Researching the Property
Real estate in Costa Rica is big business. Therefore, listings for properties that are on the market are readily available in countless magazines and in newspapers, like The Tico Times. You can also learn about real estate opportunities by word of mouth, so keep your ears open. The safest strategy, however, is to hire a real estate broker. They will have information not only on what is available, but can also help with the complex registration process (taxes, stamp duties, etc.), and can give you the most complete range of options with financing your purchase.
Once you have found the property you think you want to buy, have your lawyer conduct a title search in the Registry of Property at the Registro Publico. This will provide you with all of the important data about the property pertinent to its sale. In particular, it will disclose the registered owner (private or corporate), the area of the property, whatever additional terms of purchase that exist according to the owner, and, most importantly, the land's legal burdens and annotation. The legal burdens are inscriptions on the property; namely, mortgages, legal demands, embargoes or sequestration. Other burdens that can be attached to a property are water rights, rights of way, and rights that pertain to any common or private roads. Annotations are documents relevant to the property that are presented to the Registry to be registered.