The Speedy, Magic Way to Create a Public Road

Another Gringo gets a property surprise

Why take the long way around when you can get three witnesses to say a driveway is a public road, and voilà, like magic, it becomes public.

Then bulldozers do a great job of tearing down private entranceways.

This is what happened a week ago to one U.S. citizen from Chicago. Four years ago the man fell in love with Costa Rica, as many foreigners do, and bought a farm in Cartago. The title to the property was squeaky clean and had no annotation of easements or any other restrictions.

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Envionment Ministry About to Show Its Muscles

Beach concessions to face enforcement

The environmental ministry is about to specify where construction can go within the borders of beach concessions.

Even though an individual or a firm may already have an approved concession, the ministry is ready to rule out construction in forest land, land with steep slopes and wetlands.

And the ministry may initiate destruction of structures that already have been built on land that is now being declared off limits. In some concession areas 60 to 70 percent of the land is being safeguarded by the environmental ministry.

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Big Changes Taking Place in Maritime Rules

Slope of land can kill projects

There are some surprises in motion in the maritime zone. Few people are aware of them today. Foreign ownership restrictions are being challenged. And the environmental ministry appears to be preventing development because it rules that some land is too steep.

So an investment into planning parcels for concession may be money wasted.

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Events Up North Put Chill on Real Estate Here

Overbuilding, speculation begin to take toll

The five-year real estate sales boom is winding down fast in the United States. Costa Rica’s real estate market is slowing too. Skyrocketing property values may be a thing of the past there and here.

Many speculators in the United States are now walking away from their deposits or trying to wiggle out of their contracts and losing substantial money in the process. Others are stuck with their investments because they did not see the reversal coming.

As home equities soared up north, many owners borrowed heavily against their holding there to buy property in Costa Rica. Usually this is the case in fast moving markets. People get overconfident and borrow, margin, or otherwise overextend themselves to chase increasing values.

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It’s Just Another Mickey Mouse Rumor

A false rumor that the Walt Disney Co. plans to construct a major resort on the Pacific coast is getting new life, thanks to telephone solicitors for real estate deals.

A study by a local consultant shows no evidence that Jacó or Quepos will join ranks with the likes of Los Angeles, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Paris, France; Tokyo, Japan; or Hong Kong; the five population centers where Disney has theme parks and resorts.

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When Laws Collide, Projects Can Be Big Losers

Condo easement situation is example

When laws collide, the fallout can hurt the little guy — or in this case, keep the little guy from getting full title to his new condo.

A simple pyramid can explain the legal system in Costa Rica. Sources are the Constitution, legislated laws, presidential and executive decrees along with the rules and regulations that give instructions on how to apply law.

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Judicial Fight Freezes Beach Developments

Construction of beach developments in Costa Rica has been frozen because the Sala IV constitutional court is considering a complex case that pits the central government against its own employees and environmentalists.

The issue involves the concessions that developers get to build within the maritime zone, which is the public land located between the ocean and the first 200 meters from the average high tide line. Construction is not permitted in the first 50 meters, but long-lasting concessions are permitted in the rest.

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Balloon Payment Makes Seller a Silent Partner

Welcome to the Wild, Wild West. There are prospectors, gamblers, gunslingers, and even saloons, and brothels. One can find gold in them thar hills. Oops, them thar hills are the gold — literally.

Yes, all this is referring to Costa Rica. The translation of Costa Rica to English is “Rich Coast.” Spanish conquerors gave the country its name because supposedly there was tons of real gold to be found in this country when they landed on its coasts. Or better yet, maybe those who arrived hundreds of years ago knew the secrets most people are learning now.

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Condo Creations Provide More Complexities

Watch out for this guy

A whole lot of money is being made by those selling condos up and down the coast of Costa Rica.

There are as many weird deals. Some condominium projects are skirting the law. This explosion is due to the “Ley Reguladora de Propiedad en Condominio” or condominium law, published in La Gaceta on Nov. 25, 1999. Apartment buildings, commercial places like malls, office buildings, and — unbelievably — even cemeteries use the condo law to divide up property.

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Boom in Beach Condos Could Cause Oversupply

Water, sewers, environment are factors to consider

The condo explosion

Get ready for Costa Rica’s condominium explosion. It is happening right now all over the country.

Beehive condos are popping up everywhere. The San José area, Escazú and Santa Ana are perfect examples. New condos are growing out of the ground fast.

First, the hot trend was malls. The last five years brought three new malls and complete renovations to two older ones. There is even one more in the development stage. The “biggest and baddest” mall is yet to come south of The Forum in Santa Ana. The ground is prepared and ready to go. However, construction recently was suspended.

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