Steps To Buying Property in Cape Verde
So you have just arrived to the Cape Verde Islands, fallen in love with one of the islands or maybe all : of them, and want to move here. Or maybe you just want to spend your vacations here. Or you just believe there are some real estate investment opportunities lurking behind these dry mountains. I Regardless, you want to buy property here. Hurry up because soon enough there won't be anymore land on these small islands to sell but wait, have you taken legal advice? The property purchase process is different here than in the UK and this piece is intended to explain how it works.
Firstly, this is a civil law country, supposedly with a code for every potential legal issue but it is still important to consult a lawyer before you bind your self into any real estate transaction. You need a lawyer to advise you, check the property title, read the developer's promissory contract or draft your own promissory contract, and check the conveyance deed. These are simple and uncomplicated steps, despite the differences between our legal system and the UK one. Before you leave Cape I Verde you should give your lawyer Power of Attorney, which is a special form when it comes to real estate purchases. You should go to the Notary and request the Power of Attorney in its proper legal form, Otherwise, request your lawyer to draft you one in Portuguese or in English with a Portuguese translation and have it signed and recognized by a public Notary in the UK (the law here requires that it be recognized in the UK by the institution accepted under UK law to recognize signatures).
Most developers require a reservation fee to secure the property before you sign the promissory contract. You should request a copy of this in English. Be aware that the developer is likely to give you only a month to Come up with the down payment money ("sinal"), which can vary from 5% to 90% (in rare circumstances) of the purchase price. The most common terms of payment are 30% upon signing the promissory contract; 20% with completion of the roof and 50% at the notary, or otherwise 50% upon signing of the promissory contract and 50% at the Notary.
The second step is signing the promissory contract, once your lawyer has performed the title search, necessary planning permission checks, has checked if the property is clear of encumbrances and has re- j viewed the promissory contract. Your lawyer should raise any contractual issues and recommendations for amendment with the developer on your behalf. In the promissory contract, the promissory to sell binds himself to sell you that specific property in the future and the buyer binds himself to buying that specific property in the future, under the conditions set forth in said promissory contract. You should be aware that, in case of a breach of contract by the seller Cape Verdean BW allows you to choose between specific performance or return in double of your down payment. Nonetheless, you will have to make that choice in the contract drafting.
The next step is scheduling the title conveyance within the time foreseen in the promissory contract and you or your lawyer should then sign the public deed at the Notary.
Lastly, your property purchase taxes (IUP) should be taken care of. You should get a tax number (NIF) and pay 3% of the property value at the Finances Department. This amount, added to the notary expenses, should be a total of 6 - 7% of the property value.
Now, All the best with your new purchase, enjoy it and thank you for falling in love with the Cape Verde Islands.