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Did you know we might measure properties in Costa Rica differently than you do? It depends on which measurement system you were educated in.
When in school, you might have learned to measure properties in yards, inches, square feet, and acres. In our beautiful country, all that is no good, and you will learn we use a different system. Unless you have found a real estate agent you trust. We measure properties with the metric system. Although many real estate companies list the size of the house for sale in both square feet (ft2) and square meters (m2) and the size of the land in acres and hectares.
I know you do it differently back home. But just as you must learn Spanish to make your new life easier, you must also understand how we measure properties in Costa Rica. To help you with this difficult part of buying property for sale, we’ve made a Costa Rica Land Measurement Chart below. You can click on it and print it out for your wallet or take a picture with your cell phone and save it as a favorite.
Measure under roof
When looking at property online, the construction size includes everything under the roof. Most of the time, covered terraces and balconies, and carports are considered 3/4 of the size. Garages are considered full construction because they are always finished as such.
Houses in Costa Rica are measured by taking the width by the length of the house, as opposed to many places on Earth where they measure interior space, a/c space, or even by volume. Houses in Costa Rica are measured in square meters or m2, and everything under the roof is what counts. To find the house size in square feet, taking the size in meters and multiplying it by 11 is an easy shortcut.
Costa Rican builders and real estate agents just take the full measurement of interior and exterior spaces.
Registered size of a house in Costa Rica
The house size is never registered in the National Registry or the survey. For those reasons, most options to purchase sale agreements will show an approximate construction size. The only way to find out the size of the house would be to measure it. Or you can try to find the construction plans in the Municipality. Search for houses for sale now and compare.
Registered size of a condo
The size of a condo in Costa Rica will show in the National Registry and will show the size of the living space only. Many condos will include parking spaces and storage spaces as common areas. Some will have a separate registered title with their own survey for the parking and another for the storage. In others, the parking areas and storage spaces are part of the common area.
Registered size of land
All land is registered in the National Registry in meters. But you will find that land is described in a listing in m2 when under 10,000 m2 and in hectares when more than that. One hectare stands for 2.5 acres. Although, you’ll still find many local farmers use the word manzana, which is 7,000 meters (1 3/4 acre). A manzana is the size of the minimal allowed agricultural lot size.
When you purchase a property in Costa Rica, make sure the size on the survey map is the same as the one shown in the National Registry. If the difference is more than 10%, you must ask your attorney for a recommendation before purchasing.
Easy shortcuts for you would be:
- Translate 1 linear meter (m1) into linear foot: multiply meters by 3 (to be exact 3.28).
- Translate 1 square meter (m2) into square foot: multiply by 11 (more exact is 10.76).
- One meter is one big step for a middle-sized person for easy measurement.
- One hectare is 2.5 acres.
When buying real estate here, do it through an agent who can show you how we measure properties in Costa Rica.