Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in San José

Embarking on the Home Buying Journey in San José

As a first-time home buyer in San José, Costa Rica, you’re about to embark on a thrilling journey. 🏡 The city’s vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and booming real estate market make it an attractive destination for many. But, navigating the home buying process can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re new to it. Don’t worry, though! I’ve got your back. Here are some handy tips to help you sail through the process smoothly.

Understanding the San José Real Estate Market

First things first, understanding the local real estate market is crucial. San José’s real estate market is diverse, with a mix of modern condos, traditional homes, and luxury villines. The city’s real estate market has been on an upward trend, thanks to its growing economy and influx of expats. 📈

Researching the market trends, average home prices, and the most sought-after neighborhoods can give you a head start. Websites like Costa Rica MLS are great resources for this.

Setting a Realistic Budget

Next up, setting a realistic budget. Remember, buying a home is a long-term commitment. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. Consider all the costs involved, including down payment, closing costs, and ongoing expenses like property taxes and maintenance. 💰

Getting Pre-approved for a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you a clear idea of how much you can afford. Plus, it can make you a more attractive buyer in the eyes of sellers. Local banks in Costa Rica, like Banco Nacional and BAC San José, offer mortgage loans to foreigners, albeit with slightly higher interest rates.

Working with a Local Real Estate Agent

Working with a local real estate agent can make your home buying journey a lot easier. They can guide you through the process, negotiate on your behalf, and help you navigate the legalities. Plus, they have in-depth knowledge of the local market. 🏢

Inspecting the Property

Finally, don’t forget to inspect the property thoroughly. Look for any signs of damage or potential issues. If possible, hire a professional home inspector. They can spot problems that you might miss and save you from costly repairs down the line. 🔍


1. Can foreigners buy property in San José, Costa Rica?

Yes, foreigners have the same rights as locals when it comes to buying property in Costa Rica. There are no restrictions on property ownership for non-residents.

2. What is the average home price in San José?

The average home price in San José varies depending on the neighborhood. However, as of 2021, you can expect to pay around $150,000 for a decent-sized home in a good neighborhood.

Escazú, Santa Ana, and Rohrmoser are some of the most popular neighborhoods among first-time home buyers in San José. They offer a good mix of local culture and modern amenities.


Buying your first home in San José, Costa Rica, can be an exciting yet challenging experience. Understanding the local real estate market, setting a realistic budget, getting pre-approved for a mortgage, working with a local real estate agent, and inspecting the property thoroughly are key steps in the process. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to finding your dream home in the heart of Costa Rica. 🏡🌴

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.