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5 Things to Look at when Buying a House in Costa Rica

Buying a house in Costa Rica is a serious investment that requires you to take the time to look at your options when making a final decision. There are a variety of aspects you need to consider to ensure you don’t regret your choice in the near future. An excellent place to buy a home in recent times, for example, has been Costa Rica. Whether you’re a citizen of this glorious South American country, or would simply like to get some holiday property – this region is perfect for those looking for peaceful and beautiful surroundings.

The real estate market in this area is also friendlier than most of the other alternatives available, making it a great choice when looking to enjoy good value for money with your purchase.

There are many opportunities available in the market when it comes to residential real estate in Costa Rica. Not every option, however, might be quite suitable for your needs. It’s up to you to sift the chaff from the wheat and Gyvas is here to help you wih that.

5 Things to Look at when Buying a House in Costa Rica

The first thing you should consider when looking for a viable option is the particular elements involved with your housing needs. Once you have identified what you want in terms of a home, going through some of the more general aspects of this industry can help you further whittle down your options.

Some of the issues you should consider when buying a house in Costa Rica include:

Titled vs. Untitled Land

A crucial thing you should think about when looking at your options is whether the parcel in question is titled or not. Simply put, titled land eases proof of ownership and ensures that you don’t encounter any unforeseen complications along the way. A title allows an owner to sell their piece of land without having to cut through an excess of bureaucratic red tape.

Though untitled land may represent a more affordable properties option, this affordability is only due to the potential risks that are entailed with such a transaction. There have been plenty of stories about investors intending to buy untitled land just to come across a major obstacle at the last moment that led to them losing their money.

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Thus it can be argued that titled land is the best way to go when looking through the different alternatives available in the market. All titled land is registered on official channels by the government, allowing you to easily confirm any details you might want to find out before completing your purchase.

Property Taxes

Another important issue to consider is whether the taxes on the property you’re interested in have been adequately paid and there are no arrears. Taking the time to find out if the taxes on the place you’re interested in has been paid can save you a great deal of financial strain in the long run.

In some cases, you might be required to pay the remnant of taxes owed before you purchase a property with arrears. This adds to the final amount invested, which could represent a significant strain on your original budget.

It’s also crucial to study the various types of taxes you might be required to pay as a residential owner in this region. All property owners in Costa Rica are required to pay taxes.

However, there are some additional levies that you might face depending on the kind of home you buy – such as luxury home tax. This is a tax that is paid by people who own homes worth $234, 000 or more. This property tax can range between 0.25 and 0.55% extra, depending on the actual valuation of your house.

Finding out these aspects beforehand can help you know what to expect with a specific option.

Water Accessibility

Though Costa Rica is known for its multiple water features and enjoys a substantial amount of rainfall every year, there have been shortages over the past years that has led to the need for rationing and government regulation. Anyone hoping to buy a house in Costa Rica has to ensure that the land entailed has an authorized source of water. These include:

•    Connection to an urban AyA network in the area.

•    A water concession that is specific to your land.

•    Connection with a rural water association, otherwise known as Asada.

You need at least one of these three for the property involved to be viable for construction. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy getting any of these options – so finding an alternative that already features these concessions is an excellent strategy to implement.

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If the land doesn’t have access to public water, then it should at least contain an authorized well in the premises.


Surprisingly, the neighbors are not always something people consider when looking through the real estate Puerto Viejo property options available – yet this aspect can greatly affect your peace of mind. It’s important to ensure that the people who live next to you are individuals that you can get along with to avoid any potential conflicts in the future. 

This is not always an easy objective to accomplish. Some of the ways you can gather information about this issue are by taking the time to visit your potential neighbors and introducing yourself to get a first impression.

The kind of people who live next to you is not the only thing to consider when studying this aspect. If you’re looking for some peace, for example, then choosing a real estate playa grande property that is next to a busy road may not be a recommendable approach.

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Settling next to a manufacturing plant might also be something you should look to avoid. It’s essential to study the surrounding area when looking at an option you’re considering.

Protected Areas

Some lands in Costa Rica have been classified as protected areas by the government. Though in some cases it’s possible to buy some tracts of this land, the going is not easy.

You would rather stay away from such lands when looking for a suitable place to build your home. Options such as maritime zones and protected lands are either impossible to acquire or will cost significant amounts of money to get.

In conclusion, finding an established real estate agency in the country can help ease your trials when looking for a suitable residential option in the region. Contact us today.