Buying properties in Croatia


What You Have to Know
Before Buying a House in Croatia

So, you want to buy a house in Croatia?
Here are different things and options you need to consider
before you go into purchasing a property in this country.

Background Information

Do you want to buy a house in Croatia? Here’s some background information. Croatia is a European nation that’s popular for the length of its coast, exceptional natural beauty, multiple islands, several national parks and nature parks, a whooping number of tourist attractions, and the famous television show, 'Game of Thrones.' Apart from visiting it for sightseeing, some people opt to settle down there and be part of the beauty that the land brings out.

Well, maybe for economic reasons, retirement relaxation, having a permanent place to stay, or for the sake of having another property abroad for its investment potential. Whatever your reasons are, for a foreign person or a citizen, a couple of considerations need to be put to place before trying to buy a house in Croatia.

View from above of a town port in Croatia
There are many reasons why people decide on buying a house in Croatia.
We look at the process it takes to purchase a property here.
(img: Unsplash)

Various Considerations

In case you are wondering how to buy a house in Croatia, take into account the following aspects:

1. Purchasing as a Foreigner

People from another country should be cautious of several legalities in place before starting the steps to buy a house in Croatia. In 2009, the government of Croatia set aside all limitations on property purchases on all citizens of the EU (European Union), meaning there are no longer harsh requirements, and they are treated as if they are Croatians. Furthermore, the same reciprocates to residents of the latter nations if only they get clearance from the foreign affairs ministry. Nonetheless, their purchases do not include forests or properties that have historical purposes that preserves the culture of the people there. The list of nations to experience this privilege includes Canada, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, etc.

2. Best Time to Buy a House

Different tastes and preferences exist in terms of where a person might want to live in Croatia. Some prefer the coast, while others — the town center or the rural-based places. All these areas would require you as an investor to buy the property at a particular time of the year. It would be quite fair to make your estate purchases in the rural-based area at any time of the year because there aren't many activities that take place around there. However, it will be quite difficult to get a property on sale in the cities since there are lots of dealings, and the supply is quite low to meet the demand of the houses.

If you’re lucky enough to get one, then you should hasten the buying process to avoid competition from anyone who might offer a better price. Finally, for the coastal areas, the best month to buy a house there would be around September to November when the flow of tourists in the country is rather low. These are the times when the prices of those properties can also be quite friendly. Whether you are looking to buy a property in Croatia for retirement or as a holiday home, you need to equip your home with your usual comfort and security, including getting the best surge protector power strip for your own household DIY projects.

3. Prices and Taxes

If the budget is your concern, then worry not as we got you covered! If you are looking for the cheapest place to buy a house in Croatia, then you can skip directly to Čiovo. This part of the country is an island located near the Adriatic coast, only a short distance from old town of Trogir and city of Split. The property in this place is relatively cheap because the supply exceeds the demand, and there is a great number of units that aren’t sold yet. The highest number of these unsold properties is apartments. As a result, the project owners are forced to issue out considerable discounts to acquire interest from potential buyers.

In consideration of taxes, after the ministry of foreign affairs has cleared you, you are eligible to pay a 25% value-added tax as you make your purchases. Similarly, an annual tax (for the land occupation of property), the legal fee (lawyer’s assistance), real estate agent’s fee (person helping you out in getting the estate), and registration fee (changing ownership) are also included.

The town of Omiš, near city of Split, Croatia
The numerous towns dotting Croatian coastline, some with scenic rivers
and gorges, provide endles opportunities to find a suitable property to buy.

The Approach to Follow in Your Purchase

The two ways of acquiring a property in Croatia is either by getting it privately or via a company. Let’s break things down even further.

Buy House Privately

An individual might decide to make direct purchases privately either by cash or bank transactions. This could be quite a process! First, you have to write a proposal to the justice ministry, which might take as long as 1 year+ to be approved. You'll need a legal officer to help you in the documentation and walk you through the established laws. Nevertheless, you can be staying in the place during this process as you wait for approval to register the property in your name. The advantages are:

♦ It is relatively cheap and manageable. You only require money to set up and run a venture. You can as well balance your accounts to ensure that you get an income.

 In cases where you have owned a house for over 3 years, the capital tax gain will be exempted from you when selling it.

Buying Through a Company

The other approach is by choosing a company then further purchasing a house with its help. The legal procedures of setting up the company take around 2 weeks. It has been a method often used since it was the only option until 2009. This is regarded as the best way to buy a house since the company will get back a section of the VAT. Similarly, acquiring the title deeds will be quite faster compared to go through the procedure on your own. The advantages of this approach are:

You need no authorization from the judicial ministry.

 If you purchase a new house recently built, you can get back as much as 22% of the VAT.

 Title deeds are acquired almost immediately.

 This is the only way you can let a property.

Extra Assistance

When you have all the house buy tips, it is important also to figure out some extras. Issues like things to buy for a new house, what kind of company to set up, or even the most ideal places to look for are essential. You can also try and find the modern real estate developments if you need to renovate your acquired property. Moreover, getting yourself the best lawyer can save you the time and hassle that you’ll go through while buying a house in Croatia.

Croatian house on a small town coastline
Many a foreigner have found Croatia a great country to either live in or
retire, with a relaxed lifestyle that includes all modern amenities.


Purchasing property in Croatia is no longer that much of a deal for EU members. With this in mind, you can look for the best place to buy a house and get on with the process of registration, and after that, you can enjoy the beauty that Croatia offers.

Have you been to Croatia? Would you want to buy a house there? Leave a comment!

An article by Kay Burton, a lawyer and real estate agent.

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