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sunnysadie

Steps in buying property

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OK, I've decided to buy property in Costa Rica...and I've picked the area that I want to try. I like the Caribbean....and I have read a lot of reasons for not living there but I have my own reasons for living their. So, I've rented a little beachhouse and will try it. In the meantime, I'm going to look at property. That will give me some orientation to the area and the neighborhoods, land prices, cost of living, etc.

 

I'm wondering what all I should do in order to purchase land and build. I want to know in advance of the actual deed :) so that I'll know all what I'm in for. What I know is to get a good attorney, have the land surveyed, make sure of the buildability of the area, access to water/electricity. Then to build I will need architect and a competent builder. What else should I consider/do?? Am I on the right track??

Suggestions???

 

Thanks in advance

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OK, I've decided to buy property in Costa Rica...and I've picked the area that I want to try. I like the Caribbean....and I have read a lot of reasons for not living there but I have my own reasons for living their. So, I've rented a little beachhouse and will try it. In the meantime, I'm going to look at property. That will give me some orientation to the area and the neighborhoods, land prices, cost of living, etc.

OK, you've made a good first step in renting. But now your best bet is to 'live' in the area and acclimate to it and also learn the downsides to it. This will let you know if indeed the area is for you. The longer you can stay there the better you will (or will not) acclimate and you need to determine this for sure before you commit your capital towards buying a house. Three to four months is good, but longer is better.

 

Also during that time you will be able to get more of a handle on what are and are not good deals in real estate, eventually allowing you to make a more informed choice, down the road.

 

Ideally, you should spend an entire year in the area that interests you. That way, when the rainy season is in full tilt you can see for yourself which rivers overflow, what roads become impassable, and can tell which areas are subject to flooding or washouts. This latter certainly will assist you in deciding where not to buy.

 

There is more to consider than my several observations here, but these are very important considerations to weigh before actually purchasing a home in CR.

 

By the way, why wouldn't you choose just to rent, what with the rental laws so favoring the renter and those laws being inscribed in the CR Constitution?

 

Oh well, enquiring minds and all that rot....

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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By the way, why wouldn't you choose just to rent, what with the rental laws so favoring the renter and those laws being inscribed in the CR Constitution?

 

 

Owning has a different feel to it, mostly positive, and there are other advantages. If the value of the property appreciates and you sell for more than you paid, that's nice too.

 

I have noticed among mi Tica novia's extended family in CR that the desire to own property is very strong, and every one of the adults older than 25 owns property. They range from a farm, fincas, bare land, condos, casas, and a tiny piece of land in Puerto Viejo where a nephew has recently built himself a small house. Virtually all of the properties have turned out to be good investments.

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Sounds to me like you have a good list going. While you are living in the area, you can be looking around at what is going on around you. If you see a house being built that you like, stop and ask who is the builder. Check around with various people to see who is their recommended lawyer. As you spend more time in the area, think about what your needs are: would you like living near the center of town or be more remote. If you are remote, would you be concerned about your safety or would transportation be an issue? Are you looking for the company of other expats or not? What kinds of things do you need/want in a house? All these things will become clear as time goes on.

 

I think you are on the right track. I moved here and built a small house and after a number of years decided I wanted to rent after all. But if you want your own place, go for it. Who knows, you might even find some already-built house you like! Good luck!

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Sunnysadie, while living in the area, keep checking around you, for houses for sale.

It is very difficult, to get a 'price' that will be actually be right due to many things. We are involved in a construction project right now, and the cost will be double what was originally thought. By the time you pay for your land, architect, permits, etc and the construction materials. Then add the labor. INS and CAJA for a crew of 7, add another $1000 per month. Many times folk have asked on this and other forums "what will it cost to build since I am/have a budget?"

Please consider purchasing a completed project since you will have the 'price'. You will probably want to make changes, but you will be better off and possibly still save some money.

Unless you can 'discuss' in Spanish what you really want/expect with the construction crew, you may find a few unwanted surprises later on.

And realize that many of the Tico builders, do not like to "deal with a woman..."

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Thanks for the feedback..

The reason that I want to buy is so that I can do with the property as I want. I just don't feel motivated to do much gardening, etc in a rental home. Besides, I was brought up with the idea that "everybody must own their own home" :rolleyes: I just can't seem to "nest" in a rental.

 

I did look at numerous built homes while I was looking at property. What I have seen so far didn't really suit my purpose. But, I am going back thru all the listings and reconsider. I don't want unsure contracts and the headaches...

Is there any way to get a realistic total price for building. It seems that this could be cheaper than buying a ready built house that will need work.

I will take my time....the rental is very teeny...I hope we all can fit in it...me, 2dogs and 3 cats!!

Another adventure! :D

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Sunnysadie, I do know that recent quotes we got for labor only, were between $100-120 m2. That didn't include installing windows, door, floors, kitchen cabinets or painting :unsure:

And materials have really increased. Again, take your time, remember what you found out before.... :rolleyes:

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OK, I've decided to buy property in Costa Rica...and I've picked the area that I want to try. I like the Caribbean....and I have read a lot of reasons for not living there but I have my own reasons for living their. So, I've rented a little beachhouse and will try it. In the meantime, I'm going to look at property. That will give me some orientation to the area and the neighborhoods, land prices, cost of living, etc.

 

I'm wondering what all I should do in order to purchase land and build. I want to know in advance of the actual deed :) so that I'll know all what I'm in for. What I know is to get a good attorney, have the land surveyed, make sure of the buildability of the area, access to water/electricity. Then to build I will need architect and a competent builder. What else should I consider/do?? Am I on the right track??

Suggestions???

 

Thanks in advance

If you have not already, strongly suggest getting a copy of 'The Legal Guide to Costa Rica. by Roger A. Petersen. This is a definitive information guide on all aspects of purchasing RE in CR.

It also covers all other aspects of the law in CR.

Also, read everything you can find on these Forums...Believe me, it is extensive.

Hope this helps

Ellen

Good Luck in your venture

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Sunnysadie, while living in the area, keep checking around you, for houses for sale.

It is very difficult, to get a 'price' that will be actually be right due to many things. We are involved in a construction project right now, and the cost will be double what was originally thought. By the time you pay for your land, architect, permits, etc and the construction materials. Then add the labor. INS and CAJA for a crew of 7, add another $1000 per month. Many times folk have asked on this and other forums "what will it cost to build since I am/have a budget?"

Please consider purchasing a completed project since you will have the 'price'. You will probably want to make changes, but you will be better off and possibly still save some money.

Unless you can 'discuss' in Spanish what you really want/expect with the construction crew, you may find a few unwanted surprises later on.

And realize that many of the Tico builders, do not like to "deal with a woman..."

Pat,

How long already are you in this construction phase?

And what construction time was promised initially?

Thanks

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We are nearing the end but it has taken longer than expected. That being said, the problem has not really been the builders fault, but with changes being made ...

Plus the weather! What can I say but that it has rained heavy here, nearly every day for the last 2 months.

What has come as a 'surprise' is that now some of the workers have been 'laid off' they are entitled to holiday pay plus other benefits. Paid for by the owner.

Plus, he had to pay for CAJA and INS for them all. We knew about INS but now with new rules CAJA is the responsibility of the home owner. :unsure:

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Hi

I just want to say that we built from the ground up and we did EVERYTHING you are not supposed to do, but we are very lucky people and everything worked out.

We came down only once during construction to pick tiles and colors for walls, BUT I will say that we knew the builders (Canadian) we gave them our house plans and said this is what we want and this is want we'll pay for a turn key project. They were building a condo project up the road and we had two years before we moved down here so it was win/win for everyone. Because they already had the crew on site and had two years to get the house built it was not a problem for either of us. they put up a website and changed the pictures as the construction moved on.

They paid all CAJA and whatever was required for the crew and we had to do nothing but wait.

Having said all of this, this is not a usual situation and most of the time people are not as lucky as we were.

Do your homework, look at the work of your builders and talk to people who have had their homes built by them.

It so easy here to get taken advantage of...

TicaNadian

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lawsv this is 'sort of' what we are doing for our friends, adding photos continually. They are presently here, and actually staying in the partially completed house, and will pick wall tiles etc.although the floors are done. But this is the first time they will have seen the structure and even the exact location....

The law says now that CAJA must be made by 'owner' due to 'discrepancies' by the wages being told the construction boss to both CAJA and INS than was was actually being paid and now with the ease of computers this should be the same.

In your case the CAJA and INS would have been 'incorporated into the other project'.

And you were very lucky... :)

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I know, we really have had horseshoes up our you know whats during the whole process of moving and building etc.. What can I say???

I am greatful I am not doing it now..

TicaNadian

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