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Buying property / taxes

First of all, before buying property on Curaçao, we generally recommend an official property appraisal or a technical/contructional analysis by a construction expert.

Regarding the buying process it is important to know whether you decide to apply for a local mortgage, since the mortgage application process is a bit more extensive for non-residents and takes time. Sometimes the seller prefers a pre-approval from the bank before the bid or the purchase agreement.

Once there is agreement on a price, we will make a copy of your passport and verify your home address. The purchase agreement will then be provided to you. The buyer, provided he/she is a private person, has the right to annul the purchase within 3 days after signing the agreement, without explanation.

Buyers make payment in escrow of notary

To solidify your intent to buy, a deposit on the property is required, usually 10% of the purchase price. This payment is always made to the notary’s escrow account.

If applicable: Buyers apply for a mortgage

This step is streamlined if you’ve already been preapproved for a loan (which is a smart thing to do because it takes time). If not, you’ll begin the loan application process now. A time span indication is approx. six weeks from application for a local mortgage, and a minimum of 30% of private capital for residents, up to 50% for non-residents.

Closing time arrives

Once financing is set and contingencies are removed, all parties sign the deed of transfer at the notary’s office, and the transaction closes. If parties are not on the island for the signing, they can give power of attorney to the notary’s office or the broker. A time span indication is approx. one month for the Notary for doing their research, calculated from the date of receipt of the dossier to the actual transfer date.

Ownership and mortgages are registered by law in the cadastre, the Land Registry Office (“Kadaster“) to protect legal certainty on property and rights.

 Applicable taxes and fees:

  • Transfer tax: 4 % of purchase price – not for “SPF” (Private Foundation)
  • Registry fees & stamps:

o transfer of property (average Naf 910),
o mortgage deeds (minimum of Naf 725 + an additional Naf 100 per Naf 100.000 above Naf 200.000 of Founder value, this is maximized however)

  • Seal of debt (in case of mortgage): 2 ‰ of purchase price
  • Annual property tax (land & building(s) based on “Founder value”:

o    0,4 % < 350.000 Naf
o    0,5 % >< 350.000 – 750.000 Naf
o    0,6 % > 750.000 Naf

(in case of leasehold land different rules apply, and only for building(s))

Notarial fees for transfers of property and mortgage deeds are fixed rates (excl. 6 % VAT) determined by the Common Court of Justice.

See also:

https://www.realestate-curacao.com/en/information/buy-a-home-curacao-house.html

and:

https://www.burgersfungaloi.com/onroerend-goed/koop-en-overdracht-van-onroerende-zaken/ (in Dutch)

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