The legal process of buying a home in Costa Rica involves the following steps:

1. Sales Purchase Agreement

Step 1 in the process involves securing the property through a Sales Purchase Agreement (SPA) and using escrow. Escrow, a common mechanism in real estate transactions, safeguards the interests of both the buyer and seller. A neutral third party holds funds and documents until specific conditions are met, ensuring a secure and transparent transaction. This is often an escrow agent or trusted attorney/notary.

2. Legal Due Diligence

In step 2, the buyer performs the legal due diligence. This involves conducting a comprehensive investigation and analysis of the legal aspects and documentation related to the property. A deadline is set for reviewing the property, its title, and its background to ensure proper recording and identify any contingencies. If the property receives a positive result during this diligence, the buyer can proceed to the next step.

3. Title Structure

In step 3 of the legal process of buying a home in Costa Rica, the buyer determines the structure that will be used for owning the title of this property. The buyer can choose to do this on a personal level or through a Costa Rican corporation, which may be ideal in many aspects.

4. Closing

The final step is the closing process, which occurs based on the deadlines specified in the SPA. A notary public conducts the process and facilitates the transfer of the title once both the seller and buyer reach a full agreement on the price and conditions. All other necessary preparations for the transfer must also be completed beforehand.

General content provided by Javier Sauma at Sauma Rossi Law Firm in Costa Rica.

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