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Croatia – Buying Property

Legal Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Property in Croatia

In Croatia, foreign nationals are able to purchase property without restrictions, as long as they have a valid residence permit or have been living in Croatia for at least six months. However, it is important to seek legal advice and conduct due diligence before making a purchase. 

Average Property Prices in Croatia

The average property price in Croatia varies depending on location and type of property. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the average price of a property in 2020 was around €1,200 ($1,365) per square meter. However, prices can range from around €800 to €4,000 ($907 to $4,529) per square meter, depending on the location, size and condition of the property. 

Popular Locations to Buy Property in Croatia

Currently, some of the most popular areas to buy property in Croatia include Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb. These areas offer a wide range of properties, from affordable apartments to luxury homes. 

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Upcoming Areas for Property Investment

Some upcoming areas that are becoming attractive options for property buyers include: 

  • Istria: A peninsula located in the northwest of Croatia, known for its picturesque towns, wine, and truffles.
  • Kvarner: A region located in the northwest of Croatia, known for its picturesque towns and islands.
  • Zadar: A city located in the northwest of Croatia, known for its historic old town, beaches, and cultural heritage.

New Trends in the Croatian Property Market

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for sustainable and eco-friendly homes. Additionally, more people are looking for properties with outdoor spaces, as well as homes that are suitable for working from home. 

Is Buying Property a Good Investment in Croatia?

Buying property can be a good investment in Croatia, but it’s important to do your research and consider the specific market conditions in the area where you’re considering purchasing property. Generally speaking, property values tend to appreciate over time, and owning property can provide a steady income stream through rental income. However, it’s also important to consider the costs associated with owning property, such as property taxes, maintenance and repair costs, and mortgage payments. 

Common Property Types in Croatia

The most common types of properties in Croatia include: 

  • Detached houses
  • Semi-detached houses
  • Townhouses
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Beachfront

Typical House Buying Procedure in Croatia

Step 1: Surveys and Inspections:
Before making an offer on a property, it is important to have a survey and inspection carried out by a professional. This will ensure that the property is in good condition and that there are no hidden issues. Surveys typically include an evaluation of the property’s structural integrity, electrical and plumbing systems, and any potential environmental hazards.

Step 2: Making an Offer:
Once you have found a property that you are interested in, you can make an offer to the seller. This is typically done through a real estate agent. The offer should include the purchase price, any contingencies, and the closing date.

Step 3: Notary and Contracts:
In Croatia, a notary is needed to complete the transaction. The notary will ensure that all legal requirements are met, the property is legally available for sale and the contract is legally binding. The contracts are signed in the notary’s presence.

Step 4: Exchange of Contracts
After the contracts have been signed and all necessary checks have been completed, the sale will be completed with the exchange of contracts. This is the point at which the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The buyer will typically pay a deposit, and the balance will be paid at the closing.

Finding a Reputable Lawyer

When buying a property in Croatia, it is important to have a reputable lawyer to help you navigate the process. Lawyers can be found through real estate agents, online directories, or by asking for recommendations from other expats. They typically charge a percentage of the purchase price, but it’s always important to ask for a quote in advance. It is also important to check if they are a member of any professional organization, such as the Croatian Bar Association (Hrvatska pravniƒçka komora) or the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (Hrvatska gospodarska komora).

Pitfalls and Problems

There are several potential problems expats may encounter when buying property in Croatia. One of the most common is dealing with corrupt officials or real estate agents. It is important to work with reputable professionals and to do your due diligence on the property and the people involved in the transaction. Additionally, the legal process can be slow and bureaucratic, so it is important to be patient and to have a good lawyer to guide you through the process.

Property Purchase Through a Company

It is possible to purchase property through a company in Croatia, but it may not be desirable. This is because a company must be registered in Croatia, and it is subject to Croatian taxes and regulations. Additionally, buying property through a company can be more complex and may involve additional fees and paperwork.

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