Buying property in Brazil: The Easy Way

After looking for years, I finally managed to buy a piece of land in Brazil. As I was the buyer, I decided to find the place first and then look for someone to help me with the paperwork. Of course, I live here and don´t have to worry about the “foreigner” part of the paperwork (that part took me about 5 years to complete), so I will jump a few steps here.

Anyway, I found a lovely piece of land in the rural area of Ilhéus, somewhere between Serra Grande and Ilhéus, on the motorway to Itacaré. There are some “neighbourhoods” here where lots of foreigners have purchased property and basically take care of everything. In the region I chose, I was lucky enough to also find some foreigners and other local neighbours who are very kind and helpful.

Sunset after a long day of work
View of the shed
View of the shed
Our beloved horse, Colorado
My daughter and dog.
My daughter and dog.

I was also lucky enough to find a “gringo” who had already gone through the entire process and he is very penny-wise (: so I decided to follow his steps for purchasing property.

First of all, most properties in this region so not have all the documentation and have never paid tax. So the first thing is to find a property that has all the documents or at least, as in my case, the “registro de propriedade” which is basically a piece of paper saying that the state or municipality has transferred a piece of land to the current owner and it no longer belongs to the state. This is very common here also, where most people simply settle on pieces of land and build their homes, after which the state may award them that piece of land (usually after 20 years). As the seller had most of this basic paperwork, all I had to do was find the “corretor” who would help me. Enter my gingo friend´s recommendation.

I contacted the real-estate agent/corretor and scheduled a visit. They offered me their full services, including all “cartório” work and “escrituração” (deed) for the modest sum of 2 minimum wages. They drafted the contract, checked all the paperwork, did the missing paperwork and prepared the deed. I paid 50% in advance and 50% when I signed the deed.

Easy peasy. No, seriously. It was really easy.

Then, I was introduced to an angel who knew all the builders, painters and electricians in the area and basically became my contractor. For just 5 thousand reais, I managed to prepare the entire house and moved within a fortnight.

So, if you are planning on living in the Ilhéus region, especially between Itacaré and Ilhéus, and need help doing the paperwork and getting the house ready for living, leave a comment. I would be glad to give you all the contact information.




2 thoughts on “Buying property in Brazil: The Easy Way

  1. Hi there, I have a piece of land in that same area that I am trying to sell. I live in the US and now have my family here. I will be coming down in June and need to get some things squared away there. I don’t believe the rural tax has been paid on the land for the past 5 years. Do you know where I need to go to pay it? Also, there is someone who has been living on the land for the past five years and I need to get him off because I have some renters coming in while we are trying to sell it. I’m not sure if it is going to be easy or not to get him off the land. Do you have any recommendations on who to contact in the case that I need some back up? Also, I would like to have a lawyer help me with some paperwork to take him off of having the Power of Attorney for me. Do you have any recommendations for a good lawyer in the area? Thanks so much. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


    1. Hi Jenna. Thanks for the comment.
      Rural tax: To see how much you owe, you have to go to the Receita Federal (local office) or click here to check the status of the property (you need the NIRF, which is on all property documents). The tax is called the ITR and it´s usually quite low. Then you will have to either download the programme to do each of the years that are due or go to a “contador” and ask him to do it for you. The Receita cannot do the declaração for you.

      To get someone off your land, you need a lawyer to get a court order. Once you have that, the police can give you the back up, but they cannot do anything without a court order. Ask them nicely first, and if that does not work, hire the lawyer.

      Power of Attorney: You can do that yourself at the Forum (every town or city has one). It´s called a Procuração. It´s not very expensive and if you have all your docs and a couple of hours, you can walk out with it. If not, ask the same lawyer you hire for the other things to do it for you, but it will cost more.
      I don´t know which area you are referring to so I can´t help you with the lawyer, but I strongly recommend you visit the website JusBrasil and click on the box Fale agora com um advogado (bottom right corner of the website). Or sign up and use their Search for a lawyer service. The service they offer is great and you get replies from several lawyers in the area. If you don´t speak Portuguese, ask someone who does to access the website.
      Good luck. If this was useful, please donate. Thanks!


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