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Buying Property in Costa Rica


The acquisition of real estate is one of the most significant investments a person makes during his or her lifetime. In foreign countries such as Costa Rica , the normal stress of the purchasing process can be compounded with other factors, such as language barriers and unfamiliarity with local laws and procedures.

In Costa Rica foreigners have the same rights as nationals when purchasing real estate and the Constitution guarantees protection of such property ownership rights.

Purchasing real estate in Costa Rica is fairly simple if some basic precautions are taken and certain steps are followed.

The process of buying land in Costa Rica is similar to the US , where clear title to the land is transferred from seller to buyer. Property can be purchased by clear title transfer to an individual or a Corporation (more common). Property records are readily accessible online to any attorney in Costa Rica . Legal fees and incidental Government charges for a property transaction are approximately 2.5% of the purchase price. Stewart Title, one of the largest and most well respected real estate title insurance companies in the world, is now available in Costa Rica.


The real estate market in Costa Rica has been in a high growth mode for several years as the tourism industry has experienced explosive growth. In a recent Government survey, 8 out of 10 tourists indicated they plan to return to Costa Rica within a year, and 4 out of 10 indicated that they are interested in purchasing property in Costa Rica.

Since the opening of Liberia airport in 2003, the real estate market has been particularly strong in the beach towns near the airport and property price escalation is quickly moving south to the Marbella region.

Based on property market growth patterns and tourism projections from the Government, we expect property in the Marbella region to at least double in the next 3-5 years.

Over the past 10 years, many thousands of North Americans and Europeans have invested in real estate in Costa Rica . Whereas many of these people have bought property to enjoy a very high quality of life, almost everyone who has invested in Costa Rican real estate during this time has made a substantial capital gain (in the vicinity of 20-50% per year depending on the region).


Tourism Growth


The number of tourists to Costa Rica has grown thirty fold from 50,000 in 1987 to over 1.75 million in 2005 making tourism the fastest growing industry in the Costa Rican economy. In 2005, tourism accounted for more than 20% of the country's exports (8.7% of gross domestic product). It is now the number one industry in Costa Rica and as such, it is a very high strategic priority for the Costa Rican Government, particularly in the Pacific north western region of the country.

With the opening of the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia in 2003, and daily flights from the US by most of the major US airlines (Delta, Continental, American, US Airways, United, America West), the Pacific ocean beaches are easily accessible to North American tourists.

World-class developments, excellent private schools, and first-rate medical services, are all contributing factors to the Government's projections of double digit tourism growth annually through 2012.

The only limiting factor to even higher tourism growth is the number of beds available, and this is changing quickly with construction in the area up over 50% over the past year.

Whether your intention is to build a dream retirement or vacation home, leave a legacy for your children, or to make a sizable return on a real estate investment, Marbella offers you a unique investment and lifestyle opportunity.

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