Purchasing Real Estate in Costa Rica

Once you’ve made the decision to buy property in Costa Rica and you’ve negotiated a sales price and the offer is accepted genenarlley by using a letter of intent. Most Letters of intent incude a deposit of 10% to be made to an escrow company or attorney. Then you will need to start the legal process and the procedures to transfer title ownership.

Title Transfer

The transferring of property title from the seller to the buyer is done by something called an Escritura, which is a property transfer deed. This is done before a Notary Public, which in Costa Rica has powers to act on behalf of the state. He or she is an Attorney and is capable of interpreting legal documents as well as certifying the authenticity of documents.

Upon closing of the property, the parties involved must choose a Notary that will draft the deed. Once this is done, the sale must be registered in the Public Registry (Registro Nacional), which is the centralized property registration office where all documents and deeds executed in Costa Rica are registered.
A piece of property can be purchased in an individual’s name, with another person, or by a corporation name. Most people choose to register the property in the name of a corporation, but the decision should depend on one’s particular situation. You should always consult your attorney.

It is always necessary to follow up with your attorney to make sure that the transfer deed has been presented and registered properly in the Public Registry. They must make sure that all taxes and stamps are paid for the title to be registered.

Clear Title

The law in Costa Rica indicates that property title must be registered in the Public Registry under the Property Section. You can search for a property by the Folio Real number which is the Titled registration number, or by name. Information such as name of the title holder, tax appraisal, recorded easements, mortgages, liens, boundary lines, and other technicalities related to the Title. Anyone in the public can search the Public Registry, but it is always a good idea to have your own lawyer do a title search to investigate the property and any make sure there are no encumbrances left uncovered.

Costa Rica Real Estate Financial Info

Closing Costs Closing costs include Government transfer taxes, registration fees, Notary Legal fee, and mortgage costs. Usually, the buyer and seller share these costs 50/50, although other arrangements can be negotiated.

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