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Buy a Costa Rica condo with friends – through a corporation

Most people buying a condo or home in Costa Rica do so through a Costa Rican corporation – and if they own multiple properties, they generally have a separate corporation for each property. Some developers in Costa Rica already have a corporation set up for each lot. Many attorneys have empty corporations ready to transfer.

Buying a Costa Rica condo with friends – just in case you’re not ready to make the whole investment yourself – is much easier through a corporation. No “tenants in common”, here parties buy shares of stock. Is one friend going to use the condo twice as much as the others? They can buy twice the amount of stock.

You and your friends may want to alternate times in the property, or sometimes you may want to go and enjoy it together. If there’s time left over, you may want to rent it out, either through a local company or online or a combination of both.

Many people now want to invest SOME of their assets outside the US, but not as much as would be necessary to buy a property outright, especially if you’re looking for a property with great amenities in a gated community. So – you may want to consider getting together a group of your friends or business colleagues and purchasing it through a Costa Rican corporation.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Further clarification on the Solidary Tax on property in Costa Rica

Written by Yalile Alpizar, President of Costa Rica Leading Estates in San Jose, Costa Rica

Important clarifications and warnings regarding the Solidary Tax (Impuesto Solidario) or tax to luxury homes in Costa Rica

The Solidary Tax includes land and construction values as part of the calculation of the new tax to luxury homes.  After further clarifications with the Ministerio de Hacienda, and differently from what has been said in several articles and interviews from different media, the Solidary Tax includes the value of the land and constructions as part of the calculations of this new tax to luxury homes in Costa Rica.  There has been some general confusion around this issue mainly because people who own vacant land in luxury locations, luxury gated communities and resorts, were also confused if their land (without constructions on it) would be subject to the new tax, but it is not.  On the other hand the Articles 3 and 4 of the law are not clear enough in that respect.  For this reason, the example of how to calculate the luxury tax without including land value, provided in a previous release, is not applicable.

If you own a luxury property in Costa Rica or plan to own one in the future, and the property has or will have constructions for housing purposes on top, it is important that you are aware of the following:  Read the rest of this entry »

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Finding a Costa Rica real estate agent to trust

Buying property in Playa Hermosa Guanacaste Costa Rica

Buying property in Playa Hermosa Guanacaste Costa Rica

It’s always difficult finding a real estate agent you can completely trust and that’s even harder in another country. Added to that, Costa Rica does not have any licensing requirements for real estate agents.

That’s one of the reasons our team goes to Costa Rica and works with agents in different areas of the country, finding those who treat clients like we do, who have the local knowledge and expertise and who put our client’s interests above their own. When we introduce our clients to a vetted colleague in Costa Rica, that agent is doubly accountable – to our client and to us.

This week Mike has successfully closed two more transactions for our clients – one a condo purchase in Colinas Paraiso, and the other a building lot in Monte Paraiso. Both of these are in Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste.  One of our clients was a bit hesitant about working with someone he didn’t know in a country he wasn’t familiar with – here are his comments after meeting Mike:

“I just got back from Costa Rica and I have to tell you that Michael went above and beyond what I could have ever hoped for in an agent. Any concerns I may have originally had about going there and being taken advantage of were quickly dispelled by such a consummate professional.”

Thanks, Mike, for all you do for us and for our clients!

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Costa Rica lot overlooking the Papagayo Peninsula

Lot in gated community in Playa Panama Guanacaste Costa Rica

Lot in gated community in Playa Panama Guanacaste Costa Rica

One of our clients was recently back in Costa Rica. This is the lot they purchased overlooking the Papagayo Peninsula in Guanacaste. This trip was to interview three builders. All were recommended by our professional real estate colleague in Playa Hermosa. It’s really important to get advice from a trusted, knowledgeable local source when you’re doing to build.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Costa Rica isn't all cherries and blue martinis

Enjoy life - and research property

Enjoy life - and research property

This morning (July 29th)  A.M. Costa Rica published an article “Real estate shortcomings are beginning to surface”. Fraudulent land sales in Costa Rica have been around for years – so have land sales in Florida that turned out to be swamp land. Don’t ignore due diligence because you’re enchanted by the surf on the beaches and the unspoiled land and wildlife.

If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica, you’ll recognize the truth in the observation that many developments are just fancy entrance gates and perhaps some roads. Not all developments intent to take advantage of early investors – many have great plans, but don’t have enough sales or enough financing to proceed. Yes, being an early purchaser can get you the greatest rewards due to pre-construction pricing, but that’s because such sales bear the highest risk. Financing, sales, permits, new laws – all these can affect the viability of a project.

There are some great opportunities for buying real estate in Costa Rica – and also some great pitfalls. That’s why we introduce our clients to reputable real estate agents in Costa Rica that we’ve met and vetted. Since real estate agents in Costa Rica don’t need to be licensed it’s important to choose the right one.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Get help buying real estate in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Sunset from Hotel El Valero

Costa Rica Sunset from Hotel El Valero

It’s SO important to use a reputable real estate agent and a reputable attorney when you buy real estate in Costa Rica. You should know from buying real estate in Florida or other parts of the US that it’s what’s in writing that counts as only what’s in writing is enforceable. That’s even more important when you’re buying real estate in Costa Rica or other countries around the world and it’s especially important when you’re buying land or a pre-construction property that has yet to be built or completed.

What if you’re loooking at raw land and you’re told the lot will have a certain view or elevation or building pad? It had better be written in the contract. What if you’re told Read the rest of this entry »

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Costa Rica to raise property taxes on luxury homes

Knowing that low property taxes are one of the attractions of Costa Rica property, we were a bit concerned when we read on our recent trip to Costa Rica that property taxes were going to increase. Putting it in perspective, though, property taxes there at the new rate are still 1/3 of the rates here in Florida.

Below is an explanation from my colleague and friend, Yalile Alpizar, in San Jose. She’s also a fellow member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate.

Yalile Alpizar of Costa Rica Luxury Estates

Yalile Alpizar of Costa Rica Luxury Estates

The Solidary Tax or Impuesto Solidario será recolectado por el Ministerio de Hacienda con base en la siguiente tabla de cálculo
By Yalile Alpizar, President CostaRicaLuxuryEstates  Dated: Jun 26, 2009

Numbers are in millions of colones:
Below 100 exent
above 100 up to 250 0.25%
above 250 up to 500 0.30%
above 500 up to 750 0.35%
above 750 up to 1,000 0.40%
above 1,000 up to 1,250 0.45%
above 1,250 up to 1,500 0.50%
above 1,500 and above 0.55%
The new tax will be applied over a period of ten years starting on July 2009. The income produced by this
tax will be used for erradication of tugurios or shack homes. The government has calculated that there are
approximately 40,000 shack homes in Costa Rica.
Owners will be asked to declare their fiscal value of their property every three years. Values are based on
the value of the constructions and the value of the land is not part of the calculations.
###

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Costa Rica – hedge your land purchase

3 bedroom luxury condominiums at Del Pacifico Costa Rica

3 bedroom luxury condominiums at Del Pacifico Costa Rica

Del Pacifico, a master planned community of 700 acres on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, between Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio, is offering a limited number of single family home sites with not only a money-back guarantee, but with a guaranteed rate of return. The current “jewel” of the central Pacific coast is the Marriott Los Suenos resort – just 20 minutes away is a lower priced alternative that hasn’t yet reached its development potential. If the luxury boutique beachfront hotel and golf course are built at del Pacifico, the value of the lots should go up significantly, in which case you can sell your lot or build on it. If that doesn’t happen, the developers of del Pacifico are offering a special “repurchase option” on a limited number of lots. If you decide not to build yourself or sell during the first 5 years, the developer is agreeing to  repurchase the lot at the end of 5 years for 140% of the initial purchase price! That’s better interest for you than a current CD  and lower interest for the developer than current construction financing. Mountain view lots start at $200,000 and ocean view lots start at $250,000.  Finished condos and single family homes are also available.

Contact The Simms Team at ALVA International, Inc. for more information.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Why Costa Rica? from a buyer's perspective

Vistas del Pacifico pool view over Papagayo Peninsula Costa Rica

Vistas del Pacifico pool view over Papagayo Peninsula Costa Rica

Why buy property in Costa Rica? In addition to a great climate (choose the cool mountains or the warm beaches) year round, beautiful scenery, natural preserved areas and great variety, there are the wonderful Costa Rican people, known as Ticos. In general, Ticos are warm, friendly, and welcoming.

Other reasons include their political stability (they haven’t had an army since the 1940s, instead spending the money on education and health care), high literacy (95%) and good health care. English is widely spoken, and you don’t need to change your money – credit cards and US dollars are widely accepted. Electric appliances don’t need adapters and they drive on the right side of the road.

Many of our buyers want to take some portion of their assets and invest outside of the US, in a non-leveraged country.

There’s no Paradise, no perfection – whether it’s the US or Costa Rica or Bora Bora. Come talk with The Simms Team and we can discuss the pros and cons of buying, visiting or living in Costa Rica.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

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