Purchasing property in Brasil is fairly straightforward once you have acquired what’s known as a CPF (Cadastro de Pessoa Física) number. However, it’s still strongly recommended that you obtain guidance from an expert independent lawyer, before embarking on purchasing property in Brasil. This is particularly important if you’re looking to purchase a resale home, as checking for ‘clean title’ can be a drawn-out, complicated process.
Once many of the initial formalities have taken place, you will need to open a local bank account in order to provide evidence that the necessary purchase funds are in place and can be traced between a buyer’s bank account and a vendor’s account. Furthermore, all financial transactions must be lodged as a foreign investment with the bank of Brasil, with the cost of this covered in any legal fees.
Investor’s will be expected to submit a deposit of 10% once an offer has been accepted – although you can opt to pay between 5% - 20% depending on your own personal circumstances. However, the balance must be paid on completion and the entire procedure is monitored by a notary.
On a final note, although contracts are drawn up in both English and Portuguese, it is advised to seek the help of a translator, should your solicitor not be fluent in both languages.
Brasil is potentially one of the limited numbers of emerging markets that permits foreign investors to acquire both land and property in their own names on a 100% freehold basis. This makes the buying process much simpler when compared with other nations. Yet, before being able to purchase a property in Brasil, a CPF number needs to be obtained and this can be done through the Brasilian embassy in the UK (incurring a small cost of approximately £10). Once you have acquired a CPF number, this acts as your tax registration and allows you to open a bank account in Brasil and apply for utilities. Predominantly however, it serves to provide evidence as to the amount of capital you will bring to Brasil. It also permits you to reclaim funds should an investor decide to sell-up.
If an investor is looking to purchase a property built after 1973, it will come complete with a legal document known as a Matricula. This is the equivalent to title deeds in the UK and gives a detailed property overview, a record of all previous owners, boundary details, a record of outstanding debts associated with the property/land and any further legal, financial and judicial transactions attributed to the property.