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Buying

There are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing apartments in Latvia; 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. 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 a Latvian property has been found and an offer has been accepted, the payment can be held by a notary, however, it is usually for the services of an escrow service to be used. This will entail the buyer lodging the finds in the bank account of the independent escrow provider and the funds will only be released to the seller once the purchase has been legally completed.  

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 Latvia this is known as the Land Book and on average the processing of this documentation will usually take 20-30 days.

The purchase does not need to be confirmed by a notary in Latvia. It is sufficient for the signatures of the buying parties to be entered into the Land Book after which they can be notarised.

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 are comparatively expensive in Latvia compared to other Baltic States. They usually work out at 2% of the total price of the property. On the other hand, the notary fees are very inexpensive. For example, you should not expect to pay more than €33 for testifying to the authenticity of the signatures on the Land Book.

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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