CR Beach Realty Buying Info & Tips! – Part 1


Thank you for visiting our Costa Rica Beach Real Estate Buying info, please note, that I’m not a lawyer, but I’m happy to say I have worked with some of Costa Rica’s best Attorneys, and we’ll be happy to refer them to you!!   In the coming weeks, you will see different topics covered, especially when there are new updates regarding the ever-changing laws of Costa Rica.  
Costa Rica has become the “post covid hot spot” and was recently named the Travel+Leisure Magazine’s 2024 Destination of the Year; while the Costa Rican Tourism Institute was chosen “Leading Ministry of Tourism of Central America” in the “World Travel Awards” 30th edition (aka as “the Oscars of Tourism”.)  Thus there is a lot of interest in Costa Rica, so why not listen to what this 30-year veteran (me!) of Costa Rica has to say!  

The past 2 years our real estate market has been on fire and yet because new opportunities present themselves monthly, now is a great time to see what we have that fits your lifestyle and your budget! 

 Also know we regularly update our info regarding rules and regulations set by the Costa Rican government, with input from the U.S. and Canadian Embassies.   


1.  Yes you, can buy any Costa Rica property with the exact same rights as a Costa Rican,  (except for the “Zona Maritima or concession zone” properties, and we’ll tell you why, further below).   

2.  Costa Rica has a very modern, digital online computerized system for registering properties, called the Registro Nacional, and everybody has the right to research all registered properties. Youtube videos exist! 

3.  We use either a Costa Rica Central Bank licensed Escrow company; or the past few years, we now have U.S. Escrow Agency options, that work with our Costa Rica Bilingual attorneys to ensure your funds are held securely and released only with your signed permission!  There’s even a Buyer’s Remorse Clause in CR Beach’s LOI-Intent to Purchase Agreements.  

4.  RECENTLY UPDATED: Almost all properties (homes-land-businesses-vehicles) used to be put into a corporation for a variety of reasons, (your protection from lawsuits; easier to sell or transfer the property; and other reasons of privacy.) HOWEVER DUE TO RECENT CHANGES REGARDING “INACTIVE” CORPORATIONS, MAYBE A CORPORATION IS NOT THE BEST WAY FOR YOU! PLEASE DISCUSS with your attorney!

5.  Realtors don’t have to be licensed yet, but they keep saying, “soon they will be”, (yes I have been since 2004) and the two existing Realtor associations, the CCCBR and the CRGAR keep trying to get legality! Many of us also adhere to the Code of Ethics as promoted by the National Association of Realtors USA. (Mine is International Realtor ® Certificate of Membership #061212737 National Association of REALTORS® since 2004) 

6.  All the scary stuff of buying property in Costa Rica happens when the Buyer doesn’t use a real estate professional or a recommended attorney.  After more than 30 years here, we know which professionals you can trust, as our experience has taught us to be very selective. 

7.  Ever since the beginning of 2017, the purchase process here has become a little more difficult in following the Escrow agreement procedures, thanks to the process called Apostille. Now the good news is that it’s a lot easier to get an Apostille stamp from your nearest Secretary of State’s office than it used to be; when you had to find the nearest Costa Rican consulate and pray that they were open that day and not celebrating either a Gringo or Tico holiday!

The Apostille stamp certifies that the notary public that stamped your other Escrow requested documents is an officially licensed Notary, and each U.S. Secretary of State’s offices that stamp the official document is always open except for U.S. holidays.   More info is contained below, but feel free to call OR email us with any of your questions,  We’ll be glad to help! We also recommend for online legal advice: Roger Peterson: or call me in Costa Rica: 011-(506) 4700-1010  OR TRY WHATSAPP- ITS FREE, EASY, +1 (506) 8388-5055             We also have Skype: crbeachjeff_ 

Do I Really Need to Use A Realtor Or Broker In Costa Rica?

Of course, the answer is yes!   Costa Rica is not the 51st U.S. state, but a fiercely proud independent country with their own system of laws and ways of doing things. Just because you remember some high school Spanish and have the courage to drive in a foreign land, should not give you the confidence that you can find “deals” on your own.  

When you hear about a “gringo price” and the “locals” price,  of course, that’s much more common if you are trying to find a property on your own, by driving around a neighborhood with your friendly taxi driver.  Of course, the “local” in every country on this planet will tell you, the foreigner in a big fancy car, receives the highest price in that first conversation, just to see your reaction.   (Learn to say, “Esta loco, mae!)   Then they’ll know you did some homework and they’ll lower the price after the laughter stops!   

Also know this, often the better deal is from the foreign seller that needs that cash now AND remember, there is almost zero chance that a non-resident can get a bank loan in Costa Rica and seller financing is very expensive if ever offered! (more on this later!)    

We know exactly what you should be paying and will fight for the lowest price possible. Many a Seller trying to list their property for a “dream price” has left our office shaking their head after hearing Jeff’s famous, “that price is not even close to reality, sorry, I can’t offer it for that!” 

Should I Use a San Jose Real Estate Brokerage for Properties for the Beach?   

Would you call a San Francisco realtor if you wanted a property in Los Angeles? It’s the same thing here.  Locals know the areas, the great advantages, and the conditions to watch out for.  

We know that you worked hard for your money, and we want to see you make a wise investment with us!   We will help you select the perfect property, attorney, engineers and other experts; and provide you with realistic price “comps” (comparables) and “no bull” market analysis.  

We can enlighten you to the realities of Costa Rican bureaucracy and assist you in the discoveries of the hidden treasures found amongst us, but most importantly we will protect your investment! 

This is why you use a local realtor–especially CR Beach Investment Realty or our associates we trust, and have for over 27 years, working in Costa Rica real estate! 

Can A Foreigner Buy And Sell Property In Costa Rica?

Ownership of real estate in Costa Rica by foreigners is fully guaranteed by the Costa Rican constitution. In addition, foreigners enjoy the same ownership rights as Costa Rican citizens, regardless of whether the property is placed in the name of a corporation or in the name of an individual. The only exception to this is in regard to concession lands, which will be discussed later. 

Step By Step Through The Purchase Process and how CR Beach protects you more than many real estate companies: 

These are the basics that a purchaser follows when buying a property in Costa Rica: 

1. Sign a Letter of Intent (aka Intent to Purchase Agreement) which contains the basic facts of the property; the price you are offering; a few details about the Buyers; time elements of the deal, and as many specifics to the deal known at the time. Signatures of Buyers and Sellers must be on the last page, initials on the previous pages, which will then be presented to the Escrow company and your Attorney. 

2. If you are in Costa Rica, we suggest you make a small deposit via cash or usually $500 (or more depending on the Selling price) to show the Seller you are serious and to take it off the market (usually for 5-10 days after you have returned home.) This pre-deposit is given to your Attorney to initiate the Due Diligence process and later this will be a credited in your Closing Costs.     

Wire Transfers are part of the process established by the “real” Escrow Company (REGULATED by Costa Rica’s Central Bank Approved Financial Authority SUGEF currently Ask us about U.S. Escrow Services we are now using! 

ATTENTION: As of 2015: There are many more requirements as established by SUGEF prior to the Escrow company being permitted to send you the wire instructions.  

a. There has to be a signed Intent to Purchase Agreement by both Seller and Buyer for them to start. 

b. They require proof of funds and completion of a form called KYC: Know Your Client,  and this paperwork must be completed prior to the Escrow company sending you the wiring instructions.  Please remember that wire transfers from the U.S. or Canada typically take 2-3 business days AND please include the extra fees that the banks charge here for receiving them $35-$50 per transfer.


4. We’ll introduce you to our area’s most respected Attorneys, who speak & write in English! They’ll be happy to converse with you regarding any legal matters you may have: from the purchase of property, the choice of corporation type, or to residency requirements and more! Best online legal info is from When you are comfortable with the lawyer, and you have correctly filled out all the documents required to open up the Escrow Account, you will be sent wiring instructions as ONLY THEN can your funds be wired into Costa Rica to the authorized Escrow Account.   

THIS COMPLETES PART 1. STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 NEXT WEEK. More on Closing Costs, Title, Taxes & more!

Jeff Fisher

Owner-Broker CR Beach Investment Real Estate, Cell Phone: USE WhatsApp:+1 (506) 8388-5055  )OFFICE NUMBER +011 (506) 4700-1010 
Jaco, Garabito, Puntarenas, Costa Rica 611012023 International Realtor ® Cert.Membership #061212737 
Costa Rican Real Estate Member since 2004  

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