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By 15 February 2023February 23rd, 2023No Comments

Looking to make a property purchase in Europe, Turkey, Serbia, or the UAE? As an international buyer, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of the process, and what legal requirements you’ll need to meet to secure your property. With this in mind, in this article, we provide insights on buying property as a foreigner in some of the most popular destinations in the EU, Turkey, Serbia, and the UAE.


Real estate is an ever-evolving industry, with each country offering its own unique set of opportunities and hurdles. When it comes to buying properties, it is crucial to take into account the legal aspects of these transactions, which can differ significantly depending on the jurisdiction and type of property

In recent years, Europe’s housing market value has been on the rise and has piqued the interest of many foreign investors, especially American buyers. One reason for this is the Ukrainian conflict, which caused the Euro to depreciate, making Europe’s housing market more attractive to international investors. Despite the high real estate prices in some areas, investors continue to seek out properties in regions with strong economic growth and low inflation rates.

Whether you’re an experienced property investor or just starting, it is important to familiarize yourself with the legal aspects of buying properties in different countries. In this article, we will explore some of the key legal considerations for acquiring property in Europe, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

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The Czech Republic can be a good choice for an investment in real estate. According to the Czech Republic legislation, Czech citizens, legal entities which have headquarters established in the Czech Republic, foreign individuals, and people who have applied for asylum in the Czech Republic and who were conferred this right, can acquire property in the Czech Republic as long as they are not state-owned. However, acquiring property in the Czech Republic is not related to obtaining a residency permit or citizenship.

Oral reservation in practice lasts no more than two weeks, during this time the buyer and their agent
check the legal status of the object. Then, the property reservation agreement is concluded, and the buyer pays the reservation fee (up to 5% of the real estate value – notarization is not required). After signing an agreement on the reservation of the object, a deposit agreement is made, determining the order of money transfers. After the conclusion of the main contract of sale, the agent draws up an application for the renewal of ownership. Both documents are sent to the Real Estate Cadaster, after the new owner receives a copy of the purchase and sale agreement certified by the Cadaster, and the confirmation of registration, the money from the trust account is transferred to the seller.

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Foreign citizens are allowed to purchase urban real estate in Estonia without restrictions, but there are restrictions on the purchase of land and houses. They cannot buy land and houses near state borders, or purchase real estate on Estonian islands, except for legal entities whose board of directors includes EU citizens. Also, foreigners are not allowed to buy land and forest plots larger than 10 hectares. To purchase property in Estonia, one must go through the process of reserving the property, signing an agreement, making a payment, and registering ownership. The process includes drawing up a contract, making a deposit, and checking the property for any issues. Payment is made through a bank transfer to the notary, who acts as a guarantor. After the sales contract is signed and registered, the buyer becomes the full owner of the property.


In Hungary, the process of buying a residential property begins with finding your desired property. Then, you will need to have a lawyer to handle the necessary procedures (under Hungarian law, property transactions must be completed with a purchase agreement that is signed by both parties and countersigned by a lawyer). If you are not a citizen of Hungary (nor a citizen of any EU or EEA country), you need to obtain a property purchase license, which your lawyer can assist you with. Once the purchase is complete, you will be responsible for paying property tax, which is typically 4% of the purchase price.


In Germany, purchasing property is less common than renting, but it can still be a good investment due to the stability of the property market and low mortgage interest rates. The process of purchasing a property involves making an offer through a real estate agent, paying a reservation fee (ranging from 0.5% to 1% of the property value), finalizing a mortgage, selecting a notary, and reviewing the final purchase contract. The notary will inform the land registry of the transfer of the property into the buyer’s name.

Also, foreigners are allowed to buy property in Germany with no restrictions, the only thing that is needed is a sufficient income and fulfilment of the requirements for a German mortgage (non-EU citizens with a temporary residence permit need to meet certain requirements to qualify for a mortgage in Germany, including a minimum of three months of employment, being out of the probation period, and earning a certain amount, which varies by lender. Without a permanent residence permit, obtaining a mortgage may be challenging without a substantial deposit).


Poland is a hidden gem for real estate investment in Europe, with Krakow serving as its tourist hub during the pre-pandemic growth of the tourism sector. It also offers affordable property prices that make it accessible to first-time buyers, with the added benefit of being connected to other EU nations.

In acquiring property, Poland provides benefits to citizens of the European Union and those in the European Economic Area. Citizens of the EEA do not need to obtain a permit to buy a permanent residence in Poland if the property is smaller than 0.50 hectares. However, those from outside the EEA must secure a permit from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration for both residential and commercial purposes. This permit will only be issued if the foreign individual can prove a connection to Poland, such as having a job or a temporary residence. Also, foreign individuals and entities can rent real estate without any restrictions or requirements, but any rental agreement that lasts for over a year must be in written form.


Serbia is a popular destination for potential investors due to its favourable climate, fertile soil, and potential for tourism development. In Serbia, property and property rights acquisition is governed by the reciprocity principle outlined in the Foundations of Property Law Relations of 1996 (meaning that foreigners can buy property in Serbia depending on where they are from). Foreign individuals and entities can easily buy property for business purposes and also houses and apartments for personal use. However, there are restrictions on foreign ownership near military land and city construction plots.

The process of buying property in Serbia involves finding the desired property and making an offer, which if accepted, leads to the signing of a preliminary purchase agreement. A 10% deposit is paid upon signing the preliminary contract, after which the buyer’s solicitor begins examining the title deed and rights of the seller. A completion date is set, and the final contract is signed in the presence of a notary, establishing the legal ownership of the property. The Inland Revenue Office determines the property’s value, and the buyer pays the 5% property tax based on this value. Finally, the property is registered with the local Area Property Registry and the buying process is complete upon payment of the agreed price. The whole process takes approximately 6 weeks.


In 2016, Turkey introduced its Citizenship by Investment program, also known as the Golden Visa program, which offers residency, citizenship, and a Turkish passport to those who invest in real estate. The program is popular among investors due to Turkey’s strategic location between Europe, Asia, and Africa and its affordable property investment requirement of a minimum of $400,000 plus fees.

Thus, foreigners can purchase real estate in Turkey without a residency permit. However, in Turkey, there are some limitations to foreigners that wants to buy properties: there is a limit on the amount of land and the percentage of a district’s surface area that a foreign individual or entity can purchase. Additionally, purchasing real estate near military bases may be restricted for national security reasons. The land registry office will examine the property to ensure it meets criteria, and if the application is rejected, it can be appealed at the regional headquarters.

The process of buying property in Turkey involves choosing the desired property, negotiating with the seller, consulting with a law firm for details and drafting an agreement, signing the contract and making payment, registering the contract with the land registry, getting an eligibility check from the military, acquiring ownership through registration, and paying taxes and other fees.

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The UAE has changed its property ownership laws for foreigners and now allows them to buy both freehold and leasehold property. Freehold ownership allows the buyer to own both the property and the land it stands on, while leasehold only allows the buyer to own the property for a limited period of time and not the land. The rules for property ownership by foreigners differ in each emirate, and it is important to understand the designated areas for foreign nationals to buy freehold real estate.

Thus, anyone with sufficient funds can buy property in UAE regardless of residency, age, or employment status. Foreigners can only buy freehold properties in designated areas for foreign investment, but there are many freehold zones in Dubai that are available for investment. Also, acquiring a property in the UAE can provide an investor visa to foreigners.


In conclusion, buying property in EU countries, Turkey, Serbia and the UAE can offer different opportunities and challenges. Each country has its own laws and regulations regarding property ownership, which must be considered before investing. The key to ensure a smooth and successful transaction is to fully understand the legal aspects and requirements, for that you reach to us and we will help you in the process of acquiring property in any of the countries above.

Buying Property in Serbia, Turkey, UAE and EU countries 

Ananda Sacramento

All rights reserved. All rights of the Buying Property in Serbia, Turkey, UAE and EU countries article belong to Gurcan Partners International Law Firm. The author has no responsibility for the information in this article. This article is prepared just to inform.

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available at:

Expat DE, ‘Buying a house in Germany’, available at:

Global citizens solutions, ‘Buying Property in Europe 2023: Expats Guide to the Best Places’, available at:

Global Property Guide, ‘Low buying costs in Serbia’, available at:

Kalkan property, ‘Legal Matters Concerning the Purchase of Property in Turkey’, available at:

Mercury, ‘Features of purchasing real estate in Estonia’, available at:

Retail Insider, ‘Buying Property in the Czech Republic’, available at: https://retail-

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