When we'd settled on Costa Rica the destination we planned to retire to the first thing we did was set a strategy to find a piece of property that met our requirements in terms of size, location and budget. We were pretty savvy shoppers having bought and sold close to a dozen properties in the states so we thought we knew what we were doing. We first looked for foreclosed property in Costa Rica. We quickly realized there wasn't much in the way of foreclosed homes in Costa Rica since most homes have no mortgage, with most being purchased in the past for cash. The mortgage market in Costa Rica is still in it's infancy. Typically you can't get a mortgage on land, only developer financing. In this type of financing, the developer holds the note. Mortgages for finished homes or construction mortgages typically require large down payments in Costa Rica. Banks in Costa Rica want a minimum of 20% of the value of the mortgage as collateral. Fortunately you can typically pledge land you own as collateral for a construction loan which is what many owners in our developments end up doing.