Invest in Croatia

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Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.

Investing in Croatia - An Overview

It’s known for being the land that invented the necktie. Even if Croatia, a land of stunning beaches, means sandals and swimming gear for many. Its capital city, Dubrovnik, draws millions of visitors to enjoy its Southern European coastline annually.

Tourism is a huge industry here. The government aims to bring in 17 billion dollars by 2020 from the visitors from around the world. It’s no surprise there are so many. There are lots more good reasons to spend time in Croatia.

Take Plitvice National Park, a natural wonderland of waterfalls, forest and caves. Or Split, a city on the coast with Mediterranean weather and a UNESCO protected palace built in honor of Roman emperor Diocletian. The Romans left more than one incredible ruin behind. However, real life gladiators once clashed swords in Pula’s impressive amphitheater.

Some may still associate this small Eastern European country with its war for independence during the early nineties. Most now associate the country with its wide range of sightseeing as well as real estate opportunities. Croatia isn’t part of the EU. It has its own currency, the Kuna. As this is being written, one American dollar is equal to 6.60 Croatian kuna, an attractive exchange rate.

Property is sold and bought using Euros though, so don’t rush into this market without having done your research. It’s important to have a comprehensive knowledge of where the investment opportunities in Croatia are. As well as the investing process. This in order to benefit from the deals this real estate market offers,

Where to Invest in Croatia

Where to buy in Croatia? The most obvious area would be the coast. It has all the charms of more famous resort areas in Italy, but real estate is available at substantially lower prices. Owning property along the Adriatic Sea is an irresistible and financially promising idea.

The government has limited development along the coast to protect its natural beauty. If you manage to find a waterfront resort for sale, you’re acquiring property that will attract rising populations of Europeans flocking to the sea for downtime leisure.

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There’s a coastal resort in Dubrovnik that sells fully-equipped modern homes that can be purchased on a freehold basis. This means owners of these properties can both live in and rent them. A recent unfinished house with six apartments and three large garages and view of the sea listed for under $300,000. Deals like this abound.

The Old Town area of Dubrovnik and even Zagreb have a reserve of dramatic renovated historic properties available. Think apartments in palaces with original stone walls and vast high ceilings. Properties that need restoration work go for substantially less than those that have already had new fixtures and modernist touches applied.

Property Investment Opportunities in Croatia

A recent four-bedroom home overlooking the forest in the Slano part of Dubrovnik had an asking price of $260,000.

Low-cost investments in Croatia can be found throughout the country. It’s important to note again when considering costs, however, that properties are sold and bought using the euro, not Croatian currency.

But this doesn’t diminish the potential to profit from investing.

Prices are usually quoted in euros, but the dollar and Euro tend to stay close in value. This way it’s easy to gauge the going cost of properties when browsing national real estate sites.

Dubrovnik does have the most high-priced real estate in the country. It’s good to keep in mind that it’s a city of cafes, universities, and students as well as retirees and executives. If you’re going to invest in Croatia, it’s sound thinking to buy property here since it’s such a popular place to live, work, and enjoy nightlife.

How to Invest in Croatia

Prior to February 2009, A foreign real estate investor had to establish a local company to be able to make a property investment in Croatia. Many still recommend this route, though it’s no longer necessary. Creating a company only takes about two weeks, if this is your preferred route or the one recommended by your real estate agent.

The investing process (which will include signing a contract, getting it approved by the government and paying a ten percent down payment), can proceed without a pause while waiting for your company to receive the legal permission it needs to operate. The cost of hiring a lawyer to handle the paperwork and help you navigate laws and requirements would be about 1 percent of the price of the home you’re buying. The US Embassy in Zagreb may provide you with a list of area lawyers who help Americans buy property. They may also provide useful material on how to invest in Croatia.

It’s a must that you are sure who the legal owner of the property is before going ahead with any of the steps already mentioned. Go to the local land title office in the area where the property you’re interested locates. Then, confirm that the sellers you’re negotiating with are the rightful owners. Property registers in Croatia, so you can also acquire proof of ownership at government registry offices. There’s no such thing as being too detailed during the investment process. Your real estate agent will charge you a commission from 3 to 6 percent of what you pay.

Our Conclusion?

A small country with cathedrals and Adriatic vistas, Croatia couldn’t be overlooked as a real estate investor’s fantasy forever. Foreign investment in Croatia involves navigating a bureaucracy that’s unfamiliar. Identifying a reliable network of advisors to assist in the investment process is key.

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