Let's be real here for a second: buying real estate in Estonia can get pretty complicated. With so many to know and a lot of steps to do, it'd be easy for you to get confused. Or worse, get into big trouble. Of course, you wouldn't want that to happen, so what should you do? Should you just give up trying to buy property in Estonia
? Nope! Instead, follow a few helpful tips. Getting permission early, setting up a local bank account, or getting involved in drawing up the contracts can go a long way. They can ensure that you'll get your hands on your new place here without any problem at all!
Get The Permission Early
If you're a foreigner looking to buy a property in Estonia, you need to get permission from the local authorities first. Unlike in other countries, Estonia has a few restrictions regarding who can purchase real estate here. But they’re not too strict. You don't have to move to Tallinn
or any other part of the country, just ask permission from the local authorities. And you'd do well to do it as early as possible since you never know how long it might take you to do so. Getting permission is simple enough, but it depends on the current situation of the local authorities.
Hire Professionals That Speak English
When you hire a real estate agent
, a solicitor, and a notary to help you purchase real estate in Estonia, aside from the fact that they ought to be trustworthy, it's best if they could speak English too. Even better if they can speak your native language. But if not, English will do. It's no question why. It's better to go through this process if you understand those who are helping you. They'll also be giving you advice on how to go about buying a property in Estonia, from the legalities and the necessary protocols. Imagine how hard it'd be if you can't understand each other!
Set Up A Local Bank Account
You're not necessarily required to set up a local bank account in Estonia
when you want to purchase real estate here. But it will definitely help. Remember that this process comes with a number of costs, such as stamp duty, notary fees, and your real estate agent's commission. It's easier to pay all of them when you have an account in a local bank. Moreover, if you're applying for a mortgage in the same bank, you have a better chance of getting it. This will then help fund the purchase and you'll get the keys to your new place in no time!
Avoid Agricultural and Forest Lands
When it comes to choosing a property in Estonia for sale, avoid those in or near the agricultural or forest lands in the country. Why? Because the government is a lot stricter when it comes to those parts of the territory. According to Global Property Guide
, even you, as a non-resident foreigner, can still purchase them if you've gotten permission from the county's governor. But that's an entirely different and oftentimes more complicated process than getting permission from local authorities in non-agricultural/forest lands. Similarly, you should also avoid buying properties near areas that border Russia.
Be Involved in Drawing Up The Contracts
When it's time to draw up the contract agreements for your purchase, it's best that you be involved. This gives you the chance to include certain terms and conditions that will allow you to bow out of the agreement after signing the documents. Let's say that after signing the contracts, your mortgage application was denied. With no loan to help you, you can't proceed with the purchase. So if you included a condition that would allow you to exit the transaction if this happens, then you won't get into financial and/or legal trouble!
Think Carefully Before Signing The Pre-Purchase Protocol
Among the many documents in the process of purchasing real estate in Estonia, the pre-purchase protocol is pretty important. It's what will essentially 'seal the deal
' between the buyer and the seller. So you need to think long and hard before signing it. Because when you do, the document will be legally binding and you will have to pay the seller a 10% deposit. Now, what if you decide to bow out of the agreement after signing and with no terms and conditions that will allow you to do so? Then you'll lose the 10% deposit forever!
Submit Your Application to The Land Register ASAP
Finally, when all the other steps are done, the last thing you need to do is to send your transfer of ownership application to the Land Register. Unlike in other countries, where you simply have to change the name of the owner on the title deed, Estonia required a full-blown application process to transfer the property's ownership. And you'd do well to do it as soon as possible because this process alone takes around 65 days, approximately two months. Do you have time to wait for that? If not, the moment the contracts are notarized, send in your application to the Land Register!
Purchasing real estate in Estonia may be a straightforward process but things won't go smoothly if you barely know what to do. Let these tips guide you throughout the process and you're guaranteed to succeed with little to no problem at all!