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Notes on Property Purchase in Brazil

FORTALEZA, STATE OF CEARÁ, BRAZIL

1. POWER OF ATTORNEY:

Power of attorney is essential if you wish our broker or lawyer to act on your behalf in your absence. Ensure the powers granted do not exceed those that you wish your representatives to wield on your behalf.

POA may be drawn up and registered in Brazil at any Notary Public(Cartório). This may also be formalized at any Brazilian Consulate, or at any foreign Notary Public and subsequently authenticated at the Brazilian Consulate.

2. CADASTRO DE PESSOA FISÍCA(CPF):

This is a fiscal registration number, similar to the UK National Insurance number or US Social Security number and essential for all but very minor transactions in Brazil. For this you will require a current passport and your Birth Certificate. Our Broker or Lawyer will assist you in obtaining this document which will entail visits to the Bank of Brazil and the local Federal Revenue offices, and normally involves relatively little time and expense. You will be required to present your passport and advise the full names of Father and Mother – a copy of your Birth Certificate would be an added advantage. Your new CPF card is mailed to an address in Brazil within approximately 30 days – we suggest you use that of our Broker or Lawyer.

3. PROPERTY BROKER:

It is always best to use a trustworthy broker which is why we have taken great care in selecting our representatives. Not only will a good broker help you find the property you require but he or she will make sure the price is fair, as well as making certain that the property is legally owned by the seller and that there are no outstanding debts on it – work often carried out by lawyers in other countries.

4. LAWYER:

Many Brazilians, particularly locals, dispense with the services of a lawyer in real estate transactions as it is assumed that their broker will take total care of their interests throughout. However, this might prove unwise for a foreigner purchasing in a foreign country and our own agent can call on the services of various lawyers, each one specialising in international law and in a specific foreign language. Clients are, of course, free to use their own lawyer of choice.

5. IMMIGRATION AND BANK ACCOUNTS:

Permanence as a Tourist is normally 90 days, which may be extended for a further 90 days.

In order to acquire a permanent residence visa the following conditions must be met:-

  • A minimum investment of US$250,000.00 in a Brazilian company with a Brazilian partner-
    • You are married to a Brazilian
    • You have a child with a Brazilian
  • You have reached retirement age(50 years) with a pension of at least 2,000.00 Euros or US Dollars.
  • By Brazilian law a foreigner who does not intend to obtain permanent residence may not open a current bank account. However, it has been agreed with the Government of Ceará and with the State Bank(BEC) that provided the foreigner is officially registered, holds a valid CPF card and can provide a local address for any correspondence, he or she will be permitted to open and operate a savings account.

 

6. CONTRACT OF SALE AND PURCHASE:

This contract is prepared by the selling broker, is binding on both parties and contains:-

  • The seller's full details
  • The purchaser’s full details
  • Location and detailed specification of the property
  • Conditions of payment(s)
and is usually signed at the office of the broker, in front of two witnesses.

 

At this stage a down payment is made – usually around 30%, but negotiable, and your broker will then arrange to register the property in your name. The balance normally becomes due 30 days later.A guide to all the expenses and taxes involved in the purchase procedure are listed below. In the case of overseas purchasers it is sometimes possible to modify these procedures to accommodate the circumstances.

When buying a property “off-plan” these procedures will differ somewhat as you could be required to deal directly with the developer of the property under construction. This may involve an extended payment plan, certain additional conditions of sale and official monetary correction. We urge you to consult with our broker/lawyer for guidance in such matters as they will always have your best interests at heart.

7. PURCHASE EXPENSES AND ANNUAL TAXES:

The expenses involved in property purchase and maintenance in Ceará are as follows:

a) Purchase

  Sale/Purchase - 'Escritura' & Registration 1.5% - 1.7%
  Property Transfer Tax (ITBI) 2.0%
  Marine Land – coastal strip 2.5%
  National Heritage land 5.0% (additional)
  Lawyer’s fees 2.0%

b) Annual Taxes

The owner is required to pay the annual Urban Property Tax(IPTU) which varies in accordance with the location and the rated value of the property and will be advised at the time of purchase. The following is a typical example for a popular residential area in Fortaleza:-

  Up to R$50,000.00 0.6%
  R$50,000.00 to R$180,000.00 0.8%
  Over R$180,000.00 1.4%

 

Non-Residential:-

  Up to R$180,000.00 1.0%
  Over R$180,000.00 2.0%

 

Note:- This tax is reviewed on an annual basis and is loosely tied to the cost of living.

#This is an estimate and an average for the straightforward purchase of a medium-range property.

8. MARRIED COUPLES

If the property is to be held in joint names, please ensure that both partners travel to Brazil each with their own complete set of documents. This way, not only the property, but any bank accounts can be opened in joint names, and each party will be issued with their own individual CPF.


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