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Costa Rica Real Estate 101; What Do I Need To Think About After Buying My Property?

Costa Rica Real Estate – This is part of our series on buying real estate in Costa Rica. We hope to provide information needed to make an informed decision about purchasing land, condos, houses or commercial property in Costa Rica. If you want more information about this property or buying real estate in general you can request the free e-book, “Secrets of Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica”

costa rica property taxesAfter months, if not years, of finding your dream property and going through all the legalities and hassles accompanying its acquisition, you are now a lucky owner of a property in Costa Rica. It is a dream come true but there are still a couple of things you have to take into consideration and take care of. 

Costa Rica Property Taxes 

All property owners who hold a title that is recorded in the Public Registry and even concession holders are subject to real estate tax that is currently at the rate of 0.25 per cent of the property’s market value as appraised and registered by the municipality who has jurisdiction over the property. Take note that unlike your home country, you will not be notified by the municipality in Costa Rica to pay your real estate tax so you have to make sure that you pay the real estate tax every quarter or once a year where you can get a discount for paying in advance. If you are determined to be delinquent with your real estate tax payment, the municipality will proceed with collection by court action and eventually put up your property on auction sale.  

In addition, Costa Rican law dictates that all properties must be appraised every five years with the property owner making a sworn statement before the municipality.  

Other charges called municipal taxes may also be collected by the municipality on properties in their governance that is allotted for local road improvement, maintenance of public lightening and garbage collection.

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Costa Rica Home Insurance 

Bear in mind the possibility of being a victim of fraud or natural disaster; you can protect yourself from both by getting a property insurance offered by the Institute Nacional de Seguros or INS, a state-owned entity that provides products and services related to ensuring the well being and meeting the protection needs of Costa Rican society. You can buy an insurance policy at any one of the many INS offices strategically built all throughout the country or through an INS registered agent. The policies offered by INS will safeguard your home against Fire and Natural Disasters, Home Theft and Homeowner’s Liability. Costs of insurance policies vary depending on the amount of coverage needed. 

For Fire and Natural Disaster Insurance, you have the option to insure just the house, just the content of the house of both from disasters like fire and lightning, cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, tremors, volcanic eruption, hurricanes, strong winds, floods and landslides. 

Home Theft Insurance is advisable for home owners who are not permanently staying in their properties. It covers forcible entry and covers items that are listed in the house upon purchase of the policy. It does not however cover items that cannot be insured like cash, jewelry and securities. 

It is prudent for individuals renting out their homes to get a Homeowner’s Liability. It would cover any amount awarded by Costa Rican courts for any occurrence or incident that have taken place within the walls of the house. 

Costa Rica Property Management 

If you do not plan to stay in your new home all year long you may want to consider hiring a property management company to make sure that your bills are paid on time and your house and garden are properly maintained. You also have the option of hiring a caretaker to make sure that squatters will not invade your property and gain control over it. Be cautious though when hiring a caretaker. Be sure to write a contract that includes the date of hire, salary and benefits agreed on, other employment information and most importantly write down the fact that the person you are hiring is a worker and not a possessor to avoid unwanted claim on your property by your hired caretaker. 

Costa Rica Residency 

Immigration and residency laws in Costa Rica changes overtime and will surely continue to evolve as more and more people are lured to this beautiful country and make it their home. 

Get Your Free Copy of “Secrets of Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica”

Property Ownership

Types Is the Property Really for Sale? 

What is the Maritime Zone? 

Myths About Squatters 

Construction, Architects & Engineers 

Purchasing Under a Corporation 

Financing

And so much more……..

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