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The nicest Costa Rica real estate closing of my life part 1

Costa Rica real estate closing of my life part 1I just went through the nicest Costa Rica real estate closing of my life. Even though it was probably one of the most difficult ones too.

I have had some really nice closings, But I’ve also had some real impossible ones. Allow me to explain.

Well, during this transaction, we went through practically every obstacle that anyone could ever come up with. , mainly because this sale involved bank financing through a Costa Rican bank.

I had the perfect buyers, the perfect sellers, and the perfect bank employee in one room. I swear that’s quite a feat on itself. I am having a very low opinion of bank employees lately, but Nataly was incredible and unusually responsive and cooperative. This was a deal with a lot of heroes in it.

Bank financing

This closing had the word “bank” written on it big time. It was the bank that made it possible for the buyers to purchase the property. But, even though it was all done in record time, the deal was threatened to be killed over and over again.

If you want to buy real estate in Costa Rica with bank financing, you better be ready for some extra effort,  and lots of patience. Plus, an intermediary who is responsible and has lots of patience too. If you use just any realtor you find on the internet with a nice looking website, you might get in deep trouble there.

The usual way to get your mortgage in place is starting to pre-qualify with the bank. They will request financials on your income and will tell you how much to can spend to buy.

Once you have that bank approval, and a confirmed budget, you can start shopping. Once you have an offer accepted by the seller, talk to your banker. A Costa Rican bank generally needs a 90 days option to purchase – sale agreement as part of the documents to present. In this unusual case, the option was waived by the bank at the last moment.

Most banks take the full three months to get to the real estate closing, after the date that you deliver all documents.

Costa Rica real estate closing of my life part 1

BAC San Jose

This particular mortgage was with BAC San Jose. Most banks generally have the same requirements. The first thing the executive told us that the bank would not finance a loan on a home older than 25 years old. This was never an issue before.

The second is that you need to be either a citizen or a resident; a mortgage is not available for non-residents.

Mortgage requirements

The bank’s mortgage requirements are:

  • Bank statements of the last three months,
  • Credit card statements of the last three months,
  • Passport or Costa Rican residency card copy (and your spouse’s),
  • CPA income certification,
  • Certification of other Costa Rica properties and vehicles you own,
  • National Register certification of the property you’re buying
  • Registered property survey (Catastro)
  • Municipal certification of taxes paid.
  • You need at least 70% of your income to be free to debt.

If you enjoyed this article about a happy real estate closing, you should also read part 2 and part 3. They are complementary to each other.


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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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