Specific steps to buying real estate property in Croatia
As has been mentioned, the laws governing the foreign ownership of real estate in
Croatia was restrictive. Indeed, through much of the country's history, foreign
nationals could not purchase or own real estate in many instances.
Beginning in the 1990s, Croatia began the process of liberalizing its laws governing
the ownership of real estate in that country. In that regard, Croatia enacted what
is known as a statute of reciprocity when it comes to foreign ownership of real
estate in that country.
In this regard, the basic provisions of the laws governing real estate ownership
by foreign nationals states that if the country of origin of the foreign citizen
allows a Croatian citizen the ability to own real estate, Croatia in turn will allow
that foreign national the ability to purchase and own real estate in Croatia.
In Croatia, reciprocity is presumed to exist unless a demonstration is made otherwise.
Therefore, generally speaking, the presumption exists that a foreign national can
legally and lawfully purchase real estate in Croatia in this day and age.
Understanding that the real estate laws have been liberalized as far as foreign
nationals are concerned, there still are many unique hurdles that must be surmounted
before a foreign national actually can complete the purchase of real estate in Croatia
at this point in time.
With that said, prior to actually executing an agreement involving the purchase
of real estate in Croatia, a foreign national must obtain permission from the Croatian
Ministry of Foreign affairs. The Ministry must verify the ultimate ownership interests
when real estate is being purchased by a foreign national.
On occasion, the review process by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be rather
lengthy. The reason for potential delays is found in the fact that in its review
process, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs involves the Croatian Ministry of Justice
and local governmental offices where the real estate in which a foreign national
is interested in purchasing is located.
As far as the real estate sales process is concerned, the first step in the process
is the execution of a sales contract between the parties. (This agreement is taken
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with a written petition seeking approval
from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)
Once all of the bureaucratic activity comes to a conclusion, the final contract
between the parties can be entered into and a deed will be prepared for the purchaser.
It is important to note that the deed cannot be filed in the Land Books of Croatia
by a foreign national without the necessary papers approving the purchase as prepared
and issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Deposits are commonly required when the initial agreement for purchase of real estate
is executed. The deposit generally is in the amount of 10% of the overall cost of
the real estate. When approval issues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when
the final contract is executed, the buyer will be responsible for paying the remaining
balance due and owing on the purchase price of the subject real estate.
Property Abroad always recommends using a Solicitor or Lawyer