Costa Rica Real Estate Scam? Or Stupid Tax?


Dave Ramsey is a talk-radio financial adviser that I used to listen too faithfully when in the Old Country. He has a saying regarding spending money and losing it… he calls it Stupid Tax.

In Costa Rica, I’ve paid stupid tax because of my own ignorance. It may have happened again… OR I may be the victim of a Costa Rica Real Estate Scam perpetrated by surveyors, or as they call themselves here: topographers.

The guy that owns the lot next to ours discovered that our common property line had some problems. He paid to have the lot re-surveyed to resolve the issue. Things when pretty smoothly and we were both satisfied. I got a new plano – the legal description of the property.


Last week I learned that the map shown in the center of the plano is out-of-date and our plano has “expired.” It still is registered with the property government agency, no problem there.

The problem is that the surveyor/topographer didn’t tell me that I had one year to update the registry to reflect the new map illustration. I missed the deadline by three years. I had a document in my hands with all the required stamps. Looked very official to me.

I remedy the situation, I must pay the surveyor $200 USD to print out a new plano and get all three tax stamps to make it all kosher. Plus I must pay a lawyer $100 to file the revised plano with the government.


Because nobody told me of this requirement.

Scam or Stupid Tax? Either way, I’m out $300.


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