How to Buy a Property in Venezuela
A comprehensive guide for non-residents
Necessary Legal Stuff in advance
If you want to buy a property in Venezuela as a foreigner, you need to have an Investment Visa in your passport. To get this visa, you'll have to apply at the embassy of your country. Take the first step and reach out to them to find out what specific information they need from you. Just keep in mind that there will be a fee for this process (for example, €154,- in Holland). And be prepared for a possible wait of 2-3 months before your visa is ready.
During the application process, they'll probably ask you to show proof of income and assets. Once your application is approved, it will take several hours for the visa to be added to your passport. It's good to know that with this visa, you can enter Venezuela multiple times within three months. However, I should mention that my own experience was having a visa valid for only two months, so it's important to be alert and flexible.
Business Visa temporarily on hold?
From the start of 2023, we have been informed that the Business Visa provided by the embassies in Europe and North America is currently suspended. We understand that this is a temporary situation, and although obtaining a business visa may not be feasible at the moment, fret not! We have alternative avenues for you to obtain the official registration of your newly purchased property. Get in touch with us so we can explore the diverse options available to you.
In Venezuela, it is required by law to conduct transactions and contracts using the Venezuelan Bolivares. However, due to the rapid devaluation of this currency, prices are often stated in dollars with a Bs. sign. So, when you see Bs 15,000, it actually means 15,000 US Dollars. During your time in Venezuela, it is important to have Bolivares in cash. While international credit cards can be used, they may not be accepted everywhere and the systems can frequently go down. In such situations, you will need either Bolivares or Dollars to make payments.
To make things easier for you, our local guide can help by receiving your dollars and exchanging them on the currency market for a daily supply of Bolivares. It's important not to exchange too much at once since the value of the currency is decreasing rapidly. Rest assured that our team will be there to support and assist you throughout this process.
Cash in Dollars
Cash is king and is very helpful as a down payment while closing a deal. During your inbound flight, you will need to fill out a form asking if you have more than $10.000 in cash with you. So make sure you don’t take more than $10.000 or investigate yourself what conditions apply.
Once the deal is finalized, it is customary to provide a cash deposit. The remaining balance should be transferred to a dollar account, which is typically the preferred method. If you have a US dollar account, the transfer will be swift and hassle-free. However, if you are transferring funds from a European account to the USA, it may take up to 4 days and involve hefty commission charges. To avoid this inconvenience, We highly recommend using the application Wise. With minimal commission fees and competitive exchange rates, your transfer will usually be completed within 24-36 hours.
Security in Venezuela
In Venezuela, the majority of the population faces poverty and crime rates are alarmingly high. While it may sound exaggerated, there is a saying that suggests people would go to extreme lengths for just 20 dollars. Therefore, it is essential to have a reliable driver and trustworthy local guides by your side. It's important to stay inconspicuous, avoiding flashy accessories or clothing that might attract unwanted attention. Stick closely to your guide at all times, as they will provide valuable guidance and support. As you spend more time in the country, you will become familiar with what to do and what not to do. Until then, it's crucial to adhere to their instructions for your own safety and well-being.
Real Estate Agents in Venezuela
Just like in any other country, there is a multitude of real estate agents available here. They often collaborate and share properties, while other times they have exclusive listings. While you can certainly browse through various online platforms to find properties, we have discovered that the ones advertised there tend to be too good to be true. They serve as bait, enticing you to call them so they can then present their entire inventory, which usually doesn't live up to the initial online allure.
Before you know it, you'll find yourself overwhelmed with a swarm of agents eager to show you properties that don't align with your preferences. The process of viewing apartments can drain your energy rapidly, leaving you feeling exhausted and unable to make clear decisions. It's easy to lose sight of your original goals amidst this chaos.
Your available time and your energy are your worst enemies in this process,
so beware to choose right and dare to say no,
and know what you want, and stay focused on that.
Otherwise, you will find yourself exhausted and puzzled and losing it.
Your Venezuelan lawyer is maybe the most important person in the whole deal. You will establish a long-term relationship with him and most likely that you will trust him, or your real estate agent, with the keys and entrance to the new property. In any future case, he will be the person to act for you when you have any wishes... So make sure you only work with a trustworthy party. We can advise you.
The buying process and costs
Once you've sealed the deal with the property owner, it's time to move forward with a few important steps.
First, a Personal Contract will be drafted between you and the owner. This contract will outline all the essential details like the purchase price, deposit amount, and property description. Once you've signed this contract at a lawyer's office and made the deposit payment (which may be in cash), we can proceed to the next step.
The next step involves making the remaining payment directly into the owner's bank account. Our lawyer will ensure that this transaction is secure and reliable. It's also a good idea to transfer a deposit to your lawyer at this point so they can handle any necessary payments for the final phase. Once these payments have been confirmed as received, we can move on to the next phase.
The final step is getting yourself registered as the new owner in what is known as the Venezuelan registry. This process can only be completed after paying the required fees, which your lawyer will take care of on your behalf.
Let us help you
Our dynamic team is made up of me, Aernoud Florijn, along with a group of talented individuals from Venezuela. We offer a wide range of services to support you on your journey, including a skilled driver, knowledgeable local guide, experienced real estate advisor, reliable handyman, creative interior decorator, and the invaluable legal expertise of my business companion Pedro. I personally purchased my first apartment in Valencia Trigalenga back in June 2019, so I understand the process inside and out. As a team, we have gained valuable experience at every stage of the buying process and are excited to share our knowledge with you.
What we offer
We now offer this service to you, including accommodation in one of Aernoud's properties in Valencia.
Our service includes:
secured airport pick-up,
investigating your preferences,
finding the best properties or land for you,
daily guidance and sightseeing,
ensuring a comfortable stay,
arranging cash for daily needs,
and monitoring security and well-being.
To ensure a successful outcome, it is important to allocate sufficient time for the entire buying process, which typically takes about 4-5 days. In addition to this, you will need extra days to search for the perfect property. For optimal results, we recommend planning a minimum stay of 8-10 days. We understand that your preferences may evolve during your visit, so it is wise to allow for some additional time to explore the captivating attractions of our beautiful country, with or without our assistance.
We genuinely care about meeting your needs and are committed to providing you with a personalized offer that is tailored specifically to your requirements. There is absolutely no pressure from real estate agents, and you are free to change your mind as many times as you desire. Our team is here to support you every step of the way.
Please feel free to reach out to me by email at aernoud @ florijn.com and share your plans with me. I am excitedly looking forward to hearing from you!