5 Crucial Items for Buying Land in Costa Rica

Finding land for sale in Costa Rica can be a fun experience as you trek through the mountains or hike through primary or secondary rainforest on your way to a beautiful stream on the property. These moments often capture the imagination and the heart of visitors in Costa Rica. I have an old joke that I share with my clients every time we see white-faced monkeys or toucans on a property tour. I always grab my phone and act as if I’m using a walky-talky saying, “Ok! Release the monkeys.. Now!” These moments cannot be scripted any better. Costa Rica is unlike many places on Earth. You are very likely to see white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, and more while you take a tour in search of the perfect property for sale in Costa Rica.
If you’re searching for residential lots in San Jose, well, the experience is similar to what you might expect back home. In any case, making sure you work with a knowledgeable and professional broker can save you many headaches and surprises. We’ve put together an important list of items to review prior to any land purchase in Costa Rica.
Property Boundaries

It is always important to have a topographer double check the property boundaries prior to closing with the purchase and any hard deposits contingent on such a review.

Water Source

Water sources in Costa Rica are not considered to be owned by the title holder. All water sources are property of Costa Rica and they reserve the right to determine who can use the water and for what.


Title Study
Costa Rica real estate titles are very easy to review on the country’s online National Registry; however, it is also important to make sure that your attorney does a title history search going back through all previous transfers in search of anomalies.


Easements should appear in writing on the title of the property providing the right-of-way noting that it is “in favor” of the subject property. This applies to any water lines, roads, electric lines, or even a view!


Is the road public or private? Who is responsible for the upkeep of the road? Remember, the municipalities generally do not maintain rural roads. It takes an organized community to ensure regular maintenance.


We also recommend that you review electric hook-up, cable/internet access, maintenance cost, property boundary markers/fencing condition, soil samples for building sites, and environmentally sensitive areas.


As a trusted broker with a combined 40 years of experience in Costa Rica and the Southern Zone, Coldwell Banker Vesta Group Dominical can ensure these areas are not left in doubt. Let our experience, resources, and integrity be your guide.

James Drews

Vice President, Sales. Age 43 Prior to co-founding VESTA GROUP, James moved to Costa Rica in 1996 and began his real estate career here by co-founding Dominical Realty. In 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise, and three years later partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become Vesta Group, the Master-Franchise-holder for the entire country. As a member of the Global Association of Realtors and the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to ten (10) offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. James is married to a Costa Rican, and proud father of 3 daughters ages 7,10, and 20. James, is well respected among the local and foreign community, and carries high ethical standards, and a hard working family man that seeks to provide his customers with the best level of service possible. James goes out of his way to seek out new frontiers that are ahead of the wave, and specializes in rural and remote farmland, developing land and collecting legacy type of properties. Surfing big waves, fishing, hiking, and travel are favorite pastimes. Daily goal is a new discovery. Approaching 20 years of living in Costa Rica, James knows his territory well, and has much love for his new country and it's people, and will guide you well, and share his resources and local knowle​d​ge with you to make your new venture successful.​ ​