How To Purchase A Farm For Sale Costa Rica

Five Questions About Purchase Process!

Have you been thinking of purchasing a farm for sale in Costa Rica but are confused about the purchase process?

The most common concerns many foreign real estate buyers highlight are related to legal requirements, niche terminologies, and common pitfalls in the real estate investment industry of Costa Rica.

Don’t worry about the complications and highs & lows of Costa Rican real estate investments. The purchase process of buying a farm for sale in Costa Rica is not as difficult as you think. Be with us to find out the right way to purchase a farm for sale in Costa Rica with maximum safety.

We will discuss the purchase process and the most critical questions to address before you are in the playground to make a purchase.

The Purchase Process Of Farm For Sale Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a Central American country rich in biodiversity, natural landscapes, and various biomes. Therefore, you can find different types of the farm for sale in Costa Rica, ranging from residential to commercial and agricultural farms.

The country offers the right to foreign citizens to be the owner of land just as the local residents. However, some technicalities are important to address, but the purchase process remains the same. Before we move on to technicalities, let’s discuss the purchase process.

Once you have found a farm for sale in Costa Rica that you’re interested in, here is the process you have to follow.

Farm For Sale Costa Rica

a.Have An Attorney or Title Company To Perform Title Search

The first thing you will do to buy farm property for sale in Costa Rica is to find a legal representative to represent you. Afterwards, you will have a Title Company or Notary Public to perform the Title Search. Title Search is the process of reviewing the property for any defects, uncleared charges, mortgages, easements, or any liens related to the property.

b. Signing Option To Purchase Farmland  for sale Costa Rica

Once cleared by the Title Company or Notary Public, the next step is the signing option to purchase a farm for sale in Costa Rica by the owner of the land. After signing the purchase option, you will have to deposit funds into escrow as a down payment to reserve the property.

c. Review All The Necessary Documents

The Title Company has performed the Title Search.  After that, make sure that your lawyer or Title company represents all the farm property documents for sale in Costa Rica. The documents include the property plan, annual property taxes paid in full, a letter of water availability, and the statement showing purposes for which the property can be used.

d.      Purchase Deed/Transfer Deed By Public Notary

The Notary Public will draft the purchase deed or transfer deed for the legal formalities and logging the property in the legal protocol book.

e. Closing The Deal

The final step is closing the deal by executing transfer deed, endorsing mortgage deed, etc. The closing costs are shared when buying a farm for sale in Costa Rica by the owner(seller) and the buyer.

f. Registry Of New Owner

Your property will be registered in National Public Registry with your name.

Most Critical Questions To Answer About Farm For Sale Costa Rica

The purchase process looks complicated when you look at it. However, if you have all the questions answered about purchasing a farm for sale in Costa Rica, the process becomes easy. After answering questions, you can buy any land in Costa Rica. Be it farm for sale San Jose Costa Rica, or farm Costa Rica in Puerto Limon.

Let’s answer the questions.

1. What are the different types of property possessions for a farm for sale in Costa Rica?

Regardless of the type of farm for sale in Costa Rica you want to purchase, there are different ways to own the property. It is important to understand the types of properties you can purchase in Costa Rica. The following are main types of properties and implications for owners:

Fee Simple

Fee simple is the most popular and comprehensive way of property ownership of a farm for sale in Costa Rica. The government allows foreign citizens to purchase property in Costa Rica in the same way as residents. Therefore, if you are a foreign citizen, you can also purchase a farm for sale in Costa Rica by Fee Simple.

Fee Simple gives the property owner the following absolute rights: material ownership of property, right to use it, sell it, lease it, transform or improve it, and utilize it as per rules of Costa Rica. In short, by Fee Simple Title, the property owner can use the property in any way as allowed by the law.

Concession Property and the Maritime Zone Law

Beachfront property or concession property is governed by Maritime Zone Law or related regulations of Costa Rica. 95% of the total beachfront property in the country is concession property. Therefore, the Maritime Zone Law defines the conditions when a foreign citizen can own a farm for sale in Costa Rica in each property zone. They have defined the following areas:

  1. Public Area

Fifty meters horizontally from the high tide line comes under the public area. No one, resident or foreigner, can own the property in the first 50 meters. Besides, the government also does not allow commercial development other than approved by the government.

  1. Restricted/Concession Area

Concession is a ‘lease’ that applies to the next 150 meters after the public area. The government authorities grant concessions for 20 years or more usually. The concession owner has the right to build property, subdivide it, or perform other actions as allowed under municipality rules.

Ownership Limitations

The foreign citizens have certain ownership limitations when buying a farm for sale in concession areas. Unfortunately, they do not enjoy the same rights as the residents. A foreigner looking to buy farmland for sale in Costa Rica must partner with a local citizen to have ownership. The foreigner can not have owned more than 49%. It clearly means that a foreigner can be only a minor partner in the concession zone.

Properties in Condominium

The idea of a condominium in your mind can be of a large apartment or townhouse. Condominium Law in Costa Rica regulates the development of different properties in Costa Rica. It includes single-family residences, finished lot projects, condos, etc. therefore, each condominium development project has its own laws, limitations, and privileges for the people interested in buying property in such project. The type of title granted is Fee Simple, but there are certain limitations.

The rights of owners regarding the use of property are different in Condominiums as compared to Fee Simple.

Untitled Property

Not every farm for sale in Costa Rica is recorded at the Public Registry of Properties. A property or farm for sale in Costa Rica might have remained with a family’s inhabitants for years and generations. They might be living in the property and have separated it from other neighbouring properties. However, it will remain untitled(no owner) until it is registered at the Public Registry of Properties. You must avoid purchasing such a farm for sale because there will be a lot of additional costs and complications.


Timeshare works like leasing the property. The owner has the right to use the property for certain weeks of a year. The rights in the time-share title are similar to that of condominium regulations. However, the difference is that owners can exercise rights only in certain weeks of a year.

2. What are different ways you can adopt to purchase a farm for sale in Costa Rica?

You can become the owner of a farm for sale in Costa Rica by two methods in Costa Rica.

Acquiring Properties Through Direct Transfer

A direct transfer is a purchasing methodology where one or more physical individuals are involved in acquiring the property. In other words, the property is transferred in the personal name of the individual.

Acquiring Properties Through Corporations

Most people intending to buy a farm for sale in Costa Rica adopt a corporation method. The property buyer creates a corporation and the title is transferred from the existing corporation to the new corporation. The process requires a trustworthy and expert attorney to carry on the legal formalities as per the legal protocols and procedures.

The corporation’s method of buying a farm for sale is more favourable and secure. The buyer has the option to acquire an existing corporation’s shares without changing the name of the owner. Otherwise, you can form a new corporation to transfer the ownership. In the first case, you will not have to pay any government taxes and stamps payable because ownership is not changed. However, if you choose to create a new corporation, paying taxes and stamps is necessary.

As a buyer, you must be vigilant to review the corporation’s liabilities or disputes before acquiring it.

3. What is a Conveyance deed?

Transfer or conveyance deed, escritura da trespass, is a document containing all the property transfer details. It includes information of the buyer, seller, terms of sale, special terms, property details, etc. The Notary Public or attorney drafts the transfer deed and also record it in his Notary book. The conveyance deed is also recorded for logging in the Public Registry of Property.

After preparing the deed, the attorney has to record it immediately in the Public Registry. It has two steps. Firstly, the notary public presents the conveyance deed to the public registry to protect against third-party claims. The second step is to register the property in the name of the owner.

4. What is ‘folio real’?

Folio Real is the social security number of all properties registered in the Public Registry of the Properties. This unique number indicates province, property number, and a number of co-owners of the property. In Costa Rica, all the titled properties must possess Folio Real so you can check when planning to buy a farm for sale in Costa Rica.

5. What are the different fees while purchasing a farm for sale in Costa Rica?

When you are going to buy a farm for sale in Costa Rica, the following fees will be paid during the process:

Transfer Taxes, Stamps, etc

You will pay 1.5% of the purchase price as government transfer tax and another 1% for stamps.

Survey Fees

The property buyer pays the survey fees if he requests a new survey for the property and qualifies. The fee amount depends on the size and location of the property.

Notary Fees

1.25% or purchase price is the notary’s legal fees.

Mortgage Registration Fees

If you apply for a mortgage to purchase a farm for sale, 0.6% of the mortgage value is paid as a mortgage fee.


If you adopt the corporation method of purchasing property in Costa Rica, the incorporation fee of 500 to 1000 USD is paid.

6. Why is Title Guaranty recommended when buying a farm for sale in Costa Rica?

Title Guaranty is a way of protecting your property, and it works like life insurance of your property. We will define Title guaranty as a guaranty that no liens, encumbrances, or other restrictions will limit your rights to use the property for lawful purposes freely.

The title guaranty provides the following protections to property owner:

  1. You are protected against monetary losses from hidden ownership claims that might arise against the property title in the future.
  2. It also protects you against the payment of any legal expenses for protecting your title claims in court.
  3. It also provides payment for valid claims against your property tile up to the amount of Title Guaranty.

You can get Title Guaranty for your property to mitigate risks like false identity claims of titles, liens, hidden heirs of property, unregistered property easements, etc.

Final Words

We have answered the most critical questions regarding buying a farm for sale in Costa Rica. If you are fully aware of laws, rules, and procedures, you can purchase land in any part of Costa Rica. It won’t matter if you want to purchase land in Liberia or are interested in the farm for sale in San Jose Costa Rica.