10 steps on how to buy a building lot in the southern zone of Costa Rica
You do not need to have an eccentric taste to prefer buying a building lot for your future, custom house in Costa Rica. Even the budget for your future house should not matter.
There are quite a few reasons why you might want to purchase a home building lot in Costa Rica. Some buyers have their ideas well organized and know exactly what they want (or they think they do), others don't have a clue until they walk into the right house. For a lot of people, the house they want simply does not exist, so it makes best sense to build exactly what they want.
A few of the reasons to buy a building lot in Costa Rica usually are:
- You are not ready to move to Costa Rica yet, but want to begin the process, get ready, or get a foot in the door for a future move or retirement.
- You have some money set aside and want to invest this money. Instead of investing it your local real estate market, the stock market or just handing it over to your banker, you're looking for something more promising and exotic.
- You want to custom build your ideal home, to your very detailed specifications, to suit your own specific needs and desires.
Before you start looking to buy a building lot in Costa Rica, first find out where exactly you would like to live. That of course, depends on your specific needs and lifestyle - such as beach/ mountains, rural / town area, community, golf courses, hospitals and other amenities that are important to you.
Get a foot in the door by buying a building lot in Costa Rica now, while it is still a buyers market! It will change!
Once you have picked the area on the Ballena Coast that you would want to live, scout around and decide if you want to live in a gated community, or immersed in the jungle; ocean or mountain views; how much land you want; how close to schools and shopping, or how private your property should be.
Once you have identified the geographic location where you should look to purchase a home site to build your custom home, there are 10 steps to take before you buy a building lot in Costa Rica
- The topography of the lot.
Ask yourself a few questions, such as: Do you want to build a one story ranch style house, a two story, or a house where you could take advantage of the topography by using multiple levels? Are you looking for views and want to be sure to be in control of those views? Do you have children or grandchildren you want a play area for or you won't want to fall off a cliff? How big is your swimming pool going to be? Are you a swimmer, or do you want a space to get cool and hang out?
- The size of the house
What is the size of your custom home going to be? Can you create a building pad large enough on the building lot for the house to fit? Any other outbuildings you might want on your property, such as a guest house, a carport or garage, a tool shed? Will it all fit?
- Water letter
The Municipality will request you get a letter from the local water company or ASADA confirming availability of water at the home site, so they can extend building permits. Your design team will get this, as a part of completing your new home permitting process.
Inform yourself about any zoning restrictions
- Zoning restrictions
Inform yourself about any zoning restrictions in the area, such as, maritime zones, river setbacks, forest reserves, etc.
Are power and water available at the front of the building lot? If not, where do they have to come from and what would be the cost? Find out all you need to know about utilities before you purchase. Your Real Estate agent and design team will assist you with this.
How do you know the fences are in the right place? Maybe the neighbors have moved the fence? You don't want to infringe on the neighbor's property either. Invest in using a surveyor recommended by your lawyer or real estate agent to re-survey the building lot to check boundaries and ensure the exact size and location.
- Survey map
Your lawyer will request that the seller delivers a survey map at closing with the "visado" stamp from the Municipal engineering department which shows that the building lot is approved for construction. Your realtor and lawyer will ensure this prior to closing.
- Soil studies
The top soil of the home site might not have the geological composition needed to build a foundation for the construction of any important structures. Only soil studies will show the need for soil replacement or other needs before starting any construction, so to invest in ordering soil studies is a good plan. Your design team at Ballena Homes will assist you with this!
Your design team will visit the building lot at different hours of the day, during the dry season, as well as during the rainy season! You want to ensure that the home you design adapts to the location and changing weather circumstances you'll find in the different parts of Costa Rica.
You probably want the design team to take into account sunrise, sunset, the breezes that keep your home cool, and the rains (for drainage and cover) to make your home much more comfortable. Go over the design in detail, see if the house flows well, check and ensure good cross ventilation and check sizes of the rooms with someone else, as a second opinion before starting construction.
- Last but not least
Ask your lawyer to perform a title check, to recommend all forms of ownership of the property and to calculate your closing and escrow costs. Any easements registered on the property should be explained to you at closing.
I think that now you're quite knowledgeable about the possible steps on how to buy a building lot in Costa Rica, so I'm convinced this is the best time for you to start looking at the inventory of buildings lots that Century 21 Ballena Properties have!
Have a look at the building process from our sister company Ballena Homes. I wish you good hunting.
Contact us when you're ready to begin your purchase of a building lot in Costa Rica. We have a good inventory of mountain, jungle and ocean view lots, in various sizes and prices.