Jaco Beach Real Estate FAQ’s 2

1. What about capital gain tax?

A nice incentive for foreign investment is that there is no capital gain tax. The Costa Rican government will not tax you on the profit from the future sale of your beachfront property as long as this is not undertaken as a means of business. You would be obligated to pay taxes on any “declared” earnings being brought back to your country of citizenship.

2. Who pays the sales commission?

The most commune way is that the vendor, seller or owner pays the commission to the Realtor or Broker at closing. The Buyer or Purchaser does not have to pay any commission when buying beachfront property in Jaco Beach, unless they specifically agreed to do so.

3. Can you have the title of property in my own name?

The decision to have the property that you are buying in Jaco Beach in your own personal name or in the name of a corporation is strictly up to the investor. To put it in the name of a corporation is very common and easy, it can offer benefits of asset protection and anonymity forthe actual owner. A valid passport for three representatives (president, vice president and treasurer-all can be foreigners) is the only requirement for a foreigner to form a corporation in Costa Rica; the cost is arround US$600.

4. How can you ensure that you have clear title to the property?

It is important that you or your attorney take the necessary steps in order to beachfront properly register the property, and more importantly, be assured that the property in question is free of all liens and encumbrances before buying beachfront property in Jaco Beach. The Registro de la Propiedad (Property Registry) located in San Jose – Zapote, where allbeachfront property documents are recorded, thus a title search at the Registry would confirm good title and proper ownership. In the event that adjustments were made to any given title, these alterations must be recorded at the Registry. The Public Registry report (informe registral) provides detailed information on the beachfront property, including the name of the title holder, boundary lines, tax appraisal, liens, mortgages, recorded easements, and other recorded instruments that would affect title. The arrival of Stewart Title Guarantee further ensures that your purchase can be fully secured.

5. Can you as a foreigner buy and own property in Costa Rica?

Ownership of Real Estate in Jaco Beach by foreigners is fully guaranteed by the constitution. In addition, foreigners enjoy the same ownership rights as Cost Rican citizens, regardless of whether the beachfront property is placed in the name of a corporation or in the name of an individual.

6. Do you need to have a residency to purchase a property?

No, it is not necessary to have a residency to be able to buy beachfront property in Jaco Beach. You can buy with your tourist status. Living here is another matter, as a foreigner and tourist you have to leave the country for 72 hours once every 3 months in order to renew your legal status in Costa Rica. Some of the foreigners without residency enjoy travelling and are visiting Nicaragua or Panama for a couple of days or discover more of Central America in order to renew their visa.

There are many forms of residency available, we can help you to contact an attorney who can assist you in determining what residency status would work for you. If you plan on living in Jaco Beach year round, you will find it easier if you have legal residency.

7. How can you get a residency in Costa Rica?

There are several ways to get a residency with a different status like Pensionado, Rentista or Inversionista. It depends on your individual situation; we recommend consulting a lawyer regarding the residency in Costa Rica.

8. What are the regulations at beachfront properties?

When buying beachfront property located on Jaco Beach, you should be aware of the following: building a home adjoining beach areas falls under a category known as the Maritime Zone Law, the first 200 meters of land measured from the high tide line. The first 50 meters from the mean high tide mark cannot legally be built on by anybody, as it is public beach. From that point, the next 200 meters is subject to the Maritime Zone Law (Concession), unless the beachfront property is registered prior to 1973, in which case it has full title and can be transferred as such and called titled to the 50 meter line.

9. What does “concession property” mean?

Concession, which is in effect a lease from the government and local municipality, must be approved by the I.C.T (Tourism Institute) and normally run for a period of 20 years. At the moment of expiration, concessions can be renewed for a similar period of time.

To legally lease concession beachfront property, the property must be subjected to a “Plano Regulador” (a type of zoning and approval plan). It is also required that you have a Costa Rican partner that owns part of the company that obtains it. A Costa Rican citizen is required to hold at least 51% of the corporation until the lease-concession is granted by the government. Most importantly, keep in mind that when you buy concession beachfront property you do not actually acquire title to the land, but rather the right to utilize it for a specified period of time.

10. What does it mean “titled to the 50 meter line”?

An exception to the concession beachfront properties located inside the Maritime Zone is when the property was registered prior to 1973, in which case it has full title and can be transferred as such. This is a rare opportunity because of 100% ownership like any other beachfront properties outside the Maritime zone. No concession property can be converted to titled beachfront property.

11. Building vs. Buying an existing home?

Well, building is not easy, no matter where you are in the world. It is much easier to buy beachfront property already established, you know what you are buying. Costa Rica changed a lot within the past few years in terms of availability of good quality construction materials, reputable contractors and construction companies especially in more remote areas like on the beaches. An existing structure or an older home might not provide what is possible today. Let’s put it this way, if you can’t find what you are looking for out of the existing possibilities or you have to make too many compromises, we recommend that you think about building.

Fortunately, in Costa Rica jaco Beach there is a defined process through which an intelligent buyer and builder should proceed. In addition, there is a licensing body for architects and engineers, which also sets standards for fees should you decide to build.

12. How much are building costs for a private home?

The building costs are estimated per square meter and range between US$500 to US$1000 (and up) for a closed, good quality construction. This will include the walls, floors windows, doors, roof, electric and plumbing. Excluding furniture, appliances and landscaping. These costs depend on the type and price of material you use, construction style, the contractor you are using and the soil, the location and the area.

13. How do you find a reputable builder or contractor?

ABC Jaco Beach Real Estate in Costa rica can assist you in finding a reputable architect engineer or contractor. Based on our experience you will find easily the right company or person. You will make the final decision on the examples we have showed you, depending the style you like and the one you would like to work with.

14. Who takes care of my property while You’re away?

This is a good question and is often asked after buying property in Costa Rica. If you have not bought a property within a complex like a condominium or gated community with administration on site, we recommend that you hire a caretaker, especially if it is a larger piece of vacant land and in more remote areas.