What do we offer for your real estate purchase?
1. You have made the most important decision of your project "Purchase of a foreign real estate."
You have made a decision in favour of a project, your project.
You are at least 75% sure, that this is your real estate. There does never exist a 100% guarantee, and nothing on earth is 100% safe (please visit the chapter about "philosophy").
You did also bear in mind the recommendation of our employees: When buying a real estate, please value the location three times! Now, only your "fears" can prevent you from signing the contract at the notary.
2. The next step is the transfer of the property in the land register. We are in a position to recommend you a lawyer on site. This lawyer has proved to be one of the best lawyers in Croatian real estate business. He will also convince you, as his aim is to work perfectly and to avoid all errors that might cause you problems. If you wish, you can of course use the services of a lawyer of your choice. He/she must however have a Croatian licence.
You will entrust the lawyer with the transfer of the property rights. The lawyer, "your" lawyer will check all documents and will draft a real estate purchase contract. Your lawyer will be responsible for his work, and he will charge you approx. 1.5 % - 2.0 % of the purchase price as his honorarium.
His work does also include the application for registration into the land register in Zagreb as well as a certified translation of the real estate purchase contract into German.
If your lawyer gives you the green light for your purchase, the purchase contract will be ready for signature within 1-2 days. In case that the lawyer needs to do additional work (i.e. a new abstract of title is needed) then one can also conclude a real estate pre-contract. In this pre-contract the final purchase price will be determined and a date for the signature of the final contract will be agreed.
A down payment, usually 10% of the purchase price (called Kapara in Croatia) gives an additional meaning to this pre-contract. In case that the seller cannot arrange for suitable sales documents within the requested time frame, he must pay back the down payment twice. On the other hand, the buyer will lose this down-payment if he/she decides not to sign the contract anymore without having a valid reason.
Another possibility would be to transfer the down payment to an lawyer's account (escrow account) - whatever you do your lawyer or our company will give you advice.
You may rest assured that we are familiar with all peculiarities of the region, and we see it as our task to examine all possible circumstances in order to guarantee you an optimal purchase security.
It goes without saying (but nevertheless I would like to especially emphasize it) that purchase security is a priority in our company.
The price per square metre of a completely finished detached house is approx. between 900.00 and 1.200,00 Euros. A balcony costs approx. 50% of this square metre price, a terrace will cost approx. 25% in addition. On the islands the construction costs are approx. 10-40% higher. Architectural planning in Croatia can be obtained for EUR 12.00 per square metre plus 22% PDV (Croatian VAT). Many construction companies will even work for a lower price.
If the construction company comes into default 5% of the construction costs (costs of the construction section) may be kept as a fine. Payment is usually effected after each construction section is completed. The booming building branch is therefore working according to European rules - and there is a lot of competition in Croatia.
With the usual written agreements (construction contracts) one can have a house built even without being present all the time. Construction companies, architects and their craftsmen can guarantee good European quality.
A rule of thumb for construction permissions is the following: The minimum sizes of plots are determined by each community. The building of two floors plus roof is usually allowed. Constructible zones are determined by the local authorities but afterwards still need a permission of the land authorities.
The new construction law of 2004 forces the local authorities to draw up a B-plan for your plot (micro-plan). Through this B-plan people interested in constructing will obtain detailed guidelines.
One of the main targets of the Republic of Croatia is the membership in the European Union. The Basic Law of Croatia as well as all other laws were adjusted accordingly. Through a reciprocal system foreigners now have the possibility to own real estates. The legal procedures are similar to those in Germany. A site plan issued by the land registry office as well as an owner's certificate are needed. The real estate court determines the owner and possible mortgages are found out. In our company a lawyer is responsible for all this paperwork. This however is not very common in Croatia as sales contracts can and may be drafted by anybody.
Once all those documents are complete, lawyer, seller and buyer will meet a notary. He will attest the signature of the seller. Immediately after this attested signature the property can be used by the buyer.
Our company will be able to provide one of our employees as interpreter. We would also be in a position to mediate a sworn translator - those will however charge a honorarium.
The Croatian Republic at the moment still has the right to subsequently object to the registration in the land register if the buyer has been previously convicted or might have convicted a war crime. The land transfer tax in Croatia amounts to 5% which is due after registration in the land register - this can currently last up to three (!!!) years. The Republic of Croatia must however give reasons for any objection and the seller does also have the right to file an objection in return.
In the meantime notable EU- and US-companies have invested in Croatia. The Austrian bank HYPO-ALPE-ADRIA has bought several hotel complexes and is now selling shares to its customers. German, Austrian and Italian banks characterize the Croatian financial market. The Americans are contractually bound to finalize during the next years a motorway until Dubrovnik. Until mid 2005 the construction of this billion-project leading until Split will be finalised, then the construction further into the direction South will start.
A political change is no longer relevant or expected as too much Western capital has already been invested in Croatia. The Zagreb Parliamant is known as exemplary in its democratical composition and operation. Offence against property is rarely found in Croatia. The word "thief" is a very drastic dirty-word.
The democratic development in Croatia is excellent. Foreigners are treated very kindly as Croatia is hoping for admission to the European Union. The acceptance of Croatia as EU-member is also desired to help underdeveloped adjoining countries to understand the advantages of such a EU-membership.
Helping the neighbour is a very common attitude in Croatia. Anybody who owns a house in Croatia or who moves to Croatia will experience this!