SEE OUR BEACH FRONT HOMES FOR SALE IN COSTA RICA: JACO BEACH PLAYA HERMOSA PALMS, PU, CR

BUILDERS' INFO FOR THE COSTA RICA JACO-CENTRAL PACIFIC AREA


 

 

           

    Attention Developers:

 The new Caldera Highway (Ruta del Sol) has proven to be a great success in attracting potential purchasers to this section of Costa Rica's Central Pacific area.
And the new tidal wave of active "Baby Boomers" seeking greener pastures outside of the U.S has opened up some exciting opportunities for
developments, large or small to appease this new demand.

Whether it's for a small condo project or a large parcel to divide, 
CR Beach Investment Real Estate believes that now is the time to purchase raw
development land,  because prices are at their lowest.
Its the perfect opportunity to purchase today, save money, and start your permitting preparations for your project in time  for the "Boomers" exodus from the States.
The increased attention to the Costa Rica Central Pacific area will be of great benefit to those that have all their permits in place and marketing materials ready to launch.

Our Developers ResourceCenter has the experience, desire, and insider’s knowledge of the area to help you find the property to develop that meets your needs, (properties also found in our "Land & Lots Listings" and our "Commercial Properties"  sections)   
Keep in mind, we have many more listings than we publicly display.

After your purchase, we then can help you obtain the best support services to achieve your goals, including: 

 Due Diligence Assist ance: 

-                      Municipality Requirements

-                      Pre-Development Due Diligence

-                      Feasibility Study

-          Master Planning

-                      Permitting

-                      Architecture

-                     Construction

-                      National Environmental Permits

-                      Soil Analysis

We will help you find the experts for the Following Studies:

-                      Complete topography study of the area-                     

-                      General Master Plan

-                      Preproject of the Installations

-                      Economic Viability Study

-                      Geologic and Neotectonic Study – Soil Mechanisms

-                      Detailed Hydrogeological Study

-                      Physical Analysis – Chemical Study of Water for Human Consumption

-                      Forestry Inventory

-                      Preliminary Environmental Impact Study

-                      Archeology Evaluation Study

-                      Project Construction Plans

-                      Detailed Budget for the Works

Financial and Strategic Consulting

-                      Financing and Banks

-                      Budget and Cost Management

-                      Equity Financing for Investors

-                      Title and Escrow Services 

 

Complete Real Estate Market Consulting:         

   -                  Analyze development site

      -              Determine maximum market potential

      -           Determine highest attainable price per square meter.     

      -                 Recommend appropriate  development project data:

      -                 Review mixed use options 

      -                 Recommend price scheduling between presales to final phase.

      -                 Recommend design criteria and services for all units.

      -                 Recommend amenities package.

    Define demographic target market:

       -                     Both Foreign and Domestic 2nd home purchasers.

       -                     Foreign and Domestic rental income producer purchasers.

       -                     Foreign and domestic multiple unit purchasers.

       -                     Assist in presale models specifications and conceptual designs

       -                     Recommend unit design specifications, from floor plans to finishes.

       -                      Participate with your recommended professionals including:

       -                      Advertising agencies

       -                      Public relations firms

       -                      Interior designers

       -                      Graphic designers

       -                      Sales office designers

       -                      Exterior, Interior and Landscape architects

       -                     Consult with interior design firms 

       -                   Consult with appliance providers                                   

       -                      Supervise the creation of lot, home and/or condo development sales center

 

Sales & Marketing Strategy:

    -                       Establish sales office offsite and onsite, with minimum 2 person support staff.

    -                       Build and manage in-house sales team

    -                      Train sales staff to handle both foreign and native prospects

    -                      Utilize “easy to understand” sales contracts in English & Spanish

    -                      Develop relationship with Chicago Title, for escrow and title services.                     

    -                      Select various attorneys in San Jose and Jaco to participate with clients.

    -                      Select a financial institution to provide ready financing   

    -                      Formulate comprehensive marketing plan and budget

    -                      Participate in and manage the execution of advertising campaigns

   -                      Design and execute promotions using brochures, flyers, and signage

    -                      Participate and manage website creation and maintenance

    -                      Prepare outside broker campaigns for all Costa Rican agencies

    -                      Develop an international media campaign targeting specific markets

    -                      Determine post sales comfort strategy including rental income management

    -                      Maintain close working relationship with your main office.

Pre-Sales*

CR Beach would help you the determine number and selection of units to be pre-sold to large investors as well as individual purchasers. The majority of foreign purchasers are comfortable only by placing funds in an internationally recognized escrow company such as Chicago Title.
With 10% deposits already in escrow, funds are generally released after the additional 20-30% payment has been made when “ground is broken”.
In 2011 however, potential purchasers are much more cautious than ever before 
about investing in pre-sales, so patience is required.

 

 

 

Dealing with Construction Permits in Costa Rica

Prepared by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, June, 2010
Listed below is detailed summary of the procedures, time and costs to build a structure such as a warehouse —including obtaining necessary licenses and permits, completing required notifications and inspections and obtaining utility connections.  The information appearing on this page was collected as part of the “Doing Business” project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 183 economies.

 

  • Building a warehouse
  • Estimated Warehouse Value: CR Colones 434,687,339 or U.S. $869,374.00
  • City: San José

About This Topic

To see indicator data for all economies, see the Dealing with Construction Permits page.
To see how economies rank, see the
Rankings page.
Key: Buildco is your building company!

 

No.

Procedure

Time to Complete

Associated Costs 500CRC=$1

1

Request and obtain zoning authorization (uso de suelo) from the municipal government

This request can also include a request for property line setbacks to be indicated by the municipal government. New land use policies were approved in April 2006. The greater San Jose metropolitan area includes 31 municipalities. The zoning authorization will be valid for 6 months, or up to 12 months. Many municipal authorities, such as the Belen municipality, do not respect their own land-use regulations when granting the final construction permit.


Agency: Municipal Government

10 days

no charge

* 2

Request and obtain approval from National Environment Technical Secretary

The first step is to obtain approval from the National Environment Technical Secretary (Secretaría Técnica Nacional del Ambiente, SETENA), using two forms (in Spanish) available on SETENA’s Web site (www.minae.go.cr /setena.html).
BuildCo would use Form D-1 which costs anywhere between CRC 1- 1,5 Million ($2000-$3000). The response generally takes 60–90 days. This procedure and the next can be completed simultaneously.

Preparation of EIS is around CRC 8-12,000. But that is done internally by BuildCo.


Agency: National Environment Technical Secretary

60 days

CRC 1,000,000

3

Request and obtain approval of blueprints by College of Architects and Engineers

BuildCo should submit the property survey map and a contract, signed by two members of the College of Architects and Engineers: an electrical engineer and either a civil engineer or an architect. It is preferred to submit at least four blueprint copies. The college has implemented the new American Power Conversion Corporation (APC) system (via the Internet). If the APC submits the approval, the time line is 1 day, if not, it is about 5–8 days.
In 2007, the college encouraged a complete change to digital approval. The approval fee is 0.265% of the project value, plus a fixed fee of CRC 1,500 for two construction log books.


Agency: College of Architects and Engineers

1 day

CRC 1,058,848

4

Request and obtain approval by the health department

The health department approval requires that BuildCo complete the approval request form and present two copies of the blueprints. These must have been pre-approved by the College of Architects and Engineers.


Agency: Health Department

30 days

no charge

5

Request and obtain approval by the water department (Acueductos y Alcantarillados)

BuildCo must complete and submit an approval form to the water department. In turn, the department must verify that the construction project site has a water source.


Agency: Water Department

5 days

no charge

6

Request and obtain approval from fire department (Departamento de Ingenieria)

BuildCo must complete and submit an approval form to the fire department. The department must verify that the construction project site has a fire facility in place.


Agency: Fire Department

20 days

no charge

* 7

Request and obtain workers compensation insurance proof from National Insurance Institute

The National Insurance Institute requires proof that worker compensation insurance has been paid before issuing a building permit. This proof is required to start each new project. In the past, developers were allowed a blanket insurance policy that did not require purchase of insurance for every new project.
In 2007, the institute’s policies have been revised; it now allows a blanket insurance that the developer adjusts, paying the differences annually. But the complexity of the process discourages its use. Most construction companies purchase individual insurance on a case-by-base basis for projects instead of globally for yearly activities. This system will likely change because of private sector complaints.

Insurance premiums are based on the amount of coverage. The cost can be from 4.23% to 5.53% of the coverage amount. The completed form must be presented with copies of the workers’ identification cards or (for underage employees) working permits.


Agency: National Insurance Institute

7 days

no charge

8

Request and obtain construction permit from the municipal government

According to Law 8220, the relevant authorities must respond to a construction permit request in 30 days.
However, on average, it should take 15 days. The construction permit fee is 1% ofproject value.


Agency: Municipal Government

25 days

CRC 3,989,995

9

Receive on-site inspection-I

During construction, inspections occur monthly, though not according to a specific schedule. The inspector may show up randomly to view it and review the construction log book (Bitacora de construccion), which the engineer/architect uses to register entries for each stage of construction. Under Costa Rican law, the engineer is responsible for complying with construction laws and regulations. There is no need to request inspections.


Agency: Municipal Government

1 day

no charge

10

Receive on-site inspection-II

Agency: Municipal Government

1 day

no charge

11

Receive on-site inspection-III

Agency: Municipal Government

1 day

no charge

12

Receive on-site inspection-IV

Agency: Municipal Government

1 day

no charge

13

Receive on-site inspection-V

Agency: Municipal Government

1 day

no charge

14

Receive on-site inspection-VI

Agency: Municipal Government

1 day

no charge

15

Receive on-site inspection-VII

Agency: Municipal Government

1 day

no charge

* 16

Request and obtain telephone connection

To request a telephone connect, BuildCo must complete an application form and present all the required documents, including a copy of the company’s identification card and person area.


Agency: Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)

14 days

CRC 25,000

* 17

Request water connection

After the connection is requested, an inspector from the water department visits the construction site, determines connection requirements, and, on this basis, estimates costs. Sewage connection is not included.
With few centralized sewage connections, most connections are done with an independent septic system or treatment plant.
BuildCo must complete an application form and present all the required documents, including a copy of the company's identification card.


Agency: Water Department

1 day

no charge

* 18

Receive water department inspection and pay connection cost

Agency: Water Department

1 day

CRC 79,520

* 19

Connect to water services

After the connection is requested, an inspector from the water department goes to the construction site and determines what is required for the connection. Obtaining sewage connection is not included because most connections are done with independent septic system or treatment plants, because there are very few centralized sewage connections.

BuildCo must complete an application form and present all the required documents, including a copy of the company's identification card and person area.


Agency: Water Department

28 days

no charge

* 20

Request electricity connection

To request electricity connection, BuildCo must complete an application form and present all the required documents, including a copy of the company's identification card.

BuildCo must pay for the inspection and the meter installation.


Agency:Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz, S.A (CNFL)

1 day

no charge

* 21

Receive inspection from electric company (CNFL)

The electric company will inspect the installation. If it is in compliance with regulations, the company will authorize the installation of the electric meters at the completion of the project.


Agency:Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz, S.A (CNFL)

1 day

no charge

* 22

Receive connection to electricity

Agency: Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz, S.A (CNFL)

11 days

CRC 47,085

* 23

Obtain occupancy permit from Municipal Government

The occupancy permit indicates that the municipal government has approved the construction and authorizes its occupancy.


Agency: Municipal Government

35 days

no charge

* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

  

 

F.A.Q. SECTION:

 What's The Process To Build?

   Construction Permits:
The following is from
www.costaricalaw.com who we endorse as reputable:

All architects and engineers in Costa Rica must be licensed by the Costa Rican Association of Engineers and Architects (olegio Federado de Ingenieros y Ingenieros y Arquitectos-CFIA). This governing body establishes the fee schedule that can be charged by its members. Most fees are based upon a percentage of the value of the construction project. HOWEVER ALL FEES ARE NEGOTIABLE!!! 

According to the regulations of the CFIA (Reglamento para la Contratación de Servicios de Consultoría en Ingeniería y Arquitectura), the involvement of a licensed architect/engineer in a construction project is separated into two phases. Phase 1 is construction plans and permits and Phase 2 is control and execution.

 Can A Foreigner Buy And Sell Property In Costa Rica?

Ownership of real estate in Costa Rica by foreigners is fully guaranteed by the constitution. In addition, foreigners enjoy the same ownership rights as Costa Rican citizens, regardless of whether the property is placed in the name of a corporation or in the name of an individual. The only exception to this is in regards to concession lands, which will be discussed later.

What Legal Documents Can I See Prior To Making A Deposit?

 Having selected your ideal property in Costa Rica, you will want to be absolutely certain of all the legalities, and particularly your rights in a foreign country. This is where CR Beach will ensure that you have expert legal assistance and will guide you through each step of the buying process. 

First, we will need to see an official Costa Rican Registry report, (informe registral) which will provide detailed information on the property, including the name of the title holder, boundary lines, tax appraisal, liens, mortgages, recorded easements, and other recorded instruments that would affect title. Since Costa Rica follows the doctrine of first in time, first in right, ALL recorded instruments regarding property for sale presented to the Public Registry are given priority according to the date and time in which they are recorded.  Since the certificate of title issued by the Public Registry is prima facie evidence of the condition of title on the date issued, any instrument not recorded at the time the certificate is issued is invalid. This eliminates the need for title insurance MOST OF THE TIME.   

The second document, the "catastro" or "cadastral" will show all boundaries and markers, neighboring properties with owner's/corporation names,  and whether there are any local or national ordinances affecting that particular piece.  Your attorney will advise you on the legality of the presented documents, and may request that any deposit be held by him or title company until all paper work is satisfactory.  In addition, all  obligations (water, electricity, road access, all taxes on the property paid up to date, etc) promised by the owner need to be clearly stated  in the written agreement. If the promised time for completion of these obligations is considerable,  again request that an amount of the purchase funds to be withheld by the attorney until the obligations have been met. 

All properties have a titled registration number known as the Folio Real, and the records database can be searched with this number or by name index.  Anyone may do research through the official web site of the National Registry  www.registronacional.go.cr

Step By Step Through The Purchase Process:

  These are the basics that a purchaser follows when buying a property in Costa Rica.

  • Sign an Option to Purchase with Seller.
  • Deposit 5-10% of the purchase price with Escrow Company,or approved attorney's escrow account, or in some 100% safe cases directly with the Seller. Please remember that wire transfers from the states typically take 2-5 business days.
  • Title research performed by an approved Notary Public-Lawyer and/or title company attorneys.  In Costa Rica, all notaries must be attorneys, and are registered with the Bar Association, (Colegio de Abogados).
  • Closing with final transfer of funds, execution of transfer deed, endorsement of shares and/or mortgage deed.
  • Register new owner with Public Registry (Registro Nacional). In about 6 weeks, receive official title and guaranty (if purchased).
  • CR Beach will ensure that you are protected, every step of the way. 

How Is Title Transferred?

When buying property in Costa Rica, property is transferred from seller to buyer by executing a transfer deed ( escritura ) before a public notary. Unlike common law countries, such as the United States and Canada, where the role of the notary is limited to authenticating signatures, in Costa Rica the public notary has extensive power to act on behalf of the state. The public notary must be an attorney and draft and interpret legal documents, as well as authenticate and certify the authenticity of documents.

Once a transfer deed is accepted for registration, the Public Registry will return the original document with all the documentary stamps affixed to it and properly sealed. Assuming no defects in the transfer deed, it should be registered by the Public Registry within 45 to 60 days after presentation. 

 How Much Are The Closing Costs? 

The general custom is for the buyer and seller to share equally in the closing costs, unless the owner is offering the property in an easy to prove “clean” corporation, or the seller has clearly stated that the final price is so low that to pay anything towards closing costs will prevent his children from getting "leche" (milk). 

Closing costs containing the notary fees are based on the real sales price, and now, as declared by the Colegio de Abogados, 1.5% however,
this fee is often negotiable, depending upon the relationship that CR Beach Investment Real Estate has with that particular attorney. 
We demand that you don't pay more than 1% for transferring shares of corporations.
If the property is not in a corporation, or you desire a new corporation, additional costs are the transfer land tax, legal fees, and miscellaneous fees which are about 2.6% of the declared value of the property.
For the purpose of lowering the property transfer land tax, it is a common practice to lower the gross amount paid by declaring a much lower sum than the actual sales price, although be aware that acting in this manner could cause problems in the future.
We at CR Beach will help you choose a highly competent, extremely intelligent, honest attorney before buying property in Costa Rica.

How Much Are The Yearly Property Taxes?

Property taxes (Municipal Taxes) are only ¼ of 1% of the declared value. Thus for every $100,000, the property tax is only $250 ANNUALLY. Coincidentally this percentage is about the same to purchase home-owners insurance. The new luxury tax which doubles the above tax,
( covered in our news section), but basically applies to homes valued over $201,000 without the value of the land.  It is not being collected as diligently as it could.

The municipal tax is administered at the municipal level and varies throughout the country. Paid quarterly, the type of property, location and other factors contribute to the calculation of this tax and MUST be  shown to be fully paid immediately prior to transferring title.  Again, this tax is so low, people can afford to buy new shocks for their cars yearly.

What About Capital Gains Taxes?

A nice incentive for foreign investment is that there is no capital gain tax. The Costa Rican government will not tax you on the profit from the future sale of your property as long as this is not undertaken as a means of business. Ask a Costa Rican CPA for specifics.
You would be obligated to pay taxes on any "declared" earnings being brought back to your country of citizenship.
U.S. Income tax regulations for 2011 now state there is a foreign earned income exemption
of $91,500
 (and lesser amounts for earlier years) in earnings from employment or self employment:
while residing outside of the U.S. for a full calendar year,
or for any fiscal 12 month period providing you are not in the U.S. for more than 35 days during that fiscal year.
Both you and your working spouse can each separately claim this exemption for up to $183,000 in U.S. tax free income for 2006. Please contact a tax advisor with experience for foreign filing!

Who Pays The Sales Commission?

The most common way is that the seller pays the commission to the realtor or broker at closing. The buyer or purchaser does not have to pay any commission when buying property in Costa Rica, unless we feel it will help you negotiate for a much lower price with the Seller.

Can I Have The Title Of Property In My Own Name?

The decision to have the property that you are buying in Costa Rica in your own personal name or in the name of a corporation is strictly up to the investor. To put it in the name of a corporation is very common; it can offer benefits of asset protection, anonymity for the actual owner, and makes title transfer easier and cheaper . A valid passport for four representatives (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer-all can be foreigners) is the only requirement for a foreigner to form a corporation in Costa Rica; the cost ranges from $300-$600 in most cases. More corporation info will be found on this website.

How Can I Ensure That I Have Clear Title To The Property?

It is important that you or your attorney take the necessary steps in order to properly register the property, and more importantly, be assured that the property in question is free of all liens and encumbrances before buying property in Costa Rica.

Of particular interest to North Americans is the additional security offered by Chicago Title, and First American Title.  These relatively new concepts to Costa Rican real estate transactions can further ensure that your purchase could be more fully secured, although EVERY COSTA RICAN ATTORNEY RELIES ON THE IDENTICAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL REGISTRY.  Thus most of our transactions are handled without a Title Guaranty, particularly in new condo projects, or lots within a gated community, (however we will strongly recommend Title Guarantees in the case of purchasing farms or probate properties).  

READ THE FINE PRINT ON ANY CONTRACT

The Registro Nacional (Property Registry) is located in San Jose - Zapote, where all property documents are recorded, thus a title search at the Registry would confirm good title and proper ownership. There are now additional offices scattered throughout the country.

In the event that adjustments were made to any given title, these alterations must be recorded at the Registry. The Public Registry report (informe registral) provides detailed information on the property, including the name of the title holder, boundary lines, tax appraisal, liens, mortgages, recorded easements, and other recorded instruments that would affect title.

Do I Need To Have Residency To Purchase  Property?

No, it is not necessary to have residency to buy property in Costa Rica. You can buy with your tourist status. Living here is another matter, as a foreigner and tourist you have to leave the country for 72 hours once every 3 months in order to renew your legal status in Costa Rica. Some of the foreigners without residency enjoy traveling and visiting Nicaragua or Panama for a couple of days, or go back home for a short trip,  or discover more of Central America in order to renew their visa.

There are many forms of residency available, we can help you to contact an attorney who can assist you in determining what residency status would work for you. If you plan on living here year round, you will find it easier if you have legal residency. New residency requirements will be enacted for 2011.

How Can I Get Residency In Costa Rica?   

There are several ways to get a residency here, with different types, such as Pensionado, Rentista or Inversionista. It depends on your individual situation; we recommend consulting a lawyer regarding residency. There are websites that  explain the process, such as:  www.residencyincostarica.com  or   www.arcr.net .

What Are The Regulations  Regarding "Concession"  Beach Front Properties?

When buying property located on or very close to Costa Rica's beaches, you should be aware of the following:

In ALL OF COSTA RICA, the first 50 meters from the mean tide mark CANNOT LEGALLY be built on by anybody, anywhere in the country, as it is considered public beach.

An estimated 95% of Costa Rican beaches falls under a category known as the Maritime Zone Law, which affects the 150 meters adjoining the first 50 meters of land measured from the median tide line. This 150 meters is subject to the Maritime Zone Law and the ICT adminiters the granting of Concessions. There are some disputed properties whose owners claim that since the property was registered prior to 1973, in which case it has full title and can be transferred as such and called "titled to the 50 meter line").   

Concession property operates as a leasehold agreement with the Costa Rican ICT, and the local Municipality and  and we strongly urge caution when purchasing this type of property.   We at CR Beach will sell you "concession land" after you show us a letter or email from your attorney stating that you have been advised about all the possible risks. 
If there is an alternate property to the concession land you are considering purchasing, we advise you to purchase that fully titled property. 

Here Are Some Official Regulations Regarding Concessions:   (Thanks to CCCBR)

Concessions for maritime zone beach property cannot be granted to:

  • Foreigners who have not been residents for five years
  • Companies with bearer shares
  • Foreign companies based abroad
  • A company set up in Costa Rica exclusively for foreigners.
  • A company with more than fifty percent foreign capital (ZM Art. 47)

Concessions on maritime zone beach property can be forfeited for the following reasons:

  • Failure to apply for an extension of a concession in a timely manner
  • The forfeiture of rights by the interested parties
  • The death or legal absence of the concession holder with no heir
  • Not abiding by the established obligations of Article 51
  • Cancellation of the concession (ZM Art. 52)

The ICT can cancel a concession on maritime zone beach property for:

  • Non payment of the yearly canon or royalty
  • Breach of contract (e.g. use of the land for purposes other than those expressly stated by ICT)
  • Violation of the ordinances of the law that grants the concession
  • Impediment of the use of the public right of way
  • Other causes that this law establishes (ZM Art. 53)

All in all, an investment in shoreline property regulated by the Maritime Zoning Law requires extra caution and thorough investigation. The reality is that ambiguities exist within the written law, so that as regulations are created and amended, rights to property may also change. There are no guarantees and there is no foolproof way around the law. Even if you get a concession, there are no guarantees that the concessions will be renewed or that the price of the concession or the yearly canon will be within reason.
The fact remains that you are not purchasing property, you are leasing it and you must be willing to accept that risk.  ONE LAST THING:  MOST OF THE MAJOR HOTEL-CONDO PROJECTS ALL READY BUILT OR CURRENTLY IN CONSTRUCTION ARE ON CONCESSION PROPERTIES!!!

Please contact us regarding any questions on developing property in Costa Rica, and we will direct you to a lawyer with updated accurate info. We are still awaiting a Costa Rican Supreme Court decision regarding new higher taxes proposed for concession land.

 

Another View of the Construction Process:

Phase 1. Construction plans and permits. This phase is further subdivided into several distinct professional services that can be provided to the client by the architect/engineer. The percentages cited below are those that the CFIA has established as minimum chargeable fees.

Supervision (Dirección técnica): 5 percent. This requires more direct involvement by the architect/engineer in the day-to-day operation of the project.

Administration (Administración): 12 percent. Here, the architect/engineer takes complete responsibility for the execution and completion of the project.

The option you choose will depend upon the type of project involved, the reliability of your builder/general contractor, and the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to the construction project. All told, phases 1 and 2 can range from 9 percent to 18 percent of the estimated value of the construction project, depending on the amount of services required.

As such, it is common practice to negotiate fees with the Architect AND engineer.

 Most, of course, will be eager for your business and, depending on the scope of the project will be willing to work out an agreement tailored to your particular needs. Otherwise, have your Attorney do the negotiating for you to ensure that you will get the best agreement possible.

Before you sign any contract, be sure that you understand the fee structure and know exactly what is and is not included in the fee and clearly define the responsibilities that your architect/engineer are going to assume. Do the same thing with your general contractor and any subcontractors. ALL FEES ARE NEGOTIABLE!!!

Before you purchase a lot with the intent of building on it, you should conduct some preliminary studies on the property to ensure that there won't be a problem obtaining a building permit. Due diligence studies include:

1. Determine if the lot has basic services such as water, electricity, telephone, and drainage.

2. Determine there are no restrictions placed on the lot that could result in the denial of a construction permit. It will not be enough to check the Public Registry. You should also check the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte) for future road construction projects; the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud); the National Institute of Housing and Urban Development (Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo) and the municipality where the property is located (municipalidad).

3. Investigate if there are any environmental regulation that may effect your construction project, such as national wildlife refuges and areas deemed protected by the forestry Law. (see MINAE and SETENA below).

Requests for construction permits are filed with the Permit Reception Office (Oficina Receptora de Permisos de Construcción), which is a centralized office that houses government representatives from MOPT (Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes-roads), INVU (Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo- housing), ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad-telephone), AYA (Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados-water), SNE (Servicio Nacional de Electricidad-electricity), CFIA (Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos), and the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud).

For a single family home that measures more than 70 m2 (735.2 ft.2), the applicant must provide the following documentation: four copies of the construction plans, four copies of the property cadastre plot plan (Plano catastrado), four copies of the permit checklist (hoja de comisión), two copies of your property deed (escritura), one copy of the consulting contract with your architect/engineer (contrato de consultoria), an approval from the water company (AYA) regarding availability of water, and one copy of your electrical design plan approved by SNE. Condominium projects, commercial construction, and urbanization projects all carry additional requirements for obtaining construction permits.

In addition to these requirements, you will need to request a building permit from the municipality in which the property is located. By law it is the municipality that is delegated the responsibility to ensure that all constructions comply with building regulations (Article 1, Construction Law). You can, therefore, expect periodic visits to your construction site by the municipal building inspector, who must certify that the construction is proceeding according to code.

We don't mean to scare you with the above information, but to be well informed will eliminate future problems. We are experiencing a building boom currently, so it is possible to follow procedures and get things done right.

Phase 2. Control and execution. This stage involves the actual construction and project supervision. The regulations authorize three kinds of supervisory tasks, each of which requires a larger time investment from the architect/engineer. Inspection (Inspección): 3 percent of total construction value. Here your architect/engineer will visit the construction site at least once a week and will inspect it to ensure that the plan specifications are being followed by the general contractor. They will also verify the quality of the materials being used and review invoices being presented by the general contractor.

Simplified Permitting Requirements and Agencies: 

The permitting process in Costa Rica could be extremely difficult, time consuming and expensive if you have never done it before. 
Experienced developers can get quite frustrated when they realize that projects in Costa Rica do not follow past patterns in the U.S. or Canada.
It is very important that from the beginning you hire the right people-

and CR Beach can help you find those people.  

Normally the following permits are required to be stamped, approved, up-to- date and fully paid for:

 

MINAE (Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía)

This is one of the government agency that deals with environmental protection and provide permits for well drilling, water use, tree removal, soil use, mines, etc. ect.

AyA (Acueductos y Alcantarillados)

This is the government agency that oversees the distribution of water and sewage.

ASADA (Asociación Administradora Del Acueducto Y Alcantarillados Sanitarillo)

This is a rural water association that administrates the water production and distribution for the project. This association can also take part in the administration of the sewage treatment plant.

SETENA (Secretaria Técnica Nacional Ambiental)

This is another Environmental Protection Agency.

MINISTERIO de SALUD (Health Ministry)

This agency oversees all construction plans to make sure they pass all laws concerning health issues.

CFIA (Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos)

This is the government agency that approves all construction designs and plans. It also inspects and oversees construction processes.

ICT (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo)

The main purpose of this agency is to promote tourism. However, they also manage and approve the operation of tourist businesses and the Maritime Zone (200 mts.).

IGN (Instituto Geografico Nacional)

One of the many things this agency deals with is: national roads, maps and properties located next to the ocean, specifically setbacks.

INVU (Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo)

This government agency revises and approves all construction projects to make sure they have complied with all the laws. This is the last permit granted, and can make or break a project.

MUNICIPALIDAD (Municipality)

This is the local government agency that approves and oversees all projects located within their area.

 

 

WHO ARE MINAE and SETENA?

Minae is the Ministry of Energy and the Environment which governs and enforces the environmental laws in effect here in Costa Rica. Minae is entrusted with protecting ecosystems and species and can be called upon to file denuncias or legal charges in cases of environmental damage by Costa Ricans and foreigners alike. Indeed, in Costa Rica, Article 50 of the Constitution gives all HUMANS the right to enjoy a healthy and balanced natural environment and provides that the STATE or government will guarantee and preserve this right for all.  


All permits for cutting trees and general aspects of land use are delimited by MINAE in accordance with these environmental laws. Therefore, if your property contains primary or secondary jungle, rivers, streams or springs, your use is strictly limited and should be investigated with authorities in your area to avoid serious civil and criminal penalties. Moreover, if any of these trees are rivers or springs are situated on steep mountain slopes, the laws governing construction are different.

MINAE works in conjunction with local Municipalites as well as with SETENA, the Technical Environmental Secretary charged with evaluating environmental impact incurred with all development projects. You need a Technical Study or Estudio Technico to move forward with any kind of development or construction activity, and there are private companies that can assist you with these studies.

Many properties are part of a Municipal Zoning Plan or Plan Reguladora. In this case, your local Municipal government can tell you if a plan exists for your area, OR IS IN THE WORKS, and give you any regulations set forth therein. Any activities carried out on your property must be permitted by the zoning plan. Moreover, if your property is in a coastal zone or Zona Maritima, you must request special permits from the Municipal government as well from the Tourism Institute (ICT) to carry out any kind of construction or tourism activity.  

Ministry of Environment and Energy

(MINAE)Information Office

 (506) 283-8094 www.minae.go.cr/       http://www.minae.go.cr/setena/                         

SETENA PHONE NUMBERS: 234-3367,234-3368,234-3369  EMAIL: setena@minae.go.cr 

 FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: http://www.tramites.go.cr/
 
 

Costa Rica Central Pacific Development Properties


 

 

Remember: that 1 m2 (square meter)  equals 10.76 sq.ft.
4049 m2 equals 1 acre!  


PhotoAddressLocationNeighborhoodPriceSizeStyleTypePhotos
26 photos
Profitable Active Shrimp Farm
Playa Palo Seco $6,500,000 Ranch Lots and Land 26
24 photos
Las Llanuras (The Springs)
Central Pacific Playa Jaco $5,900,000 10,105,920 sq. ft."232 acres" Lot / Land Lots and Land 24
28 photos
Esterillos Oeste $5,380,000 2,700,000 sq. m."270 ha./ 672 acres" Lot / Land "Additional 130 ha./ 325 acres " Farm and Ranch 28
24 photos
Playa Hermosa Beach CR BEACHFRONT DEVELOPMENT LAND FOR SALE
Hermosa Beach, Puntarenas Playa Hermosa $4,388,000 19,162 sq. m."almost 5 ACRES 100% Titled Fee Simple!"" Commercial "Developer's Dream! JV's considered" Lots and Land 24
8 photos
August Beach Lot
Playa Jaco $1,000,000 2,500 sq. m."Naturally secluded by river" Lot / Land Lots and Land 8
14 photos
Almost Beachfront Lot
Jacó Playa Jaco $1,000,000 2,890 sq. m."31096 sq. ft." Lot / Land Farm and Ranch 14
18 photos
Super Deal Development Prop. 3 min. to Beach
Esterillos Oeste $975,000 780,000 sq. m."200 acres" Lot / Land "Ready to develop" Lots and Land 18
5 photos
Almost Beach Front lot
Playa Jaco $850,000 28,788 sq. ft."2677 M2" Lot / Land Lots and Land 5
8 photos
BEJUCo near Beachfront LOT
Playa Bejuco $325,000 10,000 sq. m. Lot / Land Lots and Land 8
14 photos
Hermosa Palms 2 Best Lots Together by Pool
Hermosa Palms $299,000 796 sq. m."1 lot is 396m2 and one is 400m2" APARTMENT Lots and Land 14
12 photos
Hermosa Beachfront Lot
Hermosa Beach $290,000 14,000 sq. ft."1300 m2" Lot / Land "ZONED COMMERCIAL!" Lots and Land 12
21 photos
Hermosa Paloma Oceanview Lots
Playa Hermosa $150,000 5,000 sq. m."Starting size 1.25 acre lots" Lot / Land Lots and Land 21
9 photos
Best Deal Lot HP 75
Hermosa Palms $89,900 4,926 sq. ft."''457 m2''" Apartment Lots and Land 9


Search by Area Our Real Estate Listings: Jaco, Central Pacific Costa Rica


 

We live here-we know-we love Costa Rica
especially the Central Pacific-Puntarenas Province areas featuring:


Jaco Beach Costa Rica real estate: listings for oceanview, oceanside or beachfront luxury to discounted homes, houses, condos, condominiums, townhouses, villas, land, lots, businesses, commercial properties, teak farms, development properties, and great restaurants for sale! Jaco is Costa Rica's largest beach community, with more than 10,000 full time residents and growing.
All services are located here, and many options exist for whatever lifestyle!
Bijagual is directly east of Jaco by 20 minutes....

Los Suenos Jaco Herradura Costa Rica real estate featuring:  Los Suenos Marina and Golf Resort is a 1,100-acre master planned destination resort community with a private 600-acre rainforest reserve; a 201-room plus five star Marriott hotel; over 500 luxury residences, including single-family luxury homes, lots, luxury condominiums and lavish villas; a full service 200-slip international marina; an exclusive Beach Club for residents; an 18-hole championship golf course,  and we at CR Beach have some very exclusive listings there. Located only 10 minutes from Jaco, and only 2 minutes from our favorite ultra modern grocery.

Esterillos Beaches: Esterillos Oeste and  Esterillos Este Costa Rica real estate featuring:   Located only 15 minutes south of Jaco, Esterillos oeste and esterillos este beaches are internationally respected as being some of Costa Rica's finest, within a small neighboring community.

Playa Hermosa Jaco Beach Costa Rica Real Estate  Located only 6 minutes south of Jaco, this self sustained area is one of our favorite places to live in all of Costa Rica.

 Punta Leona Costa Rica real estate  This is paradise not only for honeymooners but for active retirees as well, since this property offers the top rated beach in all of Costa Rica, plus more than 800 acres of tropical forest. All types of family activities are included for free!   Ten minutes north of here is Tarcoles, while Jaco is only thirteen minutes south.

 Manuel Antonio-Quepos Costa Rica real estate   The most famous Costa Rica national park and tropical beach, plus the new marina and expanded mini airport, will enhance growth to the area, located only one hour south of Jaco.

Bejuco beach CostaRica real estate   Located 25 minutes south of Jaco, Bejuco is another one of our favorite places to have your dream home close to the beach.

Parrita CostaRica real estate :  Parrita has been growing lately since their pricing is about 20% less than other places and it truly feels like old Costa Rica. Located 30 minutes south of Jaco, Parrita is now only 10 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio since new bridges have been built.


 

 

 

Invites You To:  
"See our Beach" 
  before You Decide
 

 

                                Our toll-free number: 1-888-782-1119
                            
or in Costa Rica call
                             2643-7121, 2643-4334 
                                  We look forward to hearing from you,
                             
Jeff  Fisher
                              Broker-Owner


 

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                         International Headquarters- Jaco Real Estate Main Office
                       IL Galeone Offices 13-14, Ave. Diaz, Jaco Beach, Costa Rica 

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