Buying real estate in Costa Rica?

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Buying a property in Santa Ana: a complete guide

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property investment Santa Ana

Yes, the analysis of Santa Ana's property market is included in our pack

Thinking of investing in real estate in Santa Ana? You're not alone!

Many people are intrigued by Santa Ana's Costa Rican charm and dream of owning a comfortable villa or a modern apartment in this city.

Is it a wise investment, though? Are property prices increasing in Santa Ana? How much does it cost? Is it better to buy in the town center or near the park? What about the taxes? What yields can I expect?

We've figured it out for you.

At TheLatinvestor, we know this market inside and out. As a matter of fact, we've put all our findings together in a pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we'll provide you with helpful information.

How is the real estate market in Santa Ana?

Is the property market on an upward trend or a downward trend? Let's examine the data.

Types of properties

In Santa Ana, Costa Rica, a diverse array of properties is available to meet a variety of preferences and needs.

Options include single-family homes, offering standalone residences perfect for families; condominiums and townhouses, which provide shared amenities and foster a sense of community; apartments, often situated in multi-story buildings, ideal for urban living; and vacant land or lots, presenting opportunities for constructing custom homes.

Moreover, for those seeking business ventures, commercial properties such as office spaces, retail shops, and industrial sites are also available.

This variety caters to both residential and commercial interests, aligning with the vibrant and dynamic nature of Santa Ana in Costa Rica.

Buying or renting?

(If you want to live there yourself and not rent it to others)

If Santa Ana is your city of choice, you may be pondering the buy vs. rent decision.

Usually, buying is better than renting in Santa Ana due to the city's low cost of living and high appreciation of home values.

That said, renting provides the advantage of flexibility for those who want it.

Property prices in Santa Ana

On average, according to the last reported data from Central Bank of Costa Rica, buying a property in Santa Ana would cost you around $2,500 per square meter.

Obviously, there are big differences. An upscale property in Santa Ana might have a higher price per square meter than a house in Escazú. You'll get a more detailed in our pack for buying property in Santa Ana and in Costa Rica.

To put things in perspective, it means that, instead of purchasing a flat in Manhattan, you can obtain 5 properties in Santa Ana.

Also, housing prices in Santa Ana are 4% higher than in San José.

The most expensive neighborhoods in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, are likely Valle del Sol and Pozos, known for their luxury homes and high-end living.

On the other hand, more affordable areas can be found in the central district of Santa Ana and in neighborhoods like Uruca, which offer a mix of residential and commercial properties.

These areas provide a more economical option for property investment while still offering the charm and convenience of living in Santa Ana.

Santa Ana Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Costa Rica remains, today, a very stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 41.

Don't forget about this when considering whether it's a good idea to buy a property in Santa Ana.

Besides that, if we look at the IMF's GDP forecasts, Costa Rica's economy is expected to soar by 14.1% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 2.8%.

If you want to invest in real estate in Santa Ana it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people tend to become wealthier, which usually results in higher housing prices.

Also, in Costa Rica, the average GDP per capita has changed by 7.2% over the last 5 years. It's a solid number.

This is a strong positive signal: housing prices in Santa Ana might become more expensive in 2024 and later on.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Costa Rica right now.

Buying property in Santa Ana

Buying real estate in Santa Ana can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Santa Ana and in Costa Rica.

Buying process

In our pack, we've explained the entire process of buying properties in a detailed way. We've pointed out the mistakes to steer clear of, shared tips for finding properties that give you the best returns, and provided information about taxes and necessary documents.

Now, we're giving you a simplified version of the buying process.

Here is the adapted process for purchasing property in Santa Ana, Costa Rica:

  1. Research the Santa Ana, Costa Rica real estate market, taking into account local laws and the variety of property types available in this tropical region.
  2. Determine your budget and explore financing options, including those specific to Costa Rica, such as local bank loans or developer financing.
  3. Seek a reputable real estate agent who is well-versed in Santa Ana's neighborhoods and Costa Rican property laws.
  4. Look for properties in Santa Ana, considering factors like proximity to local amenities, schools, and natural attractions.
  5. Arrange property viewings to appreciate the unique characteristics of Santa Ana's neighborhoods, from urban centers to tranquil retreats.
  6. Conduct a comprehensive property inspection, considering local environmental factors, such as humidity, and region-specific issues like pest control.
  7. Make an offer through your agent, utilizing a purchase contract format that complies with Costa Rican legal requirements.
  8. Negotiate with the seller, following the customary practices for property transactions in Costa Rica.
  9. Review and sign the purchase contract, ensuring it includes any addenda required by Costa Rican law.
  10. If necessary, obtain a mortgage loan from a lender within Costa Rica, which may include banks or other financial institutions.
  11. Carry out a title search with a local Santa Ana title company to ensure clear ownership and secure title insurance.
  12. Finalize the purchase in the presence of a notary, adhering to Costa Rican property transfer procedures, and pay all relevant fees and taxes.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Costa Rica.

Make a profitable investment in Santa Ana

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Santa Ana

Where to find a property


If you're searching for your dream property in Santa Ana, consider these websites:

  • Costa Rica si - Costa Rica Si Real Estate offers a variety of outstanding properties for sale in Costa Rica, including homes, condos, lots, and commercial properties.
  • Zucaes Real Estate - Specializing in properties in Costa Rica, Zucaes Real Estate offers a comprehensive selection of homes, rentals, and condos in various areas of Santa Ana.
  • Costa Rica 1 Realty - A real estate agency in San José that offers property sales and rentals, providing comprehensive assistance and a wide range of options in the western area of the city.
  • Real Estate Costa Rica MLS - They offer a diverse range of residential and commercial real estate listings, including homes, condos, land, and luxury properties.
  • RE/MAX - A reputable real estate agency specializing in properties in the Playa Jaco and Central Pacific Costa Rica area.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Costa Rica.

What properties?

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Santa Ana is $2,500. A 1-bedroom property with an area of 60 square meters would cost approximately $150,000, and a 2-bedroom property with an area of 85 square meters would cost around $213,000.

Of course, the price of properties can be influenced by their qualities and the area they're in.

Top neighborhoods in Santa Ana will come with higher price tags. In Valle del Sol, a condominium might cost around $290,000, while a condominium in Brasil de Mora could be priced at $270,000.

Of course, some areas are cheaper. You may find a property in Santa Ana Centro for $120,000, or you might locate one in Tres Ríos priced only at $100,000.

Find a more detailed breakdown in our full pack for buying property in Costa Rica.

Common mistakes

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying property in Santa Ana:

  • Risk of landslides and flooding during the rainy season, due to the region's topography and climate patterns.
  • Seismic activity, as Costa Rica is in an earthquake-prone zone, necessitating special construction standards and insurance considerations.
  • Property taxes and municipal fees in Santa Ana may differ from other regions in Costa Rica, impacting overall affordability.
  • Restrictions by local housing communities (similar to HOAs) on property modifications and exterior design in certain residential areas.
  • Limited inventory of certain types of properties, such as beachfront homes or luxury estates, leading to competitive real estate markets.
  • Noise and disruption from local festivals and events, common in Costa Rican culture, especially in more urbanized areas of Santa Ana.
  • Soil instability in certain areas, requiring thorough geological assessments before building or purchasing.
  • Environmental protection laws, particularly relevant if the property is near protected natural areas or national parks.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Costa Rica

Everything you need to know is included in our Costa Rica Property Pack

Living in Santa Ana

Santa Ana is a vibrant city with plenty to offer, making it an ideal place to buy property and enjoy the many attractions, restaurants, and activities it has to offer.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Santa Ana is relatively high compared to the national average. It is especially expensive for housing, with the median home value being nearly double the national average.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Santa Ana, Costa Rica:

  • Chicha (traditional Costa Rican corn-based drink): $2 at a local soda in Lindora.
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Valle del Sol neighborhood: $900/month.
  • Gallo pinto (Costa Rican breakfast dish) for two at a local café in Pozos: $25.
  • 1.5-liter bottle of Imperial beer: $2 at a supermarket.
  • Electricity bill for an 85m² apartment using ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad): $80/month.
  • Monthly membership at Energy Fitness in Santa Ana: $60.
  • Ticket to a movie at Terrazas Lindora: $10.
  • Lizano sauce (a popular Costa Rican condiment): $3 at a grocery store.


We want to show information in a way that is easy to understand. So, we made a table that shows the different areas in Santa Ana. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses

San Rafael

San Rafael is a peaceful residential area with tree-lined streets and parks, offering a family-friendly environment and a sense of community.

Tranquil environment, family-friendly, green spaces.

Limited commercial activity, less nightlife.


Pozos is an up-and-coming neighborhood with new residential developments, attracting young professionals and families, and it's conveniently located near shopping centers and schools.

New developments, convenient location, family-oriented.

Ongoing construction, traffic during rush hours.

Valle del Sol

Valle del Sol is an exclusive gated community with luxury homes and a golf course, offering high-end living and recreational amenities.

Exclusive community, luxury homes, golf course.

Expensive, limited public transport.


Salitral is a diverse neighborhood with a mix of residential and commercial areas, providing easy access to shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Diverse amenities, good connectivity, vibrant community.

Traffic congestion, noise in commercial areas.


Uruca is an industrial and residential area with a mix of factories and warehouses, offering job opportunities and affordable housing choices.

Job opportunities, affordable housing.

Industrial pollution, less green spaces.


Roble is a charming neighborhood with a small-town feel, known for its local shops, traditional eateries, and friendly community.

Charming atmosphere, local shops, community spirit.

Limited modern amenities, fewer entertainment options.

Life in Santa Ana

Santa Ana in Costa Rica is a burgeoning area known for its blend of traditional charm and modern conveniences.

It hosts a range of industries, with a focus on hospitality, local artisan crafts, and an expanding service sector, along with a thriving community of small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Expatriates are often drawn to Santa Ana for its serene suburban atmosphere, coupled with easy access to Costa Rica's renowned natural beauty. They particularly enjoy the local cultural scene, which includes traditional Costa Rican festivals, markets, and culinary experiences.

Outdoor activities are abundant, with options for eco-tourism, bird watching, and exploring nearby coffee plantations and rainforests.

Healthcare in Santa Ana is accessible and of high quality, with several clinics and hospitals in the area, including the well-regarded Clinica Biblica and CIMA Hospital in nearby Escazú. These facilities offer a range of services from general care to specialized treatments, often at a more affordable cost than comparable services in many other countries.

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invest real estate in Santa Ana

Renting out in Santa Ana, Costa Rica

If you're considering purchasing property in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, with the intention of renting it out, this information is tailored for you.

Long-term Rentals

Tenant Profiles in Santa Ana, Costa Rica

In Santa Ana, Costa Rica, long-term rental properties can attract a diverse range of tenants. The tranquil yet upscale environment is ideal for expatriates, retirees, and professionals who work in the San José area. Additionally, families find the area appealing due to its safety, good schools, and community atmosphere.

With its pleasant climate and scenic beauty, Santa Ana is also increasingly popular among retirees from around the world.

Here's a summary table for potential rental properties in Santa Ana, Costa Rica.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in Santa Ana

Expatriates, professionals

Modern amenities, proximity to San José

$600 - $1000

House in Santa Ana

Families, expatriates

Spaciousness, safety, and good schools

$1000 - $2000

Condo in Santa Ana

Retirees, professionals

Security, community amenities, low maintenance

$500 - $900

Studio in Santa Ana

Young professionals, singles

Affordability, convenient location

$300 - $600

Villa in Santa Ana

Expatriates, affluent families

Luxury amenities, privacy, scenic views

$2000 - $3500

Townhouse in Santa Ana

Professionals, small families

Community environment, convenient access

$800 - $1400

Apartment Complex in Santa Ana

Young couples, professionals

Modern facilities, social environment

$700 - $1200

Rental yields

As of today, rental yields in Santa Ana are floating around 2 or 3%. It's low. A good rental yield is typically considered to be around 7% or higher.

Santa Ana properties located in areas with high-demand amenities, such as close proximity to public transportation, shopping, and restaurants, tend to have the best rental yields due to the higher demand for these types of properties.

Additionally, properties located in areas with a high concentration of jobs and businesses, such as the downtown area, also tend to have higher rental yields.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Santa Ana are taxed at 15%, which is not much.


Renting properties short-term in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, can be appealing to a range of visitors, including tourists, business travelers, and students.

Santa Ana, situated near Costa Rica's capital, San José, offers easy access to the country's major attractions.

Santa Ana is close to attractions like the lush Central Valley, the vibrant city of San José, and the renowned coffee plantations. The area's natural beauty and proximity to cultural and eco-tourism sites make it a sought-after destination for short-term renters.

For short-term rentals, consider properties in the heart of Santa Ana, near central parks or in the picturesque Valle del Sol area. These locations are favored by short-term renters for their accessibility to amenities, scenic surroundings, and the blend of urban and natural experiences they offer.

Is it worth buying real estate in Santa Ana then?

Absolutely, let's cut to the chase. Buying a property in Santa Ana makes sense for those in it for the long haul. If you're planning to put down roots, invest, or retire in this vibrant Costa Rican city, it's a smart move.

The low cost of living and the steady rise in property values make buying an attractive prospect. Plus, with Costa Rica's economy expected to grow and the potential for wealthier residents, property prices may continue to climb. For long-term residents, owning a piece of Santa Ana could be a sound financial decision.

On the flip side, if you're a short-term visitor or seeking high rental yields, Santa Ana might not be your best bet. Renting offers flexibility for those with short stays, and the current rental yields in Santa Ana are relatively low, well below the 7% benchmark for good rental returns.

Lastly, if you're on a tight budget, be aware that the cost of living, especially housing, in Santa Ana is on the higher side compared to the national average. In summary, Santa Ana is a fantastic place to own property if you're in it for the long term, but for short-term stays, high rental yields, risk-averse buyers, or those seeking affordability, you might want to explore other options in Costa Rica's diverse real estate market.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Santa Ana

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Costa Rica. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Santa Ana

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.