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.




Documents for buying property in Brazil

According to Brazilian law, any foreign citizen can buy urban property in Brazil without restrictions, regardless of nationality, legal or natural person, or residing in Brazil or overseas.

The CPF (Natural Persons Tax Registration Number) is mandatory for Brazilians and foreigners with goods subject to public registration and records in Brazil, including properties, cars, sea vessels, aircraft, company participation, current accounts, financial applications and capital.

To obtain the CPF foreigners must present:

  • Valid passport or RNE (foreigner ID)
  • Birth certificate translated into Portuguese by a sworn translator and authenticated in the Brazilian Consulate at the country of origin (see my post on “legalizing documents”)
  • CPF form

You can obtain the CPF at the following organs:

  • Brazilian consulates
  • Receita Federal (Revenue Office) in Brazil, before which you must go to the nearest Post Office or Banco do Brazil to fill out the form (called Ficha Cadastral de Pessoa Fí­sica). In this case, the request can be through a proxy.

If the potential buyer is married, the spouse must also obtain a CPF.