Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the weather conditions in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The Green Season lasts from May to November. The Gold Season begins in December and continues through April. During the Green Season expect a daily rain shower late in the afternoon or evening which keeps the landscape green. During the Gold Season, virtually no rain falls and the landscape turns a golden brown. In Guanacaste where Tropical Felgate is located, the dry Gold Season tends to last several weeks longer than in other areas of Costa Rica.
Temperatures vary primarily with elevation, not with season; on the
coasts, the weather is warm all year, while in the mountains, nights can
be cool at any time of the year.
2. Is it necessary to speak fluent Spanish or have an interpreter when travelling to Costa Rica?
No. Spanish is the official language, while English is widely spoken throughout the country. Members of our Sales Team are bilingual.
3. Is the water safe to drink?
Yes. Unlike many other Latin countries, Costa Rica has similar practices and standards found in the U.S. for ensuring that clean, potable water is available to all its citizens.
4. What is the time zone?
Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time (-6 GMT) and Daylight Savings Time is not observed.
5. How would you describe the area of Costa Rica where our projects are located?
The Guanacaste province in northwest Costa Rica is a land of volcanic peaks, jungle valleys, scenic waterfalls and natural hot springs. Home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, with national parks and wildlife refuges, the area offers fascinating nature exploration as well as historic sites and quaint villages. Its beaches are some of the best in Costa Rica and the warm, crystal-clear waters of the Pacific are both inviting and picturesque. The climate is comfortable year-round, with low humidity, sunny days and balmy star-studded nights.
6. What are the attractions to Playas del Coco for tourists and residents?
Coco Beach is the most accessible and frequented beach in Guanacaste. In addition to the commercial conveniences at the Commercial Center, Coco offers a port captain, post office, bank, small hotels and bed & breakfast establishments and a selection of restaurants and souvenir shops.
7. Where are the schools near El Coco?
Green Life Academy is currently a daycare/preschool and K-6 school ( 7-8th coming soon — 2011-12) dedicated to the intellectual and personal development of each student in a caring and supportive environment.
For almost 100 years our comprehensive, fully-accredited curriculum, from U.S. Calvert School, has been inspiring the best in children. In the last decade, more than 186,000 students have enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade using this curriculum program.
Katie and Josh Arce:2672-0118 8897-0641
Thad and Jodi Rund - 8857-4017
*Catalina Castro Chinchill (Director of Daycare/Preschool)
The Country Day School in Guanacaste (Pre-K through Grade 12)
Location: Playa Brasilito
Phone: (506) 654-5042
Contact: Patrick Brown
Remarks: About an hour drive south to Brasilito, considered the best
school in the area. Tuition is $7,500 per year.
International Christian School
Phone: (506) 665-0007
Contact: Wendy Taylor
Remarks: About 40 minutes to Liberia. School is branch of larger school
in San JosÈ.
Phone: (506) 666-2903
Remarks: About 40 minutes to Liberia. School has been operating for
8. What recreational activities are available in the area?
Witch’s Rock canopy tour – “Harness up and swing through the trees” on a series of zip lines suspended between the tall trees of the tropical forest. Enjoy an incredible view of the Gulf of Papagayo.
Horseback riding at El Aromal – Hacienda Aromal neighbors the Santa Rosa National Park. You will observe a wide variety of wildlife and experience breathtaking views as you ride through Aromal. A guided tour begins at the sabaneros cattle herding station where you will wear the typical hats and kerchiefs and the tour ends at the Hacienda where you will be offered a cool drink and a typical Costa Rican snack.
Fishing – Guanacaste offers on of Costa Rica’s premium fishing destinations – Catalina Islands. The deep water to the south and west, off Flamingo and Tamarindo beaches is home to blue, striped and black marlin, a multitude of sailfish and dorado (mahi mahi). Big-game fishing is available, 16-65 kilometers (10 to 40 miles) offshore. Boats measure 9.5 to 16-metres (31 to 51 feet) and accommodate four fishermen each. Every boat is equipped with high-tech communication devices, GPS, fish depth-finder, life jackets and Penn International fishing gear. Half-day or Full-day excursions can be easily arranged.
Scuba diving – There are many dive sites on the Guanacaste coastline, showcasing an underwater life that is richly diverse in color, species and natural volcanic rock formations. Marine life unique to this region abounds – divers will see massive schools of fish, rays, jacks, whales sharks, giant mantas, sea turtles, white tip sharks, dolphins and more. Available diving trips include local dives, night dives and dives to the Catalina Islands.
Surfing – For surfing enthusiasts, local surf shops can transport you by boat to Witch’s rock, Petrero Grande, Ollie’s Point and several other world-famous spots routinely featured in surfing magazines. For the less experienced or new surfer, Tamarindo is a very popular surfing destination, with two beaches: one for beginners and the other for the slightly more advanced. Located approximately 1 hour drive southwest of Tropical Felgate, lesions are available through local surf shops in Tamarindo.
Rainforests – The Rincon Rainforest is Premontane Rainforest (Bosque Pluvial Premontano) at 900 meters down to Very Humid Rainforest (Bosque Muy Humedo Tropical) at 200 meters elevation. In generic terms, it is classical piedmont rainforest on volcanic foothill soils, receiving 4-5 meters of rain annually. It is home to at least 500 species of vertebrates, 3000 species of plants and many tens of thousands of species of insects, mites, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, spiders and protozoans.
9. Are there national parks in Guanacaste?
Parque Nacional Ricon de la Vieja and the Rincon Volcano is located in Guanacaste about 58 kilometers or 36 miles from El Coco. Estimated travel time is a 2-hour drive. This 35,000-acre (14,161-hectare) national park is named after its active volcano, Rincon de la Vieja. There is an abundance of Costa Rica’s national flower, the guaria morada, a purple orchid. The wildlife in the park is extremely varied with almost 300 species of birds recorded here. The Ricon Volcano is about 1 million years old and is the third most active volcano in Costa Rica. It has nine active craters. Gentle activity has occurred many times since the late 1960’s. The most recent eruption of steam and ash was in 1997.
Palo Verde Wildlife National Park is located in Guanacaste about 60 kilometers or 37 miles from Tropical Felgate. Estimated travel time is a 2-hour drive. This 42,000 acre (17,000-hectare) national park features saltwater and freshwater lagoons and marshes, mangrove swamps and deciduous woodland, as well as an impressive array or wildlife.
10. Where are the best places to shop?
El Coco retail shops – Local merchants offer cigars, clothing, jewelry,
t-shirts, hand crafted wood items and local pottery.
11. Where is the closest International airport to El Coco?
The Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia is approximately 20 minutes from Tropical Felgate on a paved, well-traveled road. Currently non-stop flights are available from Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Newark, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.
12. Are there direct flights from the US & Canada to Liberia, Costa Rica?
Delta Airlines flies direct from Atlanta to Liberia six times per week. Delta Airlines is in the process of adding a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Liberia. American Airlines provides service from Miami three times per week. Continental Airlines provides service from Houston to Liberia twice daily, seven days per week. Continental Airlines also offers one weekly non-stop flight from Newark to Liberia.
13. Are transportation services available to the Tropical Felgate office?
Transportation services can be arranged by contacting a Sales Executive.
14. Are there restrictions for non-Costa Rican nationals regarding ownership of property within the country?
Foreign buyers have the same rights as Costa Rican nationals when purchasing & owning real estate with the exception of beachfront property which is granted in concession by the government. All Tropical Felgate condominiums, villas, town homes and home sites are outside the concession area.
15. How will property be conveyed to buyers of Tropical Felgate properties?
Most of the residential properties at Tropical Felgate projects will be conveyed in fee- simple ownership. Regardless of your nationality, you may want to consider transferring title to your property after closing through either a Costa Rican corporation (“Sociedad Anonima” or “S.A.”) or limited liability company (“Limitada”), as this may have tax advantages when it comes to reselling the property at a later date. Our Sales Executives can refer you to a Costa Rican attorney who can explain this process to you and can easily handle this as part of your property closing process.
16. Is title insurance available for the property and is a title search performed prior to closing?
Yes. The policy of title guaranty assures fee simple title to your property free and clear of third party rights of possession. Title insurance is not required and it is up to you as to whether or not you want to pay for and obtain title insurance. Our Sales Executives can recommend a few title companies that underwrite Tropical Felgate portfolio properties.
If you hire an attorney, he/she will research the title’s legal standing as part of his/her service at your request.
17. What deposits are required to purchase a property from Tropical Felgate?
An initial earnest money deposit of US $5,000 is required on the date the buyers select the property and the Purchase & Sale Agreement is executed. According to the terms of the agreement, the balance of the initial deposit equal to 20% of the purchase price is due in US dollars within 5 days of the date of the contract. Additional deposits are due: 20% at notice of commencement of construction, 20% at notice of completion of walls, 20% at notice of completion of the roof and the final 10% deposit at completion of the interior. In some cases, the building may already be under construction and the additional deposit amounts are due within 5 days of the contract. This deposit schedule applies to the purchase of condominiums, town homes, or villas. The purchase of a home-site requires a US $10,000 initial earnest money deposit and an additional 20% deposit due within 15 days after the date of the contract. Deposit requirements are subject to change without notice.
18. Is there a contract rescission period?
Unlike in many states in the US, there is no contract rescission period in Costa Rica. Once Purchase & Sales Agreements are executed and deposits are received by Tropical Felgate, the terms agreed to by the Buyer and Seller is legally binding.
19. Is financing available?
There are several local banks that offer financing to qualified property purchasers. Our Sales Executives can provide you with more information about the options and programs available. Interest rates in Costa Rica are two to four points higher than in North America and for this reason many foreign buyers elect to refinance their homes in the US or Canada if they require financing to purchase a property.
20. Can Purchase & Sale Agreements be assigned and/or the property be resold to another buyer prior to closing?
Purchase & Sale Agreements cannot be assigned and property cannot be re-listed or sold to another buyer prior to closing without the Tropical Felgate written approval.
21. What are the closing costs, transfer taxes, property taxes and other fees associated with purchasing from Tropical felgate?
Buyers of Tropical Felgate property will be responsible for land transfer taxes and registry stamps totaling approximately 2.3% of the purchase price and Notary fees of 1%.
Buyers will expect to pay approximately $1000 to the law firm if they elect to take title to their property in either a Costa Rican S.A. or Limitada.
Property taxes in Costa Rica are significantly lower than in North America. They are currently set at .25% of the registered property value and are payable on a quarterly or annual basis, at the election of the property owner.
There are currently no capital gains taxes in Costa Rica on the sale of property of the sale of the shares or quotas of the S.A. or Limitada that owns the property as long as the seller is not in the business of buying and selling real estate in which case he may be subject to Costa Rican income tax law.
22. How long does it take to transfer legal ownership once funds are received by Tropical felgate?
Legal transfer begins with the signature of the transfer documents and their presentation to the Registry. The complete process can take up to 4 to 5 weeks, but once the document is stamped as received by the Registry, you have the rights to ownership of the property and no liens or transfers can occur.
23. Are US $ required for deposits and at closing for the purchase of property from Tropical Felgate?
Yes. Funds in US $ are required and can be remitted by cashier’s check drawn on a US bank or more commonly are wire transferred directly according to the instructions in the Purchase & Sale Agreement.
24. How long does it take to transfer funds?
Typically, 2-4 business days.
25. Do buyers of property in Costa Rica need the assistance and advice of a lawyer?
We recommend that buyers hire a lawyer to assist with the real estate purchase transaction in Costa Rica. Our Sales Executives can provide you with a list of preferred law firms that are familiar with Tropical Felgate.
26. Are there any interval ownership opportunities available at Tropical Felgate?
No. All properties at Tropical Felgate are dedicated to whole ownership.
27. Is there a rental program available to owners of residences in Tropical Felgate projects?
The Tropical Felgate Master Deed and By-Laws and the Master Deed and By- Laws for each residential sub-association give owners the right to rent their property. While some owners handle rental administration themselves, the vast majority will contract with a professional rental agency. Our Sales Executives can assist you with further information.
28. Are there any restrictions on the resale of property in Tropical Felgate projects? If so, what is the standard commission?
In order to maintain the highest resale values and to provide our owners with the best brokerage services, we recommend that all owners in Tropical Felgate projects list their property for resale with the Tropical Felgate Sales Team.
Tropical Felgate charges a 5% commission for resales. It is important to note that the Tropical Felgate Sales Team receives the highest quality and most qualified prospective buyer leads for properties located within their community.
Sellers may choose to sell their property themselves or list their property with an outside real estate brokerage firm, in which event no commission is payable to Tropical Felgate.
29. Does ownership of property in Tropical Felgate projects automatically qualify owners for Costa Rican residency?
No. If you are interested in obtaining official residency, we advise you to contact a law firm. It is not necessary for you to obtain residency if your maximum stay in the country does not exceed the period specified on your tourist visa. After spending a minimum of 72 hours outside of the country, you will be allowed to re-enter Costa Rica and receive another tourist visa.
30. Are there property management services for your home or home-site available through Tropical Felgate?
Yes. Property management services are available. Our Sales Executives can provide you with more information.
31. Is there a homeowners association for each enclave of Tropical Felgate or for the entire Tropical Felgate community?
Yes. There is a Master Condo Association and various Sub-Condo Associations.
32. What are the fees associated with the associations?
Budgets for the Master Condo Association, each Sub-Condo Association are available from our Sales Executives.
33. Are Tropical Felgate projects gated communities?
All Tropical Felgate projects are guarded, gated communities. The Tropical Felgate Master Condo Association determines the level of security within the community under the advice of the Developer. The security guards, patrol, entry-controlled access and other related security costs are included in the Master Condo Association fees.
34. What are the projected demographics of Tropical Felgate owners?
The latest demographic studies of residential, resort communities along the Pacific shore of Costa Rica indicate that 70% of buyers are U.S. Citizens, 25% are Canadian, 1% is European, and 4% are Costa Rica citizens.
35. Can we bring our pets to Costa Rica?
To bring a pet into the country you must contact the Costa Rican consulate in the US to obtain the proper paperwork and procedures prior to arrival. There is no quarantine time for pets.
In general, pets must have all vaccinations and documentation from a vet. Shots must be current within two weeks except for rabies which must be less than one year. Certain species and breeds of dogs and cats are not allowed in the country. It is an easy process to bring a pet to Costa Rica provided the owners follow the procedures correctly.