As with purchasing a property in any country, you must make yourself aware of the formalities and "peculiarities" of the foreign market.
Without an official price index, many properties are advertised with a price that is determined by what the vender wants rather than by a market value. If you find a property in a particularly popular area (or in an area like an Old Town where they can be no more development), it is most likely that market has been determined by the price paid for a similar property. If you are looking at a renovation project in an area away from the main towns, then the price you pay will most likely be a result of your negotiation skills.
Getting a local lawyer is imperative. Many properties have multiple owners (i.e. owned by whole families) and all parties must be in agreement of the sale. When the lawyer has this in writing, the title of the property can be yours.
Paying for your property.
All purchases are cash purchases. The vendor will require a cash deposit of at least 10% of the agreed price and you will need to pay the rest in 30 days. If you cannot complete the deal, you lose the deposit. If the vendor pulls out of the deal, they will have to pay back the deposit plus the same again. Therefore, if you put down €5000 and the vender defaults, you will receive a total of €10000.
In Montenegro, it is the buyer that pays the estate agent fees.
- Property tax: 2% (on the sale price, payable to the government.)
- Agent fees: 4% (approx.)
- Legal fees: €750 (approx.)
Example: Agreed sale price = €45000 + €900 tax + €1800 agent fees + €750 legal fees = €48450
It is not necessary to carry the whole amount of money to Montenegro as cash (although you may wish to do so for the deposit). You can transfer the outstanding amount electronically to a bank in Montenegro and withdraw the money when you are there. Some banks don't have any method of direct transfer to Montenegro, so you may have to use a currency exchange to do this for you (they quite often get better exchange rates too for those in non Euro currency countries). From there the money can be transferred to a Montenegrin bank (Opportunity Bank in Kotor Old Town only charges a €15 handling fee. Some banks charge a percentage).
Once you have decided on your property (or properties), seek the proper legal advice and look forward to your new holiday home, capital growth or rental income.
Please note: this article does not constitute legal advice and any costs incurred & potential future gains may be different in each instance.