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Johnny M.

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About Johnny M.

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  1. What a thread. I have no idea who these people are, but one has to call a spade a spade. Let's be clear. Titles for the entire country are transfered through the central property registry in San Jose, whether you are buying in in Guanacaste, Limon, Jaco, or the Southern Pacific. To say title issuance takes longer in one part of the country vs. another is completely untrue. I sell real estate all over Costa Rica, Jaco more than most places, but yes on the southern coast as well. The longest I have ever had a clean property title take to transfer is 45 days, and that was only because the transfer was initiated over Christmas when the Registro shuts down for a couple weeks, and the property required the creation of a new title as it was a piece being separated from the mother farm. That said, the list of reasons why a title might not be issued quickly is long. Sometimes the reasons are innocent, such as one of the named owners is dead, or perhaps a creditor must sign off on the transfer and remove his lien on the piece being segregated. Other times, the reasons are not so innocent, such as when people sell property the don't own, or are selling land with restrictions on the title. In my opinion, the most common reason for title issuance delays surround property which has no title. Keep in mind this is not illegal and very common in Costa Rica. If all the contracts are in order and there are no disputes, and the neighbors all agree to where the property boundaries are at, the government will usually issue title on the land in one to five years. After title is issued, the title will have restrictions for a period of four year to provide those who might wish to contest the title a chance to do so. This, of course, makes the subdivision and selling of newly titled land difficult. In most cases, property sold without title sells for half the price of property with proper and clear title, due to the delays and risk involved. I have never heard a developer selling land without title, but -------"Risk and Return" so perhaps he is making the half price property available to foreign investors tolerant of a bit more risk. Personally, less than 5% of my foreign customers are willing to touch it. J. Morales
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