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Buying

There are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing apartments in Estonia; however, there are some restrictions on foreigners seeking to purchase forestry or agricultural land. In order to purchase forest or agricultural land, it is a requirement for the purchaser to live in the country for a minimum of three years previous to the purchase and during this time should have been involved in agriculture. However, there are no restrictions on buying forest or agricultural land if it is less than 10 hectares. There are also similarly stringent restrictions on foreigners buying coastal property, so it is strongly advised that you seek independent legal advice if you seek to live on the coast, indeed it is wise to employ the services of a legal council at all stages of the purchase procedure.

Once an Estonian property has been found and an offer has been accepted, the payment will usually be held by the notary in a deposit account prior to the conclusion of the conveyancing. The notary will then transfer the funds to the seller once the agreement has been completed and the property title has been registered at the Land Register.

In order for you to be considered as the legal owner of your new property it is necessary to be registered in the public register. In Estonia this is known as the Land Register and on average the processing of this documentation can take a long time, often up to four months for the registration to be processed.

The purchase must be subject to a written contract and it must be confirmed and notarised by a notary.

Incorporated in the purchase procedure, you should budget for state duties, notary fees and possibly estate agents fees. If you are purchasing a new build property, you will also need to pay VAT. State fees in Estonia are low, however, the notary fees can be more expensive as they are linked to the price of the property purchased.

Estate agents fees will typically be roughly 3% of the property price and there will be bank fees for escrow services and the transfer of the funds.

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