Costa Rican House sizes


Not all home buyers know what house size they are really looking for. Most would say they’re looking for a 3-bedroom / 2-bath home, with a large terrace and a pool, or something like that. Few buyers say they’re looking for a 2,250 square foot home, do they? 

The house size may not be the most needed information before buying a home, but it is still important information needed to make a final decision on a potential purchase. When a buyer sees that a home is listed as having 2,250 square feet, they might think the house is way too small for them, or too large.

In some parts of the world, the listed house size is indoor space. That means that the listed size has to be heated or air-conditioned. Not so in Costa Rica.

Under the roof

Costa Rican house size is the square footage measured “under roof”. That means that we include not only the interior space, but also any exterior space that is under the roof, such as attached carports, all attached terraces/ outdoor living spaces. 

In m2

In Costa Rica, we measure construction in square meters or m2, which is equivalent to 10.79 square feet. For easy calculation, multiply the home size in m2 by 11. A linear meter is 3.28 feet.  You can learn about the secrets of Costa Rica real estate measurement conversion in a previous Blog post.

Real estate listings

In Costa Rica, the property size is measured by a surveyor, then registered in the National Registry. The house size, on the other hand, is not registered in the National Registry and therefore not used in the real estate deed/ title.

Nonetheless, the property size on online listings should be as correct as possible. The construction plans are the only documents that possibly prove the correct size. Often, changes are made during construction and rooms are enlarged or added on without changes to blue prints or permits.

The only way to find out the correct house size is to use a measuring tape and a calculator and do it yourself or ask your realtor to do it!

Additional building

Our agents always use the house size in the listing overview. Any additional buildings that are not part of the main house can be explained in the property description. That way, gazebos, a guesthouse, a caretaker’s house, etc. will not be included in the home size.

Exclusive listing or FSBO (for sale by owner)

Sellers like to see the correct house size used in a listing. If you plan to have your property listed as an open listing, you could measure the home and give everybody the correct size. In most cases, you sign an exclusive listing agreement with a realtor, the realtor will do the job for you.

Making offers

If you’re the buyer, make sure the advertised home size is correct, before making an offer on a home, so it can be used to compare with other listings you may be interested in. Ask the agent the following questions:

  • Where did the listing house size come from?
  • What is the living area’s square footage and what is the exterior square footage?
  • Are any additions added to the home counted in the square footage?

Asking these questions will ensure you know exactly what you are purchasing. 

Questions about houses for sale in Costa Rica? For more assistance, do not hesitate to contact us!

Published by ajimenez

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