How to pay for property in Argentina?

skyway

Registered
Hi folks,

Myself and my Argentinian partner are going to begin the process of looking for a house in the coming months. Therefore, I have some questions regarding same:

- I was alarmed to hear that the transaction has to be carried out via cash in USD. Is this always the case? There is not any possibility to do it via an electronic transfer?

- If the transaction has to be carried out in cash, I assume that there is not any easy way to withdraw the money on the ground in Argentina? Therefore, it has to be carried in from abroad in sums of no more than USD 10000 at a time? I guess carrying sums of more than 10k could be very risky if you declare it (penalty?) or not declaring it and then being caught (even larger penalty?).

- Does the full amount have to be paid up front? Do mortgages not exist in Argentina? Can you pay the owner in "cuotas"? I am not sure how most people would pay the full amount up front unless one is extremely well off...

- I am guessing that, from an admin/bureaucratic/logistical perspective, it would be best if everything was in my partner's name? Is there a lot of complexity involved for a foreigner such as myself?

As you can imagine, this is completely uncharted territory for myself. I would greatly appreciate the thoughts of people on the forum who have already gone down this road...

Thanks.
 

jeff1234

Registered
Have you considered that at some point you might sell the house and move abroad? Taking the money out of Argentina will be difficult. Leaving the proceeds of the sale in pesos, even temporarily, would likely cost you 4% per month.
 

steveinbsas

Registered
I was alarmed to hear that the transaction has to be carried out via cash in USD. Is this always the case? There is not any possibility to do it via an electronic transfer?
You may find a few properties with prices in pesos but most are in dollars. You can transfer the dollars here and pay for the property in dollars. The last thing you want to do is convert those dollars to pesos at the official rate in Argentina.

You can make a wire transfer in dollars to a bank or casa de cambio that will give you the funds in dollars and you can actually have the "closing" (as well as the "boleto") and give the seller the funds in a private room at the location of the bank or casa de cambio.

You might find a seller with a US bank account and you could make a wire transfer from your account to theirs the same day as the closing

the transaction has to be carried out in cash, I assume that there is not any easy way to withdraw the money on the ground in Argentina? Therefore, it has to be carried in from abroad in sums of no more than USD 10000 at a time? I guess carrying sums of more than 10k could be very risky if you declare it (penalty?) or not declaring it and then being caught (even larger penalty?)
You won't have to (and shouldn't) carry any of the funds from abroad. You will have to declare the source of the funds and "prove" to the escirbano's satisfaction that the funds are "en blanco" to avoid suspicion of money laundering.

the full amount have to be paid up front? Do mortgages not exist in Argentina? Can you pay the owner in "cuotas"? I am not sure how most people would pay the full amount up front unless one is extremely well off...
You can "reserve" a property with a small deposit and about ten days later have the "boleto" and pay 30% of the purchase price plus the realator's fee paid by the buyer (usually 4%). The closing (aka escritura) should take place within 30 days and you will pay the balance of the purchase price, the escribano's fee (usually 2%) plus any additonal fees and taxes.

The escribano will make sure the property is free of any leins and should (in the case of an apartment) also check with the administrator to see if there are any unpaid "espensas" by other owners, etc. Unpaid espensas by deadbeats increase the financial burden for those who meet their monthly obligations.

If the property is not occupied, you can skip the boleto and have the closing with "llaves en mano" (keys in hand) and move in the same day.

Owner financing is virtually non-existent in Argentina and mortgages are difficult to get. I suggest you "shop" for a property based on the funds you actually have to spend.

am guessing that, from an admin/bureaucratic/logistical perspective, it would be best if everything was in my partner's name? Is there a lot of complexity involved for a foreigner such as myself?
Even though you are a foreigner, there is no problem including your name on the title with 50/50 ownership. In my opinion it would be very "unwise" not to do so.

As you can imagine, this is completely uncharted territory for myself. I would greatly appreciate the thoughts of people on the forum who have already gone down this road.
My comments are based on my own experience which includes the purchase of three properties in Argentina and the sale of two of them in the past 15 years.
 
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skyway

Registered
Steve - That is invaluable information. I am glad that you have allayed some of my concerns about the process. Will let you know when/if I have further questions. Thanks very much!
 

steveinbsas

Registered
Steve - That is invaluable information. I am glad that you have allayed some of my concerns about the process. Will let you know when/if I have further questions. Thanks very much!
You are most welcome!

Please do not hesitate to ask further questions Other members also have addditional information I'm sure they will also be happy to share!
 
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