The Local Fish Stand

The coastal beach towns of Costa Rica all enjoy the freshest sea food and everyone has their favorite local fish stand.  In the Dominical area it depends if you want whole fish or already cut filets.

Fish Shack at Playa Dominicalito

For whole fish you can go down to the beach in Dominicalito from the La Parcela Restaurant entrance and then drive to the right once you hit the beach.  There you will find a little shack where most of the fishermen come in with their daily catch.

Whole Red Snapper

Here you can buy whole fish from the same place many of the re-sale vendors and restaurants buy it from for only a few bucks per fish.

Fish Stand in La Macha Parking Lot

If filleting fish is not you thing, then you can buy the already cut filets from the fish stand in the La Macha parking lot.  This is right across from the La Parcela entrance in Dominicalito.

Sushi Grade Tuna Steaks

Here you can buy fresh sushi grade Tuna (Atun), Mahi-Mahi (Dorado), Sea Bass (Corvina), or Red Snapper (Pargo) all for around only $10 per kg or 2.2lbs.  They usually have Shrimp (Camarones) and sometimes even Lobster (Langosta), but both of those are more expensive.

So if you live in the Dominical area or are just visiting; fire up the BBQ and enjoy some fresh fish tonight!!

Costa Rica Offers Baby Boomers a Second Chance at Retirement

This is Dominical Property’s first Press Release and it got a very positive response and even made Yahoo! News and many other online news outlets:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/costa_rican_real_estate/baby_boomers/prweb10102981.htm

Costa Rica is a natural choice for Baby Boomers due to its year round temperate climate, lower cost of living, advanced medical sector, and a short flight from most of the continental U.S. Joshua Kanter of United Country – Properties in Dominical discusses current retirement trends in Baby Boomer retirees.

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica (PRWEB) November 06, 2012

Costa Rica has historically been a retirement haven for ex-pats and will be one of the top destinations for Baby Boomers to retire. The Southern Zone and Playa Dominical area are fast becoming more popular with retirees due to unparalleled natural beauty, laid back healthy lifestyle, easier access, plus convenient hospitals and clinics. Dominical Property, S.R.L. is a local real estate and property management expert that specializes in making the transition to Costa Rica as smooth as possible.

Baby Boomers Facts
-76.4 million Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964 (U.S. Census)
-A Baby Boomer turns 60 every 8.5 seconds (U.S. Census)
-More than 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire every day for the next 19 years (Pew Research Center)

According to Mary Furlong’s book, Turning Silver into Gold the top 3 financial concerns of Baby Boomers are as follows:
1.) Having enough money to retire
2.) Overall financial well being
3.) Having enough money for health care

So what will Baby Boomers look for in a retirement destination? Basically somewhere they can make their savings last and enjoy an active lifestyle, while staying fit and healthy.

The quality of life in Costa Rica is some of the best in the World and it has been ranked #1 on the Happy Planet Index (New Economic Foundation) for two consecutive years. The medical care in Costa Rica is also some of the best in Central America; as many travel here specifically for medical tourism. Most all fruits and produce are grown locally; meat and poultry are fresh; and seafood is plentiful.

Costa Rica has many micro-climates, but more and more Baby Boomers are exploring the Southern Pacific Zone. This area is best known for Playa Dominical, which was 18th on CNN Go’s list of the “World’s 50 Best Beaches”. The Playa Domincal area offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, an abundance of wildlife, miles of secluded beaches, numerous waterfalls, and tons of outdoor activities from adventurous surfing, hiking, rafting, and zip-lining to more relaxing hobbies such as; bird watching, beach combing, fishing, and whale watching.

The Dominical-Uvita area, also known as Costa Ballena, has experienced recent growth and popularity due to the new Caldera Highway and paving of the Coastal Highway from Quepos; now only a 3 hour drive from San Jose. Also the Quepos Regional Airport is 30 minutes from Dominical and services daily commuter flights from San Jose.

Costa Ballena has all the amenities a retiree wants in casual and fine dining restaurants, banks, shopping, supermarkets, mechanics, pharmacies, and clinics. There are also 3 hospitals with in 30 to 45 minute drive in Quepos, San Isidro, and a new hospital in Cortes. The city of San Isidro is 40 minutes from Dominical and is one of the fastest growing cities in Central America. Modern conveniences mixed with a laid back lifestyle and lush rain forest surroundings make this one of the most desirable areas of Costa Rica.

Joshua Kanter of Dominical Property, S.R.L. (http://www.dominicalproperty.com/) says, “Our most common clients are those nearing retirement looking for a second home to eventually live here full or part time. Or those seeking ocean view property to build their dream home. Plus the Southern Zone still has very affordable real estate prices compared to other regions of Costa Rica real estate and this allows an investor’s dollar to go a long way.” He continues, “We have also seen an increased trend in retirees renting long term prior to a purchase in order to make sure the Costa Rica lifestyle is truly for them.”

Dominical Property, S.R.L assists Baby Boomers in retirement relocation with a wide array of Dominical real estate listings for sale and rent. The company can also manage a second home, recommend real estate and residency attorneys, and help facilitate the building process. The Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica is becoming a World class retirement destination and allows Baby Boomers a second chance at retirement.

Contact:
Joshua Kanter, Agent
United Country – Properties in Costa Rica
Website: http://www.DominicalProperty.com
Blog: http://www.DominicalProperty.WordPress.com/
Toll Free: 1-888-679-1227

Costa Rica Dentists

Going to the dentist is a one of the least favorite places for most people to visit.  Whether they are scared of possible pain, the sound of the drill, or even just the price of the procedure can often be painful on your wallet.  Well, in Costa Rica you still may experience the first two causes of anxiety and fear, but at least any dental procedure here will cost you a fraction of the cost you are used to.  So whether you live here full time or are planning a vacation, you may want to consider getting your dental work done in Costa Rica.

There is even dental tourism to Costa Rica, as there is medical tourism, and it is becoming increasing more popular.  Why not do the ‘2 birds with 1 stone’ strategy of taking a nice tropical vacation and getting your yearly dentist visit out of the way as well.  Dental implants are becoming the standard practice to replace teeth over dentures and this is very expensive elsewhere.  But in Costa Rica you can buy your plane tickets, travel expenses, and have the procedure done all for the same price or less than just the implant back home.  Other common procedures are crowns, bridges, root canals, fillings, porcelain veneers, and whitening treatments.

The main reason to get dental work done in Costa Rica is not to find the cheapest possible dentist, but rather high quality care at a more affordable price.  There are plenty of dentists in Costa Rica and you will see tons of offices throughout San Jose and other mid to large size towns.  However, you should do your research and find one that comes highly recommended by locals or ex-pats and pick an experienced professional with the proper training and practice in your particular procedure.

Become a Luxury Rancher or Organic Farmer

Ever dream of becoming a farmer or rancher, but could not give up the amenities of a luxury home and being close to a city.  Well, now it is possible live this dream in a 6,000 square foot mansion on a 30 acre horse farm within 45 minutes to the city of San Isidro, Costa Rica.  Located in a rural area surrounded by coffee farms and cattle ranches this property offers private tranquility with tons of usable land, horse stables, caretaker house, pastures, creek with two cascades, and borders the river “Rio General”.  Here is a detailed video of the home and property for your viewing pleasure….

This estate home spared no expense in its solid concrete block construction and offers the finest finishes available.  Downstairs the home features a large office/study, great room with 30 foot high windows bringing in the views and natural light, and guestroom with an en suite bathroom.

There is also a huge open professional kitchen, living room and breakfast table, formal dining room, and an outdoor terrace and dining area.

You walk up Cristobal hardwood (a rare native hardwood) stairs to the two master bedrooms and baths.

The main master bedroom is very spacious and has bamboo wood floors, walk-in closet, and access to a wrap around balcony that enjoys the views and sounds of the cascade next to the house.

The en suite bathroom is literally the largest I have ever seen; and has a Jacuzzi tub for two, his and hers showers, his and hers vanities with granite counters, and even his and hers toilets!  The other master bedroom is just as spacious with bamboo floors and balcony access as well.  Across the hallway is another large walk-in closet and oversized master bathroom with its own Jacuzzi tub.

This property has potential for a retired couple or family that wants to live off the land and enjoy a country lifestyle.

The structures are in place to raise horses with a 6 stall stable, a coral, and plenty of pasture land to graze.

There is also Tilapia pond already built for a constant fresh fish supply.  You could raise free range chickens for laying eggs and for a food source.  Due to the extremely fertile soil near the river you could also transform this property in to an organic fruit farm and at the very least produce sufficient fruit and vegetables for your family or small community.   Could even get a couple dairy cows to produce your own milk and cheeses.  In just in case you cannot produce everything you need there are small markets close by and large supermarkets in San Isidro 40-45 minutes away.

There is an extraordinary amount of flat and usable land multiple additional homes could be built for a family compound or mini gated community.  Even numerous rental cabins and a Bed & Breakfast operation could be possible.  For more information click this link about this amazing Luxury Home on 30 Acres or visit www.DominicalProperty.com for more residential homes and farm listings.

Luxury Dominical Home for Sale

This is an incredible luxury home in Escaleras, perched above Dominical with open air design to optimize the tropical lifestyle of Costa Rica.  Panoramic vistas of the Dominicalito Bay and Punta Dominical with coastline all the way to Manuel Antonio offer an unsurpassed view.  Cool breezes off the ocean during the day and down from the mountains at night allows for indoor/outdoor living in absolute paradise.

Listed for $595,000 USD and was recently reduced from $685,000 USD.  This 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom home is 2,760 square feet with a 660 square foot covered indoor/outdoor living room.  The property size is 1.44 acres of land and has jungle along one side and the access road ends at this home for added privacy.

Poolside Terrace and Entertainment Area

Panoramic Ocean, Coastline, and Bay Views

660 sqft Covered Balcony for Indoor/Outdoor Living

Sunset from the Kitchen

Media Room with AC and Unique Cedar Ceiling

Master Bedroom with Open Air Design

Perfect End to a Day in Paradise

If you are looking for a finished high quality home for a second vacation home or place to retire in paradise, then this maybe the perfect fit for you!!  Costa Rica living at its finest in the coastal mountains of Dominical close to amenities, beaches, activities, and waterfalls!

Purchasing Property in Costa Rica – FAQ’s

There are many questions first time Buyers in Costa Rica may have and these are some of the most common we experience.  This guide of Frequently Asked Questions will help first time Buyers become informed of the Buying Process and different aspects of owning property in Costa Rica.

What is the procedure to buy a Costa Rica property?

First: After you have found the right property with your Real Estate agent, have them submit an Offer to the Seller or the Seller’s listing agent in order to agree upon the sales price and terms of the deal.   Second: Take this Offer to your Costa Rica attorney for them to write up the formal Sale Purchase Agreement or Offer to Purchase Agreement.  This document is legally binding, registered, clearly states all conditions necessary for the conveyance of the deed, sets a time frame for Due Diligence, and a date for closing; thus officially taking the property off the market.  It is also typical for the Buyer to send a deposit at the time of mutual signing of this agreement.  Third: The period of Due Diligence, which is the complete legal research of the property to insure there are no liens, contingencies, legal issues, and that it has absolute fee simple title.  If the property is being sold with an existing company, then the research of the company for any legal contingencies will also be completed during Due Diligence.  Fourth: Closing or conveyance of the deed occurs before a Notary Public, who will register the property under the new company or owner.  Alternatively, if the property is being purchased with an existing company, then the shares of the company are transferred at this time by a Shares Transfer Agreement.  In this case the Notary Public will make the corresponding changes to the company’s ownership in the National Registry.  Fifth: Declaring the property before the corresponding Municipality for property tax purposes by filling out a simple form and presenting it along with the some other documents either yourself or through your attorney.

Can I acquire a property under my personal name, even being a foreigner?

Yes, however, it is more common and recommended to acquire the property through a corporation in order to separate potential personal liabilities, facilitate the closing procedure, and allow for easier transfer to relatives in case of casualty.  The Costa Rica holding company will also make it easier to obtain services such as electricity and cell phones, as well as, opening a bank account.

Exception: A foreigner can only own up to 49% of the concession rights for a Concession Property within the Maritime Terrestrial Zone (MTZ).

If I live outside of Costa Rice, do I need to be present to sign for the conveyance of the deed at closing?

This is not specifically necessary and can be executed through a Power of Attorney for a third party that you trust.  This Power of Attorney can be very specific to solely the purchase and signing the closing document of the property in question.  Another option that is costly and timely is DHL or FedEx the documents and signing them in front of a licensed Notary Public at your nearest Costa Rica Consulate.  Considering the cost of the shipping and if the nearest Costa Rica Consulate is in another part of the country; then it can be more affordable to fly down and sign for yourself.

What are the taxes, legal fees, and closing expenses included in the purchase of property in Costa Rica?

Every property acquisition in Costa Rica has to pay the following National Registry Fees: Registry: 5 colones per every 1,000 colones of purchase price; Municipal: 2 colones per every 1,000 colones of purchase price; Fiscal: a maximum of 625 colones; Bar Association: a maximum of 10,000 colones; Archive: 20 colones.  The Transfer Taxof 1.5% must be paid to the National Registry if the property is transferred from one owner to another.  If a property is sold with an existing company and only the shares of the company are transferred, then this Transfer Tax does not apply.  These costs are often split by the Buyer and the Seller.

Legal Fees for the purchase of property in Costa Rica are 1% to 2% depending on the sales price, complexity of the transaction, and the allotted time spent by the attorney on the deal.  Additional legal costs may include the formation of a Costa Rica holding company of around $500 to $600 USD; drafting of any supplementary contracts or Seller Financing Agreements and registering of such contracts; and translation of contracts into your native language.  The Buyer and Seller typically pat for the separate attorneys.  If one attorney is used by both Buyer and Seller, then some for these legal fees can be split.  However, the Buyer is usually solely responsible for starting a new company, any contracts for Seller Financing (if needed) and registration of those contracts, and translations if the Seller is Spanish speaking.

Other Fees may include topographer fees if you choose to re-mark the boundaries of the property; and any extra investigation you may choose to execute such as; soil tests.  These items are typically paid by the Buyer.

A total property transaction costs about 4% of the property value and this can vary more depending on the amount of Due Diligence needed and less if the property is being sold with a current company.

How can I transfer funds for a property acquisition from my home country?

This can be accomplished by international wire transfer and the funds can be received by a recognized escrow company dedicated to protect funds and provide escrow services in Costa Rica. Direct wire transfer from the Buyer to the Seller can be done in certain cases, but should be done almost simultaneously as closing signatures; as many Sellers may not feel comfortable signing the closing documents until receiving a bank confirmation that the wire transfer has been completed.

Where and how are properties registered in Costa Rica?

All titled properties are registered in the “Registro Naccional” or National Registry located in Zapote, San Jose, Costa Rica.  There are satellite offices of the “Registro” around the country in larger cities.  This is a public record that anyone can research the owner of a property and any leans, loans, transformations, or damages against the said property.  In order to transfer a registered property the recorded owner must appear before a Notary Public in order to grant a public conveyance of the property, which then must be presented and recorded in the National Registry.  All registered properties have a folio real number (i.e. 6-123456-000) of which the first number represents the province where it is located, the second refers to the specific folio property number, and the third to the property rights as in number of owners (000 means only one owner).

Exceptions: (1) Concession property located in the Maritime Terrestrial Zone (MTZ); which is the 200 meters from the median high tide mark on both Pacific and Caribbean coasts.  The first 50 meters is public zone and free for the public to enjoy, where as the remaining 150 meters is the restricted zone where concession property can be granted by the local municipality.   Although there can be titled property with the MTZ, it is very rare and may have been titled since before the MTZ was put in place; but should be carefully investigated by your Costa Rica attorney to insure the validity and legality of the title.  Concession property is registered in different section of the National Registry called the Concession Registry and has an independent registration number.  Concession property is typically used for tourism and if this type of property is a consideration, then it is highly recommended your attorney review the concession and feasibility of your plans for the property before pursuing it further.  (2) There are also Possession Properties, which are untitled and are not registered in the National Registry.  These properties can obtain title through a lengthy process and if they comply with certain requirements; one of which is a minimum possession of 10 years.  These types of properties are the most risky and professional legal counsel is needed in this situation to advise if receiving title is possible before even considering such a property.

How can I check the status of a property in Costa Rica?

Go to the following website of the National Registry: http://www.rnpdigital.com/index.htm where anyone can check the status of a property.  Go to “Sistema de Certificaciones y Consultas Gratuitas” on the top left side of the webpage.  A new tab will open and then first time users will have to go to “Registrarse por Primera Vez” in the top left hand portion of the page.  After filling out the form you will receive an email and click on the link and enter your user email and password on the left hand side under “Ingreso para Usuarios Registrados”.  Then go to “Consultas Gratuitas” on the left hand side and next you will see a list of all the types of “Consultas” you can do for “Bienes Immuebles” (Real Estate).  To obtain a certified property report click on “Consulta por Numera de Finca”.  After this, you will have to enter the number of the property’s province or “Provincia” (first number of the Folio Real number on the Plano), the folio real number of the property (middle numbers of the Folio Real number on the plano), and the number of the property right “dereccho” (which is the last 3 digits of the Folio Real number on the Plano). Once you enter the said information click on the “Consultar” (consult) button.  A certificate with all the information of the property will appear on the screen.

How much are property taxes and other taxes associated with owning property in Costa Rica?

Property Taxes are 0.25% of the registered property value and are paid to the local Municipality for where the property is located.  These taxes are paid every 3 months or can be paid in full for the year in advance.  For example a $100,000 USD property pays $250 USD per year in Property Tax.

Corporation Tax is a fairly new tax passed in 2012 and is a fixed fee of $180 USD for inactive corporations and $360 USD for active corporations.  Most properties are held be an inactive corporation and this tax is paid to the “Ministerio de Hacienda”.

Luxury Tax is tax levied against luxury homes valued over approximately $200,000 USD and is also paid to the “Ministerio de Hacienda”.  This tax is around $2,500 and can be more depending on the registered value of the home.

Please feel free to contact us for any additional questions you may have about purchasing property in Costa Rica.  We have created a valuable network of contacts over our many years of experience in Costa Rica Real Estate such as; lawyers, architects, builders, topographers, accounts, property managers, and more.

Costa Rica is Once Again the Happiest Place on Earth

Once again Costa Rica has been determined the Happiest Planet on Earth in the annual Happy Planet Index (H.P.I.) by the New Economic Foundation.  The study ranks countries in terms of life expectancy, the amount of well being experienced by the local population, and environmental impact.  Costa Rica has been in the top 3 since the formation of the first H.P.I. in 2006 and has been #1 for the past 2 years.  No wonder so many people come from all over the world to experience the “Pura Vida” or “Pure Life” and immerse themselves in nature and stunningly beautiful scenery.   The top 10 results for 2012 are as follows:

2012 Happy Planet Index

Country

H.P.I.

Experienced Well-being

Life Expectancy

Ecological Footprint

Costa Rica

64

7.3

79.3

2.5

Vietnam

60.4

5.8

75.2

1.4

Colombia

59.8

6.4

73.7

1.8

Belize

59.3

6.5

76.1

2.1

El Salvador

58.9

6.7

72.2

2.0

Jamaica

58.5

6.2

73.1

1.7

Panama

57.8

7.3

76.1

3.0

Nicaragua

57.1

5.7

74.0

1.6

Venezuela

56.9

7.5

74.4

3.0

Guatemala

56.9

6.3

71.2

1.8

*New Economics Foundation’s annual Happy Planet Index (HPI) 2012

Costa Rica constantly scores high in the H.P.I. rankings for many reasons including high life expectancy, forward thinking in terms of environmental protection, genuinely happy local people, and it is a peaceful country with no military.  Life expectancy in Costa Rica is among some of the longest in the World and it was determined to be a “Blue Zone” country by Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN.  The country also actively protects its environment with 25% of its land mass dedicated to reserves or National Parks.  Plus Costa Rica has a goal to be the World’s first carbon neutral country by 2025.  The local people are very happy and you can see this walking down the street when they smile or nod at you for no particular reason.  Try smiling at someone as you walk down the streets of New York City and see if they respond so kindly.  Another contributing factor is that Costa Rica abolished its military in 1949 and remains neutral in global conflicts, thus its nickname the Switzerland of Central America.

So come see why Costa Rica is the Happiest Place on Earth and enjoy the “Pura Vida” in paradise!  If you are interested in purchasing a property, home, or just renting long term to try out the retirement lifestyle in Costa Rica, contact me at Dominical Property for more information.