

What are the steps to purchasing property in Costa Rica?

Gap Real Estate can “hold your hand” through the whole process and make it easy for you, as our recommended lawyers are well rehearsed in the necessary steps to purchase real estate.

To start, you give your offer on the property. Your attorney will write up a purchase agreement. If your offer is accepted, you will make a down deposit payment of 10% or what was previously agreed upon to the owner’s account or an escrow.

After the down deposit, it’s time to request a property survey, conduct a title search, and, if wanted, get title insurance and employ a house inspector.

For the closing, if you are outside of Costa Rica, you will need to leave someone such as your lawyer a power of attorney.

Are squatters an issue?

If you buy a large piece of property and leave it unattended for long periods of time, squatters may take advantage and try to steal a portion of your property. It’s good practice to hire a land manager or security to periodically check your land and remove any potential squatters before it’s too late.

What is a plano or survey plan?

A plano catastro, often called a survey plan, is present on all recorded and titled property. Among other things, it contains information on the property’s borders, overall size, ownership, Folio Real number, and the date it was registered.

How much are the closing costs?

The cost of the closing fees with the title transfer ranges from 5 to 8 percent of the total sales price. It is customary for the buyer and seller to split the cost unless otherwise agreed differently.

Should I build or buy in Costa Rica?

Our recommendation before you build is to look through the market for something that suits your needs before you decide to build, as it can save you money and headache. Finding a trustworthy and qualified contractor to create precisely what you want to your standards can be challenging.

Is there capital gain tax in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica charges a 15% capital gains tax on domestic capital gains, including gains on Costa Rican real estate. Your primary residence is exempt from this tax.

Is it normal to get a house inspection?

House inspections aren’t normally done but they can be advantageous for spotting things you may miss in your own inspection.

Can I list the property in a corporation?

Yes, it is possible and comes with its own set of pros and cons and you will have to pay corporation taxes.

Do I need a lawyer to purchase with Gap?

Gap can provide you with a lawyer that will make the process very easy and straightforward for you. Otherwise, you can hire your own lawyer.

How close to the beach can I buy a property?

Costa Rica’s Maritime Zone Law protects the initial 200 meters of land that extend inland from the coast. Search public records for a municipal lease if a potential property is just 200 meters away from the beach or two blocks away. Any present or prospective constructions may violate the law without a lease from the local municipality.

What are the homeowner taxes in Costa Rica?

Property Tax: This annual tax is 0.25%.

Luxury Tax: If the construction on a residential property exceeds 137 million colones (as of 2022 – the equivalent of approximately $200,000 US as of this writing), you will need to declare and pay luxury home tax which ranges from 0.25% – 0.55%.

Should I use a Real Estate Agent in Costa Rica?

Gap has been in business since 2008; our real estate agents can help you navigate the Costa Rican real estate market and the language barrier.

Is it a good idea to get homeowners insurance?

Gap Real Estate recommends homeowner insurance for the same reasons it’s commonly demonstrated in North America or Europe.

How can I find the ideal property for my needs?

We have both commercial and private properties for sale and lease; just let us know your preferences, price range and location and we will do our best to locate the right property for your lifestyle and budget.

Can foreigners buy and own property in Costa Rica?

Yes, foreigners and non-residents in Costa Rica have full legal rights to buy and hold property, according to the country’s constitution.

Can I purchase property while outside of Costa Rica?

Yes, a Power of Attorney with a third party in Costa Rica that you trust can be used to carry out the closure.

Are electricity and water available in rural areas of Costa Rica?

This largely depends on the location, but most properties have electricity and water brought to the property boundary. It is the responsibility of the owner to connect those utilities to the property itself.

Does Costa Rica have a Central Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

There is no central MLS in Costa Rica.

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