Costa Rica is well known for its stunning beach front properties and warm locals, which earns it the reputation as a haven for retirees and expatriates.
I recommend that you check the following steps to make sure there are no hitches in your acquisition.
1. Check the Folio Real
Costa Rica has an electronic registry called Folio Real where you can see all the important data on almost all properties such as boundaries, location, mortgages, etc. You can access the system in San Jose’s Public Registry.
In case that the piece of land you are interested is not in the system then make it a point to check on the public registry.
2. Make sure you are being offered ownership rights
If the land you are interested is only being offered for occupation and not for ownership, then that means that the land is not registered and a prolonged process will ensue before you legally own the land.
3. Be Mindful of the Maritime Zone
Costa Rican law states that 50 meters of the high tide line is public property, which means no infrastructure can be built within that area. The next 150 meters is then available for concession, or lease for a specific period of time. Permits for these concessions should be obtained from the municipality. Foreigners are not allowed to be own majority of this land and must have a local partner. This rule is waived if the interested party has resided in Costa Rica for 5 years or more.