Wednesday, 9 May 2012

What To Know About Buying Real Estate In Slovenia

Beautiful mountain and coastal regions combined with an extremely low crime rate has made real estate in Slovenia some of the most inviting for both investors and personal homebuyers. The downside to this, however, is that these factors have also made property in the tiny European country fairly expensive. Average selling prices usually range from €150,000 to €300,000, although it is not unusual for prices to be much higher. Even so, property is in demand, and if you are looking for investment property or a private residence, a professional property agency may be the best place to start.

Where you buy can be as important as what you buy when it comes to purchasing property in Slovenia. Investors, for example, may find the best investment properties in the capital city of Ljubljana, which boasts an annual growth as high 30%, or may search the coastal region of Primorska or the mountains of Gorenjska for properties that could be converted to beach or ski vacation rentals. These sites may also be ideal locations for vacation or retirement properties, although they are some of the most expensive places to buy in Slovenia. In fact, moderate home prices for these area are around €600,000, although more prestigious properties can be listed for as much as €3,000,000. More affordable properties can often be found in the eastern regions of Slovenia, as the distance from both the capital and the typical tourist areas tends to drive home prices down.

Finding a suitable site is the first step to purchasing property in Slovenia, and once this is done, the purchase process can begin. The process itself is actually very simple, and is completed through the following steps:

  • Obtain a tax number and EMSO number, which is similar to a Social Security or other personal ID number, from the local authority in the region where the property is located
  • Meet with the seller or property agency to negotiate the terms of the sale
  • Organize a survey of the land
  • Conduct a property search at the Land Registry to ensure that:
    1. The property matches the decription held by the Land Registry
    2. Property authority had been obtained when the home or structures were built
    3. Property authority had been obtained for any additional structures or renovations
    4. The taxes have been paid
  • Sign and notarize the contract and other documentation pertaining to the sale
  • Submit the documentation to the Land Registry office
Once the final documents are returned from the Land Registry office, the sale is complete. Buyers outside Slovenia will also have to transfer funds to the country, although when this done is dependent upon the terms that had been negotiated. Although hiring a real estate agency is not necessary to conduct the sale of property, an agency is nevertheless recommended, as they can assist with documentation, as well as walk buyers through the purchase process from beginning to end.

A final note on real estate in Slovenia concerns the restrictions on the purchase of properties by foreign nationals. In fact, not all foreign nationals are even allowed to purchase property in Slovenia. Who can and cannot purchase property in Slovenia is established by the Ministry of Justice, and includes the following statutes:

  • Members of the EU are allowed to purchase properties under the same conditions as Slovenian citizens due to the membership of Slovenia in the EU
  • Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway were granted the right to purchase properties without restrictions in the European Economic Areas Agreement
  • US citizens may purchase without restrictions due to the Treaty on Trade and Navigation
  • Switzerland may purchase real estate only if the buyers possess a valid Permit C, or permanent settlement permit.
  • EU candidate countries may submit an applicaton to the Ministry of Justice to request permission to purchase property in Slovenia
  • Other countries may acquire property in Slovenia only if they have a business registered in the country, obtain Slovenian citizenship through marriage, or obtain property through inheritance, provided the condition of reciprocity is met. This condition means that if a Slovenian citizen is able to inherit land in another country, citizens of that country may also inherit property in Slovenia.

The beauty of Slovenia combined with its extremely low crime rate has made properties in this country some of the most sought-after in the world. Purchase prices can be expensive, however, particularly in the high-population areas, such as large cities and popular vacation spots. It should also be noted that purchases by forgeign nationals may come with restrictions, although the process is fairly simple for those who are able. A real estate agency is recommended for the purchase, as these agencies can assist with both the documentation and the step-by-step process. Real estate in Slovenia can be ideal for retirement, vacation, or investments, as the diverisity of its cities, mountains, and beaches makes it the perfect location for every taste.


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