Buying your retirement home in Costa Rica

Published:  1 Feb at 6 PM
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Popular with expat retirees from the USA for decades, the charms of Costa Rica are now being appreciated by an increasing number of retirees from the UK and Europe.

Purchasing a new home is always an exciting project, especially if it’s in a new, fascinating country. Costa Rica is one of those destinations expats fall in love with on their first visit, often ending up living there in retirement as a result. The first thing to remember is not to act impulsively as buying a new home is also an important investment, especially if it’s in an unfamiliar location.

Real estate here is far,far cheaper than in the USA, UK and elsewhere in Europe’s major regions, but getting carried away due to price isn’t the best way to approach any property purchase. Although the country is economically and politically stable and has good, affordable healthcare, buying a home is still subject to all the usual pitfalls, the first being it’s unwise to do it on your own. Choosing a real estate agent who’s fully qualified and highly recommended, preferably by your embassy, is a must, and using the seller’s lawyer is a ‘must not’, as is dealing directly with a developer unless you’re prepared to risk getting scammed.

Once you’ve viewed and fallen in love with your new home and its perfect location, you’ll need to check out every aspect of the property. Taking a home inspector with you is best, as professionals can see beyond décor and amazing views to the construction itself. Drainage systems, blueprints, electrical installations, possible leaks during Costa Rica’s heavy rains, guarantees and even the likelihood of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions all need investigation and consideration, especially the last two! If you’re looking at buying a rural property, it might also be an idea to enquire about the non-human occupants of any nearby patches of jungle.
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