Want to Buy Property in Costa Rica? Read our FAQs about buying in the Santa Teresa area
Can foreigners buy property in Costa Rica?
Yes. All titled land in Costa Rica can be deeded regardless of the buyer’s nationality.
Can I own beachfront property?
Property within 200 meters/yards of the average mid-tide line cannot normally be owned and is given in concession by the local Municipality with special restrictions, especially for foreign ownership.
Is it difficult to build in Costa Rica? How long does it take?
Building a custom home involves time and energy anywhere in the world, but good architects, builders and engineers are available. A single family home typically takes 6-8 months for plans and permits, and a similar period of time to build and furnish. Larger projects normally take 2-3 years for permitting and build out.
What about existing homes?
There are always some existing homes available on the market, and customizing/remodeling does not involve extensive permitting. Contractors are readily available to remodel.
Do you have gated, master-planned, communities?
Yes. This is currently the most common type of ownership in Costa Rica, and our area is beginning to follow the national trend.
Can I get a loan to purchase a home or lot?
Bank loans are limited to Costa Rican citizens and long-term permanent residents. Some seller financing is available, but for the most part property purchases are paid in full at the time of purchase.
Can I rent my home while I am not using it?
The market for vacation rentals in the Santa Teresa area is robust. If your goal is to rent, we can guide you to specific properties to maximize your investment
What kind of taxes do I pay?
Property taxes are 0.25% annually of the assessed value of the property and Costa Rica currently does not have capital gains tax on property sales.
Can I work?
It is very difficult, if not impossible for foreigners to obtain residency with a work permit. However, if you are an entrepenur with capital to invest and to employ local Costa Ricans, there are many opportunities.
Are their schools/day care for my children?
There are two private bilingual schools that serve the expat and Costa Rican communities. Additionally, there are several private day care facilities, and public schools in every town. Opportunities are numerous.
What about security?
Our community has the issues normally associated with beachfront vacation communities . . . petty theft and occasional violent crime. In Costa Rica, you are responsible to provide security for your property as this is not a service provided by the local police force. We can give you suggestions depending on the property you choose.
What about public services and utilities?
Santa Teresa has excellent fiber optic internet, telephone and garbage service. Electrical service is fair to good. The roads are bumpy, unimproved, gravel and dirt requiring a 4×4 or a Quad and some creative driving. Our area does not have a large public water utility, so this is a major factor to be considered on a property by property basis.
What about residency and citizenship?
Costa Rica strictly limits residency to those who have existing sources of income from their home country, or wish to invest in and/or set up medium sized businesses that employ more than 10 Costa Rican workers. Citizenship in Costa Rica is complex, only earned by a select few over a long period of time.
What are the locals like?
The Southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula was historically sparsely populated and has experienced numerous waves of immigrants, especially from 1995 to date. Our community is an eclectic mix of Costa Ricans, Americans, Argentines, Israelis, French, Canadians, Italians, Germans and numerous other nationalities. Most of the locals welcome respectful newcomers that seek to integrate and contribute to our community.
What is the weather like?
Dry season runs from November to April and is characterized by blue skies, offshore winds in the morning, and strong onshore winds in the afternoon. Temperatures range from 75 to 95 degrees. The Wet season runs from May to October, and it characterized by sunny mornings and strong rains in the afternoons and evenings. Humidity is high and temperatures range from 70 to 85 degrees.
What language is spoken?
English and Spanish are the primary languages spoken, and mastery of either is usually sufficient to integrate into the community. Hebrew, Italian, French, German and Swedish are also commonly heard around town, and each have their own full time group of locals.