Monthly Archives: December 2014

Why is critical to retain a skilled Attorney when Buying Real Estate in Argentina

Argentina’s cities and landscapes offer foreign investors limitless possibilities when it comes to property. Here, there’s something for everyone, as Argentineans are passionate about everything from literature, theater and sport to fine cuisine and design. With an international reputation worthy of mention in The New York Times, Kier Joffe is your one-stop shop for information and legal services related to buying a property in Argentina as a foreigner. The first firm to specialize in providing services to international clients buying property in Argentina, we have assembled a top team of lawyers, accountants and notaries dedicated to making your buying experience as smooth as possible.

Whether you’re seeking a vacation property in Buenos Aires, an estancia in the pampas or a mountain cabin in Patagonia, foreign currency goes a long way in Argentina, where many homes are undervalued as much as 30%. The only legal restrictions on foreign property investment are on property near Argentine borders, where the government must approve transactions. Under the Argentine constitution, foreigners also have the same property rights as Argentines. Furthermore, since the value of properties is measured in dollars, and since all purchases must go through a notary, who tracks the history of the property and spots existing liens, Argentina is an attractive and safe place to buy if you find the right advisors to assist you.

Quick Facts about Buying Property in Argentina

Every country has its own complex set of property laws, which means that it is even more important to make these purchases with the help of a local expert who is fluent in your language and knows what foreign buyers struggle with the most. When it comes to buying in Argentina, there are a few simple concepts investors should understand before shopping for a property.

-The process of purchasing property involves a lawyer and a notary, and the costs of all this usually make up about 3 percent of the sale price of the property.

– Payments are usually conducted via wire transfer to a foreign bank account, and financing must be arranged through a foreign bank, as mortgages are not available in Argentina.

– A property owner who spends at least six months out of the year in Argentina is considered a resident for tax purposes.

– Buenos Aires has no property tax.

– Outside of Buenos Aires, tax rates depend on the value of the property, but will rarely cost you more than US$500 a year.

–  In Buenos Aires, rental properties are taxed at a rate between 10 and 30%, depending on the value of the property.

That said, it is common for lawyers or those sellers to cheat foreign buyers in certain aspects of the transaction, which makes it even more important to find a trustworthy lawyer. For example, there is a 3.6% tax on all property purchases in Buenos Aires, which is usually split between the buyer and seller. Dishonest sellers may be able to convince buyers that they need to pay that tax in full, which is why our team makes sure to stay involved in all aspects of the transaction. It is important not to make the mistake of closing the deal before hiring an independent and highly-reputed lawyer, because realtors’ real motivation is their own commission, not the sellers’ needs.

Where to Buy

Foreigners are increasingly attracted to the wide variety of landscapes and scenery that Argentina offers at an affordable price.

Buenos Aires is beloved for its European-style architecture and rich, vibrant culture, not to mention the fact that the per-foot cost of apartments will be between one-third and one-tenth the cost of properties in European cities. Apartments are spacious and well-constructed, and both older, turn-of-the-century and modern architecture is prevalent throughout the city.  Neighborhoods like Recoleta, Puerto Madero, Palermo y Las Cañitas are comfortable and full of spacious, beautiful apartments.

To the north of Buenos Aires are conveniently located suburbs, where buyers can make long-term investments on the family-style houses in neighborhoods like Nordelta, where there are many gated communities with 24/7 security. These homes are built for big families, and are often equipped with pools, large grills and spacious yards. Apartments of approximately 50-70 square meters, and more spacious homes in the northern suburbs, go for around US$100-250,000.

Investors looking for a less traditional property surrounded by scenic landscape can head far from Buenos Aires, to the regions of Mendoza in the Northwest, or Patagonia in the South. In the wine country of Mendoza, 40 acres of land with a view of the Andes can sell for less than US$ 100,000. Down South, mountain homes nestled amongst the mountains and lakes near Bariloche, one of Argentina’s ski capitals, are available for around US$ 100,000 as well. Both Mendoza and Bariloche are ideal for foreigners, with easy access to airports, active and bustling city centers and limitless outdoor activities for the adventurous spirit.

Kier Joffe’s 70 years of experience have placed us as the go-to firm for foreigners seeking to buy property in Argentina. Our expertise in Argentine property law, as well as our understanding of foreigners’ taste and needs, greatly simplifies what can be an intimidating process for a buyer, and we’d love to talk to you if you are looking to make a purchase in the lovely country we call home. For more information, just fill out the Quick Contact Form on the right or give us a call today, and we will get back to you.” 

USA: +(1) 212.300.6377
ARG: +(54) 115.218.3100