segunda-feira, 2 de março de 2009

Buying a house in Brazil

I have no real idea of how many people would dream of buying a house in Brazil, whether it would be for permanent living or holidays here, I came by way of marriage, so my reasons are somewhat different and less calculated. For many people I would image that the language is possibly a draw back, Portuguese is not quite so straight forward, although it is within a whisker of being similar to Spanish, and here again it has similarities to Italian and French, so there are at least these Latin countries that may have an interest in buying into the Brazilian property market. The good reasons at the moment for buying here are the now rising costs of living in Europe and in the United States, along with the fact that well over half the area of Brazil is close enough to the Equator to have a virtual summer time climate, taking a line from Rio de Janeiro going North, that is, taking the same point and going South it is almost the same climate as Europe, with possibly more rain fall, this is certainly true for the city of Sáo Paulo, which is constantly suffering flooding due to heavy rain. This line also marks a cultural difference in Brazil, the North is more basic and old colonial style with little interest in the arts and theatre, while in the South there is still the European late colonial feel and they still keep a keen attachment to their roots in Europe. It is these Southern states that form the backbone of the economy and have ties to United states and Europe ( although virtually none with Great Britain).
The economy of Brazil is now fairly stable and growing at a reasonable pace, not too fast, like the Chinese and therefore prone to burn out or risks of world economy blunders, and yet it is growing at a rate that allows it to view the world economies and make adjustments as it grows. it is still trailing its in its own ambitions of getting good education and health care to all, the state of the national health service is abysmal, it really does require a great investment, as too does the road systems in Brazil. The country is in real terms a novice, politically and with this come corruption, which often is seen as a mere fragrance of rules which virtually all Brazilians do. Remember that here marriage is more a state of co habitation and not any religious or social ceremony, therefore many rules are flaunted and abuse can go without justice; there lies another social problem in that the police are grossly under staffed and under paid, there are not enough places in prisons or police stations , for the amount of arrests that could be made, so many criminals are set free within 24 hours, it is very much accepted but verbally decried.
These problems are more noticeable in the large cities and generally for those that are self sufficient in funds and movement, they are not likely to affect your daily life in Brazil.
Brazil is a country with such mixed traditions that few could even tell you what came first and whether one tradition is a mixture of others. This mixture has the benefit of loosing race within it and therefore you will find a more relaxed attitude to mixed marriages and religions, which are also a mixture and not even the Catholic religion as much similarity to that in Italy.
I have for some time thought about moving to another part of Brazil, my ex wife came from Salvador and that is why I origionaly moved there, although I now live some short distance up the coast, North of Salvador, in a small fishing town that has given way to local tourism (Brazilians).
For the six years I have been here it has grown considerably and is very popular with the Brazilians who own houses in Salvador and also here in Jauá, a mix of bankers, medicals, shop owners and the families that have had houses here for the last 30 years, always returning at the weekends to get their share of sunshine and beach life, then disappearing back to Camacari or Salvador for work during the week.

Here lies my problem with living in Jauá, for there are two sides to my trade and life generally, I am an artist and a furniture maker, as well as a furniture restorer, in the past I have returned to Scotland to pick up three months work there, 90 days is the maximum I can work without the government wishing to seek tax from any earnings in Brazil. This , and the letting out of my house for the Brazilian summer of December, January and February ( includes Carnaval) whilst I stay in my apartment next door to the house, allows me sufficient funds to live comfortably and pay for my annual flights to and from the UK. Howvever it has the draw back of being constantly living without a sense of history and culture, this in Bahia, is combined with the lack of traditional crafts and my craft of furniture making and restoring, is none existant in Salvador, I have become aware of this when visiting my fiancée in Ouro Preto, Minas gerais, interior of Brazil on a line with Rio de Janeiro. There you become aware of furniture, although still colonial Portuguese and no tradition of new furniture making, but a sense that you can start a new furniture tradition and expand on it, being close to Rio and Sáo Paulo. The one problem with Ouro Preto is its climate, it is very high and mountainous, therefore gets high rainfall and is generally about the same temperature as Bristol, in the United Kingdom, and I am now more used to the warm and its values to my body.
There is a link, to the side of my Blog, that shows my house in Jauá and I am genuinely interested in selling the property in order to move for my work and my fiancées future work, she is now on a course for restoring paintings, sculpture and furniture in Ouro Preto, and it is partly this that will decide my future relocation.
Here I have taken some information from another site that in real terms gives a true idea of buying property here in Brazil, clearly any one interested in my own property, or property close to Salvador, can contact me and get advice and help, I speak Portuguese but cannot say that I speak good Portuguese, however it as been enough for me to get through life's ups and downs and learn the intrigues of Brazilian life and customs, so it is worthy if not perfect.

1. You need a Brazilian ID called a CPF.
2. To get a CPF you need a birth certificate translated into Portuguese by a certified translator and legalized by the Brazilian consulate in your home country.
3. You make a trip to Banco Do Brasil with your passport and your birth certificate to formally apply for a CPF and pay a small fee.
4. The next day you go to the Receita Federal to receive your assigned CPF number.
5. Your CPF card is mailed to an address in Brazil within two months. (That's right, you need a Brazilian address.)
6. It is best to use a trustworthy broker. Not only will the a good broker help you find a property, but he or she will make sure the price is fair, as well as make certain that the property is owned by the seller, and that there are no debts on it.
7.   The contract is prepared by the selling broker and contains:
  -  All information of the seller
  -  All information of the buyer
  -  Location and specifications of the real estate
  -  The conditions of payment(s)
8. The contract is signed at the office of the broker.
9. You pay a down payment (usually about 10,000 Reais or $3,500 usd). 10. When payment has been made, your broker will arrange the registration of the property into your name via a cartorio (similar to a notary).
11. The cost for the property transfer is approximately 4%-5% of the purchase price.
12. Payment can be made all at once or in instalments of 12, 24, 36 or 48 months, but interest rates can be as high as 35%. If you opt to pay in instalments, there is also a currency risk. In other words, if the value of the Brazilian Real goes down, your real estate becomes cheaper, and vice versa.
13. There is a 1% "import" tax on transfer of funds from abroad
14. After the registration, you are the legal owner.
15. There is an annual property tax of approximately 0.6% per year of the assessed value.
16. You may need to hire a caretaker to live on the property when you are not there.
17.Visas: Foreigners are allowed 3 month visas, or 180 days total per year in Brazil. If you want to apply for a permanent visa, one of the following conditions must be met: You are married to a Brazilian - You have a child with a Brazilian.
- You invest 250.000 US dollar or Euro in Brazil.
- You have reached the age of retirement (50 years) with a pension of at least 2,000 euro or US dollar per month.


CPF - Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas – A Brazilian document necessary for tax and identification purposes. Obtainable at the Brazilian Consulate in your place of residence or, more quickly, once you arrive in Brazil. Note: Once you have a CPF, you will have to keep it regularized by filing either a Declaração de Imposto de Renda or Declaração de Isento each year.

CartórioA public notary office where official contracts are prepared and recorded.

Cartório de Registro de Imóveis A special type of centralized notary office where all real estate transaction documents are registered.

CondomínioA monthly fee that covers the cost of your apartment or housing complex infrastructure such as the doorman’s salary and the costs for lighting common areas.

COFECI – Conselho Federal de Corretores de Imóveis – or Federal Council of Real Estate Agents. Federal agency regulating the real estate industry. Click here to access the website for COFECI.

CRECI – Conselho Regional de Corretores de Imóveis – or Regional Council of Real Estate Agents. Regional agency regulating the real estate industry and licensing of real estate agents. Click here to access the website for CRECI Bahia.

DAJ – Documento de Arrecadação Judiciária – taxa de prestação de serviços. Document issued by government agencies for collecting officials fees – must be paid in a bank.

Declaração de Imposto de RendaBrazilian income tax declaration. Any Brazilian or Brazilian resident with income over R$1.313,69/month must file this form yearly before April 29th. Foreign non-residents do not file this form but rather a Declaração de Isento by November 30th. Both forms can be filed online at Note: Non-resident property owners are taxed only on Brazilian income generated by their property but permanent residents in Brazil are taxed on their worldwide income.

Declaração de IsentoIf you are a foreign non-resident or a Brazilian resident that earned less than R$1.313,69/month – including income from rental property owned in Brazil than you should file a Declaração de Isento each year between August and November 30th. If you fail to file either a Declaração de Isento or a Declaração de Imposto de Renda, then your CPF will become irregular and you will not be able to complete certain official transactions such as transfer ownership of property. The Declaração de Isento is quite simple to fill out and can be completed online at

IPTU – Imposto Predial e Territorial Urbano – or Urban Building and Land Tax. Property tax paid yearly or in 10 monthly installments to City Hall.

ITIV – Imposto sobre a Transmissão Inter-Vivos – or real estate transfer tax. 3% of registered purchase price for transferring ownership and issuing a new title deed to the property in your name.

LaudêmioAn antiquated system of land ownership where the land is still technically owned by an institution but the rights to use the land can be bought, sold and transferred by private individuals or businesses. In Bahia, the two most common institutions associated with laudêmio fees are the Catholic Church in Salvador (Mosteiro de São Bento) and the Brazilian navy (for properties near the beachfront). When you buy a property that has a laudêmio associated with it, you are buying the rights to use the land indefinitely, including the right to sell the property to whomever you wish or pass the rights along to your heirs. Under this system, the institution is legally required to grant full rights of use to the land in exchange for the payment of a fee upon each transfer of ownership. This fee, called a laudêmio, varies between 2.5% and 5% of the registered value of the property. The transfer of ownership can not be completed until you have a receipt that the laudêmio fee has been paid. Legally, the seller is responsible for paying the laudêmio fee but in practice, the buyer usually pays. It is best to take the laudêmio fee into account when negotiating a final price with the sel

PrefeituraCity Hall. the Prefeito is the Mayor

ProcuraçãoA formal document that gives another person the legal right to act on your behalf in specific instances (power of attorney). May be a contract prepared individually or formally in a cartório.

RNE – Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros – or National Register of Foreign Residents in Brazil. Identification card given to foreign nationals with permanent residency visas. This document is required for opening a bank account in Brazil.

When considering buying property in Brazil, the first step is to evaluate your needs and price range and compare them with the current market possibilities in Salvador to narrow down the neighborhoods and types of property that you will be looking at. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Do you prefer an apartment or a house?
  • Do you prefer property within the city limits of Salvador or outside of the city, such as on a remote beach?
  • How much time will you spend in the property per year?
  • What will you do with the property while not using it? Do you plan to rent it out?
  • How often? Who will look after the property while you are away?
  • What is most important for you? Price, location, or security?
  • What kind of a return on investment are you looking for? Returns from vacation rentals? or are you looking to sell the property in the short term for a profit?

The answers to these questions can help you narrow down your possibilities and select the right property for your needs

Most transactions involving foreign investors are cash deals rather than financed – for two reasons:

  • Rigorous bank requirements and high interest rates in Brazil mean that finding local sources for financing your purchase will be unlikely.
  • Prices of real estate in Bahia are of such incredibly good value compared to prices in the US or Europe.

As such, buyers avoid delays associated with bank mandated property inspections and appraisals. You may, of course, privately contract an engineer or architect if you have doubts concerning the structural integrity or expansion possibilities for the property.

One exception to the no-financing rule is in the case of pre-construction properties. Construction companies usually offer an option of splitting payments up over a 3 year period. There many companies, some with Scandanavian owners, that are producing pre made housing of wood construction, usually in eucalyptos wood.

I. A final purchase price is agreed upon between buyer and seller, the terms of payment are agreed upon, and a preliminary contract is signed.

The real estate agents or lawyers will prepare a preliminary contract called a Contrato Particular de Promessa de Compra e Venda. This contract will outline all details concerning the terms of down payment and the final payment as agreed upon between buyer and seller. At this time, you should have someone research that all documents related to the property, the selling party, and the purchasing party are in order, that the taxes are up to date and that there are no liens against the property. Should any irregularities need resolving, make sure that they are taken care of before signing the preliminary contract, or at least have those details included in the contract as contingencies.

Once the property and documents have been verified, the buyer gives the down payment to the seller and both sign the preliminary contract. The time between arriving at a purchase price, signing the preliminary contract and paying the down payment is usually within a day or two, so be prepared to have your research done quickly and have a down payment available. On the other hand, the amount of time between signing this contract and making the final payment is up to negotiation between the buyer and seller. It could be immediate, within a week, or even up to a month.

The preliminary contract will include the terms, time limits for final payment and penalties should either party fail to adhere to the terms. In general, if the buyer fails to pay the final amount within the allotted time, the seller keeps the down payment and the contract is terminated. If the seller fails to adhere to any of the contractual duties or deliver the property on the agreed upon date, he or she will have to pay back the down payment in double to the buyer.Once the preliminary contract is signed and a down payment has been made, the deal is sealed legally and rarely will you have problems of either party withdrawing from their contractual duties – especially if final payment is expected soon.

II. Payment of transfer taxes, associated fees and preparation of final official contracts.

The buyer should use the time between signing the preliminary contract and the awaiting of final payment to complete these fee payments and ensure that all documents are properly prepared and ready for the day that you will take possession.

Principal fees that must be paid in order to purchase and transfer ownership of property in Salvador, Brazil:

  • ITIV – 3% of total purchase price
  • Laudêmio – 2.5% to 5%, (note: not all properties require the payment of a laudêmio fee)

The final sales contract must be prepared in a Cartório de Notas and then registered in the separate centralized Cartório de Registro de Imóveis. Extra fees for power of attorney documents, certifications, etc. vary depending upon the circumstances of the sale.

III. Final payment, taking possession of your new property and registration of the property in your name

You should have all contracts and documents in order by the day of final payment and the handing over of the keys. On that day, you make final payment, the official sales contract is signed, and you take possession of the property. The official sales contract must then be registered in the Cartório de Registro de Imóveis. Once your name appears on the title in that office, you are the official owner of that property.

In a decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Brazil, for all legal purposes, the only true owner of a property is that whose name appears on the deed in the city’s Cartório de Registro de Imóveis. As such, when purchasing property it should be the buyer’s primary motivation to ensure that his or her name appears on that deed as quickly as possible. Because of the centralized record keeping of real estate documents in Brazil, you may contract a lawyer or another professional versed in checking the status of real estate documents in these government offices to ensure that all items are in order for the transfer of ownership. Again, it is important that you do this before signing any contracts or making any down payments as title insurance is not common in Brazil.

Paradise Properties Bahia is here to help facilitate the process and can coordinate among various local professionals to guarantee a smooth and efficient transfer of ownership into your name.

One feature of Jauá is the river, often called the lakes, that splits the beach are from the now steadily growing urban side.
Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean

Population: 169,806,557 (July 1998 est.)

Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 70%

Languages: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 S, 55 00 W

Map references: South America

Coastline: 7,491 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than the US

Brazil is located in the Southern Hemisphere. Thus, its seasons are opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere: The below stated seasons apply all across Brazil, however the temperatures shown are based on the north east coast line of Brazil as this is where we sell properties.

* Spring: from September 22, to December 21 (23 to 28 Degrees Centigrade)
* Summer: from December 22 to March 21 (25 to 33 Degrees Centigrade)
* Fall / Autumn: from March 22 to June 21 (23 to 28 Degrees Centigrade)
* Winter: from June 22 to September 21 (23 to 28 Degrees Centigrade)

To view todays weather in ALL Brazilian Cities View Weather in ALL Brazil Cities

total: 8,511,965 sq km
land: 8,456,510 sq km
water: 55,455 sq km
note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo

Land boundaries:
total: 14,691 km
border countries: Argentina 1,224 km, Bolivia 3,400 km, Colombia 1,643 km, French Guiana 673 km, Guyana 1,119 km, Paraguay 1,290 km, Peru 1,560 km, Suriname 597 km, Uruguay 985 km, Venezuela 2,200 km

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico da Neblina 3,014 m

Natural resources: bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
Land use:
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 22%
forests and woodland: 58%
other: 14% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 28,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Environment—current issues: deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers the existence of a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities

Environment—international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador

For more information visit the UK Brazilian Embassy

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