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Get the straight scoop on buying property in Costa Rica and paying for it online as a Canadian.
Costa Rica is a beautiful, friendly country and buying property in Costa Rica sounds like a dream. However, deciding to purchase property is only a teeny step toward making that dream come true. Before buying a property in Costa Rica, it's crucial to look for helpful resources and learn about the best places to buy, working with realtors, mortgages, citizenship issues and more.
Here we provide a front-line resource about all aspects of buying property in Costa Rica as a Canadian.
Costa Rica is a Central American country known for its verdant rain forests, colorful culture, incredible national parks and great weather. The country is boarded by Nicaragua (north), Panama (south), the Caribbean Sea (east), and the Pacific Ocean (west).
Below we consider the top reasons for Canadians buying property in Costa Rica.
According to a Point2Homes report³, Costa Rica is number three on the list of countries Canadians prefer when making foreign real estate investments.
Whether you're looking for a mountain view, a beachfront view, a jungle view, or a waterfall view, you'll need to complete a few essential steps to get the keys to your new humble abode.
If you want the quickest eye-opener on the Costa Rica property market, simply head down there. Rent a few places in areas of interest and explore until you figure out where you want to live first.
If you want to avoid a lot of headaches and red tape, the best way to pay for your home is with cash or a loan from a Canadian lender. You can also get a cross-border mortgage from international banks like Scotiabank, HSBC and Citibank that operate in Canada and Costa Rica.
A local and reputable real estate agent can help narrow your options by showing you viable property listings.
It's wise to find a lawyer who speaks Spanish and English to handle the paperwork. Of course, hiring a respectable lawyer comes with additional costs, but you'll have more peace of mind if you have a legal expert to fill legal gaps and minimize legal risks.
A lawyer can even help you form a corporation and make a purchase through that corporation.
Although your lawyer can handle most of the paperwork, you'll still need to sign the papers, transfer the money and close the deal. A great way to send money to Costa Rica from Canada is via MTFX, with a turnaround time of 24-48 hours. That means your sale can go through faster and you can celebrate with a pop of champagne sooner.
Most Caribbean islands peg their local currency against the U.S. dollar, and Costa Rica is no exception. So, although the official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón, your main focus should be on the USD/CAD exchange rate. The USD/CAD exchange rate matters because an inferior exchange rate can lead to serious conversion losses, so you'll have to invest more in your property than planned.
If you want to save thousands of dollars in exchange rates, fees, and costs, finding the best way to send money overseas is worth your while.
Need an easy way to keep an eye on the USD/CAD exchange rate? Use MTFX's live rate calculator to make an informed decision before paying.
When you compare the range of international money transfer services available, it's easy to see they are not created equal. Take, for instance, sending money via MTFX vs. a bank. Although banks appear to be the easiest option, they are generally not the most cost-effective way to transfer money internationally.
Many banks charge high fees on top of less competitive exchange rates and the transfer can take longer (up to 5 days or more).
The better option is an international transfer specialist like MTFX, which offers exchange rates 3-5% lower than banks and low transfer fees.
Paying for your overseas property with an MTFX online account is highly convenient. Additional benefits of using MTFX include guidance from foreign exchange specialists, fast turnaround times (24-48 hours) and access to the best foreign exchange tools.
Wiring money should be the least of your concerns when purchasing property in Costa Rica. With MTFX, you can skip the bank trip and log into your account to make the payment anytime and anywhere.
Do you need to make regular online payments to Costa Rica? MTFX's secure platform is powered by industry-leading automated technologies that enable you to set up regular payments with a few clicks. You can save time and money by skipping lengthy banking protocols and unfavorable exchange rates.
MTFX offers a safe, convenient, and cost-effective way to send property payments internationally. The numbers don't lie – you can save up to $5,000 on property worth $100,000 with exchange rates that beat bank offers by 3-5%.
When you register your account with MTFX, you can enjoy the most optimal way to transfer money internationally.
Learning Spanish can make life easier as it helps you communicate better with Costa Ricans you may need to associate with, such as real estate agents, attorneys, tenants, etc.
In addition, the more you learn about buying property in Costa Rica, the more you'll feel comfortable making an informed decision. So dig deeper and research the economic and political climate, maintenance, taxes, re-selling, geographical issues, opening a bank account and more.
Yes, Canadians can use some of their RRSP money⁴ to invest in a Costa Rican vacation property, all thanks to the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) program.
Coastal towns like Tamarindo, Nosara, Grande, Flamingo, Brasilito, Catalinas and Papagayo are quite popular.
No. Canadian citizens do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica. However, if you're planning an extended stay after buying property, you'll need to submit a residency application and get approved.
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