Risks in Buying Property


Jan 31, 2006
There was a thread yesterday(seems to have disappeared) started by someone wanting to know the risks of buying property in Buenos Aires.
There are risks involved and they shouldn't be minimised. The main risk in Argentina is the rules of the game can be changed from day to day without warning. There is little foreign investment by companies in Argentina because of this. You could for example buy today and decide to sell a few years later and discover new regulations prevent you from taking your money out of the country.
Just last night I was talking to a friend who is an escribano (not in Argentina) about a new scam where people get professionally forged powers of attorney and a use them sell your house to a third party. You discover the scam when the new owner shows up to evict you from your home. Your recourse is to go to court which can take several years with no assurance you´ll win. My guess is if you are involved in any kind of dispute you can´t count on the courts in Argentina for a speedy or fair resolution.
I just sold my house a couple of weeks ago. We got a call a few days before the closing from the escribano stating we couldn´t sell the house due to the fact my wife was not a resident(house was in her name). We quickly corrected this as my wife is a resident. However, this is the first I´ve heard you have to be a resident to sell property, you don´t have to be to buy. You might want to check this out. If this is the case and you buy without residency or fail to renew it you could have a big problem trying to sell.
I was able to sell our property and it was a very happy day for us when we had our money out of Argentina.
I have both bought and sold several properties in Argentina. My advice is to make sure you use a well reputed real estate agent and escribano.
There is a new law that AFIP must sign off on your sale. To the best of my knowledge, as a non resident, they need to check t ensure you paid your taxes, including on rental income.
Does the same AFIP standard apply to residence selling property? Second related question: Has anyone transfered title and ownership of property to their spouse? I, a non resident, bought a property in BA 3 years ago. Shortly after I married an Argentine. If I had to sell and wanted to avoid the AFIP hassel, could i simply transfer title to my wife then and have her sell the property? Anyone know? thanks
do people get surveys done here on the property they like to buy?
I have been watching several new builds over the past 2 years from site to completion - now they *look* great but i can tell you for definate the build is 'villa quality' but rendered nicely - a surveyor would trash the value of these places no trouble. Or indeed building regs if there were any.
zero sound proof, zero wall cavities, pipes going everywhere, wood and paste filling gaps between buildings, cheapy breeze block materials.
bad stuff.
Danc, I believe the AFIP looks over foreign investor's papeles more carefully, but I can not be sure.
soulskier, yup Big Bro is also trying to make sure they get their cut "accordingly" and in a "timely manner". So far, if you do things on the up and up nothing to really worry about - just make sure you have the right percentage $$ to "put down" including taxes. And the last time I checked they were very detailed about making sure one (foreigner) understands how long after the purchase and a sale of said purchase can you then take the money out of the country. Taxes you know.
Local buying does not raise much of the red flag but when foreigners do, that means money coming from the outside - and so - all the checks and balances to fight money laundering and all that come into play.
Grazie-Ironic you would mention money laundering since the current administration here has it down to a fine art not to mention underpaying their taxes. I love how the hypocritical government is out "to save and protect" the poor as their motto when in fact they are the biggest thieves in the country. CK makes GW look like a Saint and that is tragic.
rmartinbuenosaires, you are correct. The staggering level of corruption and hypocracy in Argentina places any investment made there at risk.
If you accept that the government there is nothing more than an ongoing criminal conspiracy then anything is possible.
There are a lot of risks in buying Property in Buenos Aires due to the fact that many real estate agents are dishonest and will lie through the teeth .
I am amazed that people make offers on properties based on advertised metres that in most cases do not correspond to the real metres. Make sure that you check the Escritura and have a professional survey the property for you.
I do believe in buying in Buying property in Buenos Aires but with a warning to be aware of the pitfalls out there .