Real Estate

Where to Find Houses & Vacation Homes For Sale in Costa Rica

by Davina van Buren  |  Published January 28, 2021

A nature lover’s dream spot, Costa Rica boasts lush tropical jungles, towering mountain peaks, unspoiled beaches and incredibly diverse ecosystems. And it’s not just beautiful: according to the World Bank, it is an upper middle-income country that’s shown steady economic growth for nearly three decades, making it a magnet for people seeking to purchase a vacation home or invest in real estate.

Palo Seco Beach (Photo: Alex Proimos via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0)

Americans, attracted by its peaceful ethos and political stability–and the fact that English is widely spoken throughout the country–account for more than 80 percent of foreign real estate buyers. Several popular expat-heavy towns including San José, Guanacaste, Escazu, Santa Ana, Manuel Antonio and the Costa Ballena (“Whale Coast”) villages of Dominical and Uvita offer a variety of real estate investment options including land, private homes and condominiums.

Unlike many countries, foreign buyers have the same rights as locals, an outright protection granted by the Constitution of Costa Rica. You can put property or land in your name or that of a corporation without partnering with a national. All transactions require a lawyer and notary, and while it is not uncommon for one notary to service both the buyer and seller, you should hire your own attorney (the American Embassy can assist with this.) Because Costa Rica does not require real estate agents to be licensed, we strongly suggest working with a reputable agency. Below, we’ve outlined three well-known and trusted resources that can help you find houses and vacation homes for sale in Costa Rica.

Properties in Costa Rica

Founded in 1999, Properties in Costa Rica has been in operation for more than 20 years. Its founder has extensive experience dealing with foreign buyers and has worked in the industry since the Costa Rican real estate market was in its fledgling stages. The website allows you to easily search available properties by city, region, geography, and more specific criteria such as farms or eco-friendly homes. This agency even offers commercial real estate such as land, hotels, bars and restaurants for sale. This agency employs engineering, international market,finance and brokerage professionals on staff and partners with trusted attorneys, architects, engineers who can assist clients in accomplishing their property or investment goals. They also offer property management services such as rental placement and collection, cleaning and landscaping services.

Blue Zone Realty International

Named the “Best Real Estate Agency, Costa Rica” by Haute Residence in 2019 and 2020, Blue Zone Realty International specializes in real estate for sale in the southern Pacific zone. Their site profiles an abundance of properties in Corcovado, Dominical, Quepos, Uvita, Osa, San Andres and other beach towns. They can assist in both relocating to Costa Rica or purchasing an investment property. This agency has an impressive portfolio of properties and land for sale including vacation homes, residential homes,condominiums, hotels, commercial real estate and development opportunities. Their website allows you to search for properties by type, size, price or number of bedrooms. They also have an informative news page with links to local news outlets and general information about Costa Rica.

Sotheby’s International Realty

A division of the storied auction house, Sotheby’s International Realty specializes in high-end and luxury properties for sale in Costa Rica. The most extravagant properties and land options on their site boast price tags in the millions. For example, we found an 800-acre lot in Golfito Bay for $17.5 million and a 5-bedroom, 9-bathroom estate in La Garita for $16 million. Sotheby’s site allows you to search by price, property type, square feet, acreage, lifestyle, features and more. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have millions to spare: we also found a 600-square foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo in San Jose for a steal at $110,000. While prices may be steep, you get what you pay for and Sotheby’s is known for its high standards and wealth-building property potential.