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Buying Process and Legalities for Property and Land in Curacao

The idea of owning a home in the sun is a dream for many people all over the world, some people are looking for a vacation getaway while others long for a new life in a tropical location. When this dream becomes a reality there are many factors that will need to be considered and lots of information to gather before beginning the purchasing process. Below we will provide important information regarding the purchasing process in Curacao so that potential new homeowners in Curacao will be aware of the procedure for purchasing real estate.

Looking for a new home can be a difficult thing to do with so many on offer you will need to think carefully about what it is you are looking for before viewing properties for sale. You could start by creating a list of features that you want in your new home and the reasons why you want them and use this as your buying guide. Coldwell Banker Curacao agents will be able to assist you in deciding what type of location suits your living requirements.

Now that you have an idea of the type of home you are looking for it is time to see what you can afford. You can look into this yourself, however the best way to work it out accurately is to get a pre-approved mortgage, this can be performed quite quickly and will tell you how much you can afford and what your monthly payments will be.

Choosing the Right Agent
Once you have good idea of your specifications, budget and location you can start visiting homes in person. Coldwell Banker Curacao have a large selection of homes available for sale and will be more than happy to arrange viewing for houses and attend open house events. It is a good idea to prepare a list in order to compare all the homes you will see, make a note of things like amount of bathrooms, alterations to houses and type of surroundings.

Why it is Wise to Invest in Curacao Real Estate?

  1. Curacao has a well developed infrastructure.
  2. The political and economic stability of Curacao.
  3. Modern facilities Curacao offers residents.
  4. Curacao's well priced real estate.
  5. The tropical weather Curacao has year round.

Foreign National Purchasing

There are no restrictions on foreign nationals purchasing property in Curacao and you do not need to become a resident in order to buy a new home. However, if you wish to live permanently on the island you will need to apply for a residence permit. To apply for this permit the authorities will request a number of documents such as proof of income, valid passport, certificate of good conduct, birth certificate, medical certificate, proof of health insurance and proof of ownership of a home on Curacao.

Working in Curacao

If you are planning to move to Curacao and work, it should be noted that any foreigner looking to work on the island must obtain a work permit. Permits are only usually granted if there are no qualified persons available for the position locally and permits are only taken into consideration if they are filed by a local employer.

Length of Stay Permitted in Curacao

Tourists are generally allowed to stay for a maximum of 14 days, in the event that they want to stay longer an extension must be requested at the immigration office. American citizens may stay for a maximum of 3 months and citizens of the Netherlands 6 months.

Financing Your New Home in Curacao

Financing in Curacao can be expensive, rates are usually around the 9% mark and local banks will only finance up to 70% for non-residents. Using the equity on your own home is advisable and a popular choice for most people.

There are Two Methods of Owning Property in Curacao

Property and Land - This form of ownership is viewed as actual ownership and property taxes will be assessed on a yearly basis for as long as you own the property. The owner has the right to freely enjoy and dispose of the real estate, it can also be jointly owned in this case by 2 or more private individuals or legal entities. Ownership of real estate in Curacao must be recorded in the public register for real estate property, the civil law notary who executes the deed of transfer will take care of this registration.

Once you have chosen your property and agreed a price, the following steps will need to be taken to complete the purchase:

  • Purchase contract must be drawn up and signed, once the contract is signed the owner of the land or real estate is committed to sell to you. A 10% security deposit is paid at the notary/solicitor of your choice.
  • Before processing the sale/purchase agreements, the notary will usually require copies of identification cards, and completion of the information on the sale and personal data form.
  • Processing time is usually around 6 - 8 weeks and once it has been completed by the notary, a copy of the deposit slip will be available.
  • The final purchasing costs of approximately 4% is to be paid so that the deeds can be transferred and signed.
  • It is not necessary for the buyer to be on the island to finalize the purchase as a notary can assist with all the steps and you can do most requirements by email. If you are not able to be present for the closing, a power of attorney can attend in your place.

Long Land Lease - Under this form of ownership, the government of Curacao through its directorate, determines at the beginning of the lease the property taxes and they remain the same for the duration of the lease and is charged on a yearly basis. At the end of the lease term the government typically renews for another 60 years at an increased annual fee. If the government is unable to renew, the owner will be compensated at the current market value including all improvements made to the property.

A long-term land lease is granted by the government and is mainly created because:

  • The government wishes to encourage house building by those who cannot easily afford to purchase land.
  • The designated use of land can be regulated by incorporating special requirements into the long term lease contracts.
  • It ensures the government of a fixed annual income and/or any increases in the value of the land will be for the benefit of the government.

With a long term lease the lessee can treat the real estate as if they are the owner for the term of the lease, subject to any restrictions imposed by the government within the lease.

To summarize, when purchasing property or real estate in Curacao it is most important to select a recommended real estate agency and attorney to represent you. Curacao Realty, the agent for Coldwell Banker on Curacao, can assist in all ways with the full support of one of the largest real estate companies in the world. Contact them today and start the search for you property on Curacao and feel safe in the transaction of buying with Coldwell Banker.

Footnote: At the time of publishing all information was found to be correct but please note that all of the above is solely for information purposes and proper legal advice should always be taken before buying property in Curacao or any foreign country apart from that you reside in.