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How to Evaluate a Mortgage in Costa Rica

Understanding How to Evaluate a Mortgage in Costa Rica

Before evaluating a mortgage in Costa Rica, it is essential to understand the local market. Costa Rica’s mortgage market is still developing and has unique characteristics. Unlike many other countries, mortgages in Costa Rica can only be issued by banks, not specialized lenders. Moreover, most mortgages in Costa Rica are based on a variable interest rate, which means the rate can fluctuate over time. This article will cover how to evaluate a mortgage in Costa Rica.

How It Works

As you can see from our Available Loans page, Gap Investments does remarkable work in assessing and presenting equity loan opportunities to private investors. We pride ourselves on providing a clear picture of how to evaluate a mortgage in Costa Rica and why it is a great investment opportunity.

Only a handful of the many loan requests we get daily deserve this consideration. This is due to our expectations for what we want to show our investors. Of course, as an investor, you always have the option of investing in a loan or not.

During the property’s site visit, our team will take photographs you see in the Investor Alerts. Furthermore, we require site visits to analyze the property and the prospective borrower in person.

The Due Diligence Check

We do a due diligence investigation on the collateral property before scheduling a site visit. The following are the measures to take:

Checking the land survey (Plano cadastro).

We check the property in the National Registry, determine its location, and assess its potential as a loan possibility using the Plano.

Checking the title.

We then check over the title document in the National Registry to ensure no surprises. For example, restrictions, liens, and litigation would make the loan unviable.

Getting initial land and construction values.

Based on a set of criteria provided by the borrower, we employ a combination of government-supplied and commercial data sources to determine an appropriate market value for the property and structure.

Initial checks on the borrower.

We do some basic checks on the borrower based on publicly available data. We check the borrower’s status with the tax department (Tributación), Social Security and Health Care Program (Caja), and the municipality. If a corporation is involved, we verify it is up-to-date with the yearly corporate tax and required declarations. We also ensured the company was not dissolved or merged with another entity.

The Site Visit

We schedule a site inspection with the prospective borrower after we finish this initial assessment and analyze the property’s market feasibility. If our team likes what we see during the site visit, we inform our investors by email with Investor Alerts and post the loan opportunity on our website and social media accounts.


Understanding how to evaluate a mortgage in Costa Rica can be complex, but borrowers can make informed decisions with proper understanding and research. By considering the local market, various factors, and documentation requirements, borrowers can ensure they get the best mortgage deal possible. We hope this guide helps you evaluate mortgages in Costa Rica and make the right decisions for your financial future. Always shop around, consider the total cost, get pre-approved, and be prepared with all the necessary documentation. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right mortgage for your needs in Costa Rica.

-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of Grupo Gap)


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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can foreigners apply for mortgages in Costa Rica?

    Yes, foreigners can apply for mortgages in Costa Rica. However, they must provide additional documentation, such as proof of legal residency in the country.

    What is the average interest rate for mortgages in Costa Rica?

    The average mortgage interest rate in Costa Rica is around 7-8%. However, this can vary depending on the borrower’s credit score and the bank’s lending policies.

    How long does it take to get a mortgage in Costa Rica?

    The mortgage approval process in Costa Rica can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. This timeline can depend on the completeness and accuracy of the borrower’s documentation, the bank’s internal approval process, and any legal or bureaucratic delays.

    What is the minimum down payment required for a mortgage in Costa Rica?

    The minimum down payment required for a mortgage in Costa Rica is typically around 20% of the property’s value. However, some banks may require a higher down payment, depending on the borrower’s financial situation and the bank’s lending policies.

    Can I negotiate the terms of my mortgage in Costa Rica?

    Yes, borrowers can negotiate the terms of their mortgage in Costa Rica. However, the extent to which banks are willing to negotiate can vary depending on factors such as the borrower’s creditworthiness and the bank’s internal policies.

    What fees are associated with mortgages in Costa Rica?

    In addition to the interest rate, borrowers in Costa Rica may be required to pay application fees, appraisal fees, and closing costs. These fees can vary depending on the bank and the mortgage specifics.

    Can I pay off my mortgage early in Costa Rica?

    Yes, borrowers in Costa Rica can typically pay off their mortgages early without incurring any penalties. However, it is important to check the specific terms and conditions of the mortgage contract to ensure that there are no penalties for early repayment.

    How can I find the best mortgage deal in Costa Rica?

    To find the best mortgage deal in Costa Rica, it is important to shop around and compare the terms and conditions offered by different banks. Additionally, borrowers should consider factors such as the interest rate, the total cost of the mortgage, and the bank’s reputation and customer service. Working with a trusted mortgage broker or financial advisor can also help borrowers find the right mortgage.



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