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Purchasing South African Property

South Africa - Purchasing South African Property


Foreigners are allowed to buy real estate in South Africa. Unless you plan to purchase a significant amount of property or property that is protected by the government, you do not have to obtain special permission to purchase real estate.

There are a few things you need to know about buying real estate in South Africa before you make the decision to do so.

Real Estate Agents/Real Estate Lawyers: Just a handful of a few estate agencies have control over the real estate market. There are very few instances when private sales occur.

Financing: As a foreign national, the simplest way to get financing to purchase property in South Africa is through a local financing company. However, you need to be very careful. The local interest rates are considerably higher than in many European locations. Further, there are few European and American banks willing to loan to buyers out of the country, especially in South Africa where the political climate is tense.

The following are the typical steps involved in purchasing real estate in South Africa.

- Working with the estate agent to locate a property you are interested in. The agent will, at that time, learn more about the property, including any liens on it, mortgages or other associated outstanding charges.

- The title needs to be thoroughly investigated. There are instances when someone other than the owner misrepresents themselves as the property owner though they have no legal right to sell.

- You may have to register with the local government offices in order to purchase the property.

- Making the purchase offer. You will make a deposit on the property as earnest money. The deposit amount is negotiated, as is the final price for purchasing the property. The seller from the local bank collecting the funds from the buyer then requests a guarantee.

- Voetstoets is the term used to represent the deed of sale. Once completed, this document transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. The property is sold as is.

You may need to pay capital gains taxes on immovable property located in South Africa as a non resident. In addition to this, you will pay a transfer duty, up to 8 percent of the sale price as well as a conveyance fee and bond registration fee.

Buying property in South Africa is much simplified when you hire an attorney to represent you, or work through a local real estate agency.


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