From basic information to nuance
We feel that Buenos Aires is the kind of city that you would want to not only visit, but return to time and again; to the point that staying at hotels would make no sense. To the point, furthermore, that you would want to have a place of your own to hang your hat in, every time you came down.
Buying property in Argentina is both an exciting and complex procedure which, to be sure, involves time and prudence. This holds true not only for expats wanting to make an investment, but also for locals with a desire to own their first home.
This of course, becomes far simpler when you have the right people behind you; once that is done, all else falls into place. Here is all you need to know in a very basic outline;
Buying Property in Argentina, 101:
1. Searching for and choosing your home If it's happened that you visited BA and fell head over heels in love with the architecture, the inexpensive cost of living, the people and the food; well, then maybe it's time to consider having your own place here. Be it for living 2 months out of the year in upscale Recoleta; or renting out your single-floor apartment in stylish San Telmo to turn a profit, Buenos Aires' vast options for real estate have become a solid financial investment.
2. The broker in Argentina The broker in Argentina works just as he would in the US: he gets to know what your tastes are, shows you around different neighborhoods, searches for apartments that may be to your liking, and finally - if and when you find something you've set your eyes on - sells you the place. Brokers in Buenos Aires charge anywhere from 2% to 5% commission. Also, don't forget that brokers may look friendly and act friendly, but the bottom line is that they are in this for their commission; once they collect it, they will disappear from your life, never to be seen again.
3. Procedure for purchase and payment of your apartment Here is where you will find the largest of all cultural differences, when buying real estate: the operation is handled entirely, 100% in cash. Simple as that. We do not have 30 year mortgages, or bank loans that can be paid over a period of time. Bear ths in mind: cash means cash, not checks or any other manner of money. The dollar bills are stacked neatly one by the other and given to the seller. You will find yourself paying the entirety of the property you have purchased in one fell swoop, within a period of days established by you and your counterpart. We handle this negotiation together with you, in order to work it out in the amount of days which best suits you.
4. Notary, escrow company & insurance company all rolled into one:
The Argentine Notary public or Escribano The work entailed by the bank, the escrow company, and the notary public in the United States is incumbent upon one person in Argentina: the notary public (known here as escribano); all responsibility is deposited on him. It is his duty - and his alone - that the deed is drawn up in a timely manner for you to sign. This, however, is the least of his responsibilities; it is incumbent upon him to give every assurance that the property is legally available for sale, that the seller has no embargos to his name, and that there are no debts on the property to be purchased.
As far as building inspection goes, even though there is many a legal ordinance to that effect, they are not heavily enforced. For this reason we recommend having the unit visited by one of our architects and/or engineers to give you every assurance that your investment is structurally sound.
5. Property taxes The city of Buenos Aires has two taxes - which in practice are unified into one bill - that are paid on real estate: a) ABL (Alumbrado, Barrido, Limpieza) which is the tax paid to the city for public sweeping, cleaning, etc., and street lights; and b) the tax on the property itself. As per local regulations, the impuesto municipal and the ABL tax are paid bi-monthly. Property tax represents less than 1% of the value of the property.
6. Utilities costs Apartment services are, for the most part, very inexpensive. You will find yourself paying, on average, a grand total of (no more than) U$ 150 on a monthly basis for gas, electric, water and phone services. Again, very inexpensive as compared to costs and utilities in any given US home.
Maintenance fees for the unit you purchase will vary, as happens in the US, depending on: a) total square footage of unit, b) age of building where you purchase your unit, c) area of the city where you purchase your unit.
7. Most popular neighborhoods The following indices show values of property in the three most popular neighborhoods (by tourist standards) of Buenos Aires. The value of any given apartment in Argentina is measured by way of a Dollars-to-square meters ratio.
For instance, if a two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Recoleta costs U$ 120.000, and has a total size of 75 square meters (807 square feet), this means the cost of a square meter for that area of Recoleta is of U$ 1600;
U$ 120.000 / 75 square meters = U$ 1600.
The list is in order of neighborhood popularity.
· U$ 1700 - U$ 3000 per square meter on new property
· U$ 1500 - U$ 2000 per square meter on used property
· San Telmo
· U$ 1100 - U$ 1200 per square meter on new property
· U$ 800 - U$ 1000 per square meter on used property
· Palermo Hollywood
· U$ 1500 - U$ 2000 per square meter on new property
· U$ 1000 - U$ 1200 per square meter on used property
This is all the basic information you may need. Contact us and we'll be happy to meet with you in our offices and further discuss the particulars of property in BA.
When the time comes, let us hold your hand from beginning to end. Everything from the search of your home to its purchase, right through to the managing of your property, if needs be.