How to be safe and not sorry in your property purchase

Identifying problematic situations in purchasing a home or a piece of land for constructing a home or small development is often the most difficult part of any purchase.

The laws, proceeds and protocol can be intimidating to many when developing a special project or building a home. One has to worry about potential inherited problems when buying a turn key house or business. You should know the potential uses of the property under consideration if is is your intention to develop. Property owners and potential buyers in Costa Rica need help evaluating various properties and navigating the complexities of purchasing and planning their construction projects.

As part of our services of Costa Rica Retirement Vacation Properties southern zone, we are trying to make things easier for our clients. For this purpose, we use and recommend a specialist who is a consultant with a wide range of experience. This serves to identify and solve many problems prior to purchasing property offer independent consultant services to support  Costa Rica Retirement Vacation Properties clients seeking assistance with purchasing, developing and selling Real Estate in the Central and Southern Pacific areas of Costa Rica, including Perez Zeledon (also called San Isidro).

His background is that of a project manager with engineering and technical experience in gaining approvals for site development, design, and construction in the United States, Europe and Central America.  His role ranges from conducting feasibility studies to providing bilingual project oversight and problem-solving. He provides reports and assistance mainly focused on determining if the visions and plans of the clients –- potential buyers or owners — can be realized for a specific property. After doing research, he produces reports tailored to each situation. The reports address important questions and cover potential costs and development options on a property or a remodeling project for an existing home.  The two main products are:

Basic Report: This includes information about the property from the public registry (Registro Nacional) and determining if any liens, restrictions, setbacks or other issues are discovered that warrant caution by the potential purchaser. After a site visit, he can make rough estimates for improvements such as roads, electrical service, remodeling, construction, etc.  In most areas, the Basic Report will include an overlay of the official “plano” or property map onto a Google Earth photo of the area, with my notes and comments.

The Basic Report answers the client’s specific questions, such as, “Can this property be subdivided into segregated and titled lots and sold on the open market?” The report also evaluates possible building sites on properties with environmental restrictions around natural springs and rivers.

Pre-Build Report: For potential buyers, investors or property owners who want to start on the process of developing or building on a property, he produces a Pre-Build Report similar to that required by SENTENA –- the Costa Rican equivalent of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This report includes clearance and setback information required for the building permit process and can be completed before architectural and engineering plans are finalized.

Documents obtained in the Pre-Build Report include the critically important Uso de Suelo in areas administered by municipalities and INVU for unincorporated areas. He submits formal requests to public utility agencies such as ICE (electricity and phone) and AYA (municipal water) to determine if these services are available.  Most of the official documents obtained in this effort are valid for one year and can be used in the submission for building permits.

The Pre-Build Report also can include price estimates for improvements such as access roads, on- and off-grid electrical services, water sources including wells, and more.  Also available are well-researched reports on what plants, trees, and food-producing crops will work well on a particular property.

Other types of projects that he has supported include development strategies for an assisted living center, intentional community planning and the sale of properties with “issues”

Please feel free to write or call me if you require this kind of service.  Telephone 1 888 581 1786 or email me at
Costa Rica Retirement Vacation Properties

Article by Annie Drake

Cell: (506) 8898 0546 - Uvita/Dominical office Marketing director, south Pacific Telephones: (506) 8897 6615 - Toll Free: 1 866 512 7781 Email: Read 27 articles by

One comment

  1. avatar

    Thanks for your enthusiasm. As more assisted living facilities are developed, I will keep you informed. With the new hospital nearby, health care is easier.

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