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Acquisition of houses in Croatia
The acquisition of houses in Croatia is fundamentally not more complicated than in Germany, Austria, Holland or Belgium.
But there are some points you should be aware of. If you have decided to acquire a house, our lawyer in Croatia (a former judge) examines the land register whether a mortgage has already been enshrined on the estate and we have all documents translated in the buyer's native language. In addition, we have the reliability and trustworthiness of the seller checked. If everything is all right, the purchase contract can be concluded. (But you are also able to determine a lawyer you have chosen.) We send you the purchase contract before the appointment with the notary public in order that you can have a look on it.
We also check whether there is adequate access to the estate because you will not be able to take advantage of an estate without own access no matter how wonderful it is. That means that you cannot rely on common law as soon as there is no access from public roads and you have to drive over someone else's estate, but an entry of the right of way has or is to be registered on the estate that you have to cross.
According to the current legislation you are not allowed to buy in an area from 70 m from the shores. In the area from 70 to 1000 m the communities have to make a qualified building plan which exactly says what can be build on which pieces of land. We strictly warn you against buying building sites in these areas, if there is no building plan. In the worst case it can happen that you have a building site outside the building zone when the building plan is made or that you cannot build that object on that piece of land you wanted to build actually. So you may lose a lot of money.
Please note: If you buy a site today, which shall reach until the shore it must be at least 85 cm long (70 m empty plus width of the house; e.g. 10 m plus distance to the neighbour's house). Moreover you need a width of 20 m (depending on the width of the house) and thus you have to buy an area of at least 1500 to 1700 m² to get a planning permission.
(But don't forget: there must be a building plan for this site.) At the moment many people try to sell sites near the shores. So be careful!
However, all sites in that area for which a building permission was given should be checked as a precaution. Sure is sure.
We also check the building regulations when buying real estate so that you won't acquire an illegal site or some parts of the house may be built without permission.
Don't do without the help of an attorney and don't' let allow yourself to be tempted to any illegal payments by the seller. Nevertheless, how tempting an offer be and how nice the people might be to you, without an attorney you can easily sustain a total loss. Open your eyes when buying real estate.
As, in the meantime, it takes up to one year until the Foreign Office/Ministry of Justice gives his official blessings and as you do not want to wait for such a long time for your real estate, a priority notice of conveyance is entered in the land register in order that the seller is unable to continue selling the property. In addition, a mortgage of the amount of the purchase price is enshrined. In this way you can take advantage of your real estate right from the first day and you can be sure that there are no legal risks. After the approval of the Ministry has arrived (which is a mere formality in case of a house purchase), the buyer is entered in the land register and the priority notice of conveyance as well as the mortgage are removed. If you buy with a Croatian Ltd you do not need this approval.
GOOD NEWS: EU Citizen dont longer oficial blessings from the Ministry. The direct way to the landregister is now possible( Since 2/2009)
New houses - renovation and extension
We would be pleased to support you having realised the construction of new buildings as well as renovation and extension. You can take advantage of considerable contacts our local colleagues have established to building contractors and of thirty years of experiences in the construction branch. You have to reckon on the fact that the procedure of obtaining an approval takes about six months. It is also important to know that, in many towns, it is forbidden to build during the peak season why there can be a break in construction work.
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Many of our customers have asked how the transfer money to Croatia is settled best. The safest way is: You first talk to your house bank and let him know that money is to be transferred to Croatia or is collected by a Croatian bank within the next days. In Croatia itself you go to a bank, open an account and hand the account number over to your house bank or you have the money collected by a Croatian bank. Surely you may also bring the money with you cash, but it is not always recommended to carry a huge amount of money in cash with you.
For Croatian citizens we can move for financing up to 25 years running for buying real estate, building new objects, reconstruction, modernization and extension. For foreigners we can only offer financing as a rule, when unencumbered or little encumbered real estate exists in the home country. Occasional financing through the house bank with land charge encumbrance is very rare.
The additional costs usually* amount to 5 % real estate transfer tax, 3 % commission and about 3.000 to 3.500 for the lawyer, the certified translation, the notary public and further costs for official approvals.
*Partly there incur no or rather reduced real estate transfer taxes for new houses you acquire directly from the building contractor.
Viewing of a house
You can arrange a viewing at any time. In order to allow us sum freedom in planning, we ask you to arrange appointments for viewings always one week in advance. Our colleagues at place will arrange a meeting point with you and will then take a look on the real estate together and answer eventual questions. If you request, we also organise hotel accommodation for your stay in Croatia.
Foundation of a Ltd
If you intend to acquire an estate which is no brownfield or if you have or want to found a Croatian Ltd for other reasons, it takes about one week until you are allowed to open an account for this Ltd.
Development of prices for real estate
Furthermore a comment on the development of prices for real estate in Croatia: Prices for real estate will undoubtedly continue to rise. During winter, this will not happen considerably, but before the next season begins and tourists connect their holidays to the search of real estate, there will be a fast increase. In strongholds like Opatija flats in good areas have already become quite expensive.
Whether prices develop as fast as in Spain during the last six years (price increase of 75 % until today) or not is, for me, impossible to say. But it is without a doubt that the worldwide demand for Croatian real estate constantly rising and that the demand determines the price.
With the regulation that building in the 70 m area from the shores is not allowed prices for house in that area will probably rise more quickly. Here you shouldn't think too long when you want to buy something. Also prices for houses in the second line (from 70 m from the shores) will become more expensive because it is sure that building in front of these houses is forbidden now. So the second line becomes the first.
Making decisions quickly
Before buying an estate you should think it over carefully, but when you once have found your dream house you cannot rely on the fact that it will still be there in a fortnight or in four weeks, too. At present we have a daily traffic on our website of about 1000 to 2000 visitors. This shows the high interest in real estate in Croatia. We belong to the leading suppliers of real estate in Croatia, but there are still a lot of small businesses and customers who start their search personally.
Contact to customers
Finally a hint on our behalf. Some customers have questioned why we do not call from time to time and report on news. The answer is that we do not want to be a pain in the neck of anyone. Whoever likes to be called emails us. Otherwise it is impossible to make series calls with more than 8000 customers. We hope you understand. Actual information find their way via email.
In case of further questions we would be pleased to help you.