The government collects a 2.5% transfer tax on all Real Estate transfers.
The total taxes levied on a purchase are about 3.8% of the declared value. Neverthelss, a lot of homes are held as a corporation, so simply buying the corporation includes the Real Estate and no transfer tax, just a small attorney fee.
The cost for setting up a new corporation, called a Sociedad Anonima, is about $500.00 Attorneys will usually charge $50.00 or less for a title search. Title insurance is also available here through Stewart Title Latin America, your attorney or realtor can advise on this option.