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Are you looking to buy land in Costa Rica ? Are you looking to build a dream home? Check out our listings for land sales in Tamarindo, Flamingo, Brasilito, Potrero, Avellanas, Manuel Antonio and throughout Costa Rica.

Comment acheter un terrain au Costa Rica ?


Building your house: how to choose your land?

Study the environment of the plot

A very important step that should not be taken lightly is the search for building land. To find your land, you can go through online advertising sites, such as ENCUENTRA 24 . Obviously, you will find a property corresponding to your geographical criteria whether you are looking for land for sale in Flamingo, Tamarindo, Samara, Jaco or even in San José (or any other department). For your research, you can also use a real estate agency, a law firm or go directly through the manufacturer's network.

Whatever your research method, the immediate natural environment of the land must be taken into account. First of all, since it precisely indicates the nature of the soil. In this regard, also remember to observe the houses built nearby. Cracks in the walls can reveal settlements linked to clayey soils. In addition, the orientation of the houses located nearby indicates the direction of the wind and the layout of the living rooms. However, exposure to the elements (sun, wind, rain, etc.) plays a major role in the well-being of residents and in the energy consumption of future housing.

Good to know !

The vegetation present near the land is ideal for regulating the temperature of the house.

étudier environnement du terrain

Know the viability of the land for sale

Good to know !

Before buying land , be sure to check that it is constructible. To do this, ask the town hall or your agent for the local urban plan. ABI Costa Rica Real Estate exclusively presents building land for sale .

For example, each country has its own town planning standards. In fact, they sometimes have certain restrictions (the maritime zone, protected zone, etc.). All of these standards, at risk, can have a direct impact on your construction project (or even ban it).

At the same time, find out about the public utility town planning easements that limit land use (National Natural Park, risk of flooding or earthquakes, etc.). As well as, take into account the neighboring easements (right of way, distance and authorized construction height, etc.). In other words, know the maximum restrictions before buying land in Costa Rica .

Note that in Costa Rica, most municipalities do not prohibit certain types of construction (color and style of houses) as in some countries.

Visibilité du terrain à vendre.

Consequence of the land on your choice of house

Before making the final plan for your future home, it is essential to have purchased your land. Indeed, a house plan is directly impacted by the land on which the construction will be carried out: the planning rules, the size of the land and its orientation will significantly influence the location and shape of the future house. Thus, even if it is possible to have a preference for a particular style of house (stone house, architect's house ...), it is the specificities of the land that will finalize your choice. Indeed, a narrow plot will more easily accommodate a two-storey house with a square or rectangular plan, while a plot with a large surface area will allow the construction of a large single-storey house with an L or U plan.

The larger and flatter the land, the greater the builder's “architectural freedom”. Moreover, whatever the land or the style of house chosen, it is advisable to place the living rooms to the south, in order to optimize the sunshine and save energy. Conversely, the less used rooms or which do not need to be regularly heated (garage, laundry room, cellar, saddlery, etc.) can be placed to the north of the house.

Good to know !

Contact a good architect to pull all the strings of your future land. If you are looking for one, we can recommend architectural firms in San José and Guanacaste.

Choix de maison à construire sur le terrain.

Check the title of the land

Good to know !

Make sure you know the title of your land in the public register by yourself or by a specialist lawyer.

Before buying land in Costa Rica , find a real estate lawyer to do a thorough title check. Most properties in Costa Rica are registered in a centralized system in the public registry and have a “Real Folio”.


In fact, all the titled properties must have some kind of number in order to obtain a proper title. It consists of three parts. The first number indicates the province where the property is located. Then the second group consists of six digits indicating the number of the property itself. And the last number indicates the number of co-owners with those that the property has. Check whether the property is a concession or it is in the maritime zone. The more you know in advance, the better it will be for you.

Titre de la propriété.

Hire a surveyor and check with the national register

Hire an official surveyor to measure properties and verify size and boundaries. It is better not to choose the same surveyor that the salesperson uses, as they could work together. Large properties can often be subject to differences in size or dividing lines. It suffices that the land has not been investigated for some time. Neighbors can move their fences too. Costa Rica has a cadastral office which has all the title deeds, this official plan of survey or “cadastral plan” must be registered in the national register to acquire, transfer or mortgage a property.

Good to know !

Check the size and boundaries of the land with your own official surveyor.

Vérifier avec un géomètre.

Corporate and property tax

Good to know !

Make sure that the taxes and fees are up to date on the land for sale.

It is your responsibility to pay municipal taxes equal to approximately 2.5% of the registered value once a year. Sometimes these property taxes are paid quarterly. You will not be notified of this financial obligation and could incur penalties or worse by not paying them. If the property is registered under a Costa Rican company or a limited company. You are then also responsible for paying the annual fees of that company.

Impôts et tax de la propriété au Costa Rica.

Good to know !

Documents that must for the purchase of land in Costa Rica:

  • A copy of the deed

  • Cadastral map

  • A certified title search

  • A copy of the study card

  • INVU alignment certification

  • Proof that taxes are up to date and that the title is clear

Information to know before buying land in Costa Rica

  • What is the property number on the Folio Real?

  • How much are the annual property taxes?

  • What are the zoning (land use) regulations?

  • Any concessions, annotations or privileges on the property?

  • Are there any easements?

  • Is there anyone occupying the land now?

  • Is the property fenced and with proper borders?

  • Are there any setbacks due to rivers or streams on the ground?

  • Is the seller the rightful owner?

  • Are there any ongoing legal disputes?

  • Can the property be acquired through the trust?

  • Can you prevent others from mortgaging or transferring your property with a “mortgage bond”?

  • Are basic services available in the property in question (water, electricity)?

Informations importantes avant acheter.

The institutions to contact in case of land purchase.

The first thing to do before buying land is to research what it can be used for and if there are any outstanding financial obligations and you can do this yourself or through a professional. If you are a foreigner or don't want to waste time with your papers, you can contact an official architect or real estate lawyer. You should contact the following institutions:

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG)

  • National Institute of Housing and Town Planning (INVU)

  • Ministry of Health

  • Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications

  • Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements (MIVAH)

  • Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA)

  • Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT)

  • Agrarian Development Institute (IDA)

  • The municipality in which the property is located


Liste d'institutions avant acheter.
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