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HOUSE FINANCING IN COSTA RICA


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I am trying to find out some information about financing buying a house in C/R. I should first state that I am a new member to the forum, and may make mistakes in asking things in wrong sections, but I will work to correct this problem upon notificatios from members. I woud also like to state that I have not moved to C/R, but i plan on starting the application in february when I come there for short vaction. I have not joined the ARCRas of yet but that is going to happen before my Feb trip. Therer are several things I would like to know from people that went through the proces of purchasing a home thee. I have heard everal different versions as to finance charges, and wanted to get some claification. following area fdew questions I would like to get a rough idea as to the fact.

 

1.

 

 

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I am trying to find out some information about financing buying a house in C/R. I should first state that I am a new member to the forum, and may make mistakes in asking things in wrong sections, but I will work to correct this problem upon notification from members. I would also like to state that I have not moved to C/R, but i plan on starting the application in February when I come there for short vacation. I have not joined the Accra's of yet but that is going to happen before my Feb trip. There are several things I would like to know from people that went through the process of purchasing a home thee. I have heard several different versions as to finance charges, and wanted to get some clarification. following area few questions I would like to get a rough idea as to the fact.

 

1. Does the Banks or lending institutions use a similar method of credit checks on individuals as in the US by looking at your credit score from experian, equifax and transunion? I n other words since I would be buying my first house in the Country, would the lending Institution require excessive past financial transaction during my life lived in the US?

2. Do they look at your proof of income, as they do in the US to determine the amount of the loan you can qualify for buying a house. For example my Net income 3 years ago in the US was $48,000 and I qualified to buy a house up to $110,000. Do they use a similar method?

 

3. I heard from a person I know who lives in Jaco, who told me that the interest rate to buy a house in C/R was a whooping 10% with a good credit rate, even though we didnt discuss what is considered to be having a good credit rating. It was a relatively vague conversation?

 

4. Do banks, or lending Institutions in the US finance the buying of a house in C/R since you are a citizen of the US, but will be a legal resident of C/R as well. If so, which would be the best route for acquiring a home in C/R, getting a loan in the US, or getting one in C/R?

 

5. Are the restrictions in obtaining a home loan in C/R as strict as they are in the US, meaning in the US, you have to have a near perfect credit rating with practically nothing

on the 3 major credit reporting agencies as mentioned above. I know this to be true as I just purchased my first house ever in the US at age 56, and I had to pay everything that was shoeing on my credit score, small amounts like $1200 that showed up for monies I owed Doctors that was my medicare co-payments that I was unable to pay due to obvious financial difficulties, and a few cell phone bills that my ex wife's teenagers ran up on accounts in my name totaling about $800, just to give an example to this rather un uniformed format ed question?

 

6. And finally, as I mentioned above I am going to begin the process of applying for residency. I will be applying for the pensionado resident status of residence. with THAT BEING SAID, WILL i EVEN BE ABLE TO PURCHASE A HOME WHILE THE application will be in a pending status, meaning i will have applied and will just be waiting for it to be approved which I cant see as being a problem because i will have met the 2 major requirements for acquiring the pensioner resident status which is to show that I have at least $1000.00 US per month coming in from a permanent source, which in my case would be Social Security Disability, and the other requirement being that I must stay in the country for 4 month out of 12 month each year? So I guess to make the question sound more simple is can i buy a house even though my application for residency will have been started, or will i not be able to, until the process has been completed?

 

7. Is it common practice, such as in the US there are owners of houses that offer owner financing?

 

I WANT TO THANK ANYONE IN ADVAMCE FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT TO ANSWER SOME OF MY QUESTRIONS AND CONCERNS REGARDING THE FINANCING OPTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS AS MENTIONED ABOVE AND IN ADDTION ANY OTHER INFORMATION SOMEONE WOULD BE AWARE OF WOULD BE GREATLY APPREAIED SUCH AS THE NMAES AND PHONE NUMBERS OF LENDING BANKS OR MORTGAGE COMPANIES.

 

sincerely

 

RICK

 

NOTE: AS I WAS TYPING IN THE SECTION TO POST A NEW TOPIC ABOUT FINDING INFORMATIN ON FINANCING HOUSES IN C/R I ACCIDENTALLY HIT A BUTTON ON COMPUTER THAT POSTED IT BEFORE I WAS FINISHED SO SOMEHOW I FOUND MY WAY BACK TO THE TOPIC BUT HAD TO POST A REPLY, BUT IN ACTUALITY, (which i think readers will understand) THE REPLY IS PART OF THE TOPIC I POSTED.

 

 

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I read an article in the Tico Times a few weeks ago, and a real estate company reported that no mortgages were being given to anyone, outside of Costa Rica.

Now, we all know that that may not be true as others on this forum have got them, although expensive.

Rick take your time and first find out whether you really like living in Jaco or anywhere else for that matter, which you will find that is very different from being here on vacation.

And there is financing offered by some owners. It is very easy to buy...and very difficult to sell.

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It NEVER ceases to amase me how MANY people DO NOT listen.

SO many people are getting free advise from those who have lived it, yet they do not hear.

I have had so many conversations with people who DID NOT do their homework and then are surprised when it doesn't work out and do nothing but B***CH and complain about this counrty and it's "way of going".

PLEASE people TAKE YOUR TIME, make sure this is what you want, it is not for everyone.

Example, a couple has moved here after doing a VERY cursory tour of the area. He will not leave the house except to walk to breakfast twice a week, and he complains he is bored. They find things here adequate, when if they took a taxi to Coco things would be more than adequate. They are already complaining about everything and have only been here less than a month, PLEASE do not come here unless you LOVE IT...

Okay, rant over

TicaNadian

Edited by lawsv
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I was speaking with someone I met here, just yesterday, that is presently on vacation and she mentioned that she had read on a website that if one participated in a 'due diligence tour' that it would reduce the chances of them not returning to their home country to 10%, instead of what many of us have read, to be between 50-60% within 2 years. I don't see where anyone could come up with that information, but even a due diligence tour doesn't compare with living in an area during rainy and dry weather, having to line up for many services and general day-to-day living.

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Some one I met at the airport recently said, "I hate it here", we bought in the middle of no where and there are no services and they built our house wrong and so on and so on. They also thought they could just start up a little business and pay themselves and stay afloat, as they put EVERYTHING into the land and house.

My husband called her "Debbie downer"

If you have to work to live here, DO NOT COME, it will rarely work for you.

TicaNadian

Edited by lawsv
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A friend who is trying to sell her home, still on the market after 3 years, e-mailed me on Sunday that she had 'potential renters' a couple with 5 children.....dad still in the process of driving down. Father expects to set up a 'dental lab (in the house) and make crowns, dentures etc. for dentists at the beach'. Since the house is over an hour from the beach, I expect they must have 'run into problems renting for such a large family and cost of the same'. Imagine, having to drive there and back to deliver a porcelain crown... :rolleyes: ...both for time and the cost of gas.

My husband got a new 'top plate' at a great dentist office last week in Liberia for $300...and they had their own lab.

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I have to first recommend (and second) the above comments that you RENT A PLACE FOR AT LEAST A YEAR before deciding to buy here (the uppercase was deliberate).

 

I have also heard so many stories of people that just moved here and bought a place that at first seemed great, it was only after they moved in that they found out that the finca next door was a real, working farm, and it came with all the usual barnyard sounds & smells.

 

So please, unless you have been here many times in the past, please RENT A PLACE FOR AT LEAST A YEAR before you make the decision to buy a house here. This way, if you find that you don't like where you are living, you can very easily move. This also gives you the flexibility to look around and check out other places that you might actually like much better. Also, it is much easier to buy than to sell, we know people that have had their house on the market for quite awhile.

 

So again, take your time, rent for awhile, then make an informed decision on buying. There is NO rush, houses will always be available.

 

 

Good luck, Dana

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Rick, In one of your earlier posts, you mentioned finding a wonderful Tica to dote on and that you would be in CR for 6 months and then back in lovely FL with your Tica. That was so you could use your pontoon boat and Harley. So, if that is still your "plan" - then by all means RENT don't buy.

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Hmmm . . .

 

I guess I missed the part about the Costa Rican lady. If it's Rick's plan to take her back to Florida for those six months each year, then a very careful investigation of the process of obtaining a U.S. visa for this lady is in order. It ain't easy and it ain't automatic.

 

 

Thanks David for your response, and actually its NC where I would be coming back and forth to. And I spoke with a employee at the ARCR and she too, as you enplaned that it is indeed very difficult to obtain a visa to come to US. I wasn't even aware that a CR citizen could not come to the US with just a passport, as the US citizens have the luxury of doing> My reason for starting the topic on financing because I am not quite sure what i am going to do. I know i am going to take things slowly and not rush to judgment on things such as staying there just the required 4 month for resident status to keep valid. I am hoping that I will like CR so much after several years of spending time there in the high season that i might decode to buy there and stay year round. I suppose it will all be decided as to whether i meet a significant other, as well as will i be ABLE TO TOLERATE THE RAINING SEASON. i don't know until i experience it. I know that a lot of factors are far from bec=ng decided. the summers are very nice hew and spring, so that is something to be considered as well. I got me a sweet '06 HD superglide and a 20 ft pontoon boat that i enjoy both, so i WILL PROBABLY BE WANTING TO JUST GO TO cr in the cold winter months here, but as i said, it all depends on if I meet someone I could enjoy growing old with. I know i am sick of the way the women in NC are, from my few vacations to C/R, i know that I will be able to find me a Girlfriend, and not a prostitute. I just was interested in financing, regardless whether i stay there all year, 4, 6 or 8 months. I just want to evaluate the feasibility of buying a small house near Jaco, or the other coast. I want to thank everyone in advance who has, or will respond to my post. I have gotten so many emails regarding the 3 new topics that i started, that I have placed them in a folder and haven't even looked at a 3rd of them. But one thing is for sure. By the time I come which I'm still shooting for Feb. comes around, and certainly B/$ residency is complete, I will have a wealth of informative things based on the posts i created and you wonderful people who took time out to share your knowledge, facts and experiences with.

Again, I want to thank you all.

 

sincerely

 

RICK

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I read an article in the Tico Times a few weeks ago, and a real estate company reported that no mortgages were being given to anyone, outside of Costa Rica.

Now, we all know that that may not be true as others on this forum have got them, although expensive.

Rick take your time and first find out whether you really like living in Jaco or anywhere else for that matter, which you will find that is very different from being here on vacation.

And there is financing offered by some owners. It is very easy to buy...and very difficult to sell.

 

Yes, you so right, and thank you. I have only been there 3 weeks total on 2 vactions, so you are correct inmaking sure that I need to see if I eally am going to like it and be able to adapt. I just will have to see how things go. A far as buying anything right away, I will first see if I go ahead with my plans and short time goals of just strating the pesinada residency status and see how those 120 days or 4 months out of 12 goes. As i mentioned in response to Mr.urrays rely, there are a lot of enjoyment I get here in Carolina during the spring and summer months, but Dec- March here is not appealing to me, as being on the beach in CR would be in those same months, and at the same time meeting the requirements of lenght to be in CR for the residency requirements.

 

Thanks for your respose

 

SINCERELY

RICK

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On the visa front, it is very unpredictable, but if your lady has no ties to CR--good job, is she a professional like a lawyer or doctor or dentist, money in the bank, a house, her age, young kids, and so forth, getting a visitor visa can be difficult-- or it can be very easy--all depends on the mood of the person at the embassy who reviews the case, but you should plan on not getting it.

 

on the other hand, if you find "the one" and want to get married, then getting the proper visa is straightforward and not difficult at all unless there is something in her background that makes her inadmissible such as any criminal activity no matter how minor, any violations of US immigration laws, prior drug or alcohol problems, etc, but it does take 4 - 6 months if you use the fiancee visa(K-1)approach which requires you to get married in the US, or IR1/CR1 if you get married in CR in which case it takes a year or more to get the visa. Another alternative if she can get a visitor visa is to get married while in the US, and then adjust her status there which take 4 - 6 months. None of the process is difficult at all--just a lot of waiting.

 

If you do get married and want her to have a green card, then she MUST stay in the US six out of every twelve months until she can naturalize which takes about 4 years all in, and then she would have no requirement to be in the US at all since she would be a citizen.

 

It's really not as bad as it sounds--just have to play by the rules every step along the way, or things can be thrown into a cocked hat. And, yes, I help people get through the visa process--mostly folks who are in the US illegally.

Edited by sectorbets
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It NEVER ceases to amase me how MANY people DO NOT listen.

SO many people are getting free advise from those who have lived it, yet they do not hear.

I have had so many conversations with people who DID NOT do their homework and then are surprised when it doesn't work out and do nothing but B***CH and complain about this counrty and it's "way of going".

PLEASE people TAKE YOUR TIME, make sure this is what you want, it is not for everyone.

Example, a couple has moved here after doing a VERY cursory tour of the area. He will not leave the house except to walk to breakfast twice a week, and he complains he is bored. They find things here adequate, when if they took a taxi to Coco things would be more than adequate. They are already complaining about everything and have only been here less than a month, PLEASE do not come here unless you LOVE IT...

Okay, rant over

TicaNadian

 

 

Sir or Madam,

Believe me when I tell you all the things you stated in your reply to my post, I have done and am still doing. That is to get informative answers from people who have done it, (THAT IS MOVED THERE PERMANTELY) Maybe I should have emphasized that I am not planning on seeking immediate home financing or looking to buy a house NOW. I actually believe that it would make much more sense to rent for the 4 months that I am required to do so to obtain residency. Hell I might have a horrible experience on my planned Feb vacation, that I might never want to go back, but I DOUBT IT.

 

 

 

RICK.

Excuse all the typos. I try to type lying down and make many errors and then forget to do a spellcheck B/4 replying

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Hi Rick -

please be aware that the required time in country is not "120 days or 4 months" - it is 122 days (think of it as 1/3 of a year). On top of that, it is always best to add a couple of days just in case - plane might be delayed, travel days may not be counted as full days, etc. When we had to spend just the minimum days in CR, we planned on 124 days, and it helped our mental health and kept our anxiety levels down :)

Julie

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