You are here: Home E-Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica Chapter 3 - A Menu of Real Estate Options: Architectural Styles and Legal Structures

Chapter 3 - A Menu of Real Estate Options: Architectural Styles and Legal Structures

The purpose of the first part of this chapter is to identify some of the architectural styles that you’ll see in Costa Rica—and to also indicate which styles are the most popular. Even those who plan on building a home rather than buying one will want to learn what kinds of homes are selling most rapidly, as there is a relationship between the style of the house you build and how readily (and for how much money) you will one day be able to sell it. While building that glass and steel, onion-shaped dream home may appeal to your avant-garde instincts, it may also leave you stuck with a house that’s impossible to sell (and that doesn’t fit it with the architectural styles that prevail in your area). The spectacularly wealthy, of course, are free from the considerations of resale value, and in many parts of the country you’ll see a number of quirky or otherwise unique luxury homes that defy general architectural trends.

In the second part of this chapter, the author deals with a topic that has the somewhat unwieldy name of legal structures. Costa Rican property law—similar to property law in most other countries—allows you to own property under a variety of legal structures. Do you want a stand-alone house or would you prefer to live in a condominium? What about a gated community? Or maybe you’d prefer to buy a home that is located within the grounds of a hotel resort. In addition to describing the general features of these categories of home ownership, the author also gives details for a number of actual developments in order to round out the picture.

After reading this chapter, you should thus have a clear idea of the kinds of architectural styles that occur in Costa Rica, along with knowledge of the options available for structuring ownership of your property. Knowing these two things will help you better formulate exactly what you’re looking for, even before sitting down with a real estate broker.