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We've moved to Costa Rica after spending many winters here and searching all over for what area suits us best. We are going to take the next year to slowly and cautiously look around and buy property to build a house upon. We love the Tico culture, the area we want to settle long term is a pueblo in which Ticos and Gringos intermix and mingle. We send our kids to school here with the Ticos and we have applied for residency. We have worked very hard to be here for 20 years, probably like many of you, and saved to buy our little slice of heaven. So we want to be cautious and smart. I am intimidated by all of the warnings I have received about buying real estate in CR. I have been warned about shady realtors, disreputable attorneys. We have been told horror stories about land that was purchased, but then the title was not in the "owner's" possession, etc. "Buyer beware!" seems to be all over the place. My understanding is there isn't a licensing agency for realtors, I've heard there's a Tico price and a Gringo price, and there is no definitive range of price comparisons. In contrast, we also have friends who live here, are easy-going hippie types, and tell us to just trust the Universe and all will fall into place. lol! I'm not sure whether to heed these dire warnings... or wonder if they're just spread out of fear by fearful Americans. (I also think the US can have a false sense of security in regards to buying real estate and people get taken there all the time!) We really don't know what to believe! Anyone have advice or links, recommendations for real estate attorneys that can set up the title transfer, and S.A. for the land? We also need someone who is an expert in both USA and Costa Rica tax law? Or how about a link to learn to research and learn the real story with buying real estate here?