The "Concession" and "Right of Possession" are the two most common and intricate zones in Costa Rica. Please make sure you understand them fully before purchasing anything in the Maritime Zone. Other zones in Costa Rica are properties which include "Environmentally Sensitive" areas. Some areas within a property are declared by the Government to be "Protected" and no destruction of land or buildings can come within a certain distance (the distance is determined on a per/property basis).
Also, if there any type of running water exists on the property; know that you cannot build within 15 meters from either side. Too, there are certain trees that exist here that are protected, such as the Pochete tree. These trees are very important to the ecology of Costa Rica and cannot be molested or destroyed for any reason. Property taxes are another detail that you should be acquainted with before purchasing property.
Taxes and Fees
Property taxes are low and you should request, from the seller, the certificate issued by the local government assuring there are no taxes due on the property. Taxes are established by law and are determined by the size, location, value of the property and can be paid annually or quarterly. Also, the property is acquired by a public deed or escritura publica that is issued by the attorney and Notary Public who is responsible in handling the closing on the property and registering the sale in the Public Registry. Closing costs are also common but minimal. Closing costs are approximately 4-5% of the total purchase price and include attorney/notary fees, property transfer fees and legal stamps. If the buyer would like additional assurances of the property purchased, you can retain the services of Stewart Title, world renowned company, and purchase a title guarantee.
Costa Rica is an unbelievable place and we realize that different people are attracted to it for different reasons but we think most will agree that it is the abundant nature and ecology that originally attracts us. The Government of Costa Rica understands the importance of protecting their natural environment and has established these guidelines to control the ever-increasing interests and developments in this country. The information above is to educate those interested in becoming a part of this beautiful country and, in no way, should the ideas of "Zones" and restrictions be viewed as a burden or a hindrance to the buying process. You can buy property and build a personal paradise in Costa Rica and still exist, harmoniously, with the nature around you. This is the desired, end result of a Real Estate sale and, for that, we are proud to be part of the process.