How To Secure A Bank Loan To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate


Buying a vacation home in Costa Rica is a great idea. Do you have enough money saved up to purchase a beach condo in Costa Rica?

Wherever you live in the US or Canada, it’s probably only a few hours flight to San Jose or Liberia airport. Either airport gives you easy access to a wide range of beach areas that not only offer beautiful beaches and lush jungle, but some also have great golf courses, casinos.


Before you start looking for your future vacation home in Costa Rica, let’s talk about the financial part first. How can you secure a bank loan to purchase a property in Costa Rica?

Mortgage brokers do not exist in Costa Rica and most realtors will not help you secure a loan. You will need to do your homework yourself and visit all the banks yourself and see which one can give you the best options VA loans are not available from Costarican banks.

Costarican banks

Banks in Costa Rica only give a mortgage to residents and citizens. There are several ways to become a resident, but that is a process that will take at least a year. For non-residents there are other options of to secure a bank loan, I will tell you more about that in this article. Once you have your Costarican residency in place, you have many options to secure a bank loan.

Banks will lend 80% of the appraised value of a vacation home you want to purchase in Costa Rica, for 15, 20 and 30 years, at an average of 8% annually in US dollars and at 14% in colones, which is the local currency.  The bank will charge you 1.5% formalization fees and will oblige you to take fire and earthquake insurance as well as a life insurance.

Private loans

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For those buyers of Costa Rica real estate who do not have residency, there are several options. You can try to get owner financing. Some sellers are willing to finance at very reasonable interest rates compared to bank financing, for 2 – 5 years. You will not find long term owner financing available as most sellers need the money to purchase another home elsewhere.

Private financing or hard money loans is available in Costa Rica anywhere between 10 – 18% in US dollars. Your Costa Rica real estate agent should be able to help you with that.


To qualify for a loan to purchase a vacation home in Costa Rica, works just like in other countries. The bank or lender will request your credit report, your tax filing for the last 3 years and proof of income. If you have your income from out of the country, it will just take a little longer to qualify you for your loan.

No money down

Since the end of the boom in 2008, no-money down loans are not available and rent to own does not exist. You could try to get your local bank to give you an equity loan on your home and use that to purchase your vacation home in Costa Rica.

If you are looking secure a bank loan to purchase Costa Rica real estate, do your due diligence, so you can be sure you cover all your options as best as you can.

Ivo Henfling, a Dutch expat who has lived in Costa Rica since 1980, founded the American-European Real Estate Group back in 1999 which was the first functioning MLS with affiliate agents from coast to coast.

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