Home Inspection in Costa Rica

Real Estate

Finally, you found your dream home…but is everything as it should be? The best way to find out is through a home inspection. Home inspection in Costa Rica is not exactly like the ones you are used to in the United States or Canada, so be prepared to adjust your expectations.

Aerial view of condos in Costa Rica

What are the home inspection differences?

Home inspections are not a standardized process here in Costa Rica. Many Costa Ricans will not hire a home inspector simply because it is not a common practice. Although in the past few years they have become much more customary especially due to legally registered North American realtors in Costa Rica. This has put many buyers minds at ease and has helped create a smoother buying process.

Another huge difference is that we do not have licensed home inspectors in Costa Rica. The Professional Association of Engineers and Architects of Costa Rica has yet to create a certification process or career in home inspections. In lieu of a licensed home inspector, a civil engineer or a builder is an excellent choice. We have a great selection of engineers, tradesmen, builders, or US certified home inspectors for clients to choose from.

Condo community in Costa Rica

Who is responsible for repairs after home inspection?

It all depends on what the contract states. My standard offer always states the following “Contingent upon the sole, complete satisfaction by the buyer of the condition of the property based upon a home inspection by the buyer”. You can use the home inspection for leveraging a better purchase price on the property and opt to do the repairs yourself. I usually suggest this option because you will know the repairs were done right. Or you can request to have the seller fix the issues prior to closing. However, and I must say this clause is not meant to be a FIX IT list for every item that may be found, such as a torn window screen as an example. The premise is to ensure that you are not purchasing a major problem.

What should the home inspection include?

  • Roof & Gutters
  • Septic & Drainage
  • Pool & Pool Equipment
  • Mold & Termites
  • Retaining Walls
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Air Conditioning
  • Structural

As well as a variety of “odds and ends” such as cracked tiles, missing caulk, bad hinges, malfunctioning appliances and so on.

Home undergoing a home inspection in Costa Rica

So how much does a home inspection cost?

A home inspection can cost anywhere between $300 – $1000 depending on the size of the property. For example, a 2 bedroom condo will cost $350 but a large 4-5 bedroom home can cost around $700. The inspection costs are always the buyer's responsibility and are stated as such in the contract.

I always recommend doing a home inspection, they are a critical part in buying a new home and giving the buyer peace of mind. Please feel free to reach out, I am happy to answer any additional questions and provide any more information you may need.

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