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Best Countries for Remote Investment. Real Estate and Citizenship

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Since governments took drastic measures to counter the coronavirus, many countries' borders have been closed and quarantined. This was done to stop the rapid spread of the virus by limiting the mobility of people. At the same time, lots of people got scared for their savings. But there are plenty of available successful investment strategies even under quarantine conditions.

The coronavirus took lots of people by surprise. During the forced stay in quarantine, it is time for reflection, to reconsider priorities, and develop your personal plan "B" in case of emergencies. Foreigners have no choice but to buy realty remotely or freeze transactions.

Although registration of ownership in many countries is possible only with the personal presence of the investor. Several countries offer great conditions for making a good investment remotely. Here is the list of the best opportunities.

Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

First, the buyer chooses the company to work with and a property they are interested in. You can do it via mail or messengers. Once all the details are agreed, the buyer sends necessary personal data to fill out the booking agreement. At this point the agency fills all the forms and sends it back to the buyer to check and sign it. The next step is to make an advanced payment by bank transfer or directly on the agent's website and secures the object on their own. The prepayment does not exceed €1,000-2,000.

The power of attorney and statements (declarations) in the prescribed form are notarized at the place of residence or at the Bulgarian consulate.

If there is no mutual legal assistance agreement between the countries, then in addition to notarization, an apostille is required (for example, for citizens of the Baltic states and the UK).

There are two possible options for conducting a transaction.

  1. The agency's lawyers conduct a turnkey transaction. The buyer entrusts them with the preparation and collection of documents, checking the legal purity of the real estate and signing a notarial act. In this case, the buyers aren’t charged with any additional fee.
  2. If the buyer does not trust the agency, the best option is to hire an independent Bulgarian lawyer, who checks the seller's documents for a fee, prepares the texts of the power of attorney and applications, and also certifies everything with a Bulgarian notary (the lawyer signs the notarial act on behalf of the buyer and performs the subsequent registration of the property).
Read about: Buy Real Estate in Bulgaria. Instructions for Beginners

You can also transfer money in one of several ways.

  1. To the seller's account.
  2. To the account of a lawyer who, after completing the documents, transfers the amount to the seller.
  3. If the buyer and seller are from the same country, they can pay through a bank in their own country and send a receipt for payment to representatives in Bulgaria.

The agency or an independent lawyer sends all documents to the buyer by express mail. Another option is that all documents are scanned and sent to the buyer by e-mail, and the originals are transferred to Bulgaria at the meeting.

Real estate for sale in Bulgaria

United Kingdom

London, England
London, England

In the UK, you can make a real estate transaction remotely without opening an account with a local bank.

First, the documents of property reservation are signed at the office of the real estate agency. After that the buyer pays from £1,000 to 5,000 from their bank account to the account of the developer or a seller. 

Licensed British lawyers conduct the transaction by proxy, which is written in a free form. Documents are studied, the client's income is confirmed (compliance), the property is evaluated (due diligence).

For identification, lawyers ask for a photo of the client with an open passport. Sometimes it is enough to confirm the address of residence with two documents: a utility bill, for example, and a residence permit in the passport. Income is proven, if you add an income tax certificate or a statement of business income to the package of documents, etc. The signed contract is sent by express mail.

Learn more: British Developer Named the Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate

The client transfers the amount under the contract to the account of a British lawyer. It is necessary that the money is transferred to the developer's account not earlier than the buyer and seller have copies of the contract with signatures and seals in their hands.

At the final stage, the lawyer submits documents to the Land Cadaster to obtain registration of the purchase and rights.

Real estate for sale in the UK

Cyprus

Pomos, Cyprus
Pomos, Cyprus

Here the transactions were always possible to make remotely. Now all construction companies and real estate agencies work with buyers online. Communication channels are standard: email, phone, messengers. If the transaction is initiated before quarantine, the contract is concluded remotely.

Remote transactions go like this.

  • The buyer sign the reservation agreement received by e-mail and make a deposit according to the details in the document.
  • The developer sends to the buyer's e-mail the contract of sale of the property with all related applications for approval.
  • The buyer signs the papers from their side, scans them and sends them to the developer's email address.
  • The developer puts their details, seal and signature, sends an electronic document to the client.

If installments are planned under the terms of the agreement, a copy of the contract with the payment schedule is sufficient for a Cypriot bank.

If the buyer contacts the developer or their representative directly, then no power of attorney for signing the purchase and sale agreement should be issued.

Read about: Real Estate in Cyprus Brings 5-6 Times More than Bank Deposits

If the buyer decides to appoint a representative (a real estate agent, another individual or a legal entity), then such a power of attorney can also be signed remotely. A copy must be sent both the trustee and the developer.

In Cyprus, the authorities accept copies of power of attorney as an official document. But a prerequisite is that after the quarantine you must submit the original.

A power of attorney can be issued for the conclusion of a transaction on behalf of the client, for the right to register a purchase and sale agreement with the land department and for the right to submit documents to the tax inspectorate.

You can make a deposit for the reservation of the object or payment under the purchase and sale agreement in your bank in person or via Internet banking. In most cases, a copy of the agreement is enough.

The procedure for obtaining a certificate of ownership (Title) can also be carried out without the participation of the new owner of the property. To do this, it is enough to submit a power of attorney to either the developer, a lawyer, or another representative.

Real estate for sale in Cyprus

Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

Selection of real estate and negotiations with the seller online in Thailand are possible. First, the buyers are consulted on the features of different projects. Some companies organize a video conference in the developer's office, where they agree on the terms of the transaction with the buyer.

To reserve a property, the buyer requires a copy of the passport, phone number, e-mail and residential address. You can get a copy of the booking agreement by e-mail.

After signing the document, you must make a deposit ($3,000-5,000) to the developer's account.

Then the lawyers send the contract of sale by e-mail, so that the buyer can read it and, if necessary, agree on amendments. In the future, the original agreements are exchanged.

Along with your copy of the contract, you will also have an invoice for payment. Money is transferred to the developer's account from anywhere in the world.

Upon completion of construction, clients usually come to the acceptance of the object in person. But this stage can also be carried out remotely – we will take the property into operation on behalf of the client.

To register the right of ownership in the Land Department, you must write out a power of attorney for a lawyer. This document can also be issued without coming to Thailand.

Real estate for sale in Thailand

Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

To help the buyer choose a property remotely, companies make "live" (NOT professional) videos of the interiors of an apartment or house and a residential complex where the property is located. Some companies also show the nearest streets, the road to the sea, and the beach in the frame. In such videos, both the pros and cons of the property must be visible.

Also read: Citizenship by Investment in Turkey

If the buyer is ready, the transaction begins. Remote reservation involves the conclusion of a contract, exchange of copies by express mail. Copies are sent to the buyer’s email address.

The deposit is transferred to the seller's or agent's account (€1,000-5,000).

The power of attorney is issued to the agent. It allows buyers to issue a tax number in Turkey, the right of ownership (Tapu), the payer for housing and communal services. It is better to issue the document at the embassy or consulate of Turkey in the territory of the state in which you live in. In this case, the power of attorney does not require an apostille.

You can get a power of attorney from a notary in your city. Before that, be sure to check the notary standards with the agent. For example, according to Turkish standards, a photo of the principal is required on a power of attorney, it must be apostilled, translated into Turkish and certified by a Turkish notary.

The method of transferring money depends on the agreements with the seller. Some developers are not ready to accept the entire amount of the transaction to the account of a legal entity due to high taxes and the difference between the cadastral and market value of the object. Usually, the amount is divided into two accounts, one of them is a legal entity, the second is a personal account of one of the founders of the developer company.

Real estate for sale in Turkey

Finland

Söderskär Lighthouse, Finland
Söderskär Lighthouse, Finland

The first thing you need to do is to sign the service contract between you as a buyer and a real estate agency of your choice. It guarantees that the company has to find several options, must check the property and documents for it. The final choice of real estate can be made via videoconference.  

You can issue a power of attorney for a licensed realtor in Finland. The original power of attorney with the buyer's signature is sent by courier service.

Read in details: How to Buy Real Estate in Finland

The purchase and sale agreement is concluded with the bank accompanying the transaction. In the secondary market, payment is made through a bank account (similar to an escrow account). You can pay the developer directly from your local account.

After the money has arrived, the main document on the ownership of the apartment is transferred to the trustee. The transaction papers are sent to the buyer by mail.

Real estate for sale in Finland

Montenegro

Perast, Montenegro
Perast, Montenegro

In the current situation companies has started to work remotely. During the negotiations, the cost, scheme and terms of payment are fixed in the reservation agreement. The buyer transfers the deposit to the company's account. The property is removed from sale at the time of the transaction.

Usually a power of attorney is issued to a realtor. The representative gets the right to sign the purchase and sale agreement and draw up related documents. It is important to note that the power of attorney is issued exclusively for the signing of the contract of sale and registration of related documents. It can be issued by any acting notary. The power of attorney specifies the full data of the purchased realty.

Can also be interesting: Real Estate in Montenegro. Overview of Cities for Permanent Residence

To speed up the process, the buyer sends a scan of the power of attorney to our email address, after which we promptly make the transfer. As soon as the package of documents is collected, we sign the contract of sale at a pre-agreed time, translate it into the buyer's native language (this is important for the bank, since the contract is the basis for sending money).

With the original contract in hand, you can transfer the required amount through your bank using the bank details. For greater security, the money is transferred to the notary's account. As soon as they see that the required amount is in the account, they send a notification to the Cadaster that the transaction has been paid. And in the meantime, he transfers the payment to the seller's account.

Registration of a property for a new owner takes two to three weeks. After signing the purchase and sale agreement, a note appears in the Cadaster stating that such a contract has been concluded with respect to the selected property (this is an additional guarantee of the transaction). The agency receives the original certificate of ownership for the buyer in the Cadaster. Then it can be picked up at our office or they send it by postal service to the specified address of the buyer.

Real estate for sale in Montenegro

Czech Republic

Prague, Czechia
Prague, Czechia

You can buy property remotely in the Czech Republic. For the primary market, there is even a special application where buyers sign contracts with developers. In addition, documents can be exchanged by e-mail.

You reserve property from a developer by signing the primarily agreement. Within three working days after that, the deposit must be paid to the account specified in the contract. After the payment, the apartment is withdrawn from sale. A contract of intent is concluded within 30 days. It can also be signed online.

You can sign a contract for the purchase and sale of an object (after completion of construction) online, but only to formally register the relationship. This may be necessary to meet the terms of the contract and payment.

Payments for the purchase of real estate in the primary market is made directly to the developer's account. The procedure is similar on the secondary market, but first you send the money to a notary, a lawyer or an intermediary bank.

Also read: Rules of Buying Czech Properties for Foreign Citizens

For registration in the Cadaster, you must notarize signatures of both parties on the original purchase and sale agreements. This can be done remotely at the Czech consulate in the buyer's country. The original documents can be send via express mail.

The certificate of ownership of real estate is stored on the Cadaster website, and anyone can go to the electronic page and make sure that you are the owner of the property. Paper confirmations are issued by a notary, but they are only needed for submission to state institutions.

Registration in public utilities can be provided by the company that manages the property, by proxy.

Real estate for sale in the Czech Republic

UAE

Dubai, UAE
Dubai, UAE

In the UAE, you can buy real estate completely remotely. This type of transaction was practiced before the pandemic. The first step is to discuss the selection criteria. Once all the details have formed a single puzzle, we make a selection of properties. The sales offer contains a full description with all the technical details. Clients are often offered virtual tours of real estate.

The status of the project and details of the bank account can be checked on the website of the Land Department. Passport details and contact information are required to prepare a reservation document. It is enough to exchange scanned copies with a signature by e-mail.

The buyer receives a credit card authorization form from the developer (if payment is planned by bank card) or provides details of the bank account for the transfer of funds. For the first time, the investor pays a small amount of 5-10% of the property price. 4% is a one-time cadastral fee to the Land Department. Some developers take this tax on themselves.

Read about: Freehold, Leasehold, Usufruct. The Dictionary of Realty Buyers in the Emirates

As soon as the property is assigned to a specific buyer, the developer tries to prepare a sales and purchase agreement in Arabic and English in two to four weeks. The buyer receives copies for signature and sends them back to the Emirates by express mail. The seller must check the details, fill them out correctly and sign them. The contract is signed in three copies. One of them is in the short form. It is electronically uploaded to the website of the Land Department for registration. Only after that, the buyer receives their copy by mail.

After making 30% of the value of the property (the exact percentage is specified in the terms of the contract), the seller has the right to request a certificate of ownership from the Land Department (for a project under construction). This document gives the right to resell the property.

Real estate for sale in the UAE

Caribbean countries and Oceania

St. George's, Grenada
St. George's, Grenada

Caribbean citizenship programs are considered to be the most democratic in terms of prices and ease of filing. The speed of reaction of the Caribbean countries is quite understandable, because the Caribbean has previously worked remotely in connection with hurricanes. After the quarantine the accessibility became even more apparent: Grenada, Dominica, and Saint Kitts and Nevis allowed investors to obtain citizenship online.

Also read:
Second Passport. Grenada CBI Program
Second Passport. Dominica Citizenship by Investment
Second Passport. Saint Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment
Second Passport. Why You Need the Citizenship of Vanuatu

Grenada is very easy to cooperate with. They respond flexibly to the need for remote interaction. There are cases, when the embassy has allowed to take biometrics, namely fingerprints, in another city. The ambassador agreed and the process was recorded on video.

Due to logistical difficulties, they have stopped acceptance of original documents is until the end of the pandemic. But they are ready to consider documents in scanned form. And the Pacific country of Vanuatu only transferred the process of taking the oath to Skype, while all other processes were already remote.

Real estate for sale in the Caribbean


Those, who looked at the numbers and did not succumbed to emotions have it easier to decide on a remote purchase. Investors and those for whom a real estate transaction is only a way to get some bonuses like citizenship have the biggest chance of success, in spite of crisis situation. More and more programs and companies are adapting to the new market reality. And so should we.

Quoting conditions of Prian.info materials

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Tags: Market Analysis, Investment, Real Estate

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