Santa Cruz Real Estate

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Welcome to Monte Alto Real Estate. As the former project has ended and all the lots have been sold, we are focusing on a new area located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Santa Cruz Real Estate is the new theme and if you are looking for the best real estate listings, please feel free to contact us to

Why You Should Get Property in Costa Rica

  1. "The Best Weather In The World"
    White sand beaches, tropical jungle, lush cloud forests, temperate valleys, and modern downtowns--Costa Rica has it all. And over 1/3 of the country is permanently protected in national parks, beaches, and forests.

    Costa Rica offers everything from cool to hot climates, with the Central Valley region (including Cartago) consistently in the mid 70s. If you want to go somewhere a little warmer or cooler, all you need to do is go a few kilometers either up or downhill. It's no wonder that National Geographic magazine says the country "has the best weather in the world."

  2. "Pura Vida"
    The national phrase means "pure life," or more generally speaking life free from stress and fighting. Costa Rica is Latin America's longest running democracy, and was the first country in the world to abolish it's military, investing instead in a quality national health system that can cheaply accommodate foreign residents.

    Costa Rican people are famous for their relaxed, friendly demeanor, and visitors from the US will find it easy to make friends both within the large expatriate community and with Costa Ricans from all social backgrounds and regions.

  3. A Thriving Ex pat Community
    Over 10,000 Americans and Canadians live in Costa Rica, in addition to smaller numbers of Europeans and Asians. Expatriates are concentrated mostly in wealthier suburbs of the capital and around beach towns.

    Due to the stable and diverse nature of this community, many helpful institutions have sprung up to meet ex pats needs:
  4. A Great Investment
     The price of real estate in Costa Rica is predicted to keep rising throughout the next decade. The huge number of retiring baby boomers who want to find cheap and exotic retirement destinations will most likely push the value of quality Costa Rican properties to previously unimaginable heights.

    Not all properties will benefit from this boom, however. Only quality properties in safe and "foreigner-friendly" neighborhoods are set to truly explode. Visit... for information on just such a community, conveniently located in tranquil Cartago, close to the metropolitan area but away from it's undesirable parts.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Costa Rican Property

  1. Not Working With Reputable Real Estate Companies / Developers
    Unfortunately, there is no licensing body or government regulation of the real estate industry in Costa Rica, while there are plenty of unscrupulous freelancers who hope to make huge profits off new buyers naivety.

    Big US companies like Remax and Century 21 offer security, but charge commissions well above what local Costa Rican experts expect. There is no Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Costa Rica so working with knowledgeable locals is ideal.

  2. Failing to Check All the Paperwork
    All Costa Rican property has two documents that must be registered with the Registro Publico, and all properties need to be checked there.

    The first is the escritura, which is the title document that describes how the property in words; the second is the catastro map, which is a topographic map of the property kept on file. One problem that commonly arises is that the "escritura" may not correspond with either the catastro or a physical survey of the property.

    Such a discrepancy is due to the fact that when a transfer of property takes place, the transaction may not have been recorded on the catastro, since a change in one does not automatically require a change in the other.

    It should also not be assumed that the catastro map accurately depicts the property itself. It is therefore often necessary that an independent topographical study be conducted in order to verify the property boundaries. Any discrepancies within the two legal documents and the land itself must be resolved before purchasing.

    Always obtain a copy of the tax receipt (impuesto territorial) proving that all taxes and registration fees are paid as of the date of purchase, and to negotiate in the contract sufficient funds to pay all necessary taxes and registration fees, including notary fees.

    Remember also that the first 50 meters in from the coast are public beaches on which absolutely no construction may take place or any concession be granted. The remaining 150 meters may be developed via special "concessions" that are granted by the governing municipality.

    All legal and paperwork issues can be taken care of for you if you purchase from a reliable developer, like Adriana M.B. in Cartago.

  3. Leaving Your Property Uncared For
    If it's obvious that your Costa Rican home has been unoccupied for a long time, robbery becomes a concern. Also, in less developed areas, squatters might take up residence on your land, and while it's your legal right to have them removed, legal protections make it very difficult and time-consuming to do so.

    The first phase is the eviction of squatters during the first three months of occupation. Theoretically, one need only alert the local police, who are then obliged to evict the squatters. The second phase is after the initial three months of occupation but before one year. If squatters are "allowed" to squat on property for this duration of time, one must go to the courts and start the lengthy process of "administrative eviction."

    A permanent caretaker can protect your property against both theft and squatter problems. Another option is to purchase property in a good subdivision, or residential in Spanish.

    Our MonteAltoRealEstate in Cartago is a great example.

  4. Isolating Yourself
    With so many friendly people and ex pat and local interest groups around, it seems hard to believe that people in Costa Rica could get too lonely.

    However, the stress that comes from moving to a new country can be worse if you don't speak Spanish, don't make an effort to get to know new people, or live in an area far away from other ex pats and from the cosmopolitan central valley.

    We recommend you stay up-to-date by checking out media that caters to the English-speaking community here, like:

Fun Facts About Life in Costa Rica

by Leaf Marin
Ticos often give coffee to babies and kids.  
Most fast food restaurants do home delivery.  
A lot of Costa Ricans carry around machetes. Out here they are the equivalent to duck tape and used for everything so don't worry!  
Nearly all Catholic churches here face the West. This is very handy as directions in Costa Rica are usually given in terms of cardinal directions, like "100 meters east of the university."
Speaking of which, there are usually no street names in Costa Rica so people get used to give directions in relation to landmarks. In rural areas this gets cute, as people will describe their official, legal direction in ways like "pink house just north of the big tree," or even "200 meters south of where the cow is tied up."
At 7am every morning, all Costa Rican radio stations play the National Anthem, and many play it again at night.  
Younger males often pepper their speech with the word "mae," which is derived from a word for "stupid." A typical statement might be, "Mae, mira que estos maes estan jodiendo mae." Literally, "Stupid, look how these stupid guys are bothering people, stupid."  
Great Costa Rican food includes gallo pinto ("painted rooster"), which is rice mixed with black beans and often eggs, it is also known as "Burra" in Puntarenas and Guanacaste; Olla de Carne, which is beef and rice in a delicious broth with many kinds of exotic root vegetables, and chorreadas, or sweet corn pancakes with sour cream. pinto, olla carne, chorreadas.  
While people often complain about the dilapidated appearance of the public transportation and health systems, buses and hospitals here definetly get the job done, and are well above the quality to be found in surrounding countries.  
Most costa rican adults under 30 use the internet, and over 50,000 Costa Rican people use the social networking site alone.  
The National Learning Institute (INA) provides free classes in all kinds of job skills to Costa Rican people, and many other organizations exist (with names like IMAS or INS) to offer social welfare help to poor people here. Somehow, the country manages to do this while still maintaining taxes at a much lower rates than the US!  
Every town has it's own plaza, or little park, in front of a catholic church. Bigger cities have many such parks, and in most towns a soccer field is close by.  
The government hopes to make English a "national second language," as in European countries, and already over 100,000 Costa Ricans work in jobs, like hotels or tech support call centers, where English is the main countries language in use.  
There is in fact a whole region of Costa Rica, the Atlantic province Limon, where English is common, thanks to the Jamaican ancestors of many Limonenses who settled there to work on the railroad and banana plantations. There are also large numbers of nicaraguan immigrants to the country, and smaller populations of colombians, dominicans, and others.  
The preferred music of older Costa Ricans is cumbia, whiled younger Costa Ricans often prefer reggaeton dance tunes, although there are a great variety of tastes represented.  
Costa Ricans have a fondness for 80s action movies, and films by chuck norris, jean claude van damme and others make frequent appearances on local tv stations.  
Traditional ice creams come in interesting flavors like wild blackberry, peanut, coconut, green mango, and even sour cream.  
On Costa Rica's various patriotic days, young schoolboys dress up with traditional hats and shirts, red scarves, and painted on mustaches, while little girls sport traditional braids and colored skirts. Oxen are also featured prominently.  
Costa Rica ranks at the top of lists of the world's best surfing, sports-fishing, and dive spots, but also has great mountain hiking.