Expats guide to Buying a House in Croatia

Buying a house in Croatia, especially near the sea, is a dream come true for many people. Mediterranean climate, salty air, long walks by the clear Adriatic Sea, excellent gastronomy and many sunny days.

With its gorgeous islands, natural beauty and rich history, Croatia’s appeal is grand.

Especially if you have a piece of land there, a house surrounded by a green garden, with a fig tree and a view that takes your breath away every single time.

Whether you are buying a house in Croatia as investment, as a second home or if you are planning on moving here for retirement, read on.

We bring you information on the current state of the housing market in Croatia as well as some useful information on buying a house in Croatia!

Houses in Croatia – the current state of Croatian housing market

Croatian real estate market has had quite a take-off in the past few years. The demand for property by the sea for sale in Croatia has been rising. Consequently, a lot of property is being build, especially on the Adriatic coast.

However, the inflation, high interest rate as well as other global market turmoil have made their effect on the Croatian real estate market.

Both demand and real estate offer have somewhat slowed down.

Despite that, the type of property that the buyers still actively seek are houses with pool and sea view as well as houses situated first row to the sea. Also, the purchasers are looking for property near cities or houses in Croatia with great infrastructure.

Modern houses are being built the most on the Croatian coast, while the traditional stone houses are being built a bit less.

Still, the demand for houses in Croatia is higher than its offer on the real estate “table”.

The prices of the property have gone up, in many cases above the true value of the property. Some of the investors are mixing standard build with luxury build.  

But buyers are smart and they can recognize when something isn’t what it should be. And what they seek is true value for their money.

All these factors affect the movement of the housing market in Croatia and make houses in Croatia that hold their value even more desirable.

Property for sale in Croatia by the sea – the most desirable Croatian real estate

The most desirable type of property in Croatia is property by the sea. Whether it’s apartments, houses with pool or villas, sea view and great location of the real estate are in high demand.

The features of the property also affect the decision to buy property for sale in Croatia by the sea. Buyers are seeking houses with underfloor heating, energetically acceptable heat pumps, roof terraces with sea view. They are looking into the quality and longevity of the built, especially now, when there is somewhat of a turmoil on the market.

As we mentioned earlier, a lot of real estate is being built and marked as luxury real estate. However, not all of property that is marked as luxury truly belongs to that segment.

What is essential for buyers in any market segment, and we can all agree on that, is that the value of the property justifies its price.

Beachfront house Croatia – the type of house that doesn’t lose its value

When talking about property with stabile value, we have to mention beachfront houses in Croatia. Property that is by the sea, especially beachfront houses or apartments as well as property that has an unobstructed sea view don’t lose its value.

The value of such property is always stable, despite the inflation or various crises. Beachfront houses in Croatia, villas and apartments, particularly those that have great infrastructure are in high demand.

High quality real estate, with carefully selected amenities, combined with splendid location has no difficulty in finding its buyers.

The question is, what kind of a beachfront property should you buy?

Firstly, you need to know the purpose of the property. Are you buying a house in Croatia as an investment or as a home? How much time do you plan on spending there and how much money (or time) do you want to channel into the maintenance of the property?

When it comes to investments, beachfront house in Croatia is definitely a better choice than an apartment. Houses are more private (sometimes you even have your own private beach access), spacious, and they give you the complete control of the property.

The latter can’t be said about apartments, even when you are buying a luxury apartment in a villa with only few apartments. Nevertheless, apartments have their advantages, primarily regarding maintenance costs.

Buying a house in Croatia – important pointers you should be aware of

The most important thing when buying a house in Croatia is making sure that the ownership is clean and that there is no load on the property.

Your real estate agent can help you with that – which is why it is important to have good partners when buying a property in Croatia.

Next great partner that you need is a lawyer who specialises in real estate law. You will want to make not only a great, crystal-clear purchase contract, but also a pre-contract.

Pre-contract is a very good thing because it helps you secure the property. It obligates the buyer to give a certain amount of the deposit (usually 10%). If the buyer changes its mind, the seller keeps the deposit, and if the seller decides not the sell after all, it has to give the double amount of the deposit to the buyer.

In order to buy a house in Croatia, you don’t have to have a Croatian bank account but you do need an OIB – a personal identification number. It is easily obtainable, and your real estate agent can help you with that.

Finally, we need to point out that signing the purchase contract isn’t the final step in the process. After you resolve the contract, you need to register your purchase in the land register.

When that is done, all that is left is transferring the bills (such as water and electricity) on your name.

More on buying a property in Croatia as a foreigner read on our previous blog!

Who can buy a house in Croatia and what costs should you be aware of?

Buying a house in Croatia is possible for EU/EEA citizens but also for third-world nationals, only different rules apply.

For EU/EEA citizen the requirements are very simple – the most important thing is getting an OIB – personal identification number.

If you are not an EU/EEA citizen before buying a real estate in Croatia you need to obtain a special permit from the Ministry of Justice in Croatia. There is so called term “basis of reciprocity” which means that if you can buy property in Croatia, a Croatian citizen should be able to buy a house in your country. You can check on the Ministry of Justice’s web site the exact list of countries with which Croatia has such a deal.

Moving on to the costs! What costs you might expect when buying a house in Croatia?

Besides the biggest cost, the cost of the property itself, you should take into an account the following.

There is the fee of the real estate agency and lawyer’s fee. These two services are crucial that everything goes well in your transaction.

Furthermore, you should prepare the amount of money necessary for the deposit.

You will also have to pay notary public, official court translator (required by law when buying a property in Croatia as a foreigner) as well as property transfer tax (unless you are buying directly from the investor).

You also might have moving costs and insurance costs – we strongly advise our clients to secure and insure their property.

We hope we answered at least some of your questions regarding the theme of buying a house in Croatia. If you still have questions about houses in Croatia, choice of location or property, be free to contact us – we will gladly help you!

Photo: Pexels, Pixabay.

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