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Accommodation in Costa Rica

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Find, in this article, some information on Costa Rica's real estate market and some tips to help you find accommodation.

Many foreigners, particularly American and Canadian nationals, have chosen to relocate in Costa Rica since many years. Indeed, the country seems to be an ideal destination, not only in terms of cost of living and environment, but also for the various opportunities that are available there. Thus, many foreigners have settled in the Central Valley, more specifically in Jacó, Rohrmoser, Esczú and Guanacaste.

If you also wish to move to Costa Rica, finding accommodation will be one of your main priorities. This should not be a complicated task as the country provides a wide range of accommodation options for all tastes. But make sure to choose the one which best suits your needs and budget, considering its proximity to your place of work if you are employed, and to schools if you are moving there with children.

Find accommodation

You can start your accommodation search on the Internet by browsing general and specialized housing websites, or in classified ads in local newspapers. You can also seek the assistance of a real estate agency which will help you find accommodation according to your criteria and budget more rapidly. However, you will be required to pay an extra commission.

Expat.com also has a specialized Housing section that can definitely help. Finally, you are likely to find housing ads in supermarkets and other public places as you stroll around different cities and neighborhoods.

Rent prices

When looking for housing, remember to specify that you are seeking a long-term rental. As Costa Rica is a very popular tourist destination, more holiday rentals, that is short-term rentals, are available. Once you have found appropriate accommodation, whether it is furnished or unfurnished, luxurious or modest, feel free to negotiate the rent price. Indeed, it can be bargained with the owner, and even with the real estate agency.

For instance, you will need a maximum of US$ 250 for a studio in a posh neighborhood and an average of US$ 900 for a house in a well-situated residential neighborhood.

Lease

In general, lease contracts have a 3 years term. But you can still negotiate a 6 months term lease contract.

In case the rent is to be paid in US dollars, the owner cannot increase the rent price. However, if it is to be paid in colons, the rent price can be increased by a maximum rate of 15%.

Before vacating the premises, you are required to give a 3 months notice to the owner. The same applies when the owner requests you to vacate the housing unit. In case he lives in the same building, a 30 days notice period then applies.

If you choose to vacate the housing unit before the lease contract's agreed expiry date, the landlord can refuse to refund the guarantee you paid upon signing the documents. Note that there is no minimum or maximum fixed guarantee amount.

As regards settling the monthly rent, you can be evicted by the owner in case of a delay period of more than 7 days. The owner can even sue you.

 Important:

Subletting is prohibited in Costa Rica.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Accommodation in Costa Rica Forum 
Expat.com – Housing in Costa Rica 
Busco mi casa www.buscomicasa.cr
MLS Costa Rica mls-cr.com
Tico Times realestate.ticotimes.net
Yellow pages Costa Rica - Real Estate costa-rica.paginasamarillas.com
Encuentra 24 www.encuentra24.com

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
Arfevi
Arfevi
11 months ago

This is a great post with really useful information. I just wanted to add a few tips for anyone looking to purchase a house or any kind of real estate. It may seem obvious, but make sure that you consult with a lawyer and check that the documents are in order with the "municipalidad", especially if you're purchasing a terrain to build a house; I know of a couple of expats that are friends that have purchased terrains (one by the beach and another one in the mountain) and couldn't build because they can't acquire building permits for some reason. Also, if you're planning on purchasing an existing house or condo, search in multiple places online and offline. Sometimes real estate companies are not very tech savvy, and they don't publish their offers in all relevant websites to promote these. As real estate companies sometimes hire agents, and agents notice this, they publish the buildings for a slightly higher price on these websites (it's the price they are told they should sell it at), so you might find a slightly better deal by going directly to their websites.

Reply

See also

Heredia, located at about ten kilometers from San Jose, is very welcoming towards expatriates looking forward to settle there.
Santa Ana, which is found in the province of San Jose, is a very welcoming city towards foreigners as it provides several accommodation options.
San Jose, the Costa Rican capital city, is an ideal destination for expatriates, providing different types of accommodation at affordable prices.
If you are moving to Costa Rica for a long term, you will perhaps consider buying a real estate property. This is possible for foreigners.

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