What do I need to know about investing in Costa Rica?
In Costa Rica, pursuing a traditional bank loan can be highly time-consuming and expensive, with double-digit interest rates, and require enormous paperwork. Private lenders working with Gap Investments provide loans for 1-3 year terms, filling the “gap” quickly and efficiently for qualified borrowers looking for short-term solutions. Investing in Costa Rica as a lender working with Gap Investments has never been easier!
Gap Investments has well-trained professional advisors and analysts acting in the best interest of borrowers and the investors they represent.
How can I participate in a private/hard money loan?
There are many ways you can participate in a private money loan transaction. You can fund a new loan, buy an existing loan, or combine your investments in a fractionalized note with other investors.
Why do they call it “hard money”?
“Hard money” is used with a loan that is “hard to get” from a traditional lending source, such as a bank. The term also comes from the asset pledged as collateral in return for the loan. When a borrower pledges the asset as collateral, the asset goes “hard” as collateral against the loan.
The terms Equity Lending and Private Money Lenders are more acceptable and descriptive of the professional lending practices in place today. Private parties funding loans, individually or as a group, for transactions has now become an accepted form of financing, given the challenges of the Costa Rican banking environment.
Who will invest or purchase a private/hard money note?
Multiple parties are involved from origination through to closing. In addition to yourself, your legal representative and Gap Investments consultants are the only ones investing in Costa Rica.
Is Loan-to-Value (LTV) the best criterion when investing in private money loans?
Yes. Gap Investments appraises the property and checks all issues associated with the property. Issues can include cash flow for commercial properties, liens, taxes, etc.
Aren’t private/hard money loans more expensive for borrowers?
The issue with private money loans is not so much that they are more expensive but that they are readily available. Private money lenders in Costa Rica can and do compete with banks. Applying for a traditional bank mortgage in Costa Rica can be lengthy. It can take over six months in many cases!
What are the closing costs to the investor on a private/hard money loan investment?
There are no costs to the lender, as the borrower pays closing costs.
We can recommend reputable lawyers that specialize in facilitating loans. They can close quickly and are cost-efficient. Unfortunately, using a lawyer that does not specialize in loans makes the process far more complicated than it needs to be. This causes undue delays and unnecessary costs for the borrower.
Do private money loans only cater to desperate or risky borrowers?
Not at all. Many borrowers prefer private money lenders to banks. They can originate loans faster, require less documentation, and are more savvy and open to alternative collateral sources than banks.
Can I use funds from my IRA to originate a loan?
Yes. It is possible through a self-directed IRA. We can help you set that up with our Gap Investments IRA specialist. For more information, click HERE.
Investing in Costa Rica can be a wise decision for those looking to diversify their portfolio or expand their business ventures. While risks are involved, the country’s stable political climate, low crime rate, and friendly business environment make it an attractive destination for foreign investors. By working with local experts and complying with all the relevant laws and regulations, investors can navigate the complexities of the Costa Rican investment landscape and potentially reap significant rewards. Whether you’re interested in real estate, renewable energy, or other investment opportunities, Costa Rica offers many possibilities for savvy investors. So why not explore what this beautiful country provides and see if it fits your investment goals?
-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of Grupo Gap)
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Costa Rica a safe place to invest?
Yes, Costa Rica is generally considered a safe place to invest. The country has a stable political climate and a low crime rate compared to other countries in the region.
Should I be a Costa Rican citizen to invest in the country?
No, you need not be a Costa Rican citizen to invest in the country. Foreign investors are welcome, and there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of businesses or property.
What are the tax implications of investing in Costa Rica?
The tax system in Costa Rica can be complex, so it’s essential to work with a local expert to ensure you are complying with all the relevant laws and regulations. However, the government has implemented tax incentives for particular investments, such as renewable energy and export-oriented businesses.
What are the requirements for starting a business in Costa Rica?
Starting a business in Costa Rica can be complex and time-consuming, but the government has implemented measures to streamline the process for foreign investors. Working with a local expert is essential to comply with all the relevant laws and regulations.
Are there any restrictions on repatriating profits from Costa Rica?
No, there are no restrictions on repatriating profits from Costa Rica. However, it’s essential to comply with all the relevant laws and regulations when transferring funds out of the country.
What are the requirements for obtaining a work permit in Costa Rica?
Foreigners who wish to work in Costa Rica must obtain a work permit. The requirements for getting a work permit vary depending on the work you will be doing and the length of your stay in the country. Working with a local expert is essential to comply with all the relevant laws and regulations.
What is the process for purchasing property in Costa Rica?
Purchasing property in Costa Rica can be complex, particularly for foreign investors. Working with a local expert is critical to comply with all the relevant laws and regulations. The process typically involves hiring a lawyer, conducting a title search, and obtaining various permits and approvals.
What are the risks of investing in Costa Rica?
Like any investment, there are risks associated with investing in Costa Rica. Some of the main risks include political instability, changes in government policy, and currency fluctuations. Doing your due diligence and working with a local expert to minimize these risks is essential.
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