Your ultimate simple guide to buying property in Croatia in 24 steps
Buying property in CroatiaReal estate in Croatia is our passion. Whether you choose to pay a visit to our local Dream Estates Croatia Offices or spend some time on www.dreamcroatia.com or contact us through the 550 or more Savills offices worldwide, you’ll find a huge range of resources designed to support your property journey. Wherever you choose to interact with us, you can be assured of our commitment to exceptional service. We provide the information, support and guidance you need to make effective real estate decisions in Croatia. You will not find a larger selection of properties for sale elsewhere than here at Dream Estates Croatia. For larger projects we represent, we collaborate with clients to design and implement a tailored, full service marketing strategy, utilizing our relationships with traditional and new media outlets which we call out ‘total sales solution‘ – Bringing together the cleverest ideas to sell property. In short, we provide advice to our clients at Dream Estates Croatia to make excellent investment decisions whether buying property for lifestyle or investment, land or projects for development or general investment deals in Croatia. The search is over – you have found the right partner. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the contents of this publication do not form part of or constitute a representation of warranty by Dream Estates Croatia, and should be treated as a guide only. Information and local laws change periodically – please contact us for the latest information. When purchasing a property, we strongly advise clients to appoint an experienced lawyer to represent them in the process.
Useful Tips When Buying your Property in Croatia
- Once you decide to come and visit Croatia, we will gladly help you arrange your travel and accommodation, car hire or offer impartial advice on the best way to get around Croatia. Upon your arrival in Croatia, our team on the ground will be happy to meet you at the airport, if you choose, and advise you of the itinerary for the viewing trip.
- We will create a specific portfolio of properties matching your earlier advised requirements by price, location, size, type of property, etc., for you to consider. We will typically start the viewing process with a market presentation and overview, over a coffee, in our office in Dubrovnik. Once you have had a good look around and gained a feel for the market – and numerous cappuccinos later – you can let us know if there is anything of particular interest that you have viewed and would like to follow through further. Property viewings in Croatia not only enable you to look beyond the pictures and plans on paper, but also to get a taste of the Croatian lifestyle.
- Property viewings are an important and enjoyable part of the purchase process, and our sales agents will take good care of you to experience this segment of the purchasing process and get a feel of the properties in person. Purchasing a property in Croatia is a simple process and we do everything we can to ensure your purchase runs as smoothly as possible. An outline of the process is set out below, but please contact us for full information. There are different processes for resale (properties already completed) and off plan properties (properties under construction).
- After finding a property that suits your requirements, the next step towards purchasing a property is negotiating the price and conditions of the purchase acceptable to you and the seller, with our assistance. We manage the negotiation process and help to achieve the desired price and conditions suitable for both of the parties.
- We strongly recommend that each client who decides to progress to purchase appoints a lawyer licensed in Croatia to act on their behalf. We are happy to provide a list of lawyers with whom our clients have worked successfully in the past. But the ultimate choice is yours.
- Where the seller and the client agree the terms of sale, the client will usually sign a standard reservation agreement and place a deposit (usually €3,000 – €5,000) to take the property off the market. This is typically a non-refundable deposit so please read the terms of the reservation agreement carefully and ask about anything that is unclear. With the reservation deposit paid, you can now relax and the property is yours where the terms of the reservation agreement are met on your side. If you are serious about buying property you should certainly bring the cash with you to allow you to place a reservation deposit while in Croatia. Attractive properties which come to the market are often sold quickly.
- Your lawyer is responsible for carrying out a detailed check of the documentation relating to the property, in order to obtain a clear image of the legal perspective of the property and to ensure it is ready for sale. There are no gray areas when purchasing a property in Croatia – everything is `black and white` when you use an experienced agent and tested lawyer.
- Contracts are then drawn up by your appointed lawyer and the seller. All Contracts will be signed either by you the buyer personally or by your appointed lawyer, once approved. Every contract is signed and verified at a Notary office. Please note the costs of Notary services as detailed below.
- Once the main sales and purchase contract is signed, and the full price of the property is paid, the seller provides the client with a document (locally called clausula intabulandi), which gives the right to register the client as the new owner of the property. Your lawyer will follow this process through, until you receive title deeds in your name.
- Financing of real estate purchases for non residents in Croatia is available through a number of partner banks. Please contact us for more information about the loan amounts and maturity.
Property Purchase Costs
- Reservation deposit: Usually €3,000 – €5,000
- Lawyer: Typically, around 1-1.5% + VAT of the purchase price
- Agency fee: The purchaser is obliged to sign our agency contract prior to detailed information being provided on the property of interest and before the viewing, all of which is standard practice in Croatia. Agency fee is 3% +VAT.
- Currency: Since 1st of January € (Euro) is in use in Croatia.
- Administrative Costs: Notary fees of approximately €100
- Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT): From 1st January 2019, when buying a resale property (a completed property) from a private individual, the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) is reduced to 3% of the value of the property (to replace the former 4%), and this is payable by the buyer.
Please note that this RETT value is assessed on the market value of the property as determined by the local tax authority. The property value for the RETT tax calculation will not be less than the price stated in the sales contract.
The Tax Authority confirms that the purchase price is in accordance with the market value of the property, after which the Buyer will receive an invoice for the amount of RETT. The Buyer is obliged to make the payment within 15 days from receipt of the invoice, otherwise an interest rate will apply.
Where the Buyer is purchasing a new / off plan property, which is being sold for the first time, from a developer who is a VAT paying legal entity, the buyer will be exempt from RETT on the full sales price. Your lawyer will ensure this is stated in your contract.
The tax on tourist rental income on a registered rental property depends on the property owner`s citizenship and if the person is registered in the VAT system in their country of origin. Please contact us for further details.
- Buying privately or through a company? Citizens of the EU and many other countries can purchase property as private individuals as would a Croatian citizen. For citizens who live outside of the EU, buying real estate property depends on whether Croatia has signed the Reciprocity Agreement with the buyers home country. Where this agreement is not in place, buyers from these countries will need to seek permission from the Ministry of Justice to finalize the investment, which is usually just a procedural issue. Where clients are purchasing property through the company route, we will be happy to introduce you to relevant tax and accounting experts to receive the best possible advice on your property purchase. For the latest update, please contact us.
Property running costs
Estimated average property running costs for a 70m2 apartment on the coast
(per month – unless stated otherwise)
- Electricity: Approximately €60 to €90 when in full use
- Water: Depends on consumption (from €20 to €40 when in full use)
- Garbage Disposal and Communal Charges: Around €10
- Property Management: Starting from €0.5 per m2 annum
- Internet: A monthly subscription costs in the range of €20 to €25
- Television: A standard cable subscription costs in the range of €20 to €30
- Yearly Real Estate Tax: Depends on the location, approximately €2 per m2 yearly
DREAM ESTATES CROATIA
Masarykov put 3, Dvori Lapad, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
+385 20 437 222