General Rules and Guidelines
- Fall in love first. Whether you are looking for a retirement home or an investment property, if you love the area, chances are there are many others that think the same.
- Visit the area on vacation. Rent a property that fits your purchase criteria and experience it in person. Worst case scenario you will have a great time.
- Deal with professionals. Work with reputable real estate professionals that have worked in the area for a while and are members in good standing with one of the recognized real estate associations, have gone through extensive training and understand the intricacies of a complex market such as Costa Rica’s. Make sure your real estate agent is also an owner of property in Costa Rica. If your agent doesn’t own a piece of paradise, how can they possibly advise you.
- Perform due diligence. Your real estate professional should perform a good deal of preliminary due diligence prior to presenting you properties. This is an extremely key step that is often overlooked by most real estate agents in Costa Rica and can end up costing you valuable time. The in-depth due diligence should be performed by an experienced Costa Rican Attorney with the guidance of your real estate professional.
- Always involve your real estate professional. Remember that everyone in Costa Rica is a potential real estate “agent” and that there is no formal Multiple Listing Service. Every once in a while a bonafide “good deal” comes to your attention through someone other than your Realtor. Do yourself the favor and make it known that you are being represented by a Realtor and get them involved in the process. A Good Realtor can determine if the property is worth looking at seriously. If the seller or “agent” is not willing to work with your Realtor, then something is wrong and you should not waste any more time.
- Give your Realtor as much information as possible. Help your Realtor help you. A good Realtor in Costa Rica has information on the good value properties in their area and given good input from you, they can zero in rapidly on various options for you to consider.
- Be skeptical. Don’t expect things to function as they do in your home country. Don’t assume there are services to your lot or that all the issues of the Home Owners’ Association are disclosed to you. If your common sense you use at home is telling you something is not right, then don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Have Fun!. The Bottom line is to enjoy yourself and have fun. Your experience in Costa Rica should be relatively hassle free and relaxing. Live the Costa Rican “Pure Life”. Pura Vida.