Properties in Costa Rica Blog

Costa Rica Gets The Last Ticket to Qatar 2022

Costa Rica Gets The Last Ticket to Qatar 2022

June 15, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

This Tuesday June 14th, in the city of Al Rayyan, the clock marked 2 minutes of the Costa Rica vs New Zealand match, when Jewison Bennete overflowed from the left and, using his speed, managed to take advantage to pass a cross to striker Joel Campbell, who with a shot on goal would score the first goal of the game, which was enough for the ‘Ticos’ who won the ticket to their third consecutive World Cup and sixth in their entire history where they will be part of Group E along with Spain, Germany and Japan.

Source: FIFA Website

From that minute on, the New Zealand team began to fight the field. Constantly attacking the Ticos’ porter’s lodge in search of a goal. Goal that would take place in the 39th minute, when Matthew Garbet took a cross for Chris Wood, the All Whites most dangerous player; who finished off the ball against the goal of Keylor Navas and thus tie the game. However, judge Mohammed Salem Yoused Abdula Alali almost immediately annul the goal due to a previous foul on Óscar Duarte after reviewing the VAR.

Keylor Navas was the star of the second half of the game, protecting his goal from several shots by the New Zealanders. Already in the last minutes of the meeting in Doha, the Central Americans began to celebrate and feel like the winners of the last remaining quota for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Source: Google Search

Luis Fernando Suarez’s team celebrated the hard-fought classification with hugs and tears. The striker and author of the only goal of the match, Joel Campbell could not contain the tears of emotion and, after a few seconds, he was able to offer his first words: “We have fought and fought for this moment. When we were bad, I said that we would all die or celebrate,” he said.

The Costa Rican people also took off to the streets to celebrate the classification of the “pura vida” country, all wearing the classic red jersey, characteristic of “la sele”.

Source: Google Search

Costa Rica, who reached the quarterfinals in Brazil 2014, will initially face Spain, followed by the Asian team and will finish against the Germans, to play the first World Cup to be held in an Arab country from November 21 to November 18. December 2022.

Written by Fabiola Andrew Cardoso.

How Co-Working Spaces Are Adapting To Covid-19

How Co-Working Spaces Are Adapting To Covid-19

June 9, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

The Covid-19 pandemic caused unprecedented and seismic shifts in society, most notably in the way we work, interact, and live with each other. Whether you’re a realtor specializing in Texas land for sale , a teacher, or any number of other professional careers, the way you perform the duties of your job is very likely different than it was before the pandemic turned the world upside-down. One way that workers are adapting to this new way to live and work is through co-working spaces, a more flexible shared workspace that can be utilized by different companies and workers.  

What is Coworking?

Co-working is a progressive and flexible form of renting out professional real estate, wherein numerous companies can share the same building or location. This provides many benefits, such as lower rent costs, greater flexibility on leases, and increased social cohesion and collaboration. Co-working has seen a rise in modern times due to the ability of companies to use technology to get more work done in smaller spaces, and an increase in operating costs necessitating a downsizing of the traditional corporate landscape.  

There are several different types of co-working environments, ranging from less structured “open workspace” to “private workspaces”, which can feature more dividers or private rooms. Additionally, there are “Industry-specific” co-working spaces, in which workers or companies from a particular kind of workplace can collaborate. Co-working has been shown to increase employee morale by providing a stronger sense of community, greater availability of tools needed to work and other perks, higher levels of socialization and special events, a higher degree of flexibility, and often a more convenient location.  

Social Distancing and Other Changes

Like most other areas of our lives, co-working spaces have experienced some major changes in the way they function since the pandemic happened, although they were perhaps better suited for them than a traditional office setup. Many employers found co-working to be a nice middle ground or balance between the full office setup and complete remote work, as a space where workers could still meet up and collaborate.

Some of the changes that were made in co-working spaces are increased social distancing and other forms of partitioning, such as plastic barriers or other forms of dividing rooms. In addition, like most stores, many co-working spaces implemented a mask mandate. Some of the other changes that may have occurred are:

  • Covid-19 vaccination or testing requirements to ensure either protection or a negative test result before working.
  • Increased access to sanitation services, such as hand-washing stations or hand sanitizer is available. 
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting routines to ensure high-touch surfaces remain clean.
  • Increased ventilation in the space to make sure that air is recycled and moved efficiently.
  • Contact tracing and other alerts to inform those who may have had contact with an individual who tested positive for Covid-19

Although many workplaces are returning to a sense of normality, co-working spaces will continue to rise in popularity as the world continues to grow and change, as they offer many tangible benefits for employers, such as decreased overhead and greater flexibility to respond to threats such as the pandemic. In this way, co-working spaces will lead to a happier, safer, and more productive world for us all.  

Why You Should Buy A Vacation Home Rental as a Real Estate Investment

Why You Should Buy A Vacation Home Rental as a Real Estate Investment

Properties in Costa Rica

Real estate is a popular and often safe way to start investing, and when it comes to real estate investments, a vacation home can offer a lot of personal and financial benefits. With current housing rates being at an all-time low in an incredibly active market, it may be the perfect time to consider investing in a vacation home to rent out. From creating another source of income and building equity, to simplifying your getaways and planning for retirement, owning a vacation home rental has great potential for rewards. If you’re considering adding a new property to your real estate portfolio, here are the top reasons why you should consider buying a vacation home rental as your next real estate investment.

Great Income Potential

When you buy a vacation home and rent it out, you can easily create a short-term rental revenue stream. The income from your rental home can supplement your normal salary, allowing you greater income potential. Short-term vacation rentals also typically have a higher return on investment than long-term rentals in metropolitan markets. While the cap rate for a long-term rental is usually around 4-5%, short term rentals often have a cap rate of 10% or higher, making a vacation home a potentially lucrative real estate investment.

Home Appreciation

As with most smart real estate investments, your vacation home is likely to appreciate in value over time, especially if you make smart choices when it comes to renovations and refurbishing that can increase the value of your home. That way if you do decide to eventually sell your home, you have the potential to make a hefty profit.

Personal Getaway

Owning a vacation home allows you to have your own personal getaway home. While you may want to rent your home out most of the year, you can carve out time to visit while it’s empty for an easy and affordable vacation that can even save you money. 

Market Opportunity is Endless

While successful long-term rentals usually exist near major cities, vacation homes can be scattered all along with the globe, even in more secluded areas with vast income potential. Whether you’re looking to invest in a beach home, mountain home, or a cabin in the woods, there are endless opportunities and bound-to-be renters who will likely find your vacation home the perfect getaway. 

Build Equity and Reduces Homeowner Costs

Having multiple revenue streams and building an income property portfolio is an important investment goal for the majority of second homeowners. However, owning a home can come with many expenses such as mortgage payments, utilities, insurance fees, property taxes, HOA fees, and maintenance costs. Owning a rental property has great potential at counterbalancing these homeowner costs from the very beginning, even for first-time buyers. Consistent rental income can cover these monthly homeowner expenses and even help pay off the home in a shorter time than if you had chosen to live in it, allowing you to eventually create a nice profit from the rental. Vacation rental owners may also be eligible for specific tax deductions which can also help increase your potential income. 

Plan for Retirement

Whether retirement is a few years away or a few decades, owning a vacation rental can help you plan for a stress-free future. When choosing a vacation home to rent out, it’s important to think about where you may want to retire — a beach, in the mountains, or in your favorite city. As you move closer to retirement, the amount you may owe on your vacation home will be smaller or may even be completely paid off, allowing you to eventually make it your own home.

Reese Witherspoon Feels Like a New Person After Vacationing in Costa Rica

Reese Witherspoon Feels Like a New Person After Vacationing in Costa Rica

June 8, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

Written by: Fabiola Andrew Cardoso

“3 incredible days in Costa Rica with the most amazing women. I feel like a new person” is the tittle of the reel that the “Legally blonde” star shared on her Instagram account where she documented the best moments she lived last May 2022 in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

Source: @reesewitherspoon on Instagram

The post, with almost 250.000 likes, pictures Witherspoon enjoying a delicious coffee, walking through the jungle on her way to hiking, crossing suspension bridges, visiting waterfalls and even swimming in the river accompanied by a group of friends.

In the video compilation we can see how she went to get a massage in the “amazing spa” where she took the time to relax, enjoyed a delicious meal and met some incredible women, her own words.

Source: @reesewitherspoon on Instagram

The Oscar winner for “best actress” in 2005, enjoyed 3 wonderful days in the country and ended the video with the phrase:

“I love Costa Rica so much, I had the best time”, followed by an image of her plane leaving the site.

Source: @reesewitherspoon on Instagram

The American artist, with almost 28 million followers on her Instagram account, joins the endless list of celebrities who choose Costa Rica as a destination to leave their hectic lives and have a very relaxing vacation surrounded by nature.

Homeowners Insurance in Costa Rica

Homeowners Insurance in Costa Rica

June 2, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

Rainforests, mountains, seasides, and even volcanic mountains make up some of the natural real estate of Costa Rica. But as is the case with homes anywhere, it’s a huge investment to make and even receive returns on. So, you would want your home and belongings to have all the financial protection they need without breaking the bank. Of course, there is also the question of how much coverage is enough for a home in Costa Rica. This post looks at Costa Rican homeowners insurance in general, the cost, and the best way of navigating the market to find the best one.

Costa Rica Homeowners’ Insurance

Homeowners insurance in Costa Rica functions consistently as other forms of it around the world. Insurance brokers report that homeowners’ rates are constant across Costa Rica, so the true comparison comes down to the providers themselves. The Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) of Costa Rica is more or less the government’s homeowners insurance provider and is extremely reliable and one of the most trusted providers in the country. However, shoppers have choices from all the local and national companies. Again, look at a homeowners insurance provider’s customer service and reputation if all of them price their policies similarly.

What Homeowners Insurance in Costa Rica Entails 

The easiest way to remember and understand the kind of protections that homeowners insurance has is by knowing these four areas of coverage:

  • Natural disaster and fire coverage – With the different types of environments around Costa Rica, some land is subject to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and fire damage. In the United States, specialized insurance is required to cover such things as earthquake and flood damage. This is not the case in Costa Rica, where natural disaster insurance covers those damages and more. Natural disaster and fire coverage are made up of what is known as coverage V (real estate damage) and coverage D (natural disaster damage). Coverage V accounts for the fire and hurricane storm damage while coverage D accounts for floods and earthquakes.  
  • Contents coverage – Your home is a safe haven for everything that is yours. So you would want all your valuables to be protected. Instead of individual insurance policies, they are all covered together with contents coverage, or coverage Y as it is known by the INS. High-valued items like jewelry or irreplaceable family heirlooms may require specialized coverage of their own. 
  • Homeowners liability – It isn’t required, but you can carry homeowners liability coverage in order to insure anyone who may be injured while on your property. This can cover accidents, pet attacks, and any medical treatment that follows. This is also known as coverage k or civil liability insurance. 
  • Homeowners association coverage –  For those living in condos, apartments, or any other rented space often have to pay money to the homeowners association to keep the facilities running. This can include workout rooms, pools, and building security. Homeowners association coverage could help insure these costs if something were to happen. Like with a home, though, insuring the contents within your rented space falls on you.

Costa Rica Homeowners’ Insurance Cost

The cost of homeowners insurance, in general, is dependent on the value of the home it is insuring. Typically, full coverage for a home in Costa Rica is 0.25% of its value. For example, a home valued at about $600,000 will cost about $1,557 annually. At the same time, contents inside the home are usually insured for anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000. It also helps to carry the same amount in liability coverage.

Why Homeowners Insurance in Costa Rica is Important

There is no law saying that you must carry homeowners insurance, but it is highly recommended for financial security. If you live on the coast, in the rainforest, or in the mountains –there are things that can damage your property, especially with a climate as vast as Costa Rica, where tropical storms can be regular. It is heavily recommended for anyone living in a flatland more subject to seismic events and landslides. Homeowners insurance quotes are often free, so be sure to take advantage of that when shopping around the various Costa Rican providers.

7 Bookkeeping Tips for New Real Estate Investors

7 Bookkeeping Tips for New Real Estate Investors

May 20, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

As a new real estate investor, you have a lot on your plate to worry about. There are many things to learn and do to succeed in this industry. One of the most important aspects of being a successful real estate investor is keeping good track of your finances. This can be daunting for new investors, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Below are seven bookkeeping tips to help you stay organized and make informed financial decisions.

Choose the Right Accountant and Accounting Software

Real estate accounting can be very demanding and intricate. You need to make sure that you choose an accountant who is experienced in working with real estate investors and that you select accounting software that can accommodate your specific needs. Some of the excellent accounting skills you should look out for when picking your real estate accountant include:

  • Extensive real estate knowledge
  • The ability to deal with complex transactions
  • An in-depth understanding of the tax code
  • A knack for finding deductions and loopholes
  • Bookkeeping
  • Tax planning
  • Financial analysis

Once you’ve found a good accountant, they can help you choose the right accounting software. There are many different accounting software programs on the market, so it’s important to find one that fits your needs. You should also make sure that the software is compatible with your accountant’s software.

Track All of Your Expenses

Tracking your personal and business-related expenses is important for a novice real estate investor. This will help you understand where your money is and where it is coming from.

One way to track your expenses is to use a personal finance software program like Mint or Quicken. You can also use a spreadsheet to track your expenses. Either way, make sure you track all of your income and expenses to see where your money is going each month.

Another important tip is to keep all of your receipts and invoices in one place. This will make it easier for you to track your expenses and help you when it comes time to do your taxes. You can use a folder or envelope to store all your receipts or scan them and save them electronically.

Reconcile Your Accounts Monthly

One of the most important bookkeeping tips for new real estate investors is reconciling your accounts each month. This means that you will match your bank statements with your records to ensure that everything is at par. This is a crucial step in keeping accurate records and will help you catch any errors or discrepancies.

Unlike the past few years, reconciling accounts is much easier today. You no longer need to enter transaction details into a ledger manually. Instead, you can download your bank statements and transactions into accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero.

This will save you a ton of time and energy, which you can reinvest into your real estate business. You’ll also minimize the chances for errors, as the software will do most of the heavy lifting for you.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

When it comes to bookkeeping, technology is your friend. There are several apps and software programs that can make your life much easier, as we’ve already mentioned above. You can also integrate your accounting software with other technologies like electronic point of sale, marketing software, or other accounting software.

But technology doesn’t start and end in bookkeeping software and apps. You can use new technology like VR to tack sales to help your bookkeeping endeavors in the real estate industry. You can also choose to go paperless and store your receipts electronically. If you choose to go this route, make sure you have a backup plan in place if your computer crashes or is lost or stolen.

Utilizing the latest and greatest technology can make your bookkeeping process more streamlined. So don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment a bit – it could make your life a lot easier in the long run.

Outsource When You Can

If you’re not particularly good with numbers or don’t have the time to devote to bookkeeping, you may want to consider outsourcing this task.

Plenty of bookkeeping and accounting firms would be more than happy to take on your real estate business’ finances. And in many cases, it can end up being quite cost-effective.

So if you’re not confident in your bookkeeping abilities, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. It could save you a lot of time and stress in the long run as you concentrate on other key aspects of your business.

Learn About Real Estate Bookkeeping Trends in Your Area

Learning about bookkeeping trends in your area can help you get ahead of financial hitches right in time before they happen. Whether it’s a specific way of filing taxes or managing employee records, every region has a unique way they handle things. By following these trends, you can be sure that you’re keeping up with the latest changes and requirements to adjust accordingly and stay ahead of the competition.

Following these trends is also important if you’re operating in multiple states or jurisdictions, as bookkeeping standards vary from place to place.

Optimize Income and Revenue

One of the most important things you can do as a real estate investor is to optimize your income and revenue. This means looking for ways to increase the rent you’re bringing in while also minimizing expenses.

To do this, it’s important to keep a close eye on your bookkeeping and make sure that everything is being accurately recorded. You may also want to consider hiring a professional property manager to help you keep track of everything, including reducing tenant turnover rates and ensuring that your property runs smoothly. Optimizing income and revenue will eventually lead to a smooth bookkeeping process.

There you have it – seven bookkeeping tips for new real estate investors. By following these tips, you can stay on top of your bookkeeping and ensure that your real estate investing business runs smoothly. With accurate records and a well-run operation, you’ll be able to succeed in the long run. A good bookkeeping strategy will go a long way in helping you achieve your real estate investing goals.

Images from Pexel & Unsplash.

Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio appears in new Netflix show 👀

Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio appears in new Netflix show 👀

May 10, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica and its wonders is showcased yet again in the new Netflix produced series called “Our Great National Parks”. This time, viewers embark on a journey where they can get to know the world’s most stunning natural environments, narrated by former US president Barack Obama, and featuring Costa Rica’s very own Manuel Antonio National Park. The depiction of the flora and fauna found in these mesmerizing places is caught in full colors and motion, providing the audience with a raw experience of what these places are really like when they are healthy and well.

Specifically regarding Manuel Antonio, episode 1 focusses on the importance of one of the area’s most important creature: the three fingered sloth. What is so important about these sloths you ask? Well, it turns out that the ecosystem they foster in their fur produces a specific dye that scientist have learned can be used to fight off diseases such as cancer, malaria, and superbugs. (Fernández, 2022). The narrator even refers to the park as a “pharmaceutical factory” that scientists can utilize to look out for medical alternatives to common medical issues we see in our current world.

The problem that this environment faces is in terms of the increasing effects of climate change and this all stems from manmade disasters and indulgences, meaning that it is our job to reverse the situation and act as rapidly as possible to save the natural wonders our world has to offer. It is because of this situation that the show aims to highlight in breathtaking fashion the importance of preserving our natural parks, specifically when they look so vibrant and alive when fully prosperous. Don’t forget to pay Manuel Antonio a visit in your next trip here in Costa Rica and see for yourself the famous three-fingered sloths, white faced monkeys, and unique beaches this place has to offer.

Buying Process

Buying Process

April 25, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

The buying process here in Costa Rica is similar to that of the United States and relatively straight forward. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about buying in CR.

The process works as follows:

1) You decide which home you would like to purchase and we write up and present an offer to the seller and work out the terms and conditions of the deal.

It is customary to buy the property under a corporate entity. This for various reasons, such as liability, bills, bank accounts, plus it makes it easier to transfer the property to a family member if something happens. The cost for doing this is $750-$900. Most people do this during step 1 or 2 usually and most do it prior to leaving Costa Rica so you have it in place and ready to go.

2) Once you are in agreement; then the Offer to Purchase (OTP) is turned over to an attorney, who writes up a much more detailed Sales-Purchase Agreement (SPA). During this time you will be setting up your escrow account to send your deposit and eventual closing funds. You will also be setting up your Costa Rica holding corporation if you choose to use a corporate entity to purchase and own the property. Once the SPA is signed by both parties you would send the deposit (usually 10%, but whatever is agreed upon in the OTP and SPA) to an internationally certified escrow account. The home is now officially “under contract“. There are fees incurred for writing this contract and typically split by buyer and seller. If there is a mortgage with seller financing, the buyer pays to write and register the mortgage: about a $1,000 fee.

3.) Due diligence. This is typically 30 days, but more may be negotiated. During this time the deposit is refundable if any item in due diligence comes back unsatisfactory. The deposit is NOT refundable, for example, if you decide you do not like CR anymore. The buyer typically pays for all due diligence items. Items in due diligence include:

  • Checking the title of the property and searching for any liens, encumbrances, pending legal cases from past workers etc. The attorney does this part. We can do a preliminary title search and look up the property in the registry. However, investigation of liens, pending court cases, etc is something the attorney will do. The attorney will also look into the corporation that owns the property.
  • Checking property lines with a topographer – optional and recommended if lines are unclean and not properly marked. Approx. $400 – $600 depending on size of property.
  • Soil test – done more for lots without homes. Core samples of the soil are taken to determine its stability. $900 for the report in English and 3 core samples plus a perculation test for where a septic tank would go (if you are purchasing a finished home, this part is not needed). If you want to do this for a finished home on the slope below or above a house, it is the same concept. We will always ask if the owners did this prior to building and can save you some money if so.
  • Home inspection – This is to see what you are getting into and not to renegotiate the price like in the US. Homes here are sold “as is” and you cannot get an inspection and then negotiate on repairs. This is about $400 to $800 depending on size of home and detail of the report.
  • Get power, phone, TV bills and any insurance policies ready to transfer if the home has all those items.

4) Once due diligence is completed satisfactorily you would send the rest of the funds for closing and close anywhere from 5 to 30 days after completion of due diligence, whatever you negotiated.

5) Closing – The title is transferred to you under your corporation when you and the seller sign the closing documents. You will have to physically be here for closing unless you leave a specific Power of Attorney (POA) for someone here. This specific POA allows your assigned agent to close on the home, nothing else. Closing costs are typically split by the buyer and seller. Total costs are around 6%- which includes 1.5% – 2% for the attorney/notary fees and 2.5% for registration, transfer taxes, government stamps, etc. So you are looking at 3% on the buyer side (due diligence is an additional separate fee) for your side of closing costs. This can vary for more complex deals with seller financing; so there are some added costs of underwriting the mortgage and registering it (mentioned above). For cash deals the buyer’s attorney takes the lead and for financed deals the seller’s attorney will be the lead attorney and write the mortgage. It is not uncommon for one attorney to do the entire deal. Seller pays the commission.

Some notes on financing a property:

  • Real Estate transactions in Costa Rica are cash deals for foreigners. Most people cash in on investments or sell a property in their country of origin to purchase a dream lot or home in Costa Rica.
  • As far as financing here; typically seller financing is the best option to consider. Unless you can get a line of credit back home, then the best way to go is negotiate seller financing with a large deposit. Most sellers want a 60% deposit and to be paid in full within 2-3 years. Terms, interest rates, balloon or monthly payments are all negotiable items. You just want to make sure you can make your payments, because the property Is the collateral and if you default; then you lose the property, your deposit, and payments to date.

We hope this answered many of your questions, if you have any additional questions or concerns, let us know.

Important Update on Costa Rica Entry Requirements

Important Update on Costa Rica Entry Requirements

April 23, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s doors are more open than ever since the beginning of the pandemic era and here are some of the entry requirements you need to look out for before traveling to the “pura vida” paradise. For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 virus spread, Costa Rica is now allowing travelers from all countries around the world, this according to the new April requirements that repelled all previous national health measures. Foreign travelers still have to comply with the standard migration processes established by the General Law of Migration and Immigration, so keep in mind some of the requirements that must be met:

  • A returning flight ticket (the officer will ask for it upon arrival).
  • Even with 90-day touring visa the immigration officer determines how much you can stay in the country according to your passport.
  • Obligation de declare: if you’re traveling with a sum of money larger than 10,000 USD dollars you would have to request and complete the corresponding form at the migration post and present it for verification.

Upon arrival, note that all establishments, activities, and events are functioning at 100% capacity; however, the use of masks is still obligatory as well as the usual hand wash, temperature checks, and ordinary sanitary protocols established by the corresponding touristic activities. It’s been a while but finally vacationing in Costa Rica is easier than ever, so start planning your summer 2022 and look out for the excellent vacationing plans this beautiful country has to offer.

4 Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Real Estate Lockbox

4 Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Real Estate Lockbox

March 30, 2022

Properties in Costa Rica

In 1955, a real estate professional by the name of Delbert Williams came up with what is now known as the realtor lock box. The lockbox then was just an aluminum container for the house key. This container was secured with a padlock and then hidden on the premises. Although simple in design, at the time, the lockbox had solved a problem that most real estate professionals encounter of having to go back and forth from their office or the house owners to get the keys to access properties they were selling.

The process took time away from showing a house to prospective buyers. The lockbox was the perfect solution, and many real estate professionals followed suite to make it easier for them to do their jobs.

If you’re just like Delbert Williams, and other real estate agents who run back and forth to the office or colleagues to get keys, then maybe you need a lockbox for your properties. However, you might have heard some disadvantages of using a lockbox, deterring you from buying. In this article, we’ll discuss four advantages and disadvantages of using a real estate lockbox.

Advantages of Using a Real Estate Lockbox

Lockboxes Can Save a Realtor’s Time

The main purpose of a lockbox is to save time. Without a lockbox, agents would have to get the keys to a property from the house owner, their office, or colleagues.

There is also the chance that the changing of hands could lead to an agent taking the wrong key. This mistake not only makes it difficult to show a house, but if a buyer has to wait for the right key to be found, they might get impatient because of the delay and just back out before even viewing the property.

A lockbox also helps a real estate agent with multiple listings under their care. It saves them from having to bring multiple keys with them as they work, lowers the risk of accidentally grabbing the wrong key, and avoids the possibility of losing a key.

Lockboxes Are Convenient for Houses with a Lot of Foot Traffic

A house for sale might have contractors, workers, agents, and occupants walking in and out of the property. Having a lockbox eliminates the need for all of these people to have copies of a house key.

If too many people had a key for the house, there is the possibility of losing it and giving people unauthorized access to the property. Aside from this, giving them a key would mean they would have access to the property whenever they wanted. This could be inconvenient if the house was occupied, or it can even lead to a serious security breach if there’s no one around.

Electronic Lockbox Access Can Be Set to a Specific Time

Electronic lockboxes have more advanced security measures, and one of these measures is the ability to set the time a lockbox can be accessed. For example, the house owner or an agent can allow people to unlock the lockbox only during daytime or office hours. The codes given to workers or other authorized personnel will only work during the given time. This security measure prohibits unauthorized access, especially if a property has a lot of foot traffic.

Electronic Lockboxes Can Track Access to Property

Another advantage of an electronic lockbox is its ability to track lockbox activity. Because electronic lockboxes have advanced security measures, smartphone apps or electronic key cards are required to access them. As these apps or key cards are assigned to a specific person, their information is logged in whenever they unlock the storage unit. Aside from their name, the time and date of when they accessed the lockbox are also recorded.

This security measure can help an owner track any unauthorized usage and suspicious behavior from their workers or agents. It can also deter workers or agents from abusing their access to the property as house owners will see who accessed the property and when it was accessed.

Disadvantages of Using a Real Estate Lockbox

Lockboxes’ Keys Can Get Lost or Stolen

The biggest disadvantage of using a lockbox that requires a key to open it is the risk of losing the key itself. A solution for this is to keep track of the key or place it somewhere safe. Another solution is to get a more advanced lockbox. Either a combination or electronic lockbox would provide better security. A combination code will not be stolen easily, and an electronic lockbox will have additional security features like those mentioned previously.

Combination Lockboxes’ Code Can Be Cracked

Although combination lockboxes can provide better security, the combination code can still be cracked.

In some cases, prospective buyers can sneak a peek as the agent enters the code. They might then return to the property to steal furniture or use the house for their enjoyment.

A real estate agent may also accidentally reveal the code. If they have it written down somewhere, this piece of information can get lost in the office or near the property, giving strangers access to the house. If the code is on a cloud server without password protection, the server could easily be hacked.

The greatest disadvantage to a combination lockbox is that some older models can be broken into by a thief trying all kinds of combinations. As these lockboxes don’t have a program to limit the combinations being entered, a malicious individual can keep guessing until they crack the code.

You can avoid these problems by taking extra measures to ensure the code combination will never get revealed or stolen. Obfuscating any line of sight as the code is being entered or getting the key before the visitors arrive are just some ways to safeguard the combination. It’s best to change the code regularly or right after a showing so that guests can’t use the code you previously entered.

Another solution is to get an electronic lockbox instead. Because electronic lockboxes use an electronic key card or a smartphone app to be unlocked, the lockbox isn’t as easily cracked as other types of storage units.

Older Lockboxes Can Deteriorate or Can Be Forced Open

You might be tempted to get an older model of a lockbox as these will be cheaper, but they can also pose a security threat.

Older models can be damaged by the elements. Lockboxes can that are subjected to heavy snow or rainfall can deteriorate over time. Thus, they can easily rust or break down, which will make it hard for an agent to open the lockbox and access the property. This type of damage can also make it easy for anyone to force open the lockbox, giving easy access to the keys of the property.

To guarantee that this never happens to you, ensure that the lockbox you buy is made of sturdy and durable materials that can withstand any type of weather or forceful impact. Newer models are also fire-proof and burglar-proof, giving them an added layer of security and protection.

Electronic Lockboxes Can Be Expensive

Because of the security features of an electronic lockbox, such models can be expensive for some homeowners. Good quality lockboxes with all the best features and an easy-to-understand smartphone app interface will usually cost around $100 or more. Many homeowners will balk at the price and feel like they should settle for something cheaper or not buy one at all.

But a lockbox is a great investment if you want to keep your home safe from invaders, especially if you’re opening it to several strangers in the hope that they will buy it.

Lockboxes provide several benefits to both house owners and real estate agents, such as ease of access to the property and added security. And while there may be some disadvantages to using a lockbox, these disadvantages still outweigh the many benefits that they can bring to the table.

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