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  • How to Avoid Landowners' Worst Nightmare: Squatter Invasion
    if there are any problems with the land and making sure the property doesn t look abandoned If you do your homework you re not going to run into the squatter problem he says Once you ve purchased the land Wells suggests placing signs at the entrances and corners of the property declaring it private property with the name and phone number of the owner or person with legal power over the land If you plan to use the property only part of the time he suggests you hire someone to care for it But beware caretakers have been known to claim rights to land they ve been hired to watch To avoid that Wells says you should demand signed receipts every time you pay the caretaker and if possible register the person as an employee which means paying at least minimum wage plus Social Security requirements If you re not in regular contact with the caretaker as is the case with many owners who live abroad Wells says you should try to have a friend here with some type of power of attorney stay in monthly contact with the caretaker and be available at all times in case the caretaker runs into a problem But even with all these precautions squatters could still decide your dream retreat is the place for them to establish their farms If squatters invade your best hopes of getting them out are in the first three months As soon as they arrive Wells suggests getting a still or video camera a notary public and the local Rural Guard to go to the property to make an inspection whose results the notary certifies in what is known as an acta This will help establish the exact date of the invasion and shows prior possession of the land If all legal paperwork is handled properly this should get the courts to issue a summary eviction The first three months of an invasion are critical and that s why it s important to have a caretaker who can get in touch with the owner Wells says If more than three months but less than a year have passed you ll have to start the process of administrative eviction which means property registries and bills of sale become vital as does proving the exact date of the invasion Watch out for false bills of sale Wells warns If more than a year passes before you take legal action to evict squatters you must go through the ordinary lawsuit process which Wells describes as kind of like a root canal Recently some owners of invaded land have turned to their local embassies for help although the role diplomatic missions can play is limited see separate story Even with swift action and a solid legal case it may take several years to get squatters evicted In rural areas biased judges and increased legal and court costs due to transportation may hinder the landowners desire to fight the legal battle Despite

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/real-estate/readings/950317-b.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Step by Step through the Real Estate Process
    well as an independent investigation to ensure clear transfer of title 3 Draft Transfer Deed The transfer deed escritura drafted by the attorney shifts ownership from seller to buyer 4 Pay Closing Costs Buyer and seller customarily share closing costs They include Real Estate transfer tax 3 percent of sale price Registration fee 5 percent of sale price Documentary stamps 5 percent of sale price Notary fees 1 5 percent of for first c1 million of sale price 1 25 percent on the balance Mortgage registration fees which vary in cost 4 Register Transfer Deed The lawyer now must present and register the transfer deed in the property section of the Public Registry The deed will be accepted only if accompanied by Documents proving that all taxes and registrations are paid Certification from the Finance Ministry stating that the seller s property taxes are current Certification from the local municipality stating that both buyer and seller are current on municipal taxes Evidence that all prior mortgages liens and judgments if any have been lifted Building a Home If you wish to build on your land several more steps are required 1 Conduct a Preliminary Study which should be completed before you buy the land Determine if the lot has access to water drainage electricity and telephone services Determine if there are any restrictions on land use Check with the Ministry of Public Works Ministry of Health National Institute of Housing and Development local municipality and the Forestry Department All applications or construction permits must be presented by a licensed architect or engineer 2 Contact an Architect or Civil Engineer Law requires that all applications for construction permits be presented by an architect or civil engineer licensed by the Costa Rican Association of Engineers and Architects 3 Request a Construction Permit

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/real-estate/readings/950317-a.html (2015-06-03)
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  • The Golden Rules of Buying Real Estate
    of the purchase document not the deed itself All property is registered in a central registry Sección Propiedad Registro Público This registration allows everybody to know officially who the owner is and the conditions of such ownership Most liens and encumbrances are registered in the same Registro Público in different sections There is also a registry where property maps also called plot or plat maps or in Spanish planos catastrados are registered called the Catastro Before you purchase always make sure the information in the property section and the Catastro coincides with the property you are shown In my experience attorneys seldom check the catastro and almost never assure themselves that the actual property you are shown is the same one they are transferring To do so you will need a topographer Your first important decision is how to find the property you wish to purchase Find a real estate agent you can trust This last can be best achieved by referral from a friend or by looking up the agent s name in the Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce AmCham or the Cámara de Corredores de Bienes Raíces de Costa Rica even then try to obtain references The second thing you must do is find a competent attorney Try to have him or her involved early in your dealings Referral is also the best way to find the right attorney If you have any doubts about what your real estate agent or your attorney is telling you do not hesitate to get a second opinion Never use the seller s attorney as your own own With respect to real estate agents keep in mind that customarily the brokerage fee is paid by the seller only if the property is sold so you might think twice about the advice and information obtained from a person who will make his money only if you purchase the property you re looking at The cost of your transaction is another thing you must know Usually you will end up paying approximately 5 28 of the sale price in transfer taxes stamp taxes registry fees and notarial fees This is usually paid half by the buyer half by the seller This percentage does not include mortgage costs which are additional and paid by the purchaser The following are what I call the three golden rules of purchasing real estate 1 Use your common sense If the deal is too good check it carefully Make sure you are dealing with reputable individuals This is a small country and if you ask chances are you can always find references about the persons you are dealing with Just because the seller or his agent speaks your language does not make him or her automatically honest 2 Be well informed before you start Select those professionals you want helping you before you need them Have an idea of what you want prices and possible future use of your land Always buy with the thought that some day

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/real-estate/readings/950317.html (2015-06-03)
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