You should pay special attention to the parking when buying a condo in Costa Rica. That is because the parking space might or might not be included in the condo you’re buying.
Does what you think is your parking spot indeed belong to you, or maybe someone else? I know, we all assume there is plenty of parking, right? At least that’s what your real estate agent, the developer’s sales person or the seller him/herself tells you.
But watch out now, because it is rarely how you imagine it to be and a misinformed purchase can slap you in the face later. When it’s too late. Who worries about parking when buying a condo? Very few buyers indeed.
Usually “normal” families, who purchase a condo in Costa Rica, have only two cars. They either don’t have any children or the children are still small. When the kids still live at home at age 18 and they have a car, is the car allowed?
In the case of a beach condo, it can get even more difficult. Often, when you arrive during the weekend, the parking is full. That is because your neighbors have rented their condo for the weekend. Many weekend tenants brings more than one car and you might have to park your car several blocks away (unsecured). Aren’t you supposed to have 1 parking spot that is yours? Did you worry about parking when buying a condo?
How many cars are allowed for each condo owner? Is parking regulated anyway? There are a lot of questions that will be answered in this article.
When a condo developer constitutes the condominium, the titles for each apartment or house are created in the National Registry. Not always are the parking spots and the storage areas registered with their own title in the National Registry. So how does that function?
Common area parking
Constituting a condominium with titled property costs money and the more titles are created, the more titles have to be transferred to the buyers.
For that reason, you will find quite a lot of condominiums that are constituted with only the condo or house as a title (private area) and the parking spots are divided equally between the condo owners.
When the parking is not titled but part of the common areas, the developer will assign the parking to each condo in the bylaws that are registered in the National Register and are attached to the constitution of the condominium and on the survey of each unit.
In most cases, each condo will have one parking under roof and one open air. In very few cases there will be a storage area with each condo.
Even though it is more expensive for a developer to create separate title for each parking and for the storage area, it allows the developer to sell the parking spots more expensive if there is a shortage. Some condo buyers might only need 1 parking or don’t even have a car. Others need more and are willing to pay for more, until someone in the building is willing to buy a condo with less parking.
In that case, each parking as well as each storage area (bodega) has its own title and its own survey map.
It is also quite important to know that in some condo buildings you will have one parking behind the other instead of being next to each other.
The use of the visitor’s parking is usually described in most bylaws, where the visitor’s parking is located and who can use it. Most bylaws do not allow for an owner’s extra car in the visitors’ parking spots.
Maybe you did not ask about parking when buying a condo? When you are ready to make an offer on a condo in Costa Rica, find out first if the parking spots and storage area. Then try to locate them on the survey map and find them on the property.
Have your realtor or attorney run a title check to make sure the titles exist and that the title is clear.
Confirm the location
Make sure the parking spots and storage are marked correctly. If they are not marked clearly, insist with the buyer that the condo administrator marks the parking and storage areas that you are buying are visible to everyone.
You don’t have a car?
You don’t need a parking spot because you don’t own a car? If you are buying a condo in Costa Rica from a condo developer, you should ALWAYS purchase 2 parking spots and a storage area because one day you will want to resell your unit. If you have the choice, buy at least 2 parking spots, you can always rent them out to a neighbor.
When the parking and storage are private areas, they are included in the square footage to calculate the HOA fees.
If you are in doubt how the parking when buying a condo in Costa Rica is arranged, ask your real estate agent before you sign a purchase – sale agreement.
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