Steps to buy, buying property, apartments, english speaking attorneys in Medellin, Colombia

Process buying Apartments, property in Colombia?

Colombia Laws are based on the U.S. Judicial system. Buying property in Colombia is very similar to buying property in most counties. Instead of using escrow companies, Colombia uses attorneys & notarias to do title searches & register deeds. Owners can hold title as individual, LLC or trust. 

Doing a title search is the single most important part of purchasing a property in any country. Title searches verifies the property has no liens or legal issues. A common problem here is if a property is held in more than 1 person's name & if one of persons on deed dies, then it will need to go to probate court to remove deceased person's name, which can take up to a year to resolve. 

Title searches are done by an Attorney & costs are approx. COP $1.000.000 / US $400. If title is clean, then your attorney prepares a Promesa/purchase agreement which outlines details (sell price, down payment, date of transfer, what's included (furniture, parking spaces, etc) & a penalty of 10- 20% of purchase price to insure both parties complete the sell. Promesa costs are approx. COP $1.000.000 / US $400.

Signing the escritura "deed"

After signing the promesa, the last step in purchasing a property is signing escritura/deed which will be done at a notaria normally chosen by the buyer or buyer's Atty's. Attorney fees for title search + promesa "purchase outline" + doing the new escritura "deed" should be approx. COP $3.000.000  / US $1,000 & takes about 30-45 days to complete a purchase.

Closing fees / transfer taxes

Besides the attorney fees above, you have closing costs which are notaria fees + 1% transfer tax. The good thing about Colombia is that there are 2 values to every property. The actual value vs the value listed on the predial "property tax bill". Normally the property tax value is always less than the actual value. The promesa "purchase outline" will show the actual sell price, but when signing the deed, most everyone uses the  Avaluo "value" shown on predial "property tax bill". They do this to lower the 1% transfer tax, notoria fees & future property taxes. Total fees to transfer a property including attorney fees to do title search, new deed, etc is about 1-2% of purchase price.

Transferring money $ to Colombia

Because of the history of drug $ in Colombia there are stringent requirements that banks must follow in order for you to wire $ to Colombia. Some of this rules include verifying where your $ came from. Banks typically require 3 months bank or stock statements showing the entire $ used for purchase was in your acct. for at least 3 months & proof of where money came from (stock sales, property sell, work, etc.). There are 2 ways to transfer $ to Colombia - banks or Investment Brokers. Investment Brokers allow the client to choose the exchange rate to convert your $ to Col Pesos/COP, where Banks choose the exchange rate for you. The difference of you having control of the exchange rate normally outweighs the 1% fee the brokers charge. Investment Broker -    Carlos -  

Colombian Investment Visa

When buying a property you can use the purchase for 2 types of Visas.

TP7 - Visa     Investment amount COP $260,000,000. Valid 1 yr. If you continue to own property you                                    can renew each year. After 5th year converts into Residence Visa which is good forever. 
                         TP7 Visa Fees 2017 - Gov. fees US $263 + Atty fees US $350

Residence Visa   Investment amount COP $480,000,000. Valid 5 years. After 5 years converts to                                               Residence Visa, good forever
                                Residence Visa Fee 2017 - Gov. fees US $500 + Atty fees US $350 

Visa Attorneys