5 TIPS FOR PURCHASING PROPERTY AND LIVING IN COSTA RICA
By Brad Butler
1 Get good legal advice.
Buyers should either deal with renowned broker companies or use their own lawyer. Because Costa Rica has a unique legal system, buyers should use a trustworthy lawyer to research liens, encumbrances, boundary lines, name of the title holder, and other things that would affect the title or subsequent construction.
2 Understand Costa Rica before buying.
Many vacationers are quickly enamored by Costa Rica?s breathtaking scenery and charming people. But real life is not a permanent vacation. There are bills, chores, work, and cultural adjustments. Most professional agents will recommend that people spend a few months before investing in a home and moving here. Try to get a feel for what the country is really like and talk to those who have made a similar move.
3 Research location.
Concentrate on your needs. Do you want modern conveniences like internet, cable TV, public power grids and shopping? Or would you prefer to live deep in the rainforest, with only monkeys as neighbors? Costa Rica has a wide variety of climates, from Guanacaste?s dry pampas to Heredia?s alpine mountains to the tropical rainforests of the Caribbean coast. Once you?ve found your climate, make sure that you?ll be close to what you find important, whether that?s a great surfing beach or first-class shopping. Be sure to look at everything that surrounds the property. How close is it to town? Are there banks and schools nearby? Does the property have water and electricity? Finally, take a look at the type of community you?ll be living in. Large expatriate communities allow you to experience the tastes and sounds of home. Alternatively, you can enter a mainly Costa Rican area, for total cultural immersion.
4 Compare and contrast.
Once you?ve seen a variety of properties, make a list of the pros and cons of each one. Carefully consider market conditions, quality of construction, surrounding neighborhood and amenities. After a detailed analysis, your decision will be easier.
5 Once you?ve bought, enter the culture.
Moving to a new country isn?t easy, but it can be exciting and rewarding. Take the time to learn conversational Spanish. Your experience will be infinitely richer if you can communicate with your neighbors. Also, try a Latin dance or cooking class. Go to the farmers? market. The more effort you put into learning about your host culture, the quicker the cultural assimilation process will be.