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7 Expenses that lower profits on Rental Investment Property in Costa Rica

7 Expenses that lower profits on Rental Investment Property in Costa RicaAre you planning to invest in a rental investment property in Costa Rica? Then you first want to know what profit you can make on this investment, right?

The profit in rental investment property depends on many factors. As you know, income is important, but profit is what makes the investment attractive or not.

Most rental investment properties have a gross income of anywhere between 5% and 8%. I am saying 8%, but those are hard to find. Unless you do short term rentals on HomeAway or Airbnb.

Rental investment property that does long term is a lot less work for the owner but usually has a lower income. Short term rentals can generate a much higher income. But it usually takes a couple of years to generate continuous bookings.

Most sellers will tell you there is a much higher ROI on their rental investment property, but once you’ve made the purchase, you’ll find out about hidden costs.

7 Expenses that lower profits on Rental Investment Property in Costa Rica

There are a few factors that influence your return on investment tremendously. Here are 7 expenses that can lower your return on investment on rental property in Costa Rica:

1. HOA fees

If your rental investment property is located in a gated community or a condominium, you will be charged HOA fees. Often, those fees are very high and can, therefore, influence your return.

Nonetheless, you have to take the amenities the community offers into account. Those amenities, such as community pools, tennis courts, and a gym, can influence your rental income positively.

2. Taxes

Every property in Costa Rica pays property tax, so that shouldn’t have to worry you. BUT there are two taxes that will eat into your profits if they apply to your rental investment property:

Luxury home tax

Luxury homes pay an annual luxury home tax, or “Impuesto Solidario para el Fortalecimiento de Programas de Vivienda”. Learn more about this tax before making an investment in the property.

Corporation tax

The corporation tax has only to be paid when the rental investment property is owned by a corporation. Learn all you need to know about this tax now.

7 Expenses that lower profits on Rental Investment Property in Costa Rica

3. Property management

If you plan to do your own property management, you don’t have to worry about this cost, although you need to calculate the cost of your own time investment too.

Professional property managers charge anywhere between 10% and 25% of your rental income, depending on what they do for you.

4. Vacancy

The time your property will be vacant will cost you money. Adjusting your rental during certain periods might help. Short term rentals run a higher risk to be vacant but generate higher rent. Take your fixed costs like HOA fees into account during the vacancy.

5. Property appreciation/depreciation

Rental investment property not always appreciates. Often, this depends on the maintenance of the property but also its location and the general environment. Being close to the ocean, for example, can deteriorate a property tremendously.

6. Furniture replacement

If you rent your property furnished and with appliances, furniture replacement can be costly. Appliances are quite expensive in Costa Rica.

Long-term rentals are less deteriorating than short-term rentals.

7 Expenses that lower profits on Rental Investment Property in Costa Rica

7. Repairs

The repairs can run up tremendously. Often, landlords do not maintain their property well. This will, in the long-term, make maintenance and replacement even more expensive. Besides, tenant turn-over will be tremendously expensive.

Looking for rental investment property in Costa Rica? Contact us now, we are the experts.

The grammar of the Spanish version of this blog was checked and corrected by Wagner Freer of Spanish School for Residents and Expats. We strongly recommend this language school as your best choice to learn Spanish, click here to contact them. 

Spanish School for Residents and Expats


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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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