Don’t Forget These Things Before Buying Costa Rican Property

Have you ever dreamed of owning your piece of paradise? If so, Costa Rica may be the place to make that dream come true. 

While Costa Rica may have a reputation as an expat retiree mecca or as an ideal honeymoon destination, it’s also the perfect place to call home if you’re looking to create your very own slice of tropical paradise. But there are some things you should know before making this move! 

Here are a few tips that will help you make the most of your Costa Rican property purchase and help ensure that you get the most out of your investment!

Location, Location, Location

When buying property in Costa Rica, it’s important to know that your lot will be zoned for what you want to do with it. For example, residential areas are only zoned for residential use. On the other hand, commercial districts can have all sorts of zoning rules attached to them.

Be aware of these before purchasing property, and make sure you’re comfortable with them—especially if they conflict with what you want. 

It’s also wise to ask how close things like fire stations and police departments are to your property. Should an emergency ever arise (and we hope it doesn’t), getting there as quickly as possible is crucial? If your neighbor’s house catches fire, who will help? Is it closer than a station two miles away?

What Do You Need?

This varies greatly depending on what kind of property you’re looking to buy. For example, if you’re hoping to get a plot of land in a rural area, it might be as simple as some cash and basic personal items. 

However, if you want to live in a more expensive city like San Jose, you might need cash for a deposit, closing costs, and an attorney—this alone could easily run into thousands of dollars. You can find more information about these legal fees here.

Closing Costs

When you buy property in Costa Rica, you’ll need to cover some extra expenses. Depending on your agent, these can include a commission fee (usually around 4%), plus government taxes, legal fees, and more. 

Ensure you know exactly what costs are covered and which ones aren’t before signing on any dotted lines. You don’t want to be hit with any surprises!

When is the Right Time?

Many people, both foreign and native Costa Ricans, will ask when is it a good time to buy property in Costa Rica. But, unfortunately, the truth is that there isn’t a good time. 

There will always be fluctuations in prices and weather patterns, but overall, costs rise with each passing year.

Who Can Help?

Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to property. If you’re serious about buying a home in Costa Rica, getting expert advice is important. 

Working with a qualified Costa Rica real estate agent can be an excellent way to get started. They can help you navigate tax and legal matters, ensuring you make sound decisions along the way.


Be on your guard against being scammed by pushy real estate agents, who will expect a hefty commission for selling you what might turn out to be a lemon of a property. 

Scam artists may try to make themselves seem more reputable than by promising an easy life and fortune by buying property abroad. 

However, it is still possible to get a nice property in Costa Rica even if you have to sell your Chicago property to raise capital. 

Click here if you want to know how to sell a house with tenants in Chicago to invest in your dream Costa Rica property.