Thinking about Buying property in Brazil?

Just reaching out to the community...please send me your experiences,doubts,plans,thoughts anything related to real estate in brazil that you would like to share and i can lend a hand..i have 12 years experience in the market (as a seller,buyer,company administrator,partner) with a wealth of specific knowledge and can help with any genuine queries you may have...

Thanks for the offer, Mike.  I do have a question.
My husband and I (he's Brazilian, I'm American) are in the process of buying an apartment.  It's a cash deal.  Our accountant has briefed us on the tax implications, and we're ok with them.  Our attorney has reviewed the documentation on the apartment, and found it complete and in order.  The civil engineer we called in for an inspection has given it and the building a clean bill of health.  All systems are "go!"
Here's my question.  The seller is telling us that, in a cash deal, we don't need a purchase and sale contract, that all we need to do is go to the Cartório together, register the sale, and re-register the property in our names.  How does that square with your experience in purchasing properties in Brazil?

Great to hear from you abthree !
You have 2 options in this case...
Go with a purchasing agreement to formalize the sale and make a 20% down payment.
After which you need to pay the transfer tax and get the paperwork processed through the cartorio before signing the deed and paying the balance..
Pay the transfer tax,get the deed prepared and pay full amount (100%) on deed signing(with no need for purchasing agreement)
Is that about how you see it?
P.S what does your attorney say?
P.P.S what tax implications are involved?

Thanks for the quick response, Mike.
We're going with Option #2; glad to hear that the seller's suggestion is normal business practice here.  We want to conclude the transaction ASAP.  While the place is structurally sound, it needs a lot of renovations, and we have the craftspeople lined up and ready to go.  Our current lease is up in September, and while that may sound like a lot of time, it really isn't with construction, especially on Brazilian schedules.

to PS -- Our attorney is uncomfortable not having a contract, although she may have caught that from me, being accustomed to US practice.  She's drafting one up, and we'll decide whether or not to send it to the seller when we read it.

to PPS -- Just some additional reporting at tax time next year, not completely unlike a real estate transaction in the US.  Since the funds are coming in through an international wire transfer, we wanted to nail down all the reporting requirements  before we pulled the trigger.

I'll post how things go.

OK abthree, I am glad to have been of help!
Please keep us posted and dont hesitate to let us know if anything pops up to thwart your path!

Hello Mike,

What's the process like for gaining a peromemant visa through the Real Estate Investment programme?

Hello Mason, thanks for posting your question.
This is the way I obtained my permanent visa 12 years ago.
At that time the investment requirement was $50,000 USD.
It is now R$500,000 - approx $140,000 USD
The funds must be wired to your brazilian company account
and applied to a productive business activity with the objective
of generating income and employing staff.
The process takes around 3 months and you need to use the services
of a Brazilian accountant preferably in the location you are investing.
Thats about it in a nutshell..please let me know if you have any
specific follow-up questions I can help with.
Best regards,Mike

Hi Mike, thanks for the reply.

From what I've read so far there are two types of investment visas.
One is the real estate one which requires funds of 500,000BRL but doesn't necessarily have conditions where you need to employ citizens as its real estate.
The other visa requires investment into an approved tech, science etc businesses and must employ people in the future.

Is the 3 months you mention the timeframe of purchasing property in Brazil as a foreigner?

Thanks again!

Hi Mason,
As far as the investment visa,property purchase alone will not be sufficient to qualify.
The property you buy must be a part of a wider business plan which demonstrates business activity and income buying a property to run as a guesthouse,buying a block of flats to rent,buying a commercial property with intention to create a new business...the intention does not need to fulfilled in full but you need to prove that your investment has been active(not passive) and created employment
at the time of renewal(3-5 years later)

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the clarification! Technically, could I buy an investment property under a newly formed company and put myself in as a real rent paying tenant?

Hi Mason,glad to be of help!
I suppose technically yes but it would not help you at the time of visa renewal as this approach will not generate the employment required.


We started the Escritura yesterday and finished it today, and it went as smooth as glass. You were right: in a cash deal with no outstanding issues, the process was too fast to require a formal Purchase and Sale Agreement, although we had an agreement all ready and our attorney with us, in case the unexpected arose. It didn't.
We have the keys, and we're supposed to do the Averbação tomorrow. I'll report back when it's all finished.

Brilliant Adthree,very pleased that all has gone smoothly! Best regards,Mike

Hi James,

I am a foreigner who is currently living in UK travelling to Brazil monthly for 2 to 3 weeks at a time.

My partner lives in Brazil Aracaju.

I am looking to purchase a property as an Aracaju but want to understand how ithe process works please;

- what taxes are payable on a flat purçhase from the Property deveoper.

- Typical purchase fees.

Also in the unlikely event our relationship breaks down is there any safegaurds one could take. I ask as the money for purchase is my lifes savings hence just need to be cautious.

Finally this apartment in Aracaju is about 300 metres to the beach is it posible for a foreigner to purchase the flat close to beachfront?

Also I would want to use a Lawyer for the transaction and how long usually does the transaction take?

Thank You


just becareful dealing with the owner directly. they usually want a down payment in advance before you make the mortage deal, it appears they are in debt and you will still be paying of their debt they owe in other areas. learned from this and luckily we didn't pay the down payment yet. also, is the owner still living there? because if so, it would be difficult process to get them out of your house you just bought.
always buy through a real estate company (corrector as they say here). just giving you heads up.

Thank you kindly for the advice it is most appreciated.


We are refinancing our home in the US, and then using the money to buy a property in Floripa.  Should we get a real estate lawyer to help us navigate through the paperwork? Are those easy to find?

Hi Jonnycat,
Good to hear from you.
Probably best to find the property/ies you most like,talk with the broker/owner and get the background information on the documents,then contact a lawyer ( preferably referred ) to accompany the sales process. Some lawyers try to charge a % fee ( based on sales price ) others a flat fee..providing there are no major issues with the property a flat fee maybe 3-5,000 reals.
Hope this helps...

My wife is Brasilian, I am American. We moved to Brasil a few years ago and bought a chacara. I let my wife handle the business details to avoid any language caused problems.

The problem is the property requires that registration of 20,000 hectares at a time. We must get another property owner in our area to "go in" on the registration. The other owner is the daughter of the man we bought from and she keeps finding excuses for dodging this problem.

My concern is that she may be playing us. If the property is not properly registered, might she at some future date reclaim it? Since we moved onto our little farm to live, other owners have copied us. Now we have four neighbors. They combined their properties quickly and we were left out.

Furthermore, we now have major residential developers building near us. There has been interest shown by people who want to buy into that "zip code."

Everyone including my wife seems to take the registration issue in a very nonchalant way. I think I must take this over. It's been 18 years.

My concern was triggered by a recent posting of a family group that had their commercial farm stolen out from under them after substantial investment and ten years. My wife held that the family must have brought it on themselves.

Her blame the victim attitude started an argument that led to her admitting the state of our property. I tell you this as a matter of full disclosure, not blame. I think she was simply worn down by the way things are done here.

The question is how to proceed? Brasilians dig in their heels when it comes to complying with the law and I feel that they see foreigners as fair game when it comes to losing financially.

Thank you much. It helps a lot.

Someone has got to be giving you bad information, or misunderstood the information and passed it on to you.  20,000 hectares is a little over 77 square MILES, or 200 square kilometers -- that's about the size of Cincinnati or Cleveland, Ohio!  It is inconceivable that that is the minimum unit of registration permitted anywhere.
You need an attorney you can trust, not affiliated in any way with the family that originally sold you the property.  You may need to go to the state capital to find such a person:  if that family is able to deal in 200 square kilometer tracts, they probably have your município locked up tight as a drum.
I don't want to speculate either on the motives of the sellers, or possible downsides of your current situation.  But in your place, getting an independent attorney to help me regularize my title would be at the very top of my To-Do List.

How's the market for selling apartments in Brazil, in particular Belo Horizonte?

Hi, Mike,

Just to close the loop on our purchase, the Averbação went off without a hitch yesterday.  The 13 day delay between the Escritura and the Averbação was all about work backed up in the second Cartório; there were no problems with the transaction, and all of our documentation is now clean, current, and in our names.
All of your observations were spot-on.  Thanks again for your input.

Excellent,very pleased everything went smoothly Abtree..congratulations!!!!!

Hi everyone, this forum is a great resource for information.

I am planning to move to Brazil later this year from Ireland with my Brazilian partner of almost 10 years.

I have a CPF number so currently in the process of buying a home out there. We are lucky in as much that we have a lawyer in the family, living in the same city, who is handling all of the negotiations, documents etc.

We are not married and it's not an option for me for a while anyway so My options for a visa are:-

1) Investment - As stated above this would mean investing R$500k. I am obviously buying a home but planning also to buy a commercial property for my step daughter to set up a cafe in which I would hold an investment interest. I would also buy some properties for rental income to make up the 500k.
The problem is the rules may have changed in November 2017 but the Brazilian Embassy in Dublin has still not updated the website with this information. If anyone knows if there are significant changes I would appreciate the information.
The aforementioned lawyer is also forming a company for me and then a bank account. He will act as company admnistrator.

2) Stable relationship. Seems straightforward enough but requires a bit of evidence. Probably not a problem but I tended to do most things in my own name here as we weren't planning this until a year ago.

3) Job Offer. This can be arranged for me also if necessary.

Speaking to the consulate about three weeks ago. It appears most of these options can be applied for after entering Brazil on a tourist Visa. I have an Irish passport which allows me visa free access so I was wondering is this an actual reality?

Sorry for the long first post but thank you in advance for any information.


Thank you for the advice.  I will start the search for a good lawyer now.


Sounds like you guys have been diligent in identifying your options, and putting together some workable plans.  You probably could get everything done on a tourist visa, especially since Ireland and Brazil apparently have a side agreement that will let you extend for an additional 90 days, unlike most EU citizens.
I wouldn't dismiss the VITEM XI, temporary visa for family reunion based on a stable union, out of hand, though.  You almost certainly qualify, and it would give you more flexibility than any other option.  Not sure why Dublin is lagging, but the Brazilian Consulates General in London
and Chicago have updated their sites for the new rules, and they are not onerous.  Check them out, as a reference.

Many thanks abthree

I'll check the UK website for this information. I was just concerned there might be differences between Uk and Ireland for some reason. I actually have both passports. Whether that gives me any better options I'm not sure.

I'll definitely keep all options open but I will be investing anyway as that will be my living income. If one route closes another one exists and as a last resort a job offer can be made available.

I think we'll be ok but red tape and bureaucracy in any country can throw up nasty surprises.

Thanks for you help :-)

Just remember that the visa for investing requires a commitment to create and maintain a certain number of jobs, which opens up new worlds of bureaucracy and reporting!   Good to avoid, if better options are viable.  As a permanent resident,  you'll be able to invest without those requirements.
All the best!  :top:

Good Evening, needing a little advice please.  I wish to purchase in a new condominium in Aracaju which I have seen   Just unsure about how one would go about transferring the funds from UK to Brazil and if there is any advice on risks to be mindful off. Also how one would source a good Lawyer to do the required conveyancing due diligence for the purchase. I do not live here in Aracaju but am here every 2nd month for 3 weeks. I have a brasilan fiancee and soon to be 8 month bany. Also any idea n the taxes due on the purchase just percentage wise?

Hi Mkp, it is pretty straightforward to transfer funds into Brazil for a property purchase providing all documentation is in order.Normally you would make a down payment to the sellers account on signing the purchasing agreement and the balance when the deed is ready to sign.Check if the new condo has the building and habitational permits and get the tax clearance certificates on the developer beforehand to check all is o.k.
Transfer taxes are normally around 6% of evaluated property value.
I dont know of any lawyers in Aracaju but can refer some good english speaking lawyers up here in Natal.Fees vary. I hope this helps. Feel free to send me a PM if you need any additional regards,mike smith

Hi  Mike,

Is it better to have property to your name as a foreigner or can you own it through a local or even foreign company?

Also what about income taxes? Are foreigners liable to pay income taxes in Brazil? Does having a property to your name change that in any way?

I'm Brazilian but have been living overseas for over 10 years, making plans to buy my first apartment in Brazil soon.

But I have asked our family accountant and he said whatever money I bring back to Brazil I will have to pay income tax on it no matter that I earned it outside. That was a little shocking to me. So I'm curious as how foreigners handle this in Brazil, as my wife would be foreign too so I may be able to register the property under her name instead if that brings me some relief.

Also how should I send the money from overseas to Brazil?

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your help Sir t is most appreciated.☺


Good Afternoon All,

I wanted to just ask if anyone has experience of transferring funds from Europe to Brasil. For purchase of Property. What methods was used and if any advice or suggestions please

Thank All


I have had plenty of experience,12 years of bringing funds into Brazil from Europe for our company from partners and from property buyers from Europe.Straight up bank transfers with contracts(and supporting paperwork) to justify the amounts are generally all that is required.

Hi Mike,

From experience is it better to just arrange via the European bank (hoping to get the best poss exchange rate) Or via say a currency trader like Moneycorp or Transfer wise cuex etc. Thanks MKP

Transfer wise for small amounts is excellent...otherwise european banks get the job done at decent exchange rates..

Hey Mike, tax wise what do you think is the most efficient way to own property in Brazil? Seems everyone is simply buying under their own name.

I was told by an accountant if I bring the whole amount all at once I will be hit with a tax bill around 20-30% which would make buying the apartment unattractive to me.

Any thoughts on that?

Are you sure that you gave your accountant enough information to give you an informed opinion?  We reviewed our planned purchase and funds transfer with our accountant before we committed, and she assured us that we wouldn't owe income tax if we could show that the funds came from our own accounts, and went into the apartment purchase.

abthree thanks for replying.

I think I did, but then again our family accountant is not very experienced with Brazilians living overseas. Or it might be the fact that I am Brazilian and our gov assumes I have to pay income tax unless I prove that I already paid them overseas in order to benefit from the non double taxation treaties that Brazil has with some countries. Of course things would be much easier if Brazil didn't tax worldwide income of its residents, but it does or at least it tries to.

Or perhaps like my family has told me, I would be better off avoiding investing in anything in Brazil for the time being.