If you wish to purchase a newly constructed home or want to design and construct your own home on land purchased for that purpose, here is some basic information. If you are purchasing an existing home these figures will help you evaluate the price of your purchase. Your realtor will help you in this appraisal. Generally Tucan Realty does not list overpriced homes, but there are variations in pricing and reasons for these variations.
Home purchase or construction cost in April 2011 was between $50 and $100 per square foot ($538 to $1076 per square meter). The higher figure includes luxury finishings for flooring, ceilings, roofing, etc., the lower figure basic cement bloc construction and minimal finishings. Building materials and construction labor have both been increasing in recent years and will likely to continue to increase. If the home is older construction there will be some depreciation, nominally 2% per year. Add to this the cost of land, for which there is a considerable range and is usually priced in square meters, 4000m2 is one acre, 10,000 one hectare. A lot of 1000m2 will provide a modest front and backyard.. There is also a location factor. Prices of land or existing homes are higher in the San Jose area than in the country. Near beach locations are very high priced. In the San Jose area the higher prices are in the western suburbs, such as Escazu and Santa Ana, lower prices generally are found in Heredia and parts of Alajuela. The character of the neighborhood also influences prices, residential areas with nicer homes being the most high priced.
Thus, if you wish to buy or build a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home of standard cement construction on a 1000m2 lot in the metropolitan area in a neighborhood of mixed housing the land cost is likely to be about $100 m2, $100,000, and a 2000 square foot home $65 m2, $130,000, plus furnishings and any higher quality finishings. The construction of the basic frame of the home will be about 55% of the cost, the roof and ceiling 19% , the flooring 15%, and electrical and plumbing 11%.
If you choose to live more in the country or outlying area like San Ramon or in the Northern Zone, you can get more land at much less cost, for example a two acre lot for around $50,000 or a 25 acre farm for under $200,000. Home construction costs will be about the same as in the metropolitan area. For the San Ramon area you can consult with our master builder there, Wilbur Arias, and for the area north of San Ramon on the contacts of the Tucan agent, Deiber Camacho. For home construction in the Heredia area contact Terry or Dana Gribble for recommendations. For recommendations for construction companies for residential development or commercial or tourism projects consult Dale Johnson.
Both state and private banks in Costa Rica offer financing for home purchase or construction, including for non-residents. The terms are published from time to time in newspapers. In 2009 and most of 2010, the banks generally were not loaning money to foreigners due primarily to the global financial crisis. In 2011, however, banks are now offering attractive loans to all qualified buyers with terms ranging from 15-30 years, 7.5-9.0 % interests rates, and 80-100% financing. Time for approval on a loan is still, at best, one month with 2-3 months more likely.
Banks require documentation of ongoing income sufficient to cover mortgage payment. The Bank requires that the buyer pay for an appraisal and they charge a bank commission on the amount of the loan at 1.7%.
There is also a mortgage filing fee at the National Registry. You can borrow in your individual name or through a corporation that you establish to purchase the home. There are also private lenders and mortgage brokers, but their terms appear to be quite dear.
The Banco de Costa Rica is now targeting more actively mortgages. They have a new program of 85% financing.
Foreign residents who do not have their official residency yet, may also apply. Although they have to submit additional documentation.
We maintain a list of funding sources for development projects. For our specialty in sustainable development projects email Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org for a word document list of funding sources. We particularly recommend Fundecooperacion, a Dutch-Costa Rican Foundation that finances projects of sustainabledevelopment, organic agriculture, eco-tourism, clean technology, and gender equality. See www.fundecooperacion.com
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