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Real Estate for sale in Bahia, Brazil
Vacation Apartment Rentals in Salvador, Bahia
Brazilian Carnaval Season Rentals
Property Management

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions about Property Sales


Can foreigners own property in Brazil?Can I finance my property in Brazil?What kind of a rental return can I expect from my investment?What areas of Salvador are currently best for investing?What will my responsibilities be as a property owner? What taxes will I be responsible for?What about capital gains taxes if I sell my property?What are some of the problems I can expect with purchasing and owning property in Bahia?What is the real estate market like in Salvador right now?If I buy property in Brazil, can I stay there year round?Am I eligible for permanent residency if I buy property and intend to live in Brazil?Can I open a bank account as a foreigner in Brazil?

Questions & Answers

Q.Can foreigners own property in Brazil?

Yes, foreigners have the same rights as Brazilians in terms of property ownership.

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Q.Can I finance my property in Brazil?

Most likely no. The interest rates are high and the requirements for securing the loan make local financing next to impossible for foreign investors. Pre-construction buildings are the exception – many contractors have special plans that let you pay off your investment over three years.

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Q.What kind of a rental return can I expect from my investment?

Depending on your needs and the property location, you should be able to comfortably rely on 2% to 10% of the property value per year from vacation rentals. For properties in the Barra/Ondina Carnaval circuit, you should be able to count on the higher end of this range as 2% will come from a rental for Carnaval week alone. For pre-construction buildings, 15%-30% is a conservative estimate of price increases from pre-launch to building completion. However, there are cases of 100% increases, especially in the neighborhood of Barra.

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Q.What areas of Salvador are currently best for investing?

It depends on your wants, needs and desires. Here is a listing of some of the more popular areas where foreigners are investing – including a short discussion of the advantages and disadvantages associated with the area.
Click here to view a map

  • Barra and Ondina
    If you plan to rent out the property as much as possible while you are away, then Barra and some sections of Ondina are your best options. They are safe, tourist neighborhoods near the best urban beaches in Salvador and home to the most popular Carnaval circuit. You should be able to depend upon a Carnaval week rental of at least 2% of your investment each year.
  • Rio Vermelho
    Popular neighborhood for Bahianos. There are many good real estate options and the neighborhood is home to many bars, restaurants, theaters, and music venues. Prices are lower than in Barra but the area is not as popular among tourists nor is it particularly well known for vacation rentals – this is changing, however.
  • Vitória
    Many options from basic apartments to luxury high rise penthouses – all of them good for vacation rentals.
  • Carlos Gomes / Dois de Julho
    There are properties going for extremely low prices, some with fantastic views over the Bay of all Saints, but the area is seedy and considered unsafe at night. This is not a viable location for someone seeking to rent out their apartment frequently or seeking high returns from vacation rentals.
  • Pelourinho and Santo Antônio
    Good for finding a colonial house and remodeling. Also good for investing in commercial real estate or opening a business that targets the tourist market. Prices are generally high as investment in the area is almost entirely from foreigners.
  • Itapuã, Stella Maris, Praia do Flamengo, and Vilas do Atlântico
    Excellent options for clients looking for property away from the hassles of downtown Salvador. Excellent beaches and still close enough to enjoy Salvador’s nightlife, on occasion. Beach houses and condominium-type apartments are available at good prices.
  • Buscavida, Guarajuba, Interlagos and the beach communities north of Salvador on the linha verde, including Praia do Forte and Costa do Sauípe
    Great options for clients seeking property on a remote, deserted beach. Options range from budget apartments to luxury beach houses in gated communities.
  • Ilha de Itaparica
    Great for beachfront property! In contrast to the beach communities north of Salvador, the tranquil waters of the Bay of All Saints helped to make the Ilha de Itaparica a prime destination in the 1980s. However, with the recent explosion of real estate development along the linha verde and the beach communities north of Salvador, not as many people are investing as in the past. Some areas have fallen into neglect and security can be a problem for properties located outside of a gated community. However, prices are much lower here than in other beach communities and as prices rise along the linha verde, Itaparica could prove to be one of Salvador’s future investment hotspots.

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Q.What will my responsibilities be as a property owner? What taxes will I be responsible for?

You must pay the IPTU and monthly condominium fees (if applicable).

IPTU – Usually a minimal cost, for most 1 bedroom apartments it is less than US$200 per year.

Condominio fees start at around R$100/month. A one bedroom in a nice building with 24 hour doorman will be at least R$200/month. For a new building with complete infrastructure, about R$400,00/month is a good estimate for a one bedroom apartment.

You should also keep your CPF regularized by filing either a Declaração de Isento or Declaração de Imposto de Renda each year.

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Q.What about capital gains taxes if I sell my property?

If you sell your property within 5 years of purchase, you will be responsible for paying capital gains tax on the appreciation in the registered value of the property. If you own only one property in Brazil and sell it after 5 years, then no capital gains taxes are levied.

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Q.What are some of the problems I can expect with purchasing and owning property in Bahia?

It is important to remember that the pace of doing business in Bahia is much slower than in the United States or Europe – this might be good if you are on vacation, but annoying if you are in need of having something repaired. Things generally take longer to get accomplished and more ‘hassles’ seem to appear along the way. Not everyone shows up at the designated time nor do they arrive as prepared as you might be expecting. When searching for property or needing repairs for your existing property, it is best to keep patience in mind and know that all will get accomplished in the end, but maybe at a slower pace than originally expected.

At Paradise Properties Bahia, we are accustomed to the local pace of doing business in Salvador but are also familiar with how things work in the United States and Europe. We are used to filtering through and can arrange meetings and repairs with the needs of our foreign clients in mind. Whether we are assisting with your property purchase or managing your property while you are away, you can leave all of those hassles to us!

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Q.What is the real estate market like in Salvador right now?

Quite good. Foreign investment has really just started to flow in as a result of the incredible real estate values and a favorable exchange rate over the past few years. Brazil’s economy is getting great marks from international investors including the IMF, plus a number of multibillion dollar resorts are being built along the coast north of Salvador. Prices are rising but are still low enough to be considered good value.

Here is an example of the property value increase for a 1 bedroom beachfront apartment in the neighborhood of Barra from 2002 to 2005.

  • 2002 purchase price R$80,000 (exchange rate in 2002: USD $1 = R$3.6)
  • 2005 purchase price R$120,000 for the same apartment (exchange rate in July 2005: USD $1 = R$2.3)

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Q.If I buy property in Brazil, can I stay there year round?

Visitors may stay in Brazil for 3 months on a tourist visa with a possible one time extension of 3 additional months – however visitors may not stay for more than 6 months out of any one year period. Even as a property owner, if you are on a tourist visa, you will be able to stay in Brazil for a maximum of 6 months per year.

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Q.Am I eligible for permanent residency if I buy property and intend to live in Brazil?

Not directly.

Here are the cases where individuals are eligible for a permanent residency visa for Brazil.

  1. Family reunion – if you marry a Brazilian or are the parent of a Brazilian child. This visa application is relatively quick and simple to prepare.
  2. Retirement - If you are retired, over 50 years of age, and can prove that you receive a pension of at least $2,000 dollars per month, you are eligible for a permanent residency visa. This visa application is relatively quick and simple to prepare.
  3. Investment – by investing $50,000 dollars or more in a business in Brazil you may be eligible for a permanent residency visa. You will need the assistance of a lawyer to set up this type of visa and business as the process is quite complicated.
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Q.Can I open a bank account as a foreigner in Brazil?

Unless you are a permanent resident, probably not. The Brazilian banking system is quite restrictive and most banks require that you have a work visa or a permanent residency identification card (RNE) in order to open an account. For this reason, Paradise Properties Bahia is pleased to be the first in Salvador to offer a full service management plan that includes safeguarding of funds in our client bank account with periodic transfers to your bank account abroad.

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Today´s Featured Property for Sale

A rare find in Porto da Barra! Light and airy, this spacious apartment with high ceilings has stunning ocean views.

Featured Price: 
R$ 420.000 

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Paradise Properties Bahia Real Estate Agency – CRECI/J 1108
Av. Sete de Setembro, nº 3835, Sala 14 - Centro Comercial Porto da Barra
Porto da Barra, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Salvador: +55 (71) 3264-5588 | New York: +1 (917) 477-0798
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