Purchasing property in Costa Rica as a foreigner is both easy and secure when you have the right team on your side.

As a foreigner, when purchasing a property in Costa Rica, you have the same rights as a local, like me! Yes, I am a Tico! Born in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. A Tico or a Tica is a person born in Costa Rica, it’s a friendly way of referring to the locals.

I will be with you through the entire process, even at the table on the day of the deed signing (known as the closing date).

The great part about Costa Rica is that foreigners and locals have the same ownership rights when it comes to buying property. Foreigners can buy property without ever needing to apply for residency or citizenship.

Your first team player will be your Broker or Real Estate Agent; Me! – I will show you properties and answer your questions – which by the way I will not only show you my exclusive listings, but also those of colleagues from other offices, this way you know you have a wide scope of the market. I will provide you with all the insight you need to choose the property that better fits YOUR needs and wants, and also go over the steps to follow to make an offer.

After deciding on the property that you would like to purchase, we need to submit an offer. The only document required at this time is your passport. I will then draft the offer, send it to you for review (and by your lawyers if wanted), and then send it off for the seller’s signature.

Once the offer is accepted, we need two more players: A Notary Public and an Escrow Agent/Company.

A notary public is a lawyer in charge of the due diligence process; making sure the property is clean and transferable. Also, the notary will be the person to write up the transfer deed. Upon closing, this deed is submitted to the Costa Rican National Registry where the owner records are updated with the new owner information… yours!

The escrow company, which is registered with the SUGEF (Superintendency of Financial Entities), will work with you to clear the funds into escrow. For this to take place the escrow company must obtain a series of documents from you, such as the KYC form (Know your client), bank statements, 401k, and/or tax returns. Other alternatives are CPAs and bank statements. Yes, even for cash transactions.

Some escrow companies have banks in the US and Canada that can make this process even easier and faster.

To bring or transfer money into the country, EVERYONE must go through the process of providing, either to the escrow company (when purchasing a property) or directly to the bank (when opening an account) documentation of the origin of the funds. All financial institutions in Costa Rica are obligated to obtain this in accordance by law 7786 (Law on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, unauthorized drugs, related activities, capital legitimation, and terrorist financing). For some, it’s a bit of a hassle, but if your money is clean, you will have no issues!

Going through escrow makes the purchase process secure for everyone.

The normal purchase process can take up to 45 calendar days but can be less if agreed by all parties.

Day 1: Submit the offer
Day 3: Once the offer is accepted and it’s time to set up the escrow account
Day 8-10: A 10% deposit of the accepted sale price is required to be in Escrow – we are now under contract!
Day 10-30: Due diligence (the Notary Public checks property info, etc.)
Day 30-40: The balance to complete the transaction, including escrow and notary fees, must be in escrow at least 3 calendar days prior to closing
Day 45: Closing at the office specified by the parties – Transfer of deed.

In case you do not have a Notary Public or an Escrow Company, we can make recommendations of professionals we trust and have used for many years!

There is a lot of work behind the curtains that as your Broker I would take care of (contracts, lawyers, escrow, gathering documents, inventory, home inspection, etc.) to make the transaction as smooth as possible.

So, in summary, this is the purchase process to buying property in Costa Rica, and we would love to be part of your team to make your move to Costa Rica a reality and stress-free!

Contact us today to start this journey together!