How to buy real estate in Uruguay as a foreigner

Foreigners to buy real estate in Uruguay must present only their passport or identification document and do not have to be residents in the country. They can even buy from abroad through a purchase power of attorney, authorizing a person residing in the country to represent them at the signing of the deed. As simple as that. 

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URUGUAY

Uruguay is the safest country in Latin America, the best in political and economic stability, the most transparent and the least corrupt. 

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WHAT CAN A FOREIGN BUY IN URUGUAY?
There are no restrictions on any type of property for foreign buyers. All that is needed to purchase real estate in Uruguay is a valid passport and proof of funds. The government protects foreign investment through the laws of the country. and foreigners have the same property rights as Uruguayans so they can carry out any economic activity they want.

DO I NEED TO BE A PERMANENT RESIDENT TO HAVE A HOUSE OR DO BUSINESS IN URUGUAY?
No, it is not necessary to be a resident to own a property or do business, as long as the maximum stay of 180 days per year is not exceeded.

WHAT DOES A PUBLIC NOTARY CALLED "SCRIBANO" OR "SCRIBAN" DO IN URUGUAY?
Protects the buyer's interests in the buying process, much like an escrow/title agent in the United States. Check the history of the deed/title in the last 30 years and draft the pre-sale agreement and the final sale contract. Likewise, it structures the purchase and is in charge of the initial payment or deposit and the final payment, and registers the purchase in the Public Registry.

HOW DOES THE PUBLIC REGISTRY WORK IN URUGUAY?
Each property is identified with a number called "Padrón" and is registered by its Padrón number in the Public Registry, which is subdivided into geographical sections. The registry has all the property history, liens and mortgage information to ensure that the buyer receives a clean title.

HOW DOES THE PURCHASE PROCESS WORK IN URUGUAY?
The buyer selects a property with their real estate agent, and the buyer and seller verbally agree on a price through their agents. The buyer selects his notary public who contacts the seller's notary public. The notary is the one who draws up a "Reservation Ticket" based on the verbal agreement of the buyer and the seller to ensure the purchase conditions. At that time, the buyer has to deposit 10% of the sale price with his notary public and this deposit remains in the "Escrow" trust account. In the event that any of the parties breaches the purchase contract, a fine is established that is usually 10% of the purchase price, called the "Deed of Sale". The seller, for his part, delivers all the documents related to the property, including the deed, which rules out any possibility of selling the property in question to a third party. Next, it takes 30-45 days to study the title, the chain of records and the tax situation. Afterwards, a closing date is set for the payment of the balance, the signing of the final documents, the transfer of ownership and the public registry.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF THE PURCHASE TRANSACTION FOR THE BUYER IN URUGUAY?
The real estate agent's fees amount to 3% plus VAT (22%) and those of the notary public, to 1,5% plus VAT (22%) (if the notary/lawyer we recommend is used, since it is usually the 3 % plus VAT). To that must be added the Notarial taxes (“Montepíos”) which are 0,55%, plus USD 600 – 800 from obtaining all certificates, stamp duty for registration of the deed and all payments to government agencies.
The Real Estate Transfer Tax (ITP) is 2% of the Fiscal Cadastral Value of the Property (which is usually substantially less than the market value. This amount may vary slightly due to the fluctuation of the exchange rate and will be determined in the time of closing date).
In total, the transaction costs for the Buyer are approximately 7% in Uruguay.

DO I HAVE TO BE IN THE COUNTRY TO COMPLETE THE PURCHASE?
You do not need to be in the country to close the purchase. Through a "power of attorney", you can designate someone you trust to handle the signing of the contract for any purchase. The cost of a power of attorney is approximately $400.

DOES HAVING A PROPERTY ALLOW ME TO GET A RESIDENCE?
Not automatically. Many other aspects must be met, such as proof of income, etc. We can recommend immigration specialists who speak English and German. Please see our Residency/Immigration page.

CAN I HAVE A HEALTH SYSTEM? Until the age of 65, entering the health system is not usually a problem, and contributions are the same regardless of age, around 120 or 180 dollars a month. 

Medical care is much cheaper than in the United States or Europe. A good comprehensive health plan offers a choice of different hospitals for a monthly fee of $100-120. In general, the medical level is quite high in Uruguay.

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