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Travel in Latin America

How to Buy Land in Uruguay

Uruguay is quickly becoming one of the foreign investment hotspots of South America. The rich tracts of property, both coastal and country (and everything in between), combined with Uruguay's foreigner friendly property laws make buying land in the country simple and sound. Follow these steps to buy property in Uruguay.

Decide between coastal, city and country property options. Uruguay has it all, from the sophisticated cityscapes of Montevideo to the eastern countryside plains and the increasingly glitzy beaches of places like Punto del Este. Eastern countryside prices are slowly increasing on account of Brazilian investment so if you're looking for farmland act fast. Punto del Este and the Uruguayan coast are also becoming more desired, but prices are still very reasonable.

Know your rights. Uruguay provides foreign investors with the full rights to buy and own property that citizens of the country enjoy. You should know that you do not have to pay any additional fees and are responsible for only 9 percent of the realtor and attorney's fees that are accrued (the seller is responsible for the other five of the total 14 percent). VAT taxes do not apply to the transfer of real property in Uruguay.

Get your guarantees. Uruguay law requires that a buyer receive four guarantees to make sure that there are no mortgages, liens or other debts levied against the property or the seller (in connection with the property). The first guarantee is from the Banco de Provision Social. The second guarantee is given to the realtor's office. The third guarantee is for the Registro de Actos Personales and the last goes to the municipality.

Register the property and notarize the transfer. Property law in Uruguay requires that the property be registered in its locality before a sale takes place (though generally properties are registered before they're put on the market). To make the deal valid and official, a notary must be present at the exchange of signatures and checks. Without a notary the deal is invalid so be sure to get an official notary at the signing.

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