Buying a Home in Costa Rica – It’s a Breeze!

The purchasing process for a Costa Rican property is not all that complicated. Like in most all areas of the world, certain documents need to be filed, professionals get involved, simple fees are paid, and with the help of lawyer, documents are filed making the sale official so the buyer can take legal ownership of the home, condo, duplex, or property. The specific steps are described briefly below. (Note: the process is different for most beachfront properties, known as concession property.)


For more detailed information or questions about buying, contact John Ordonez, in Costa Rica call 011-506-25660138, in USA & Canada call toll free 1-877-210-3639, use Skype, or email.


  1. Have a Lawyer, a Representative from a Title Company, and a Notary Public (all Lawyers are also Notaries) inspect the home/property of your choice for defects and run a title search to see if the property has any liens, mortgages, encumbrances, or impediments attached to the property (this is done by your broker and your attorney). At LHCR, we place our clients in contact with trusted, professional attorneys so they can choose one to assist them in the legal purchase process.
  2. It is customary in Costa Rica to present a letter of intent of purchase signed by the buyer to the seller before signing “The Purchase & Sale Agreement.” The Purchase & Sale Agreement is then signed by both parties (buyer and seller) and funds are deposited into an escrow account with a bank or an attorney office as some offer this service as well.
  3. The following documents should be reviewed:
    • Plano catastrado -- property plan.
    • Uso del Suelo -- zoning requirements from the municipality of the property (only when buying commercial, development land or new construction).
    • Impuestos municipales al dia -- annual property taxes (must be paid in full before closing date).
      If the property is under a corporation name, your attorney must review the history and details of the corporation.
  4. Registration of the deed -- An official Purchase deed needs to be created by a Public Notary and placed in their legal protocol book.
  5. Closing -- Execution of Transfer Deed or Endorsement of Shares and/or Mortgage Deed are signed and the remaining funds for the sale are disbursed to the seller. It is also customary that closing costs are split 50/50 between the buyer and the seller (unless negotiated otherwise in advance) and each pays its own attorney services fees.
  6. Registration of the new owner is made with the National Public Registry (this is done by your attorney).


Average Prices for Costa Rica Homes

Prices for homes and investment properties vary depending on the area and type of house.


  • Costa Rican Homes (low-middle class, Tico) – these neighborhoods typically have small houses 100-125 sq meters (i.e., 300-400 sq ft) that sell for $24-50K.
  • Upper middle-class homes – prices average between $100K-300K.
  • Luxury homes – the sky’s the limit for these prices.
  • Custom Home building – prices could start at $80 per sq ft. depending on the type of house.
  • Coastal homes – prices start at 200K for smallest condos and up to millions for beach front homes and condos, but these vary depending on location, finishes, etc.


Why Seniors Love to Retire in Costa Rica...

There are many good reasons that seniors and retirees decide to move to Costa Rica, including the friendly, kind people native to the county, but probably the three most important reasons are:


  • Low Cost of Living – including low-cost domestic help, lower taxes, lower-priced utilities, and affordable groceries.
  • Expatriate (Expat) Programs available – developed by the American and Costa Rican governments to allow discounts and easy processes to receive payments within the country.
  • The Weather – it’s beautiful here with constant temperate weather. So many choices are available from tropical rain forests, dry forests, and cloud forest due to the country’s varied terrain. Those who prefer warm/dry climates can find a home, condo, or town home and those who prefer tropical beach climates have plenty of shoreline to choose from in finding a home.


When you’re ready to find your own retirement home in this varied, peaceful country, call John Ordonez in Costa Rica at 011-506-25660138, in USA & Canada call toll free 1-877-210-3639, use Skype, or email.