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How to buy property in Chile as a foreigner: a 7-step guide

buying property in chile

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Chile has become an increasingly popular destination for international property investors and expats due to its breathtaking landscape, stable economy, and welcoming culture. Whether you are attracted to the bustling streets of Santiago, the historic charm of Valparaíso, or the serene beauty of the Patagonian wilderness, Chile offers a lot for those looking to invest in real estate.

We will guide you through the essential steps and considerations when buying property in Chile as a foreigner. We will provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision – from understanding the legal aspects to exploring property prices in Chile.

Reasons for buying real estate in Chile

Chile has witnessed a significant increase in foreign property buyers over the past few years. There are several reasons why more and more foreigners are interested in buying real estate in Chile:

  1. Stable economy: Chile is renowned for its stable economy and robust property rights framework, offering a secure investment environment.
  2. Open legal framework: Thanks to Chile’s open and welcoming legal system, foreigners can easily buy property in Chile while enjoying the same legal rights as Chilean nationals.
  3. Growing real estate market: The real estate market in Chile has consistently shown growth potential, making it an attractive option for long-term investments.
  4. Favorable climate: With diverse climates ranging from desert regions to Mediterranean-like areas, there is something comfortable for everyone’s preferences.
  5. Expat-friendly environment: Known for its hospitality towards foreigners, Chile provides an expat-friendly environment that facilitates integration and makes them feel at home.

Can foreigners buy property in Chile?

Foreigners can easily buy property in Chile due to the country’s open legal framework regarding property ownership. The Chilean Civil Code, which governs this framework, treats foreigners and Chilean nationals equally regarding property rights. The Chilean Constitution guarantees the protection of property rights for all individuals, irrespective of their nationality. As a result, foreign property owners in Chile receive the same legal safeguards as Chilean nationals.

There are no restrictions on the types of properties foreigners can buy in Chile. Residential properties, as well as land for various purposes such as apartments, condos, beach houses, or rural land, can be purchased by foreigners in Chile without any differentiation.

It is worth noting that there is one restriction regarding acquiring property in border areas. To ensure national security interests are safeguarded, foreign buyers must seek special permission from the Chilean Ministry of National Defense before purchasing Chilean property within these border areas.

Starting property rentals in Chile

Moreover, foreign property owners have the freedom to utilize their properties for commercial activities. This includes activities like renting out the property for tourism or establishing a business venture. Because of that, investing in real estate in Chile presents an excellent opportunity. However, it is important to be aware of local zoning laws that may apply and obtain any required permits for commercial activities.

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How to buy property in Chile in 7 steps

Foreigners have the opportunity to buy a house or land in Chile. These are the steps that are involved in buying property in Chile:

  1. Obtain a RUT number: As a requirement for any property transaction in Chile, foreigners must obtain a Rol Único Tributario (RUT) number, which serves as their tax identification number. To get an RUT number, you need to submit identification documents and complete the required forms at the Chilean Internal Revenue Service.
  2. Find a property: There are many properties for sale in Chile. Finding the right property can be done through Chilean real estate agents, online property portals, or by visiting the areas where you want to buy property. Consider factors like location, price, amenities, and future value when selecting a Chilean property or Chilean land for sale.
  3. Hire a lawyer: It’s important to work with a lawyer when buying property in Chile. The lawyer will play an important role in verifying the legal status of the chosen property, ensuring compliance with local laws, and drafting all necessary agreements on your behalf.
  4. Conduct due diligence: Real estate due diligence in Chile involves thoroughly investigating the property’s legal status. A title search is done to ensure the property is free from liens, encumbrances, and legal disputes. Conducting due diligence is a vital step to confirm the seller’s right to sell the property and to identify any potential legal issues that could affect the purchase.
  5. Sign the purchase agreement: Once the property due diligence is complete and you are satisfied with the house or land, the next step is to sign a legally binding purchase agreement with the seller. This contract outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the price, payment schedule, and any other relevant details. It’s typically prepared and reviewed by your lawyer in Chile.
  6. Register the property: After signing the agreement, the property must be registered in your name at the local Real Estate Registry in Chile. Registering the property in your name formalizes the transfer of ownership and is an important legal step. The registration process involves submitting the signed contract and other required documents to the property registry office.
  7. Pay associated taxes and fees: All Chilean property taxes and fees must be paid, which includes the registration fee, notary fees, and any other applicable charges. Your lawyer can provide a detailed breakdown of these costs and assist in ensuring that all payments are made correctly and on time.

By following these step-by-step guidelines, foreigners can easily navigate their way through buying property in Chile successfully.

What do you need to buy a house or land in Chile?

To successfully buy a house in Chile, you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of identity: Valid passport or other government-issued identification.
  • RUT or RUN number: Non-citizen non-residents need a RUT (Rol Único Tributario), while Chilean citizens or residents of Chile need a RUN (Rol Único Nacional).
  • Title deeds: The current title deeds of the property, proving the seller’s ownership.
  • Title report: The Estudio de Títulos is a report from a legal authority confirming the property is free of liens or encumbrances.
  • Purchase agreement: The legally binding contract between the buyer and seller, detailing the terms of the sale, known as escritura pública otorgada ante Notario and Escritura Pública.
  • Proof of payment: Documentation showing payment of the purchase price, including bank statements or receipts.
  • Bank approval (if financing): If you are financing the purchase, provide proof of mortgage approval from a bank.
  • Tax compliance certificate: A certificate proving that all property taxes up to the date of sale have been paid.
  • Notary public documentation: Documents prepared and authenticated by a notary public.
  • Registration documents: Papers required for registering the Chilean property in your name at the local Real Estate Registry.

Property prices in Chile

The table below shows an overview of the average house prices in Chile per city and region.

City/regionAverage price per sqm (CLP)
SantiagoCLP 1.5 million ($1,629) to CLP 4.5 million ($4,887)
ValparaísoCLP 1.2 million ($1,303) to CLP 3.5 million ($3,801)
Viña del MarCLP 1.8 million ($1,955) to CLP 4 million ($4,344)
ConcepciónCLP 1.2 million ($1,303) to CLP 3 million ($3,258)
Puerto VarasCLP 1.8 million ($1,955) to CLP 4 million ($4,344)
La SerenaCLP 1.2 million ($1,303) to CLP 3.5 million ($3,801)
PucónCLP 2 million ($2,172) to CLP 4.5 million ($4,887)

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Taxes and additional costs when buying property in Chile

In addition to the Chilean property costs, buyers should consider various other expenses, including taxes. It is important to note that in Chile, property buyers are not required to pay any property taxes at the time of the real estate transaction. However, they are responsible for paying a registration fee in order to register the transfer of property ownership with the Real Estate Registry. The registration fee typically amounts to approximately 0.2% to 0.3% of the property value.

When buying property in Chile, buyers must engage the services of a notary. Notary fees can vary depending on the specific notary and location, but generally amount to around 0.1% of the property value, with a maximum limit set at CLP 128,000 ($139).

Moreover, it is worth considering the Annual Property Tax, which property owners in Chile are required to pay annually. The tax rate for urban properties is approximately 1.2%, while rural properties are subject to a rate of around 1%.

It is essential to be aware that there are several other real estate taxes in Chile that do not directly apply to the purchase of a property but should be considered before deciding to buy a house. The most important property taxes in Chile are listed in the table below.

Tax/FeeDescriptionCalculationWho pays?
Notary feeThe fee for the services of the notary in handling the property transferAround 0.1% of the property value, with a maximum charge of CLP 128,000 ($139)Buyer
Registration feeThe fee for registering the property transfer with the Real Estate Registry0.2% to 0.3% of the property valueBuyer
Rental income taxThe tax imposed on rental income generated from the property27% of the rental value after deducting income-generating expensesOwner
Property taxThe annual tax levied on the value of the property1.2% of the property value for urban properties and 1% for rural propertiesOwner
Capital Gains TaxThe tax imposed on any profit made from selling a property27% on the net capital gain if held for less than four yearsSeller
Value Added Tax (VAT)The tax applicable to the sale of new properties19% of the property valueSeller or developer
Real estate agent commissionThe fee paid to a real estate agent for facilitating the transaction2% to 3% of the property value, depending on the location of the propertySeller

Chile Investor Visa

Buying property in Chile does not automatically grant residency. However, there are pathways to residency related to investment, including Chilean real estate. The Investor Visa in Chile is one option, which is designed for individuals planning to invest in Chile. This visa requires a detailed investment plan and contributes to the Chilean economy. After obtaining temporary residency, you can apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship, granting the right to live, work, and study in Chile indefinitely.

Requirements for obtaining the Chile Investor Visa

  1. Investment plan submission: Applicants must submit a comprehensive investment plan to the Chilean government, detailing the nature of their investment and its positive impact on the local economy. This plan plays a crucial role in assessing the viability of the investment.
  2. Minimum investment amount: While there is no fixed minimum investment amount, applicants should ensure that their investment is substantial enough to have a significant economic impact. Each case is evaluated individually based on its merits.
  3. Valid passport and identification: Applicants must provide valid identification documents, including a passport, as required by the authorities.
  4. Proof of financial stability: To demonstrate financial stability, applicants must provide evidence of sufficient funds to support both their investment and their stay in Chile.
  5. Background check: A clean criminal record and background check are mandatory requirements to ensure that applicants pose no threat to national security or public order.
  6. Health insurance: Applicants must show proof of valid health insurance coverage within Chile’s borders.
  7. Business plan: A detailed business plan outlining various aspects such as investment specifics, expected outcomes, job creation prospects, and other economic benefits should be provided.
  8. Legal documentation: All relevant legal documents about the investment, including company registration if applicable, must be submitted along with the application.

Duration of stay with the Chile Investment Visa

The duration of stay with the Chile Investment Visa can vary for each applicant, depending on several factors. In general, there are three types of duration:

  • Temporary residency: Initially granted for one year, temporary residency allows investors to reside in Chile. This status can be renewed as required.
  • Permanent residency: After holding temporary residency for a specific period, typically one to two years, investors become eligible to apply for permanent residency. The duration of this requirement may vary depending on factors such as the nature of the investment and compliance with visa conditions.
  • Citizenship: Following permanent residency, investors may have the opportunity to apply for Chilean citizenship. This usually necessitates maintaining continuous residence in Chile for a minimum of five years.

Buy property in Chile with Own Property Abroad

Do you want to buy property in Chile? Or are you opting to buy land in Chile? Own Property Abroad can assist you and ensure a seamless and hassle-free property journey. Thanks to our extensive knowledge and local experience in the Chilean real estate market, we can help with legal requirements, finding suitable properties, negotiating the best deals, and conducting due diligence.

With our expert team, you won’t have to navigate the complexities of buying property in Chile alone. For further information on how we can assist you, kindly drop your details below or email us at [email protected]. Let’s start working on your property success story today!

Get help with buying property in Chile

Leave your name and email below – We’ll reach out and assist you with buying real estate in Chile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can foreigners obtain Chile citizenship by investment?

No, Chile does not offer citizenship directly through investment. However, foreigners can apply for residency through investment, such as purchasing property. After obtaining permanent residency and fulfilling specific requirements, including years of residence, they may apply for citizenship.

How can foreigners obtain an Investor Visa in Chile?

To obtain an Investor Visa in Chile, foreigners must submit a detailed investment plan to the Chilean government, showcasing how the investment benefits the country’s economy. This can include investing in real estate in Chile. The process involves obtaining a temporary residency, potentially leading to permanent residency and citizenship. The Investment Visa makes Chile residency by investment possible.

How to find Chilean land for sale?

To find Chilean land for sale, potential buyers can search online real estate portals, contact local real estate agents in Chile, or explore listings in Chilean newspapers and property magazines. Visiting the desired location and networking with locals can also provide leads on available land for sale in Chile.

What are the best places to live in Chile?

The best places to live in Chile include Santiago for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, Valparaíso for its rich cultural scene, Viña del Mar for beach lovers, Concepción for its educational centers, Puerto Varas for stunning natural scenery, La Serena for a relaxed coastal life, and Pucón for outdoor adventures. Foreigners in Chile can easily buy property in these places.

Is it easy to buy a house in Chile?

Buying a house in Chile is relatively straightforward for foreigners. The process is transparent, and there are no significant legal restrictions. However, it’s important to conduct due diligence, understand local laws, and ideally work with a local real estate agent and lawyer.

What are the pitfalls of buying property in Chile?

The pitfalls of buying property in Chile include potential language barriers, navigating local real estate laws, the risk of buying a property with unclear titles or hidden liens, and understanding the tax implications. Engaging a local lawyer and real estate agent can help mitigate the risks of buying property in Chile.

Can foreigners invest in Chilean property?

Yes, foreigners can invest in Chilean property. No significant legal restrictions exist on foreign property ownership in Chile, and foreigners have the same property rights as Chilean citizens. Foreign investment in real estate in Chile is seen as a positive contribution to the Chilean economy.

Written by Matt Timmermans

One Response

  1. thank you for the information, Chile. hopefully I will be able to save the funds to decide to buy some property there.

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