Building / Remodeling in Uruguay

I'm wanting to get an introduction to the building landscape within Uruguay.
I guess the first question is about ownership: my understanding is that foreigners can own real estate in Uruguay (ie: take title).  If this is the case, what do I need to know here?  I've got a building background so may be interested in learning more about the environment to fix up a house or build on a plot of land. 

If anyone can start pointing me in the right directions, and/or just introduce me to an English speaker in the field, I'd really appreciate it.  My background is engineering so although my Spanish language is poor, I may have some interest in utilizing this skillset/background after I arrive.

Hi Passthebasketball, if you google  Inmobiliaria Uruguay, that will lead you to a selection of real estate agents. Foreigners may own real estate and there is always plenty of houses and land for sale. You will need to add about 9% to the sale price for fees and taxes.

Gracias ColoniaMan.

I bought a plot of land about 12 years ago with the intention of building on it. I saw a house that I liked and asked the architect how much the construction costs would be. I was advised about US$100,000 and saw a similar house already built and sitting on 1,000 sq meters for US$125,000 so that was a pretty good estimate. I found a builder through the real estate agent and asked for an estimate based on a smaller version, the idea being that starting from a low base, I could get an idea of how it could be elaborated. After much stalling, he came back with a price of $160,000. A similar house sitting on a small plot could be bought for about US$55,000 so caveat emptor. I decided to buy a house and leave the plot as a garden/orchard. That could be an occupation for you, either construction from scratch or renovations.

Have you seen anything that you like yet?

@passthebasketball How has your search been going?

Hello ColoniaMan and PasstheBasketball:  I am not sure about the anonymity rules of using this forum of communication, so for now I will go by DVRealEstate.  I am a realtor here in the State of Colorado, however, I also have a working relationship with a Real Estate Firm in Punta Del Este.  If our firm can assist you, I would be happy to put you in contact with one of our Agents there on the ground in Uruguay.  I am bilingual, Spanish and English so I can be available if language becomes an issue.  Also, Passthebasketball, you indicate that you are and Builder and Engineer, that's great. Perhaps there may be a working relationship between us, and possibly our Real Estate Firm.   Let me know where you are at here in the US, and we can open up the channels of communication.  DVRealEstate

If you buy a rural plot in Uruguay (not inside any city limit) -- can you build whatever you wish however you wish with minimal government oversight?  For example -- I assume the government would insist that septic fields or utility connections would be permitted and inspected.   

Perhaps it varies by Department?

Does anyone know of a good resource outlining the process of building in Uruguay?  (I have tools/experience in building and would want to do plenty myself).

Hi Jayco, l bought a plot that was sold as building land. You will need to have your plans approved but it is pretty much a rubber stamp job. How rural are thinking? A lot of rural places you see from the road have wells and those windmills seen in cowboy films. The neighbouring plot has a borehole with a solar pv powered pump even though mains water is available. Have you considered a plot with a disused farmhouse for remodelling?

You could start from scratch on this little plot. … nta-lucia/

Hi ColoniaMan -- I recognize your username from browsing the Uruguay forum... thanks for your helpful contributions.

We'd like the land to have electricity available at the road and less than an hour's drive to a city.  Internet is a must have.  When in remote locations here in the states you can set up an antenna at a high point and direct it towards a cell tower to pick up mobile data... I'm assuming something similar to this would be available in Uruguay but we are still doing research (oh boy there is a lot to know... especially aduanas).

Once you get your plans approved what happens next?  Perhaps they do periodic inspections to see that you are building what you specified in the plans and don't really care how or when it happens?  Or do they insist on licensed tradespeople being attached to the project?

We might get land with something basic already there but it will only be temporary while we build something.  So in any case we'll eventually need to go through the construction process.

Do you happen to know if there are any general rules/restrictions governing rural living like limitations on garden plot size, beekeeping, hens etc.   

Thanks, J

>>> Do you happen to know if there are any general rules/restrictions governing rural living like limitations on garden plot size, beekeeping, hens etc.

Hi Jayko,

Unless you plan on mining, growing pot, bottling water or setting up a hunting lodge you can do pretty much whatever you like. Absolutely no permission needed for any of the pursuits you mention assuming they are for your own personal use.

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