ISLANDS FOR SALE IN Central America

Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s real estate has been booming for years and the country is a renowned destination for eco-tourism. Lush jungles, dense forests, rumbling volcanoes, endless coastlines and secluded beaches are just a few of the natural wonders of this Central American paradise. Island ownershi... + Read More p in Costa Rica has special restrictions affecting foreigners because of the maritime-terrestrial zone which affects property fronting the ocean.


Costa Rica Foreign Ownership Info
Costa Rica is a Central America success story. The country is democratic in all things, especially real estate. In Costa Rica, anyone can buy real estate and foreigners enjoy the same rights as citizens of the country. There are practically no restrictions on owning land in Costa Rica - your residence, or even presence, is not required to own land in Costa Rica. The same is not true for private islands.

Foreigners cannot buy islands in the territorial waters of Costa Rica. The good news is that with some restrictions, you can lease a private island for up to 20 years. These renewable leases are called concesiones. But Costa Rica’s democracy ensures that the public has the right to use all beaches, whether on the mainland or an island. No one can restrict access or have a totally private beach. The first 50 metres of any beachfront are off-limits to private ownership. Concession rights begin after the 50-metre line. Two thousand square metres is the limit on an island concession for private use. If you want more than that, you must apply for an additional lease.

Concession rights mean you are paying the government for the right to use the land. If the land was previously concessioned, you will have to buy the concession from the owner for his price, then pay the yearly lease fee to the government. Foreigners applying for concession rights to coastal or island property must have lived in Costa Rica for five years prior to applying. If the concessionaire is a company, at least 50% of its shares must be owned by Costa Rican citizens.

The process includes a Regulating Plan that covers every aspect of the island under consideration. A private Regulating Plan contractor is faster but more expensive than using the government. The Regulating Plan outlines the use of the island; uses include tourism, residential, agricultural or reserve. Each category has its own requirements.

Once a concession is granted, an island is yours for the duration. As long as you are faithful to the contract, the government will uphold its part of the bargain. Every five years, the island will be inspected by a government agency to ensure compliance with your government contract. If that contract is broken, it’s likely the lease will be revoked immediately.

Access to private is equal, on a first come, first served basis. You may sell your concession for the remaining balance of the 20 years, setting your own price. The process is likely to take up to a year or more. These legal issues are not expensive, but they are time consuming and a good lawyer is necessary.   - Read Less

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