Obtaining financing for a property in Costa Rica is not as easy as it is in North America or Europe. To get financing as a non-resident with a Costa Rican Bank can be done given that you have a stellar credit rating that can be proven with tax returns and bank references from your home country. Be prepared to wait longer than normal for credit approval and be prepared with a minimun down payment of 30%. You will also encounter up-front fees higher than in North America.
North American and European banks will not finance individual property purchases. There may be the extremely rare case involving an extremely credit-worthy client where the financing is based on the client, not the underlying property. Financing is available for developers of large projects that have well established credit histories as developers.
Another attractive option in this buyer's market is seller financing. Most listing agents will advertise that their sellers are willing to hold a mortgage. You will have a higher probablility of getting owner financing with a healthy downpayment in the 20-30% range and make a balloon payment after a few years but normally that is enough time for most buyers to get their affairs in order.
Do not be afraid to make an offer that includes seller financing. You might be surprised that it gets accepted.
Talk to your agent and make a plan. Often, they will know which sellers will offer financing even if it is not advertised.