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Types of Property in Costa Rica

Real Estate in Costa Rica: Purchasing a PropertyYou’ve been shopping around Costa Rica for the perfect piece of real estate, and after looking at a number of attractive properties, you finally found it.What now?The first thing you should do is find out exactly what type of property you’re looking at. The following are the five major property types in Costa Rica.Fee SimpleJust like in North American and European countries, different property types have different laws and conditions attached to them. The most common type of property foreigners look for in Costa Rica is Fee Simple, or freehold ownership, which is the same as it is in the U.S., Canada, England and most other common-law countries. In short, the buyer has absolute rights to the property, and could do what he or she wants with it, subject only to the laws of Costa RicaConcessionConcession property is different, and refers to beachfront property. About 95 per cent of beachfront property beachfront property in Costa Rica is considered concession property. Ownership of concession property is essentially a long-term lease granted by the state.Another big difference between Free Simple and Concession properties, is while foreigners have the same rights as Costa Rican citizens with Fee Simple purchases, they do are restricted when it comes to purchasing concession property. Specifically, foreigners cannot be majority owners of a concession property, but can enter into a partnership with a Costa Rican citizen, with the foreigner having no more than a 49 per cent interest in the property.CondominiumAnother property type in Costa Rican real estate is condominiums, which differs slightly from what U.S. and Canadians might think when they hear the term.In the U.S. or Canada, a condominium would usually mean a large development of apartments or townhouses, and while that is the case in Costa Rica, it also refers to a specific law called “Condominium Law.” This law provides certain benefits to developers of a wide array of properties, including single-family residence projects, finished lot projects, condos, and others. The law allows developers to restrict and regulate certain aspects of the development. As well, it allows individual condominium projects to have their own by-laws, which can often restrict owners from certain projects that would not be in keeping with the overall look and style of the project.Untitled
A fourth type of property are untitled properties, which are not recorded at the Public Registry of Properties. In some cases, families will have inhabited these types of properties for generations, while others may have never been occupied. In summary it is best to purchase titled property in Costa Rica. The process to obtain title from a property that does not have feee simple can be a very long draw out affair.For more information please contact the law offices of Barrantes & Associates US/Canada 1-800-979-4174 011 506 2 256 3807 [email protected]