Purchasing real estate in Croatia is a profitable investment – prices are not excessive, and the tourist potential of this region is impressive! With just one transaction, we provide ourselves with a cozy place to live or spend our holidays, or the opportunity to develop a lucrative business. How to buy a house in Croatia efficiently, safely and legally? We explain!
Buying a house in Croatia and Croatian law
Not so long ago, purchasing real estate in Croatia required establishing a Croatian company and obtaining the status of a legal entity. However, in 2009, during the amendment of the Act Zakon o vlašnistvu i du stvarnim pravima (Act on property rights and other property rights), regulations were introduced that significantly liberalized the right to purchase a house and the entire process of related to this.
Of course, the purchase of real estate in Croatia is still regulated by Croatian law and the tax system – that’s why we provide all the most important information below!
Can a Pole buy a house in Croatia?
Yes, the amendments introduced in 2009 to the above-mentioned Act Zakon o vlašnistvu i duch stvarnim pravima allow all European Union citizens to purchase real estate in Croatia under the same terms as apply to Croatian citizens.
A Pole can legally buy real estate in Croatia – a house, apartment or plot. However, it is worth using the help of an intermediary for this purpose – e.g. our NESTOVIA real estate agency. This is important, especially if you do not know the language, law, geography, customs and culture of the Croatians. Such a service will not ruin your wallet and will save you time and nerves (often also money!).
Is a permit to buy a house in Croatia necessary?No, EU citizens do not have to apply for a permit to buy a house in Croatia or complete additional complicated formalities. Although this is a great convenience, the process of purchasing real estate in Croatia is significantly different from the one we deal with, among others: in Poland. Additionally, all legal actions (including the purchase of a house or apartments in Croatia) also involve the need to provide the investor with an OIB identification number (equivalent to PESEL).
Buying a house in Croatia step by step
You can buy a house in Croatia as a natural or legal person. The difference is that privately you only need the above-mentioned OIB number, which we will come back to later, i.e. an ID card or passport, while purchasing real estate in Croatia for a company requires also providing several company documents that confirm the investor’s right to represent the company.
Preliminary formalities when buying a house in Croatia
We saw beautiful houses for sale in Croatia, we have already chosen the right one and agreed on the purchase price with the seller. What’s next?
The first issue is the preliminary sale agreement. Usually (though not always), real estate sellers require its conclusion, which is understandable and quite consistent with Polish practices in the purchase and sale of real estate. This is a standard civil law contract that does not require notarial confirmation, but requires an advance payment of 10-20% of the property value.
Concluding a preliminary contract is necessary especially when purchasing a house in Croatia includes certain conditions or obligations that must be met before the transaction is completed – this is the case, for example, in the case of unfinished construction of real estate, when you have to wait for the final acceptance of the apartment or house.
We mediate in the sale of a two-story house in Central Dalmatia with a gross…For Sale
We mediate in the sale of a semi-detached house with an area of177m² on the…For Sale
We mediate in the sale of a detached house on the island of Čiovo with…For Sale
We mediate in the sale of a charming house on the island of Pag with…For Sale
For sale a fully furnished duplex apartment of 72m² with two terraces of 20m² and…For Sale
Purchase and sale agreement of a house in Croatia
Another formality? The actual contract, i.e. the purchase and sale contract of a house in Croatia, the conclusion of which requires a visit to a Croatian notary office.
However, even after the purchase transaction has been officially confirmed with a notary’s signature, the buyer still does not have the ownership rights to the property, and the contract itself is not indisputable. A notary in Croatia does not confirm its validity, but only the will of both parties to conclude the transaction. The notary fee is usually approximately 1% of the investment value.
Only in this respect the entire procedure differs significantly from the one practiced in Poland – according to Polish law, the mere confirmation of the purchase and sale agreement with a notarial deed is tantamount to acquiring the ownership right.
What documents are still needed to buy a house in Croatia?
Entry in the land and mortgage register
In Croatia, ownership of a given property is acquired only when it is entered in the land and mortgage register. An application for the transfer of ownership is submitted to the court having jurisdiction over the location.
To make such an entry, you need notarial confirmation, but something else – the so-called intabulandi clause, which does not exist, e.g. in Poland. It is a special consent of the current owner of the house (or apartment, plot; real estate in general) to purchase the real estate, i.e. transfer of ownership to the buyer, entry in the book. The clause may be included directly in the purchase and sale agreement or separately, in a separate document.
Assignment of an OIB identification number
To enter the property and its new owner in the land and mortgage register, a notarially confirmed contract and the consent of the person selling the house are required. However, in order to conclude a purchase and sale agreement for a house in Croatia and make an entry in the land and mortgage register, you must first obtain an OIB identification number (Osobni Identifikacij Broj, i.e. the equivalent of the Polish PESEL ), which you need to go to the Croatian Tax Office.
The OIB identification number may also be needed, for example, to open an account in a Croatian bank, although in this case you can usually simply use your passport or ID card.
As we mentioned, you can buy a house in Croatia both as an individual and as a legal entity. In the second case, the tax office will ask you to present company documents.
What happens after buying a house? How to live in Croatia?
After concluding the contract, confirming it with a notary and making an entry in the land and mortgage register – as a new owner – you can basically fully enjoy the purchased property, but there is still one formality to complete. Namely, within a maximum of 30 days from the notarial certification of the transaction, you must register the purchase of real estate at the Croatian tax office and then (within the prescribed deadline) pay the real estate tax which in Croatia is PLN 3 % of their value.
The tax liability varies depending on whether the property is purchased by a natural or legal person and whether it is on the primary or secondary real estate market.
Additionally, it should be remembered that the Croatian tax office – just like the Polish one – has the right to independently estimate the value of the purchased property. Therefore, it may turn out that the amount determined by the tax office for calculating the tax will be different than the price of the purchased house. The calculated value must be paid within 15 days of the office issuing a decision on this matter.
Is it difficult to buy a house in Croatia on your own?
Although purchasing a house in Croatia does not seem to be a complicated procedure, but in practice it may cause a lot of problems. Knowledge of the language is useful to complete formalities at the Croatian tax office and in court (entry in the land and mortgage register).
Before purchasing a property, it is also worth checking the issues of its ownership and legality of construction, as well as the planned future development of nearby areas. This type of information can be obtained from the Office of Spatial Planning and Construction. It is also extremely important to properly formulate the provisions in the sales contract so that they properly protect the interests of the buyer.
Before we founded NESTOVIA real estate agency, we have gone through this whole process ourselves and we know how difficult it is. That’s why we encourage you to take advantage of our offer – all formalities are handled by specialists (including advisors, lawyers, architects, surveyors, translators). The transaction is completely secure, and after its finalization, we remain in full contact with the client, helping, among others: in concluding contracts with suppliers or settling fees.
How to find a house in Croatia?Just as difficult as buying a house in Croatia (or maybe even more difficult!) is finding a property that would meet the investor’s expectations. Houses for sale in Croatia are a huge market, extremely diverse in terms of prices, housing standards and the style of construction and finishing. Croatia is basically several regions with different investment potential. Therefore, it is worth narrowing down the search area to one or several.
- Properties for sale in Northern Croatia. A region regularly overlooked by those rushing to the Adriatic Sea, with beautiful landscapes, traditional cuisine and rich culture. This is where the capital is located. A great option for those who settle in Croatia permanently – real estate prices are very attractive.
- Properties for sale in Central Croatia. We can buy property here at a good price due to the lower tourist potential. An ideal place to live for those looking for peace, quiet and closeness to nature. Lots of greenery, recreational opportunities and the spirit of history locked in castles and manors.
- Properties for sale in Istria. This largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea almost entirely belongs to Croatia. And it has huge investment potential – beautiful beaches, crystal clear sea, lots of Mediterranean greenery and famous towns and resorts (e.g. Pula). Buying a house here is a lucrative business!
- Properties for sale in Kvarner. Between Istria and Croatia to the north lies the Kvarner Bay. It’s cheaper here, and you can enjoy the proximity of the calm and clean sea. There are many islands and islets nearby, but also mountains and large cities. It’s a good place for a quiet but active life!
- Properties for sale in Slavonia. This much less attractive tourist region is famous for its fertile land and peaceful, idyllic towns and villages. You can buy a house, apartment or plot here at a really bargain price. The fourth largest Croatian city is also located here: Osijek.
- Properties for sale in Northern Dalmatia. This is a region with great investment potential. The market offers both luxury villas, as well as old Croatian houses. Beautiful landscapes, beaches, lots of possibilities! Popular resorts such as Šibenik, Zadar and Biograd na Moru are located here.
- Properties for sale in Central Dalmatia. Both in Split – the most important city in the region, and in smaller towns, we will buy a property that will meet your expectations and will increase in value over the years. Good infrastructure and the most beautiful places – Makarska, Punta Rata, Omiš and Trogir.
- Properties for sale in South Dalmatia. It is a real pearl of the Croatian coast with beautiful Dubrovnik. Even in the city itself you can buy a fantastic house or apartment. Although real estate is relatively expensive here, the investment potential of the region is huge!
Where to buy a house in Croatia?
Although it is a small country, Croatia has a lot to offer! It’s not only over 300 days of sunny weather a year, calm and crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea or the most beautiful beaches in the world. There are also atmospheric small towns, wild mountains, numerous national and landscape parks and lakes. Where to buy a house in Croatia depends on your preferences and the purpose of buying a house – whether you plan to live on the Adriatic Sea permanently, just create a holiday base, or turn real estate in Croatia into a growing business.
Knowing your expectations, the NESTOVIA real estate agency will give you good advice and then we will find some interesting offers!
How much does a house cost in Croatia?
The price of a house in Croatia – as in any other place in the world – depends on many different factors. Cheap houses for sale in Croatia cost as much as 70 or 90 thousand euros. They are usually located inland and come from the secondary market, which means they require minor or major renovation.
How much does a house by the sea in Croatia cost? Even from EUR 150,000! Of course, there are also beautiful, luxurious villas worth several million – e.g. in Dubrovnik and in the first line of buildings from the sea. And every now and then, there are houses for sale in Croatia that can be classified as “medium” priced – on this market, everyone will find an offer tailored to their needs and budget.
As specialists in the Croatian real estate market, in the NESTOVIA office we will find the right property for you – based on your budget and other criteria that are important to you, e.g. view, distance from the Adriatic Sea (or mountains or national park), standard, property area and the plot itself.
You can do preliminary research now – using the “Oferta” tab on our website. You’re welcome!
How to buy property in Croatia?
It is best to buy a property in Croatia with the help of an agent who specializes in the Croatian real estate market, knows the legal aspects of all procedures and knows how to protect the buyer’s interests in contracts. Such a sales intermediary can represent the buyer at almost every stage of the transaction.
Is a permit required to buy a house in Croatia?
No, European Union citizens do not need to apply for a permit to buy a house in Croatia. They purchase real estate on the same rights as Croatians, but they must first obtain an OIB number from the Croatian tax office.
How much does a house cost in Croatia?
The price of a house in Croatia depends on various factors: area and standard, but especially location (islands and coast versus continental Croatia). The cost of a house ranges from 70,000 to several hundred thousand to several million euros.