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Purchasing property in Costa Rica, it is relatively easy for a foreigner

Costa Rica has been known for its stable democracy in a region that has had some instability. Costa Rica has the most stable and centenarian democracy in the Americas, with peaceful and uninterrupted electoral processes. Since 1948 Costa Rica is the only country in America that has no army.

Former President Oscar Arias Sanchez received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1987, for his mediation in the Peace process of the region. It is considered the most economically stable country in Central America. These factors give Panamá the security and legal and political stability that your investment requires.

And for its highly educated workforce, most of whom speak English. The country spends roughly 6.9% of its budget (2016) on education, compared to a global average of 4.4%. Its economy, once heavily dependent on agriculture, has diversified to include sectors such as finance, corporate services for foreign companies, pharmaceuticals, and ecotourism. Many foreign companies (manufacturing and services) operate in Panamá Free Trade Zones (FTZ) where they benefit from investment and tax incentives.


The country has consistently performed favorably in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 69th in the world as of 2015, among the highest of any Latin American nation. It has also been cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as having attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of the region. Costa Rica also has progressive environmental policies, being the only country to meet all five UNDP criteria established to measure environmental sustainability.

It was ranked 42nd in the world, and third in the Americas, in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, was twice ranked the best-performing country in the New Economics Foundation’s (NEF) Happy Planet Index, which measures environmental sustainability,and was identified by the NEF as the greenest country in the world in 2009. Costa Rica officially plans to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. By 2016, 98.1% of its electricity was generated from green sources.

Interested in buying properties in Costa Rica?

Interested in buying properties in Costa Rica?
If you are interested in buying properties in Costa Rica, it is relatively easy for a foreigner, unlike many other countries that have many restrictions or do not allow the purchase of land by foreigners. For you to buy a property in Costa Rica you do not have to be a resident; you have the same right to buy a property that citizens of Costa Rica.

You should have a well-qualified real estate agent assist you in your purchase. Much of the job of the agent is to research title, along with your attorney, and to make sure that all of the documentation is correct and filed with the proper government agency.

Purchasing property in Costa Rica may seem very different than where you live but I have worked with many buyers from many parts of the world and can help you to understand the process. Most foreigners buy property in the name of a corporation set up by their attorney. It is easy and inexpensive, and also provides some liability advantages. Title insurance is available from companies like Stewart Title and First American Title.


Loans may also be available, depending on the type of property and your home country. Closing costs are minimal, property taxes very low and there are no capital gains taxes in Costa Rica.

If you are from the U.S. you can also use our I.R.A. or 401K to purchase property here. I know how it is done and can recommend the right attorney to complete the paperwork. Buyers from outside of Costa Rica are making their way here for many reasons. Some are looking for a second home or getaway, and have a property management company rent their condos or homes when they are away.

Others use their second home or condo as a home base to escape those cold winters in the northern hemisphere. There is that other group that has decided that they have shoveled snow for the last time and wanted a slower, simpler lifestyle that involves sandals and shorts year-round.

Information about traveling to Costa Rica:

  • Americans do not need a visa

    Americans do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. However, they must have a valid passport and a return ticket to leave Costa Rica. (Either to return to your country or to go to another country). The United States passport must be valid for a minimum of one day from the day you enter Costa Rica.

  • Not need a tourist visa to enter Costa Rica

    Citizens of other nationalities do not need a tourist visa to enter Costa Rica if they have a tourist visa, a crew visa or a business visa (multiple entry) from the United States of America or Canada. Note: This visa must be stamped in the passport and be valid for at least 1 day (the duration of the stay can not be longer than the validity of the visa and can not exceed 30 days).

  • Americans do not need a visa

    If the foreigner has permanent residence, a student visa, a work visa in the United States or Canada, he does not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. In addition, you must have a valid passport for at least six months from the date of entry into the country and a return ticket. Note 1: This type of visa must be sealed in the passport, and must be valid for at least six months. Note 2: Permanent residents must present their green card (ie green card), which must be valid for at least six months. Note 3: Proof of residence stamped in the passport, refugee status, parole or work cards are not accepted. If this is what you have, you should find out if you need a tourist visa at the Consulate in your jurisdiction.

  • the tourist visa

    For foreigners who do not fulfill any of the above requirements, the tourist visa will depend on their nationality and must apply at the Consulate in their jurisdiction.