Financing for Canadians in Costa Rica

  

Last updated May 4, 2020

Sarah and Jackson couldn’t stand the long, dark, and cold Canadian winters.  In 2013 they went to Costa Rica for a month long winter vacation and fell in love with the place.  Before they knew it, they were in the back of a SUV driven by Michael Mills, owner/broker of Re/Max Costa Rica looking at property.  Inevitably, the topic of purchase financing came up.

The General Thought on Purchasing a Vacation Home in USA, Costa Rica, Panama, or Somewhere Else Warm

Changing lifestyles affect the decisions Canadians make on how and where they choose to live. Second homes are very popular for winter and vacation getaways. Good news; it is possible to finance a second property with owner-occupied (best) interest rates and rules.

A Primer on Getting a Mortgage for a Foreign Property

Understand that Canadian lenders will only provide you a mortgage if they can register their mortgage against a Canadian land title or deed in a Canadian (not foreign) land title system, using Canadian lawyers in order to enforce the contract in a Canadian court, if ever required.

This rule holds true for lenders in other countries as well – they will only lend on properties within their legal jurisdiction.

So a Canadian lender mortgage on a foreign property is a non-starter.

Here are some options:

  • Option 1 – there are a number of Canadian banks operating in foreign countries, and a borrower typically must deal directly with the foreign bank office, not a Canadian branch.
    • For the USA, where language and rules are quite similar to Canada, this can be fairly straightforward.
    • In other countries, getting a mortgage locally can be time consuming, exhausting, and expensive. Typically Scotia Bank and HSBC operate in many countries as well as other local options. You would need to visit a bank in your target country.
  • Option 2 – for many, refinancing your principle Canadian residence and using the equity to purchase your foreign home is by far the simplest finance solution.
    • Up to 80% of the value of your home can be refinanced, for example: if you have a home worth $500,000 and only hold a mortgage of $250,000 you can refinance to $400,000, payoff the $250,000 mortgage and use the other $150,000 to buy a vacation home.
    • The interest rate will be lower because you remortgaged your permanent residence and have no mortgage owing on the vacation home.
    • Makes it simpler and faster to buy in the foreign location.
    • There are no restrictions on the use of the vacation home, such as if used for a rental
  • PS – if foreign ownership is not your cup-of-tea, you have many financing options on Canadian vacation properties.

Best Finance Option

Mike Mills, the Realtor, has tried and tried to get local financing for his predominately Canadian, US, and UK customer base, and it’s a tough slug.  His recommendation?  Option 2.  That’s what Sarah and Jackson did. Having cash also gave them a much better negotiating position.

If you’d like to explore your finance options, please fell free to contact us.

Borrowing On Home Equity

Refinance/Renewal Pre-Assessment

 

 

Playa Hermosa

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Just 20 minutes from the Daniel Oduber International Airport is the wonderful beach town of Playa Hermosa – the closest beach town to an International airport in all of Costa Rica!  Playa Hermosa is a quiet bedroom community offering a high quality lifestyle with a great mix of North Americans, Europeans and Costa Ricans. Beautiful luxury homes, second homes and condos as well as full time residences are situated on the hills surrounding Hermosa.  Offering a wonderful year round climate, Playa Hermosa is a great place for retirement, vacation or investment in Costa Rica homes and condos starting in the low $165,000 range and going up to some of the most expensive homes in Costa Rica.  Impeccable views can be enjoyed from the high hills surrounding the horseshoe bay where you neighbors are birds and monkeys.  The ocean views are comparable to those in Southern California without the price!

The beach itself is tremendous with beautiful tan to cream colored sand with no riptides or undercurrents. This great swimming beach is safe for children and seniors of all ages!  Plus when the waves are up, it is a fun yet safe bogey boarding beach similar to a huge wave pool!!

Sport fishing, sailing, paddle boarding,snorkeling, kayaking and diving are just some of the activities offered along with all the regular beach fun. And every spot on the beach enjoys a perfect view of the famous Monkey Rock.  Many of the homes and condos in Playa Hermosa are within walking distance of the beach, a great plus for those wanting to vacation without renting or owning a vehicle.

Playa Hermosa is in the midst of some great future projects.   There is also an RCI timeshare, Villa Sol Hermosa, so you can trade your week and come check it out. To the north is Playa Panama which will be home to the El Mangroove, Grand Occidental, Hacienda Blu, Abbocato Fine dining, Hacienda  Del Mar Development and Secrets, There are many positive changes for this beautiful area.

Playa Hermosa offers some great hotels, bars and restaurants as well – Gingers, Villa del Sueño, Robertos Restaurant, La Mariscos, El Velero Hotel and the  Bosque Del Mar Hotel (Playa Hermosa Hotel). There is a Spa, movie theater, Buzzed Monkey an awesome smoked meats restaurant, medical center and miniature golf as well as some of the best Pizza around. The Super Luperon, the local grocery store has 2 locations and pharmacy that will fulfill most of your shopping needs. For more choice in shopping and restaurants, Playas del Coco, just 10 minutes away, is the main shopping hub for the area – it offers great shopping with four supermarkets including the Auto Mercado which is equivalent to the best supermarkets in the US or Canada.  To View Playa Hermosa Real Estate listings see – https://www.prestige-ocean-properties.com/Playa_Hermosa/page_2652358.html