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object CMS Purchasing Real Estate In Costa Rica Part 1
Purchasing Real Estate In Costa Rica Part 1: Property Rights & Types
Like in most modern countries, there is a variety of Property Types associated with Costa Rica real estate for sale. The legalities of ownership differ by each Property Type.

Fee Simple Ownership: Fee Simple Ownership is the most basic and popular type of ownership, legally applying to both foreigners and natives of Costa Rica. Fee Simple Ownership gives the purchaser the right to do as they please with the Costa Rica real estate property - use, enjoy, sell, lease, rent, improve, etc. Basically, the property is materially yours - do whatever you like with it. Purchasers must pay for a Fee Simple Title to obtain these rights. In order to purchase a Fee Simple Title, the Costa Rica real estate property must be at least 200 meters inland from the coast. The first 50 meters of coastline, starting at the high-tide line, is officially labeled the “Inalienable Zone”. Any land in this 50 meter coastline strip is considered un-purchasable, un-rentable, un-leasable, etc - it is ‘Public Property’. Concession Property: Concession Property, located in the “Maritime Zone”, makes up the other 150 meters of coastline property. Any land or real estate in Costa Rica that is more than 50 meters, but less than 200 meters, from the coastline falls into this category, with 95% of the property within this region of Costa Rica. deemed Concession Property, therefore subject to the Maritime Zone Law and other specifications. Costa Rica defines concession as ‘the right to use and enjoy a specific property located on the maritime zone for a pre-determined period of time’. Concession Property may not be purchased outright, but may be leased. These long-term, renewable leases typically range from $1 to $2 per frontage meter, per year, with leases commonly granted for a 20 year period. For example, a 200 frontage meter purchase, at $2 per year for 20 years equals a one-time payment of $8,000. The leased Costa Rica property owner has the right to build, subdivide or improve upon the property however they see fit, though the appropriate permits must be acquired from the local municipality. Ownership Limitations: Unfortunately, when it comes to Concession Property, foreigners do not have the same rights as native residents. Foreigners may not be the majority owner of a Concession Property. They may, however enter into partnership with a citizen of Costa Rica, so long as the ownership is at least 49%/51%, in favor of the legal citizen. If a foreigner maintains residency in Costa Rica for at least 5 years, this law is waved, allowing the foreigner to own Concession Property. Condominium Law: Many people, Americans especially, tend to think of ‘Condominiums’ as upscale apartment complexes, however in Costa Rica, the term Condominium applies more to any multiple-family housing complex designed to house single families in separate units. Ownership of ‘Condominium’ property is considered Fee Simple, with a few added restrictions to be laid out by the developer. Condominium laws are generally designed to protect the “look and feel” of a

project. Developers use these laws to set architectural guidelines for the purchasers of each condo. When purchasing a condo in Costa Rica, the buyer should be advised to obtain a copy of the “Condominium Law” (as set forth by the developer), from the developer, long before an acquisition is made. This will inform the potential purchaser of any architectural restrictions they may encounter. For example, a condo owner may not be allowed to change the landscape of his/her lawn. In the same token, the purchaser may be partly responsible for a portion of the development’s landscaping fee. The purchaser may be restricted from building a fence or planting trees, etc. Untitled Property: Untitled property can be found throughout Costa Rica, and is Not Recommend For Purchase. An Untitled Propertyis one that has no ownership recorded at the Public Registry of Properties. This means it cannot be proven who actually owns the property. Some of these properties has never held residency, while others have maintained occupants for many years. It is possible for someone to attempt to sell an Untitled Property, since no one can rightly claim they own it . However, it is possible for anyone to claim true ownership after another has sold the property, resulting in an enormous amount of red tape. In short, Never Purchase Untitled Property! Time Share: Though uncommon in Costa Rica, Time Share Resorts can be found, allowing purchasers to acquire time in a property, rather than the actual property. To acquire a Time Share is to purchase a certain amount of weeks, calendar specific, in which the purchaser may live in/on the property. Costa Rica laws on Time Share properties are the same as Condominium Law’. Proceed to Purchasing Real Estate in Costa Rica Part 2 - Purchasing Procedures

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