May 11, 2011 - Costa Rica may be a haven for expats but when it comes to buying property in Costa Rica, one should always proceed with care and caution. In every country, the real estate laws are different and can easily throw off the new home buyer as well as the experienced home buyer.
This article is meant to give you some general tips on buying Costa Rica properties to help you make the right choice when buying your dream home in Costa Rica.
Over Analyzing - Do not over analyze. One of the most common mistakes made by house hunters is over analyzing each house. I am not saying to jump at every house you look at but making a check-list of all of the features you want in a house is a good idea and then you can weigh the pro and cons in an effective manner.
You may lose a lot of great opportunities to make great deal of money and save as well. Start making offers!
Get a Contract - Get the property under a contract first with a safety clause.
Don't Stress Yourself, Have Two Top Choices
- Your perfect buy should be a house/condo/building in excellent condition and in a good neighborhood.
- Your Second choice should be a cosmetic fixer in a good neighborhood.
Inspect the property - Try to get as many things fixed by the seller as possible. Check the neighborhood. Drive around the block. Look at the houses in the neighborhood, what is their condition.
Look at the cars parked in the street, the conditions of vehicles in the neighborhood can tell you a lot about the property value of the house.
Same goes with the state of the area like trash on the sidewalks which can mean it may not be the best neighborhood to buy a house in.
Renting in these neighborhoods could be challenging, especially for the new investor.
Use an experience real estate agent or broker in Costa Rica. My first great deal was found by a broker. In this case we are already here to serve you.
Shop around for Financing - My experiences with loan officers have me learn at least one thing, that everyone has different rates and different deals.
This means that don’t be afraid to look around and email them your questions and ask them to email you back their answers or put them on paper. They tend to always change terms and rates (though illegal), and put junk charges.
Try to reduce your Title/Escrow charges review them with an experienced investor or real estate agent.
As a general guideline, home value usually appreciate about four or five percent a year. Some years will be more, some less. The figure will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, and region to region.
The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself - Do not be afraid to buy real estate in Costa Rica. Fear and lack of knowledge are the number one factor for failure but with the right research your home buying experience can be a smooth process.
Enjoy your time getting the right property for you crucial.