frequently asked questions
TAMARINDO AREA QUESTIONS
Known as “the Switzerland of Central America”, Costa Rica is a stable, democratic, peaceful country with a growing economy and both Spanish and English speaking.
Close to the U.S. – only a 2-hour 40-minute flight from Miami and 5.5 hours from New York or Los Angeles.
An enriching cultural experience – One of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Costa Rica is stunningly beautiful with varied landscapes, from mountains and farms to beaches and tropical rainforests, diverse people and lifestyles.
Quality of life – high life expectancy due to its easy going, friendly, family-centered culture with low stress outdoor activities. Costa Rica regularly tops the Happiness Index, a measure of health, life satisfaction and environmental footprint.
Warm, year-round climate – temperatures averaging 85 degrees with no tornadoes or hurricanes.
Residents enjoy same property ownership rights as Costa Ricans – Costa Rica is home to an estimated 40,000 North American expatriates who own property and/or reside full or part time.
Medical care –top quality and affordable – a popular choice for North American medical tourists.
Costa Rican Legal Residency status – comes with property ownership, and allows establishment of bank accounts, and more.
Yes. Tamarindo, famous for its world-class surfing, is a safe, vibrant tourist destination that caters to families and boasts excellent restaurants, shopping, beaches, fishing, and adventure tours.
Tamarindo is located on the Pacific coast in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica’s northwestern most province; the region is well known for beautiful beaches, peaked volcanoes, national parks, outdoor adventures and sunsets.
Tamarindo also offers five international schools in the immediate area.
December through mid-April is the high visitation season with a secondary high season in June through August. Easter week (“Semana Santa”) is a popular holiday week across Costa Rica.
In tropical Costa Rica, the “dry season” runs from December to April, and the “rainy season” runs from May to November. The dry season showcases the beautiful beaches, volcanoes, more sunshine, longer days and more activities. The rainy season (typically afternoons) offers waterfalls gushing and glorious, rainforest hikes, white water rafting, horseback riding, and wildlife tours.
REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS
Yes. the Costa Rican Constitution grants foreigners and non-residents the right to purchase and own property in Costa Rica.
Titled property, including Senderos, is recorded in the National Registry. Title may be taken individually, jointly, or in an ownership entity. The benefits to purchasing property in a company name include additional options regarding taxes and liability.
Title insurance is available but not necessary, since Costa Rica has a national property recording system. It assigns each property a title number and then records against that title number any affectations such as liens, mortgages, encumbrances, easements against title. Any individual can view the title report for a property via the online database of the National Registry. Documents that were not recorded against title at the time you purchase a property cannot be charged upon a buyer who purchased in good faith.
An attorney is customary in purchasing real estate in Costa Rica and Senderos can recommend multilingual legal counsel. Attorney’s fees amount to approximately 1.5% of the first $2,000 and 1.25% of the remaining sales price. Notary fees are assessed as percentages of the sales price.
Financing options in Costa Rica are limited. Most purchases are cash transactions in which the purchaser may have obtained financing based on home equity or other assets in their home location. Inquire of your Senderos Sales Associate about financing through a local cooperative, Coopenae.
Typically, the buyer and seller share the closing costs, which are a percentage of the property’s value. Registration, notary and attorney fees, documentary stamps and transfer taxes will typically amount to no more than 6% of the property’s declared value.
On 1 September 2021, Costa Rican Law No. 9887 imposed a Value Added Tax (“VAT”) or Impuesto de Valor Agregado (“IVA”) on consumers’ construction services with annual rate increases in several subsequent years. The home builder is responsible for collecting and remitting the tax along with supporting invoices. The VAT may also apply to existing home construction contracts in progress since the tax is based on the invoice date for the services. The three-year tax rate rollout periods are:
From 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022 4% VAT
From 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023 8% VAT
From 1 September 2023 and thereafter 13% VAT
Costa Rica collects a “Solidarity Tax” (property tax), which is very low compared to taxes in the United States. The annual tax is based on the property value (land and improvements) and ranges from 0.25% to 0.55%. For example, tax on a $1,000,000 home would only be $2,500 – $5,500 per year.
Homeowner’s insurance is generally about .25% of the insured amount.
Yes. In 2019, Costa Rica enacted a 15% capital gains tax on real estate gains. There are two exceptions, one of which applies to new purchasers – the “Home Exception” excludes the sale of a seller’s primary residence regularly inhabited by the owner, whether owned personally or by an entity. If owned by an entity, the entity must be owned by the occupants.
Phase 1 infrastructure is complete with numerous families in residence and several homes are under construction. Phase 2 infrastructure is permitted, and pre-construction earth movements and road grading have begun; pre-sales in Phase 2 have started as well with homes beginning construction. Phases 3 and 4 are planned to be available after Phase 2 is substantially completed.
Absolutely. The Senderos Homebuilding team combines the best of successful U.S. luxury residential construction with decades of local experience, materials, and labor.
Depending on the homesite and design, homes can be delivered in 10 to 14 months.
Senderos Homebuilding has created a Guild of the region’s leading architects, each embodying a unique perspective, to facilitate buyers’ selection process.
The Senderos Homebuilding Custom Home design and building steps are:
Pre-Homesite Purchase Agreement steps:
a. Introductory call or meeting with Senderos Homebuilding team and recommended architect to understand Buyer’s needs, preferences, budget and timing and discuss pre-construction services
b. Site visit with Buyer – in-person or virtual
c. Initial design and cost proposal from Senderos Homebuilding
d. Buyer enters into Homesite and Custom Home Sale and Purchase Agreement, based on the selected homesite and the initial Custom Home proposal
During Due Diligence prior to Homesite closing:
a. Buyer receives and reviews design and plans and agrees to the terms of the Design and Construction Agreement
b. Bidding process and finalization of all residence specifications and materials
c. Close on Homesite Purchase
Simultaneously with or shortly after Homesite purchase closing
a. If not done previously, Buyer enters into the detailed Design and Construction Agreement reflecting final home specs, bids and materials selected
b. Project Management and ongoing communication from Senderos Homebuilding
The Homeowners’ Association requires construction to begin within 18 months of acquiring a homesite. However, buyers can request an extension from the Architectural and Construction Committee (ACC) if needed. You may be required to enter into a design agreement process so we know where the home will be so its privacy and views can be protected.
The Senderos Homeowners’ Association fees vary by homesite but range from $225 – $250 per month. The fees cover the community’s staffed security gate, common area maintenance and common area utilities.
The Senderos Beach Club will be a private facility for Senderos residents and their invited guests. Because it is oceanfront, the permitting process is a lengthy process. Construction is expected to commence before Q1 2022 with a swimming pool, palapa, private changing rooms/bathrooms, and beverages and dining from the adjacent Pangas restaurant.
Current internet speeds are 100 mbps and the installation of fiber optic internet service is currently underway.
Medical facilities in Costa Rica are localized with a network of very high quality, small clinics in almost every town. The big hospitals in Liberia, Santa Cruz and San José need only be used for rare complications or extremely serious emergencies.
There are a number of excellent doctors who maintain 24-hour clinics in Tamarindo and the surrounding area. Beachside Clinic is a short drive from Tamarindo in Huacas. Additional medical clinics are located 5 minutes from Tamarindo in the town of Villareal. Hospital San Rafaqel Arcangel is located in nearby Liberia.