You’ll be happy to know that foreigners have the same rights when purchasing land in Costa Rica as locals do. You can own property outright in your own name or in the name of your corporation. The one exception that may apply is when the property is located in the Maritime Zone (first 200 m from the high tide line). This is also called “Concession Land” where special rules apply.
WHY PURCHASE A PROPERTY USING A CORPORATION?
There are a few reasons for this.
- It may be more beneficial to have your income (from rentals) within a Costa Rican company rather than having it taxed as personal income. Of course, this depends on the tax laws of the country from which you originate as well.
- It allows for simplified estate planning. You can give or will shares of the corporation that owns the property to members of your family. This step may avoid the lengthy probate process in Costa Rica.
- It provides a level of anonymity if that is important to you.
LAND TITLE REGISTRY
Another important consideration for those buying property in Costa Rica is its land registry which allows your attorney to confirm that there is clear title to your property, as well as to determine if there are any restrictions on the property before the deal goes through. Stewart Title provides title insurance and escrow services and is now available in Costa Rica.
PROPERTY TAXES IN COSTA RICA
Costa Rica’s very low property taxes make this a very appealing investment – 1/4 of 1% annually. That means if you buy a condominium or home with an assessed value of $200,000 the property taxes per year would be $500 or a $100,000 2 bedroom/2bath condo would be $250.