Buying or renting in Brazil – A How to Guide

Buying or renting in Brazil -  A How to Guide


Buying or renting in Brazil - Brazil is not only the largest country in South America it is also blessed with dense rainforest and more than four thousand miles of coastline. This slice of paradise shares land borders with all the countries of South America except Chile and Ecuador.

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese and the main religion is Catholicism, although English is still widely spoken and other faiths are similarly observed. Brazil also has quite a modern telecommunications network with relatively fast paced internet connections.

Brazil is also a proud host to a plethora of telecommunicated media; most of which have English language broadcasts suitable to English speaking expats.

Brazil’s electricity supply operates on both 120v and 240v so no matter where you come from, with only the minimal use of adaptors, the power system will be able to support your devices and appliances. However, although the public utilities in the towns and cities are generally good power cuts are common so owning a small generator is a common practice.

It is also worthwhile to mention that the water in Brazil has been deemed unsafe to drink by W.H.O and expats are advised to boil or sterilise water before drinking or to use bottled water.

For more information about living in Brazil:

Relocating to Brazil - Guide for Expats

Healthcare and transportation

Buying or renting in Brazil - Buying a Property in Brazil

There is a big difference between retiring and working in Brazil and you will obviously want your experience and location to match your expectations.

Choosing your location is perhaps more central to the experience than in most other areas of the world as Brazil is host to an annual carnival attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists. Depending on your interests you can be in the thick of the merriment and song or rest on the outskirts, maybe passing by. Location is also central to keeping yourself safe in Brazil, as friendly and welcoming as you may find the people, Brazil like any other place on earth has its fair share of crime and poverty a guide to keeping yourself safe in Brazil can be found here.

Before buying a property in Brazil there are a few things you should take into consideration. Although there are no specific restrictions on expats purchasing property in Brazil an identity card (CPF) is required and some administrative savvy would come in handy for getting it expedited.

To get a CPF an expat would have to get their birth certificate translated into Portuguese and notarized at the Brazilian consulate in their country of origin. This would then need to be taken to a Banco Do Brazil with a Passport and upon the receipt of a nominal fee you will be assigned a CPT number the following day. Although the physical card must be shipped to an address in Brazil you do not have to be present in the country to buy a property, but you will need to provide the power of attorney to a trusted third party.

Some things to bear in mind before paying any money for the property:

The background of the current owner needs to be checked to ensure he has no debts against the property.

That the Owners have the correct entitlement to the property.

The Land registry has the correct title: although a rigorous and accurate system is in place. It is very important to ensure any property has a clear title.

A good well established law firm like Bothina & CaBral that deals with expats and property purchases specifically would be hugely advantageous to a buyer who isn’t ready to move to the country just yet or just wanting to make an investment.

However, whilst a Lawyer is not strictly necessary in order to purchase a property, contacting a selling broker definitely is. They will prepare a contact which should contain all the pertinent information and take the down payment; after which registration of the property will be transferred to the expats name via a cartorio (similar to a notary).

Expats are advised to use a good trustworthy broker who will help find the right property and ensure the price is fair and that the property is owned by the seller.

Please see this guide to ensuring the property is legitimate.

The property market in Brazil is somewhat underdeveloped in comparison to a British or American one, however the rules and regulations in place are strict and well adhered to, and recently in a movement away from traditional attitudes mortgages are now freely available for foreigners with citizenship.

The cost of the property transfer is usually 4% of the purchase price and can be made at once or in instalments. It is worthwhile to note here that this price fluctuates with the currency market and this can be problematic if adequate measures are not taken to secure the instalments.

Property prices in the cities are rising quickly especially with modern, luxury apartments, so the purchase of a property in Brazil is currently a good investment. With the Olympics slated to be in Rio for 2016 the market for short term leases and holiday renting will be rife with possibilities.

Buying or renting in Brazil  - Renting in Brazil

Long term rents are also a viable option if your intention is to work in Brazil, they are possible to obtain, however, please be advised getting a fully furnished property is incredibly rare more often than not these properties usually come unfurnished without white goods. The utilities including gas, electricity and water are often included in the rental charge but expats should check this when negotiating a contract.

However, unlike the well served housing market, online offerings are sparse. It is better instead to trawl through some local newspapers, which can be obtained digitally (for free) or delivered physically here.

Buying or renting in Brazil  - The tenancy contact can be difficult to negotiate as instead of a more common 12 month contract they have 30month agreements. And the process of acquiring one could be a more formal affair than what you are used to; as each signature of the agreement has to be notarised at the local registry office; where the leaseholder has their signature accepted and registered as legal. For more information on this process please see here.

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