Why Should You Consider a Home in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a beautiful country, rich in culture, exotic nature, booming metropolis and filled with friendly people who have placed quality of life over quantity of possessions. Not to mention, it has some of the most spectacular beachfront properties in the world! This is an idyllic combination for a second home, retirement opportunity or life change! On the practical side of things, Costa Rica still has homes well below the North American value, though no longer a complete steal. Things have been growing rather quickly, and this has increased market prices considerably but it’s not out of range yet.
Another economic upswing to buying in Costa Rica is the incredibly low property tax. The government has been calling for change on this, as they are extremely underfunded, but even if the tax system changes, it will still be considered a low bracket in comparison to northern society. An increase in taxes will increase the value of properties, as the government can put more money into street maintenance and public services. Luckily the taxes are based on very old numbers and not on the actual market value of the home. Lastly, buying a home in Costa Rica is likely to yield the highest resale investment due to a climbing market and no taxes on capital gains. At the moment, if you sell your home you will receive the original cost of the property plus the appreciated value without paying any taxes on it. Though this may change if they ever rework the entire tax system, it currently is a heavy incentive for buying and selling.
Why Should You Be a Cautious Buyer?
Signing your name to the dotted line should always come with a bit of caution no matter where you are, but buying a home in Costa Rica should be doubly so. We strongly recommend you do not make any purchase privately or through an unaffiliated realtor. The world is filled with opportunists which leads to deception. The real estate market in Costa Rica does not use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so it is imperative you work with someone who knows the area, the current market trends and closing prices, the ambiguous details of the contracts and the culture of the area. We also recommend you only work with someone who is affiliated with the CCCBR or a Realtor®. There are a lot of properties that have been sold in the past that were not legit, and unfortunately, we’ve heard of many people who have lost their investments. Buying in Costa Rica is a safe process and a sound economic choice if you go through the proper channels.