Specific steps to Buying Real Estate Property in Austria
There are some restrictions on the manner in which foreign nationals can purchase
and possess real estate in Austria. Indeed, historically there were some more significant
steps that a foreign national had to undertake in order to be able to buy and own
real estate in the country. However, in recent years, there has been a general relaxation
in regard to the laws that govern foreign ownership of real estate in Austria.
The most significant changes and relaxations in the laws governing foreign ownership
of real estate pertain to foreign nationals from the European Union nations. Simply,
since the formation of the EU and since Austria's reception into the EU, any foreign
national within the EU can purchase real estate in Austria with ease. Indeed, for
all practical purposes, at this juncture, a citizen from the EU stands in essentially
the same position that a citizen of Austria stands when it comes to the purchase
and ownership of real estate in that country.
When it comes to foreign nationals from non-EU nations, there remains one rather
significant restriction on the ability of these foreigners to buy and own real estate
in Austria. In short, before a foreign national from an non-EU can purchase real
estate in Austria, that person must obtain permission from the local authority office
in the locality in which the foreign national desires to make the purchase of real
Generally speaking, approval from the local authority is easy to come by and will
be granted in the vast majority of instances. Additionally, this approval normally
is forthcoming in a very short amount of time.
Once a foreign national has identified a piece of real estate that he or she is
interested in purchasing, an oral offer is made to the seller. If the seller accepts
the offer -- or, if the seller puts forth a counteroffer that is acceptable as such
to the buyer -- a purchase agreement is prepared. In Austria, more often than not,
a solicitor or lawyer handles the affairs associated with the buying and selling
or real estate.
As a matter of normal routine, the buyer will post a deposit in the amount of 10%
at the time the purchase agreement is executed. The deposit will be held in escrow,
pending the completing of the sales transaction itself. If the sale falls apart
through no fault of the buyer, the buyer will have his or her deposit returned.
When the completion date rolls around, the seller will be responsible for making
certain that all contract provisions that apply to him or her have been satisfied.
More often than not this primarily includes making certain that the property is
free from any encumbrances that might interfere or impede the conveyance of the
real estate to the buyer.
At the time of the completion date, the buyer will need to have his or her financing
in place and in order. At the time set for the completion of the transaction, the
buyer will pay the remaining balance due and owing on the purchase agreement. Once
this payment is made, ownership of the real estate will transfer by operation of
Austrian law to the buyer. However, the new ownership of the real estate -- the
ownership of the buyer in the real property -- will need to be registered with the
Austrian Land Registry.
The process of fully registering the real estate with Austrian Lad Registry can
take up to three or four months in some instances. It is not a quick process, more
often than not.
When it comes to obtaining financing for the purchase of real estate in Austria,
Austrian banks generally will lend money to citizens of that country and foreign
Property Abroad always recommends using a
Solicitor or Lawyer
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