Important Buying Information
We advise you to use a trusted client lawyer when purchasing who will ensure your interests are protected. We recommend that you use a Brazilian Lawyer who is registered with the OAB (Ordem Dos Advogados Do Brasil) which is the equivalent to the Bar in the UK. You would also have more protection if they are also registered with the society in your own country (I.e. UK Law Society).
A good lawyers' service should include:
- Checking the current owners have the correct entitlement to the land and debts
- Checking your contract and clearly advising what the obligations are for both parties
- Supporting you through the payment process and general Legal questions
- Ensuring the land is registered in your name correctly at the end of the process.
Foreigners Owning Land / Property
The Brazilian authorities encourage foreign investment, as such there are no major restrictions for foreigners to buy and sell residential or commercial property in Brazil. There are however some limitations and/or fees applicable for specific areas such as marine land, Islands, agricultural land and areas near Brazil's International borders.
Property is registered in Brazil via private notary publics, under justice control. The real estate registry in Brazil is such that each property can only be registered at one registry which stores the entire transaction history and physical identification of each property. The access to all information of a property is public. Thus many Brazilians buy and sell property without a lawyer. We recommend that you use a lawyer to help you with the purchase.
Land registry costs, when buying property in Brazil can vary depending on the state the property is purchased in. We usually state the approximate registration costs within the property details. The taxes are as follows:
- Stamp Duty Tax (or Registration tax) is around 2% of the purchase price (payable to the notary)
- Property Transfer Tax (ITBI) of approx 3% (payable at the City Hall).
- 'Navy Marine Tax' of approx 2% (generally only if a property is located front line beach although there are other cases where this is applicable)
Taxes can vary (only by fractions of a percent) depending on which State you buy your property in.
Visas / Passport
Travellers from most countries will receive an automatic visitors visa entry when visiting Brazil, this is granted for 90 days. It is possible to apply for an extension for a further 90 days at the local police station. Travellers from some countries (particularly the U.S. A.) are required to apply for a Brazilian Visitors Visa at their nearest Brazilian Embassy before travel.
Before travelling to Brazil you should have at least 6 months from the return date of your journey until your passport expires.
There is a criteria to meet to qualify for Permanent Residency, residency is dependent on the governments criteria. Your chosen legal advisor will be able to assist you if you apply for residency.
Flight costs to Brazil are still generally quite expensive but there are indications that these are starting to reduce as the market continues to open up and the market becomes more competitive as it certainly will do. Prices fluctuate depending on the season / operator and destination airport.
A flight to the northeast of Brazil usually takes about 8 to 9 hours from the UK.
Money Transfers to Brazil
It is imperative when buying property in Brazil that the funds are sent directly from your own bank account to the sellers bank account in Brazil, this being sent via the Central Bank of Brazil who will provide an official receipt of funds into the country. The seller is then required to present their contract to the Bank to release the funds. This ensures the government have recorded your investment into the country. Please be careful of developers / sellers who do not use the official route.
Your bank will not be able to offer an exchange rate at the time of transfer as the money is crystallized when it reaches Brazil (approx 5 days transfer time). There will usually be a shortfall or overpayment, we will help you manage any transfers and liaise with your banks to ensure that the process works smoothly.
Borrowing Money to Buy Property
It is not impossible to borrow funds in Brazil to buy a property but it is expensive and the market is not mature. If the repayments are being made from overseas then there is also a currency risk - So generally, we would not recommend this route. Some new build off-plan developments may be offered by the developer with instalment payments over a short period of time (I.e. say over 12 to 24 months). The charges applicable vary from developer to developer. Because Brazil's economy is doing well, the currency has been strengthening, so you need to be mindful that the actual price you pay in your own currency could increase.
If you have property in your own country and would like to borrow against this, then you would be wise to speak with your own Financial Advisor.