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Can A Foreigner Invest in Costa Rican Properties?

Costa Rica is an investor’s dream. Not only is it the safest country in Central America, but it is also one of the most beautiful. A great deal of Costa Rica’s natural habitat is rainforest. In fact, over 50% of Costa Rica is made up of rainforests.

If you’re looking for a comfortable, quiet place to retire [or perhaps just live], then Costa Rica should be at the top of your list.

If you would like to learn more about investing in property in Costa Rica, then this article will tell you everything that you need to know:

Can Foreigners Buy Property?

Can you invest in property in Costa Rica as an American citizen? The answer to that question is a solid yes. Not only Americans can own property in Costa Rica, however. Anybody can. There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership. However, if you want to live in Costa Rica then you will need to apply for a residency permit. When you are applying for a residency permit or a visa, then you should advise the person dealing with your case that you are planning on investing in property.

Find a Good Area

The first step to buying property in Costa Rica is finding an area that’s perfect for you. Costa Rica is a large country, so there’s no shortage of places to buy property in. With that said, a lot of Costa Rica is forested. Most of Costa Rica’s rainforests are conservation zones, which means that you can’t live there. Costa Rica’s capital city, San José, is a very popular place with foreign investors. It has a lively nightlife, lots of museums, and a great social scene, especially among expatriates. Make sure to research areas in Costa Rica extensively before making any decisions.

Find Professionals

Whenever you’re buying property abroad, you have to hire local professionals. In Costa Rica, for example, only a lawyer can act on your behalf as a notary. You might also want to hire a buyer’s agent, who will help you to buy your property if you’re abroad. A buyer’s agent may be able to make offers on your behalf or attend viewings for you in your absence. With that said, it’s usually best for you to be there yourself. That way, you can work with your lawyer closely and ensure that you’re getting the best deal.

Ask Around Locally

In addition to hiring local professionals, it’s worthwhile getting to know people in the area around where you’re investing. Getting to know the locals will help you to learn more about the area, especially if you’re buying rurally. In addition to learning, you will also make friends. The locals may then be able to watch your property for you when you’re not there, preventing it from being broken into. If you’re buying a property that’s extremely rural, then it may be worth hiring a guide who can tell you about the area. It’s very unwise to buy property somewhere that you’re not familiar with.

Take Measurements

Once you have found a property that you’re interested in, make sure that you request measurements. This is especially important if you are buying from abroad and won’t be visiting. Pictures listed on real estate websites can be very deceiving. The smallest of houses can be made to look huge, and vice versa. If you have a buyer’s agent acting on your behalf, then they will likely provide you with the measurements. If not, then you will need to request and verify them yourself. Never overlook the importance of measurements.

Visit the Property

As we have mentioned throughout this article, it’s crucially important that you go and visit the property yourself. Photographs and a person’s opinion [your buyer’s agent] won’t be able to give you a true impression of a property. Gaining access to Costa Rica isn’t difficult. If you’re traveling from the United States, then it is also very affordable. At the very least, you should have a friend or relative visit Costa Rica for you. Somebody that you’ve never met can’t be trusted with a big decision like international property investment. If you’re on a fixed budget, you can get an Airbnb in Costa Rica instead of staying in a hotel.


When you’re buying property abroad, it’s always worth bargaining and haggling. In the United States, sellers usually have fixed prices that they refuse to budge from. This is rarely the case when you’re buying from abroad. While you shouldn’t try to take advantage of the person selling the property that you’re interested in, you should do your best to save as much money as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating financially for a lot of Americans, so saving money is very important at the moment. Your lawyer or buyer’s agent should be able to haggle on your behalf.

Local Infrastructure

Another important thing to take into consideration if you are buying property in Costa Rica is local infrastructure. While most of Costa Rica has very good infrastructure, some rural areas don’t. Try to search for a property that’s located near road networks, train stations, hospitals, and police stations. If you’re particularly concerned with infrastructure, then it’s advisable to buy property near to the country’s capital. There are also a number of other heavily built-up cities with good infrastructure and travel links that are popular with ex-pats, such as Alajuela and Puerto Limon.


Whenever you’re traveling abroad, you need to make sure that you get the necessary vaccinations. Healthcare professionals advise diphtheria, hepatitis A, rabies, and tetanus vaccinations before traveling to Costa Rica. In addition, you will need to have your COVID-19 vaccinations to enter, as well as health insurance. It’s important to comply with Costa Rica’s COVID-19 policy, otherwise, you could be turned away at the airport. You may need extra vaccinations, depending on your health. You should talk to your doctor first and ask them what vaccinations they would recommend that you get.

Investing abroad can be a great way to make money. It can also be a great way to secure an idyllic place for you to retire. As this article shows, buying property in Costa Rica isn’t difficult, anybody can do it.

The founder and CEO at ThriveVerge, The Verge, and Thrive Revolution. He launched Thriveverge in 2016, a leading behavior change technology, business, media, and entertainment company with the mission of ending the collective delusion that burning out is the price we have to pay for success.


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