Property Management

So you bought a property, home, or farm in Costa Rica and you are not a full time resident, now what?  The best option is to hire someone to protect your hard earned investment.  A professional property management company can give you peace of mind while living abroad; especially if you only get to visit a couple times per year.  If you own a home or vacation rental the manager can arrange any maintenance projects, help renters get settled and be on call for any of their needs, collect security deposits and inspect for any damages, arrange cleanings, gardens, and pool care.  A house left alone can become a more expensive proposition by leaving it alone until a major project or maintenance job is needed versus periodic minor cleaning and upkeep.  For lots, properties, and farms keeping them frequently chopped, borders clean and marked, and views open are the most important services provided.  The jungle grows really fast around here and property can become completely overgrown in just 3 months time.  Also a property manager can pay property taxes, monthly bills, worker’s salary and insurance, HOA fees (if applicable), and more.

No matter where you buy in Costa Rica it is worth hiring a professional property manager or caretaker to insure your property is well cared for and looked after.  If you are a home or property owner in the Dominical-Costa Ballena area, then we at United Country – Properties in Domincal can help with any management needs.  Below are some of the property management services we offer our customers.

Property Management Services

  • Routine inspections of property or home and identification of any preventative maintenance needs.
  • Set up utility services such as internet, satellite or cable TV, phone, etc.
  • Facilitate payments of workers, phone, internet, power, TV, association fees, home insurance, property taxes, and more.
  • Provide monthly balance statements and receipts.
  • Custom cleaning and gardener schedules specific to each property or home.
  • Pool and landscaping maintenance.
  • Facilitate quotes and oversee additional projects such as remodeling.  And provide photos and feedback of the process and finished work to owners.
  • Concierge Service for vacation rentals such as; arranging tours, stocking groceries, restaurant reservations, and in home massages.
  • Advertisement of the vacation rental on our website and other lead generating websites and answering inquiries from such websites and booking reservations.
  • Welcoming guests to the vacation rental and walking them through the home and its features.
  • Fumigation for insects and termites around the house.
  • Clear overgrown vegetation, frequent trimming, maintain open views, and clean boundary lines regularly for lots, land, and farms.
  • Assist with the permit process and oversee development of the property for development parcels.
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Legal Advice

Legal representation is the most important aspect of purchasing property in Costa Rica after choosing a professional real estate broker.  Although much of the buying process is similar to the U.S., Canada, and Europe there are differences to the process and an attorney can walk you through the process step by step.  Most properties in Costa Rica are purchased through corporations for liability and tax purposes and your attorney will set one up for you.  The lawyer will also perform all the necessary title search and due diligence to ensure a property has fee simple title, free of any liens, no boundary disputes, and is completely safe to transfer ownership.

Below is a list of attorneys we have worked with and can recommend for prospective clients.

Local Area Attorneys at Law

Randall Sanchez Mora
Sanchez and Associates
http://www.sanchezlex.com
Phone: (506) 2771-3501
Email: rarusamo@racsa.co.cr
Apartado: (P. O. Box) 201
San Isidro de Pérez Zeledón
011901, Costa Rica
Location: Pink/red two story building across from ICE Office and Delji Chicken

Ana Vargas Jara
Vargas Abogados
Phone: (506) 2771-0098
Fax: (506) 2771-0858
Email: anavargas@racsa.co.cr
Apartado: (P. O. Box) 40
San Isidro de Pérez Zeledón
011901, Costa Rica
Location: Central park across from front entrance of church entrance near a pharmacy

Casimiro Vargas Mora
CV Firm
http://www.cvfirm.com
Phone: (506) 2771- 4504 / (506) 2743-8535
Fax: (506) 2743-7191
Email: info@cvfirm.com
Apartado: (P. O. Box) 845
San Isidro de Pérez Zeledón
011901, Costa Rica
Location: Office in San Isidro next to 5 Menos and also at the Dome Commercial Center in Uvita

Kristi Penand
Uvita Law Firm
http://www.uvitalawfirm.com
Phone: (506) 2743-8416 / 2743-8619
Fax: (506) 2743-8417
Email: Kristipenland@gmail.com
Location: Centro Comercial “The Dome” Offices #14 and 15
Uvita, Osa, Puntarenas

San Jose Attorneys

Arias & Munez
http://www.ariaslaw.com/costa-rica-lawyers.aspx
Phone: (506) 2204-7575
Fax: (506) 2204-7580
Email: ariaslawcr@ariaslaw.co.cr
Location: Centro Empresarial Forum, Edificio C, Oficina 1C1
Santa Ana, San José, Costa Rica, C.A.
Apartado 12891 – 1000

Alberto Sáenz-Roesch
LLMR&T – Lara, López Matamoros, Rodríguez & Tinoco
http://www.llm.co.cr
Phone: (506) 2519-7500 / (506) 8880-5252
Fax: (506) 2519-7575
E-mail: asaenz@llm.co.cr
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Top 10 Reasons to Retire in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most desirable places in the World to retire for its beautiful natural scenery, tranquil “Pura Vida” lifestyle, friendly locals, year round temperate climate, and many more reasons depending on the individual.  In this blog I will discuss the Top 10 Reasons that most people retire here.  The majority of retires are from the U.S., Canada, and Europe making Costa Rica a unique country of many cultures living peacefully together in paradise and truly enjoying life!!

Peace and Stability – Costa Rica is commonly known as the Switzerland of Latin America due to its neutral political stance, peaceful democracy, and dramatic mountainous landscapes.  There has been some form of democracy in Costa Rica for well over 100 years and the country abolished its military long ago in 1949.  The United States is their closest ally and many expats already live in Costa Rica.  Former President Oscar Arias was once awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987.

Cost of Living Life in Costa Rica is very affordable and one of the lowest in the Americas.  For $1,200 per month a retired couple can live very well and for around $2,000 per month can live affluently.  Utilities are up to 30% cheaper in Costa Rica than the US and Europe and a full time gardener and house keeper can be obtained for a few hundred dollars per month each.  Numerous inexpensive local restaurants with fresh local fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood ingredients make eating out enjoyable.

Lifestyle – The ‘Pura Vida’ or the ‘Pure life’ is the local expression for everything from a greeting to a state of mind.  The pace of life here is laid back and punctuality is merely a suggestion, which is the whole idea of retirement.  There is also plenty to do for those searching a healthy active lifestyle such as: surfing, hiking, white water rafting, bird watching, sport fishing, biking, zip line tours, horseback riding, walking secluded beaches, and much more.  Explore or relax as much as one desires.  According to the New Economics Forum Costa Rica is the happiest country in the World, ranking 1st on the Happy Planet Index in 2009, up from 3rd in 2006.  It also consistently ranks among the top Latin American countries on the Human Development Index.

Affordable Health Care – The cost of health care in Costa Rica is a fraction of that in the US or Europe.  Many even come here for medical tourism to enjoy the benefits of World class medicine and a top travel destination.  Public health care is readily available and private hospitals such as: CIMA Hospital, Clinica Biblia, and Hospital Catolica are filled with specialist doctors that studied abroad.

Climate – The year round warm weather is another of the desirable reasons to call Costa Rica home.  The central valley has moderate temperatures and enjoys weather in the70’s most of the year.  The coastal climates are warmer with plenty of sunshine for days at the beach.  There are only two seasons here; dry season typically November through April and rainy season typically May through October.  Even in the rainy season there are mostly sunny mornings with afternoon or evening rains.  September and October are usually the rainiest months of the year.

Natural Beauty – Costa Rica is unsurpassed as one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the World with mountains, rainforests, volcanoes, pristine beaches, rivers, and two coastlines bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.  Costa Rica, despite accounting for only 0.25% of the World’s land mass, it is home to 5% of the World’s biodiversity.  National Geographic has called the Corcavado National Park on the Osa Peninsula in the Soutern Pacific Zone one of the most bio diverse places on the entire planet.

Sustainability – Costa Rica is very ‘green’ or eco minded with the majority of utility power coming from hydro-electric sources, protecting rain forests and wild life, and promoting eco-tourism.  The government even has plans to become the World’s first carbon neutral country by 2021.  Costa Rica ranked 3rd in the World, and 1st in the Americas on the 2010 Environmental Performance Index.  An astounding 25% of its total landmass is protected by reserves and national parks, more than any other country by percentage.

Taxes – Low tax rates are another popular reason for people to retire in Costa Rica.  There is no income tax paid on income earned outside of the country and no capital gains tax.  Property taxes here are extremely low at only 0.25% of the recorded property value.

Business Opportunity – There are numerous investment opportunities in Costa Rica with historically rising real estate values, ever increasing international trade, and a large tourism sector.  It is the number one Latin American tourist destination, which is more than a $2 billion per year industry.  Retirees can start a small business such as; bed and breakfast, hotel, restaurant, fishing charter, tour operator, spa, and more providing themselves with income and additional jobs for the local work force.  Costa Rica also has a highly educated population with over a 94% literacy rate.

Comfort Factor – Costa Rica has more Americans living here per capita than any other country outside the United States.  The locals are friendly to expatriates and there is less feeling of isolation with other retirees nearby.  Only a 3 hour flight from Florida and the US; its close location makes visiting the States easy and accessible.  Other comforts include majority English channels on SkyTV, internet access even in rural areas through satellites or 3G cell phone networks, and the same or comparable stores and services in the larger cities and towns.