Work With A Good Lawyer:
Ask around, talk to your Realtor, and get referrals.
Your Realtor should be able to refer you to good Lawyers. The Lawyer is the one in charge of the property title search, he or she is actually responsible and required by law to do a competent job to make sure there are no clouds on the title or anything else that could be a detriment to the property in question.
The Title In The National Registry Of Costa Rica:
Do a search on who owns the property (Is the Seller the rightful owner?), any affectations such as liens, mortgages, encumbrances, easements and annotations against the title in question must be verified.
Your Lawyer is in responsible for pulling out the relevant details which involve the property through the title search. Leave no stone unturned…
The Survey On Your Property:
Even though a property may have an existing survey, it’s always a great idea to have a new survey done to verify the boundaries and the size of the property you are buying. Costa Rican.
Make sure your surveyor is a Licensed Surveyor!
Property Taxes On Your Property:
Property taxes are part of your Costa Rica due diligence, in Costa Rica, the taxes are prorated and any taxes due by the Seller should be paid before the closing. You must obtain a tax clearance certificate from the Municipality.
Electricity and Water For Your Property:
This utility access is part of your Costa Rica due diligence.
If the lot is not connected to the power grid of the National Electric Company (ICE), Check how far away it is to connect to power, chances are you’ll be the one making up the cost for the difference. Knowing this could also help in your negotiations on the purchase price.
Three Options To Install Electricity:
1) Solar System: Be an off-the-grid guy with a solar system. Check out Elon Musk’s Solar Wall, Solar is coming of age and getting better every year. The cost will vary depending on the solar system you install. Get your cost estimates prior to closing.
2) ICE installation: Go with the above-ground giant concrete poles and cable, check with ICE on costs estimates prior to closing.
3) Install it yourself: Smaller cable, smaller poles. Another cost effective way is to put the cables underground. This is less expensive than ICE. Get your cost estimates prior to closing.
Water: Verifying your water source is the number one priority in your Costa Rica real estate purchase. This comes in three forms:
1) Digging a well
2) Establishing a catchment system
3) Public (AYA) or private water system
There is a plan to establish a municipal water system from Pilon to Punta Banco in the near term.
It’s actually a lot less paperwork involved than a transaction in the United States, knowing what to look for and working with the right people can make a Costa Rica real estate transaction relatively easy and fun.