Costa Rica Real Estate Info

How to select a Costa Rica real estate closing attorney

How to select a Costa Rica real estate closing attorney

Isn’t the internet a marvel? You are looking for a Costa Rica real estate closing attorney and you just go to Google and type “Costa Rica real estate closing attorney”. This is what you get:  just short of 5 million results.

That’s worse than trying to find your wife in a full football stadium on a Super bowl and not knowing her seat number, right?  

In Costa Rica, lawyers are obliged to be a member of a bar association, or “Colegio de Abogados”. The Costa Rican bar does not publicly say how many members they have. The La Nación newspaper published an article in 2015 where they state that there are approximately 22,500 lawyers in Costa Rica. 1,300 More lawyers graduate each year. 

This same article states that in the period from November 2014 to April 2015, the College applied the test to 1,126 graduates in Law and only 338 passed the evaluation with more than 80 (minimum grade of the exam). 

Should a couch potato look for a home in Costa Rica?

Should a couch potato look for a home in Costa Rica?

Do you want to become a couch potato? Probably you’re not, because you wouldn’t be reading this article. But maybe your spouse wants to be couch potato? We have the solution for it: move to Costa Rica! Once you take that decision we can assist to look for a home in Costa Rica.

You have worked your butt off for most of your life and you’re sick and tired of getting up every morning, commute to work and come home late at night. Once you’re home, you switch on the TV and become a couch potato. You’re almost retired and would love to do nothing for a while, until you get your energy back again. Once you become a couch potato, it will be really tough to become energetic again. 

I have a much better solution for you: move to another country, start a new life and do something that you will never regret: look for a home in Costa Rica. That will keep you away from that couch for a while. There are several reasons to make it Costa Rica and not somewhere else, let me show you.

Why rent a furnished home in Costa Rica?

Why rent a furnished home in Costa Rica?Moving to Costa Rica can be a huge pain in the butt. Just taking the decision of moving or not is huge for most.

Should you buy real estate? Should you rent first? And if you rent, should you rent a furnished home in Costa Rica? Or would it be better unfurnished? 

Let me help you with that last decision: rent furnished or unfurnished.

You already have decided to rent after moving to Costa Rica. You probably have a reason for doing so, for sure it’s one of these

Vacation

You are just on vacation. You will be renting a furnished home in Costa Rica as a vacation rental. It is very important that the home is furnished and totally equipped as you will only use it for a short vacation. 

You can find vacation rentals on VRBO, AirBNB, Tripadvisor or ForRentByOwner. You can also rent from a GoDutch Realty agent, where you will be assured of a good treatment.  Vacation rentals can be found on our website as a short term furnished rental.

The amazing views Grecia properties have

The amazing views Grecia properties have

There are many reasons expats want to live in Grecia. The view Grecia properties have to offer is one of those reasons. They’re amazing, those vistas, in case you didn’t know. 

Vistas means views in English. In the rural areas of Costa Rica, you’ll hear the word “vistadas” used a lot, though it’s bad Spanish.

Just a few years ago, the city of Grecia was unknown to most expats as a nice place to live. Grecia was very much a Tico city but now expats abound. 

The city of Grecia, and its surroundings, is the newest hotspot of Central Valley real estate. A large percentage of the emails we receive from clients are a request for Grecia properties. Brooke, our Grecia agent, put Grecia on the map a few years ago. Her testimonials will show you why everyone wants to live in Grecia now. 

Do not overlook the final walk-through on closing day

Do not overlook the final walk-through on closing dayClosing on a property is usually a pretty nervous occasion. Sellers become desperate to receive their settlement check and buyers want to move in. In the middle is a diligent real estate agent who will lead the way if you are lucky. That’s why we insist on a final walk-through on closing day.

Most parties involved only look at the finish line and forget about all those details that should be taken care of.  It is for example customary to deliver the house on closing in broom clean condition, although that is rarely mentioned in an option to purchase – sale agreement. I have seen houses being a total mess where lamps were removed, boxes all over and garbage everywhere.

I never forget one of the first homes I sold in my real estate career.  A Cuban – American builder and his wife had built a home in Cariari. Open floor plans were very unusual at the time that they would fully furnish with North American imported furniture.  Oswaldo and Maria would live in the house until it sold, rent another one in the neighborhood and build the next one. Is sold the house to a retiree from Huntington Beach – California who was flying in for the closing. Oswaldo and Maria had already moved to their rental home a week before. 

Which powers of attorney does your property manager in Costa Rica need?

Which powers of attorney does your property manager in Costa Rica need?Everybody involved in the real estate closing is exhilarated, the buyer most of all. Of course she is, Susan just closed on the purchase of a beautiful vacation home in Costa Rica. 

For years, Susan has been day dreaming, looking online at vacation homes near all the beaches in Costa Rica. She has been looking at pictures of homes and condos all over the North, South and Central Pacific and at the Caribbean side of Costa Rica too, reading descriptions and asking the listing agents questions by email and phone.

Susan did her due diligence and decided it was a better idea to make an investment in a vacation rental in Atenas; she wanted to make sure she would buy her vacation home in the right location at the right price. 

Susan found out it made much more sense to rent her home to snow birds and retirees who take much better care of your property than surfers who live on peanut butter sandwiches do.

7 Luxury homes in the Central Valley worth checking out

Luxury homes in the Central Valley worth checking out

Have you ever wondered how the luxury home market in the Costa Rican Central Valley functions without having an MLS where every agent in Costa Rica advertises their listings?

Before you start making appointments with realtors to see luxury homes in the Central Valley, maybe it is time for you to find out a bit more, so you can save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Online you might find the most mouthwatering pictures of beautiful luxury homes in the Central Valley, panoramic views or images of the golf course. You’ll find photos of imposing hallways, palatial kitchens and plush living rooms.  

All the photos you will find are going to be trying to show all the plusses of the home but how do you know the value is really there?

Unless you are a specialist in property values in Costa Rica, you won’t know how much you should pay for that home, no matter how much you love it.

13 Other costs first-time vacation condo buyers in Costa Rica should consider

13 Other costs first-time vacation condo buyers in Costa Rica should considerIsn’t it awesome! You have now decided to buy that vacation condo in Costa Rica that you fell in love with, but before you sign the Reciprocal Option to Buy / Sell, you want to know what other costs are involved.

Can you afford that vacation condo? Can you afford the extra things that are involved?

Have you taken into account every single important cost or will there be more later?

You probably already know that GoDutch Realty has only agents in certain areas of the Central Valley, so the beach is not so much our thing. You might not realize though, that I am president of the American European Real Estate MLS with 29 affiliates all over Costa Rica, with around 100 agents. 

Many of those affiliates cover the best beach areas of Costa Rica: Cahuita and the Southern Caribbean beaches, Dominical and the Southern Pacific beaches, Los Sueños and the Central Pacific beaches, Tambor and the Nicoya Peninsula, Tamarindo and the North Pacific coast and even Lake Arenal. Check out the photos below to get a better taste of what I'm talking about.

The most difficult part of the process is to cover the cost of the purchase, because there is no bank financing available in Costa Rica until you have legal residency. If you are a cash buyer, you’re not only be surprised at how easy it is to buy a vacation condo in Costa Rica, but also how the best deals are found for cash buyers. 

Why is selling a rented house in Costa Rica a mission impossible?

Why is selling a rented house in Costa Rica a mission impossible?

Just getting real estate listing agreement on a house in Costa Rica is easy, but getting a good listing is a much harder. Now guess what a good listing that is rented is? You got it, it’s a mission impossible. 

When the tenant doesn’t want to be bothered with all the showings and on top of that a property manager who wants to control the situation for obvious reasons, it is outright mission impossible, you’ll find out why.

I love listing a house in Costa Rica that I sold the actual owner, especially if the owner bought the house almost 10 years ago through a GoDutch Realty agent. That means we had a happy buyer, who is now a seller who believes we can do a good job.

In the middle of the 2006 real estate boom, I sold Matthew and Karen Holt a house in Residencias los Jardines as an investment that they bought with their 401(k) retirement funds. All units in Residencias los Jardines do very well for rental income and make a nice ROI. The units rent fast because of the amenities the community has to offer, so buying in one of the condos there with your retirement funds is a great investment.

Think hard before your rent on VRBO in Costa Rica

Think hard before your rent on VRBO in Costa RicaMy office phone is ringing while I’m on my cell phone with an attorney discussing some details on a real estate closing. I’m alone in the office and the office phone is ringing off the hook, a local call. You never know how you can miss out on a buyer, so I told the attorney I’d call him back as soon as I could and picked up the office phone.  

“Buenos días, GoDutch Realty, en qué le puedo servir?” is my usual introduction and the lady at the other end says in English “do you speak English?”. This is very customary in our office because if I’d answer the phone in English, the Ticos who don't speak any English generally hang up on me, not knowing what to say.

The lady on the other end started telling me that she knows it’s a very unusual request but she rented a house in Sarchi and it has a solar heating system on the roof. The solar system is leaking and if I know a plumber to get it fixed.

I answered the lady “I assume you’re calling because you rented the house from Brooke Bishop, our agent who covers the Sarchi area, I can give you Brooke’s phone number and I’m sure Brooke can help you”.

The lady answered “no, Brooke had it also listed but we rented through VRBO in Costa Rica, directly from the owner.”

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