SIR Costa Rica Blog

Steps for buying your first home


Of the many doors opened during a lifetime, there is only one you have to make always sure is the correct one: your new house front door.

In other areas, you can commit mistakes and learn, but when it comes to planning to buy your first home, it’s better to avoid wrong steps that could cause a considerable waste of time, effort and money.

To find the ideal house is like to find a couple. No matter how much in love you are, it is not an easy lightly decision and you must analyze relevant collateral aspects.

While buying a house you have to take into account amenities, location, security, taxes, procedures, and commissions.

In order to avoid possible headaches, in today’s blog post we will share some valuable tips regarding the process of buying your first property in Costa Rica.

Be clear in what you want

With a clear goal in mind, you must previously imagine and view what you want, according to your desired lifestyle.

Ask yourself this type of questions:

  • Where would you like to live?
  • When would you move in?
  • Do you prefer a house or an apartment?
  • Alone or accompanied?
  • How much space do you need?
  • With or without green areas?
  • Near your workplace?
  • What is the budget you have?

The more questions you ask, the better. Thus you can build a vivid and detailed image of what you are looking for in this new life stage.

It is not the same to say “I want a house” that “I want to live in a four-room house, with a garage for two cars, a green area, and a supermarket just around the corner.” Be specific.

Measure your budget

Experts recommend to pay with money savings at least 20% of the total cost and not to spend more than 35% of the net salary (after taxes) in the mortgage payment, so home´s basic and unforeseen expenses don’t get affected.

Other related questions:

  • How much is your budget?
  • Do you have your own funds or do you need to ask for a mortgage?
  • Do you have enough for the down payment?
  • How much do you need to be financed?

The answers to these and other economic questions will be your starting point to a successful buying plan for your new house in Costa Rica.

According to the Costa Rican Banking Association, in case you need a mortgage loan, you must ensure that it is in the same currency as your incomes and analyze carefully your real payment capacity.

Remember that it is not only the money you can pay for the house but also other associated expenses such as security, taxes, legal procedures, repairs, inspections, among others.

Without forgetting monthly basic services: electricity, water, internet, and cable TV. All of these must be included for avoiding suddenly not foreseen increases in your budget plan.

Feel safe

Few factors weigh heavier in your first house purchase decision than security.

In our society, there is nothing better than living in a peaceful home and neighborhood, no matter if you need to pay a bit more to feel safe.

How to make sure that your future first home meets this requirement?

Investigate and watch the environment, walk around it, talk with neighbors and even the guards.

Find out if they have 24-7 private security if neighbors have their own local security committee and if there is a nearby police station.

Strategic location

There is no perfect strategic location for your first home in Costa Rica. This will depend on your lifestyle, hobbies, obligations, and the places you visit.

While some prefer to live in the middle of the busy downtown area, others prefer something more private and silent.

Now, if you want to mix both characteristics, we recommend an exclusive apartment in the Roble Jaboncillos condominium.

A few meters far from mall La Paco, in Escazu, this is the ideal place for those who want to be close to everything, but in a more intimate environment and surrounded by lush vegetation.

Exclusive Apartment Roble Jaboncillos

Besides transmitting a lot of peace, the apartment impresses with its double height skies, large windows, robustness, and San Jose views.

Another project that stands out for its excellent and central location is the apartament Vive La Sabana, in Rohrmoser and Sabana, which provides quick access to important areas such as Circunvalacion, Route 1, and San Jose downtown.

It’s an elegant one-bedroom apartment, 1.5. bathrooms, office, large living, and dining spaces, a big kitchen, and parking. It also has a heated pool, clubhouse, meeting room, lobby, reception, fully equipped gym and a rooftop with the best city views, as well as direct access to the Nunciatura Park where you can practice different outdoor activities.

Vive La Sabana, Nunciatura, Rohrmoser, San Jose, Costa Rica

Both properties not only offer a relaxed and natural environment in the middle of the city but also fulfills some of the main features customers look for in terms of strategic location: comfort, accessibility, and security.

Take expert advice

There is a famous phrase that says: “If you walk alone, you will arrive faster; if you walk accompanied you will go further”. And since we know that hurry is not a good ally in real estate affairs, we suggest looking for the guidance of an expert real estate consultant.

He will advise you about the best areas to consider while buying your first house, main aspects to think about and contacts with the bank executives, among others.

It is practically impossible to cover all the possibilities offered by the market. Therefore, is wiser to rely on a professional to have more security regarding offer and properties characteristics, construction quality, soil study, structural design, etc.

This expert must have a recognized career and help you out during all the process, since the property’s search until closing costs negotiation.

Ask about his local experience and availability to show you options and answer questions. Do not forget to set contract terms and fees.

Apply all the tips of this article and find a reliable advisor from Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty’s team and, we are sure the searching process will be much easier and very soon you will be achieving one of the most important goals in anyone’s life: buy your first home in Costa Rica. Enjoy it!

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Costa Rica’s pristine beaches, beautiful nature and thriving local economy have driven many people to call Costa Rica their second home. The country has thrived in recent years and owning a home in Costa Rica is an affordable luxury. More than 20,000 U.S. expatriates already live in Costa Rica. The wide range of scenic landscapes and microclimates make Costa Rica a dream for people looking for a vacation home. Covering 51,000 scenic square kilometers, Costa Rica is a safe place to call home. There is a low incidence of violent crime. Outside the capital city thereisn’t much crime of any kind. It is a country with amazing people, a high standard of living, and an exciting blend of local and foreign cultures.