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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Why You Should Get Property in Costa Rica
"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
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 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.
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:
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
Not Working With Reputable Real Estate Companies /
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.
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
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.
Leaving Your Property Uncared For
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
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.
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
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:
A lot of Costa Ricans carry around machetes. Out
here they are the equivalent to duck tape and used for everything so
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,
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
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 hi5.com alone.
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