How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate. Advice and tips for those considering real estate in Costa Rica.

Recently I sat down with David Karr, our recommended Realtor for Jaco on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Over the years David has helped countless buyers and sellers in Costa Rica. is always trying to provide our VIP Members with helpful information on how to ensure their transactions are safe. David has many satisfied customers so I sat down with him to see what advice he has for Costa Rica real estate buyers.

WLCR: What is first step to take for someone who is considering purchasing real estate in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Realtor David Karr: Hands down, the first step is spending some quality time visiting the country. There is a lot of information to be reviewed online, but you will never really have a true understanding until you spend some time and visit.

I always encourage people to spend some time in 2-3 different parts of the country that have a bit of contrast. Costa Rica provides different climate zones and settings, once you visit you’ll be able to discover which area fits you best, only then can you start to focus on a specific property.

WLCR: So once someone has chosen the right area for them, how should they go about searching for their dream property?

Costa Rica Realtor David Karr: Searching for property online can be a bit tricky. There are some sites that claim to be the official MLS for Costa Rica, its simply not true. There are obviously many websites online where you can search for properties, but unfortunately many may not always be updated or correct.

This is really where your real estate agent is going to come in. A good Realtor is going to know their market inside and out, they will be able to guide you with the search and help find the right property.

WLCR: And how do you figure out who is a “good” Realtor?

Costa Rica Realtor David Karr: I think is a good place to start, but its really pretty simple, it’s the same way you go about selecting any other professional. Usually the ones who are successful are so for a reason, so I’d focus on talking to those who have a history of success and plenty of experience.

Talk to a few, talk to their past clients, and make sure they are people who are established in Costa Rica and living here legally.

WLCR: What is the most common mistake you see potential buyers make?

Costa Rica Realtor David Karr: Buying site unseen, specifically when it requires sending any sort of deposit is a huge mistake. But I’d say the biggest mistake is probably doing too much research on your own.

My best analogy is diagnosing a medical condition online. You have a sickness or ailment, you start googling, looking up symptoms online, trying to make a self-diagnosis instead of going to see a doctor, it does not work!

You see that with Costa Rica real estate, people try to do too much on their own, thinking they can figure it out all online. Do a little research, but focus more on finding the experts and professionals, work with them, listen to them, ask them questions.

Yes! There are a lot of awful Realtors in Costa Rica – although there are a lot less now than there were a few years ago – and there are quite a few great real estate professionals here, and they are key to saving you time and headaches.

5 Tips For Costa Rica Real Estate Buyers After Making Buying.

  1. Follow Up After The Closing.

    Once you close on you property, your attorney will go the registry to file all paperwork accordingly, but don’t just assume this will be done. Allow for a few weeks for processing, but follow up with your attorney and request verification that the registry has filed the necessary changes and new ownership has been filed.

  2. Pay Your Real Estate Taxes.

    In the U.S., I never left someone else to be responsible for paying my property taxes, but here in Costa Rica people seem to think it’s not their responsibility? Its typical to use the help of a property manager or attorney with making payments on your taxes, but don’t rely on them to remind you.

    Pay them on time every year so you don’t risk any late fees or penalties.

  3. Corporate Books – Make Copies.

    Some people prefer to keep their corporate books, others leave them with the attorney. Either one is fine, assuming they are in secure place, but regardless make a copy of every page in the book and store them electronically.

  4. Don’t Neglect Your Property!

    Just like anywhere else in the world, a home or condo is going to require continued maintenance. Don’t go five years without making repairs or improvements. Good idea is to set aside some money each year and stay on top of things so that it does not all come at once.

  5. Make Local Contacts.

    If you are not living full time in Costa Rica you will most likely have the assistance of some sort of property manager or caretaker. Be sure to have someone local who can assist you with favors and emergencies.

    There will be times when you need someone to help you with your property, having someone you know and trust locally will make things much easier.

How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate.

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Costa Rica Recommended Realtors in Jaco Shawn Fletcher and his wife Hannah Fletcher.

Affordable Oceanfront Condos For Sale in Jaco
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For more information about condos, homes and land for sale in the beach town of Jaco and surrounding areas please contact our Recommended Realtors in Jaco Shawn Fletcher and his wife Hannah Fletcher
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