Buying A House

There are all types of houses for sale in the Nosara area from Modern, Mediterranean, Spanish and Rustic. Buying real estate in Costa Rica is similar to buying elsewhere in the world with a few differences:

  • Property owners usually own their home in a corporation known as a Sociedad Anónima (S.A.) which essentially functions the same as an LLC.
  • Most transactions are done in cash (although many buyers will get a loan from their hometown bank using another asset as collateral, or maybe get seller financing from the previous owner.
  • Homeowners Insurance and Title Insurance is NOT required (usually banks require that).
  • Inspections are not required, but are recommended. They can be done by trusted builders for a small fee.

It is very important to have a real estate agent who knows the Nosara area. I’ll take the liberty here to plug my Century 21 team. We are the most experienced real estate team in Nosara and we genuinely take pride in not only helping our clients find their best option, but to help make a smooth transition to life in the jungle, whether it be for an investment property or permanent home.

Where to Buy: If you are looking to live here part time or full time, you have many neighborhoods to choose from whether it be on one of our beautiful beaches, perched on a mountain or in the jungle. Many real estate investors seek to rent to vacationers and are primarily interested in being as close to the beach as they can, while full time residents have many more options. For the best quality of life, elevation is key. Being up on a hill provides breezes (cooler air), fewer insects (no stagnant water), and most often, more privacy and nature (keep in mind that nature may wake you up at 5:00am!).

Don’t Step in It! There are many important considerations when buying real estate in a foreign country. While the overwhelming majority of transactions are pain free, there are considerations to keep in mind. For any real estate transaction, it is very important that you have an attorney who is very familiar with and knowledgeable about the area you are purchasing property. Each part of the country has its unique challenges and having intimate knowledge of the area can help eliminate avoidable mistakes. Make sure the title is free and clear and the person you are buying from is the rightful owner. There have been cases of double property titles and even thieves falsifying sales and quickly trying to re-sell to unknowing buyers, who later have to fight with the previous rightful owner. There are challenges with administrative warnings on titles. You need to understand the challenges, their history and the solutions involved so you can mitigate risk. Once you are a property owner, there are some very simple and inexpensive ways to protect your property.

Exit Strategy: Having an exit strategy for any investment, especially real estate, is a must. When you purchase, you should also consider how easy/difficult will this property be to sell if and when you want to. Are you in a desired area? Will you be competing with a developer? When you are buying in condominium complex or development you need to know if there is a home owner’s association and its costs. Not having one in place before you buy can be detrimental and a future headache. These are only some of the reasons it is recommended you work with a seasoned real estate professional. Choose someone who is established and more interested in your success than making a quick sale.