Building a luxury villa is a challenging process during which the support of experts is necessary to achieve the goal effectively. In this blog, we will take you through the basic five steps needed to realize your vision and describe how Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty can facilitate every step, from idea to realization.
Step 1: Vision
Before starting construction, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, considering your wishes, expectations, and lifestyle. Our team of experts enriches ideas, puts the concept into a realistic and feasible framework, and informs you about the means and time required for implementation.
Step 2: Location
The location of the building land is one of the most important decisions at the beginning. It strongly affects the value of the property, and the life quality of those who will stay there.It’s also important to consider the privacy aspect, the land’s orientation, and the accessibility of the facilities. It’s essential that you collaborate with a trustworthy partner to find the ideal location for your investment, ensure that all of your needs are satisfied at a reasonable price, and discover the market possibilities relevant to your vision.
Step 3: Design
Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty cooperates with renowned architects and interior designers who, taking into account the details of your vision, create architectural projects and an idea of the interior appearance to know the cost parameters and the possible sale price before construction. What sets us apart from the competition is the implementation of world design trends when creating the book of standards so that you can assess the details as clearly as possible and make the necessary decisions more simply. Obtaining a building permit is the crown of quality project preparation, after which construction begins.
Step 4: Construction
During construction, the support of everyone initially involved in the project is crucial. During construction, Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty can also offer you the possibility of “pre-sale”, that is, sell your property while still under construction. The fact that we were involved in the project from the beginning allows us to guarantee the quality of planning and execution to the client, in cooperation with the investor.
Step 5: Sale
If you decide to sell, the best moment is immediately after the completion of construction, when the property is finalized and equipped, because the luxury that our prestigious clients prefer can only be experienced in its full glory when all the requirements of the initial vision have been met.
The end of the construction cycle brings satisfaction to everyone involved in the process because the investor’s expectations have been fulfilled, the buyer’s dream has come true, and we are overjoyed because we’ve fully justified the demands of our clients.
Due to the growing interest of citizens of third countries for real estate on our coast and the increased number of inquiries about the possibilities of acquiring property and residence in Croatia, we decided to contact the lawyer, Mr. Dino Pivac, who prepared a short guide for citizens of third countries with basic instructions which we present below.
Third-Country Nationals – in the sense of the relevant regulations of the Republic of Croatia – are persons who are not citizens of member states of the European Economic Area (the European Union, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Iceland) or the Swiss Confederation, and who have the citizenship of a third country or are stateless.
Citizens of third countries cannot acquire ownership of agricultural and forest land in the Republic of Croatia, but they can buy real estate within the boundaries of the construction area – apartments, houses, etc. or undeveloped construction land – and this under the assumption of reciprocity between the Republic of Croatia and the country in question, and the obtained consent of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia.
Regarding the presumption of reciprocity, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia publishes on its official website a list of countries with which there is reciprocity when acquiring property rights: https://mpu.gov.hr/informacije-o-uzajamnosti-u-scecanju-prava-vlasnistva-nekretnina-izmedju-republike-hrvatske-i-drzava-izvan-europske-unije-republike-island-knezevine-lichtenstein- kingdoms-of-norway-and-the-swiss-confederation/6186
Villa Aura – island of Brač
Citizens of third countries can stay in Croatia:
- on a short-term (also called tourist) stay – up to 90 days in any period of 180 days, with the fact that 90 days of stay can be used once or multiple times;
- on temporary residence – up to one year;
- on permanent residence – unlimited.
The time spent in other member states of the European Economic Area is not included in the short-term stay. During a short-term stay, a citizen of a third country must have registered accommodation. The accommodation must be reported by the legal or natural person who provided accommodation to the citizen of a third country within one day of the arrival of the third country citizen for accommodation via the eVisitor website or by reporting to the competent police department/station. If the accommodation provider cannot register, the citizen of a third country has an obligation to register within two days of entering the Republic of Croatia or changing accommodation.
In order for a citizen of a third country to be granted temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia, it is necessary for him to submit an application on a prescribed form available online. Where the application must be submitted depends on whether a visa is required to enter the Republic of Croatia or not, which depends on each individual country and can be seen at: https://mvep.gov.hr/informacije-za-gradjane-244593/consular-information-22730/visas-22733/review-visasystem/22853
Villa Adriatic Oasis – island of Hvar
For example, citizens of the visa country (e.g., Russia) submit requests in diplomatic and consular missions. The police department or station, based on the place of intended stay/residence, decides on the request, informs the consular representation where the request was submitted, and they issue a visa for entry into the Republic of Croatia. On the other hand, citizens of a country (e.g. Ukraine) where a visa is not required can submit a request at the police department or station at their place of residence.
Among other things, temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia can be granted to a citizen of a third country based on the fact of ownership of real estate in the Republic of Croatia.
The following shall be attached to the request for a temporary residence permit:
- color photo of size 3×3.5 cm;
- a copy of a valid foreign passport or other travel document (the validity period of the foreign travel document must be three months longer than the period of validity of the temporary residence);
- proof of insured funds for maintenance – funds needed for maintenance on a monthly basis in the amount of at least 50% of the average monthly net salary paid in the last year in Croatia (currently HRK 3,560.00 x 12 months), and the proof can be a bank certificate, pension extract, employment contract, etc.;
- proof of health insurance – private or travel health insurance, employment contract, etc.;
- proof that he has not been legally convicted of criminal offenses from his home country or the country where he resided for more than a year immediately before arriving in the Republic of Croatia;
- proof that justifies the purpose of a residence in the Republic of Croatia – in this particular case, a title deed for real estate in the Republic of Croatia that proves ownership of the same.
The documents attached to the request must be in the original or in a certified copy, and foreign documents in a certified translation in Croatian (exceptionally in English) and certified in accordance with special regulations, which again depends on which country it is, because the documents are for use in the Republic of Croatia for some countries a notarization-apostille is required (eg Ukraine), while for some countries no special certification is required (eg Russia). The list of countries can be seen at: https://mpu.gov.hr/nadovjera-legalizacija-isprava/25282
Most importantly, the request for re-approval of temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia based on the fact of ownership of real estate in the Republic of Croatia can be submitted again after the expiration of six months from the expiration of the previously approved temporary residence.
We hope that this blog has dispelled at least some of the doubts that you, as citizens of third countries, had when inquiring about buying real estate in Croatia or changing your residence. For all additional information and advice, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to connect you with experienced experts in this field.
Since joining the EU, Croatia has been attracting increasing attention from international clients looking for investment opportunities in one of the most emerging regions in the Mediterranean.
Croatia is widely known for its natural beauties, rich cultural and historical heritage, and mild Mediterranean climate, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities almost all year round.
The most attractive destinations in Croatia offer a wide array of prestigious modern properties in unique locations by the sea and traditional rustic style villas that represent a perfect fusion of authentic stone exterior and attractive interior that combines modern amenities with autochthonous details that won’t leave you indifferent.
Record numbers of visitors and tourist overnights and a stable economic environment of our country are just some of the reasons that provide investors with security and optimism in planning new investments.
Josip Krnić Photography
Who can buy real estate in Croatia?
- EU citizens
Natural and legal persons from EU member states are entitled to ownership rights of real estate in the Republic of Croatia under the same conditions as Croatian citizens.
- Non-EU citizens
Foreign nationals from outside the EU can buy real estate according to the reciprocity principle. When buying a real estate it is necessary to seek approval from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia. Foreign nationals without mutual consent/reciprocity can buy real estate on behalf of a company. The company needs to be founded with a registered seat in the Republic of Croatia. In that case, the real estate is purchased by a Croatian company in foreign ownership.
If you decided to buy luxury real estate in Croatia or indulge in an investment and development project you should know there are some additional costs.
The most of property purchasing expenses are paid by the buyer:
- Notary and registration fees: 50 – 150 €
- Official translator’s costs approx.: 200 – 300 € including Contract translation
- Agency fee: normally 3% of contract value + VAT
- Advocate’s fee: 0,5 – 1,25% of contract value + VAT
- Property transfer tax: 3% of tax office property estimate
If you want to purchase luxury real estate in Croatia or any other property from a legal entity, please pay attention to whether VAT is already included in the price. The standard VAT rate in Croatia is 25%. We also recommend that you hire an established real estate agency with extensive experience in the real estate market and local expertise, as well as internal legal support.
Josip Krnić Photography
Personal Identification Number – OIB
Before the conclusion of the legal matter it is necessary to obtain a personal identification number issued by the Tax Administration:
- Natural persons have to submit passport copy certified by a public notary, home address, and basic information on both parents.
- Legal persons have to submit the extract from the court register translated into the Croatian language, not older than 30 days.
Without the personal identification number, it is not possible to sign any contract or to establish a company.
Real Estate Taxation
- Real Property transfer tax is calculated and paid on acquisition of property in the Republic of Croatia when no VAT is to be paid on such acquisition. The real property transfer tax base is the market value of the real estate at the moment of acquisition. and is calculated at the rate of 3%. Real property transfer tax taxpayer is the acquirer of the real estate – the buyer.
- Value-added tax (VAT) is calculated and paid by the taxpayers who are registered in the VAT payers registry when they deliver, give or in any other way transfer a construction land and a building or parts of the buildings (as well as the land on which they are built) if those buildings and their parts have been inhabited or used for less than 2 years. The VAT for delivering real estate is to be paid at a rate of 25%.
- Income tax on assets based on property alienation is calculated and paid:
a) if the natural person is alienating the real estate within 2 years from the day of its purchase, under the condition that he/she hasn’t used it for residential purposes.
b) if the natural person sells, exchanges, or does any other taxable ownership transfer on more than 3 properties that are the same type in the period of 5 years since the day of their purchase.
We hope that this blog hides the answers to some of the questions you should have resolved before deciding on buying or selling real estate in Croatia.
For all additional information and advice, our team of experienced real estate agents and legal experts will be happy to provide support with the highest degree of discretion and professionalism.
The luxury real estate market is experiencing a real boom in Croatia as one of the emerging sectors during the ongoing global pandemics. Even after we win the fight against Covid, the real estate market will probably not look the same. For over a year now, circumstances have been unfavorable for mass tourism. Consequently, the demand for carefully selected dream villas has increased and set new travel trends and investment opportunities.
Josip Krnić Photography
High-end photos of villas and surroundings – a necessity or a luxury?
Looking at the current situation from a photographic and marketing point of view, nowadays, more than ever before, the overall quality presentation of luxury real estate on websites and social media comes to the fore. When people generally travel far less, more and more buyers and travelers want to find out everything they need to know about the property in one place – whether they are looking to purchase or rent. Therefore, investing in high-end premium photography today is becoming a necessity, not a luxury, as many property owners are prone to think.
Photographs of the real estate are often the first and fundamental way for the client to get acquainted with your offer. Research has shown that clients spend more than 60% of their time reviewing photos of the property they consider interesting and only subsequently studying the accompanying content.
Josip Krnić Photography
Furthermore, the fact that objects must be accompanied by equally high-quality landscape photographs of cities, sights, and natural beauties of the region where the property is located is often understated. When purchasing photographic licenses for the use of landscape photographs, it is important to request that potential copyright elements be removed from the photograph.
Josip Krnić Photography
Aerial, i.e., drone photography, is a great way to show your object and landscape from a different and unusual perspective. In this comprehensive way, you can be sure that your property will be presented to the clients in a modern way which represents a standard in the world of luxury real estate.
Josip Krnić Photography
Professional real estate photos – advantages and current trends
One cannot stress enough the importance of original and exclusive photographs whereby the techniques of photo post-processing and basic marketing knowledge come to the fore and easily set you apart from the competition.
Some of the important benefits of high-end photography, to name just a few, include the following: leaving an impression of professionalism and savoir-faire on prospective clients and depicting the property in a luxurious light, luxury real-estate agencies can market your property more successfully and reach out to clients more efficiently, you are favored by algorithms of social networks and web browsers, boosting your visibility and allowing you to sell the property significantly faster and within higher price range.
Josip Krnić Photography
Photographing real estate only in classic photographic landscape formats is a thing of the past, and it should be adapted to the requirements of modern platforms like Instagram that favor the vertical format of photography.
You cannot afford yourself the luxury of having subpar quality photos of your luxury real estate, least of all in today’s world, which is changing at an incredible pace towards increasing digitalization.
Josip Krnić Photography
We are only a few weeks away from the official beginning of summer, and sunny spring days have been inviting us for quite some time to enjoy the outdoors and spend more time in nature. And while we are slowly leaving the pandemic behind and returning to old habits and life pace, it seems that long quarantine days have motivated us to return to living in harmony with nature and devote more time and attention to our terraces, balconies, and backyards.
It comes as no surprise that outdoor patios have never been more luxurious. New trends and innovations in the decoration of outdoor spaces encourage villa owners to push the boundaries of luxury and comfort. The interiors and exteriors harmoniously complement and intertwine, and the result is an almost idyllic blend of interior and exterior spaces, as befits the Mediterranean way of life that takes place outdoors for most of the year.
Pool area design trends
Lounge area surrounded by greenery
Since all life has turned within four walls, people most often find relaxation zones in nature today, to move away from everyday stress and the monotony of work within the living space. Just facing nature, there is a growing trend of creating lounge zones in the exterior of real estate that is often surrounded by lots of greenery to fulfill the desire to go to nature and rest in it within the living space.
Villa Hedonist Dream
What is widely sought in the field of the landscaping of a such zone is multi-purpose outdoor furniture that will have different ways of use with minimal changes. Taking into account the need for physical distance when gathering, with such furniture in the blink of an eye, the sofa is transformed into several seats that will allow distance. Drinking compartments or simple snacks can also be set up inside the tables and then served to guests. When it comes to designer outdoor furniture, standard traditional materials such as wood and fabrics in soft tones in contrasting wood colors still prevail. Opposite the wood, we come across anthracite rattan with pillows of the same or contrasting color. Indispensable parts of outdoor furniture are corner sets, dining sets, deck chairs, and auxiliary furniture such as relaxation bags, swings, and side tables.
Firepit as a gathering place
Fire has always been a gathering place, and as such, is an indispensable part of the lounge zone of modern villas today. The gathering around the fire comes in several forms, all depending on the wishes of the user. Often part of the lounge zone is an outdoor firepit which during the night becomes a favorite gathering place for family and friends. Around the fire pit usually is located a piece of circular outdoor furniture, with the designer’s signature, which with its decor fits into the very motif of the fire. The second most common form of gathering around the fire is certainly the one around the outdoor fireplace, which will also serve as a place for preparing meals, but also as a place for socializing and talking. Many villas today like to connect incompatibly, so next to, or inside the pool itself, they design a part that will contain a fireplace that will illuminate the pool and its swimmers, especially at night.
Villa Authentic Retreat
Modern swimming pools with sun deck
Today, the relaxation zone extends to the area of the pool itself, where the deckchairs are no longer in their immediate vicinity, but they occupy a position inside the pool itself. This innovation is characterized by specially made lounge ledges that are located in the shallower part of the pool and are partially immersed in water, which allows you to lie down comfortably with constant refreshment by the pool water. An umbrella can be added to these sunbeds so that lying down is carefree even in the early hours.
In addition to the pool and sun loungers, you can often find a hot tub as a luxury accessory that equates the relaxation zone with that of the best spa. With the classic whirlpool tubs that can accommodate 2 to 5 people, and are located as a separate unit, today we encounter a growing trend of implementation of whirlpool units within the pools so that they are separated by a safety barrier. This innovative technology allows you to switch from a relaxing position in a hot tub to a slightly more active one in the blink of an eye by swimming from one end of the pool to the other.
Innovative luxury accessories – outdoor showers
An indispensable part of every pool area is its outdoor shower, which ensures quick refreshment during hot summer days. Today, there is a unique outdoor shower from the Infinity Luxury company on the market, which with its appearance, represents a luxury sculpture enriched with shower and lighting functions. This innovative combination of natural materials, water, and LED lighting can completely change the design of the exterior of the property and raise it to a completely different level. It is adorned with a modern inverted L design with simple lines that fit into any exterior completely naturally. Showers are a fusion of tradition and innovative technology because they are made of natural materials, while at the same time they contain special technologies for saving water, filtration, and lighting of the shower itself.
Black Marbella Shower (Photo credits: Dominik Benčan)
Infinity Luxury showers come in 3 models: Marbella, Infinity, and Safari. The Marbella model is made of natural stone, the Infinity is adorned with ceramics from the renowned Italian brand Marazzi, while the Safari is created from an environmentally friendly material, HPL. The outdoor shower can be created according to your wishes and the style of the exterior of the property. If you have a traditional-style property made of stone, the Marbella shower is the ideal choice for you. The type of stone is chosen by the client, often the type that corresponds to the one on the front of the property or from the exterior area. If ceramics dominates the property, the Infinity model and a large selection of Marazzi decor will fit best as part of the exterior. The Safari model will fit perfectly with properties of modern design that do not run away from atypical decors and materials, and at the same time, are focused on sustainability.
Marbella Shower (Villa Crystalline)
Infinity Luxury showers cannot be compared to anything on the market, so they are considered unique in the world, and their approach in making is based on the client’s choice of the model or material, followed by the selection of the desired decor or type of stone, and the additional possibility of ambient lighting of the shower itself. The personalization of this unique sculpture ends with the possibility of engraving the logo or name of the property itself on the front of the shower.
By choosing this eco-friendly shower, the preservation of nature and water is affected regarding the shower’s special ECO-tech shower rose that saves water up to 50%, while the NATURRA water filtration system improves water quality and neutralizes the negative effects of chlorine and its compounds.
When designing the exterior itself, it is possible to plan this shower to ideally fit into the design of the property and its exterior.
Marbella Shower ( Photo credits: Villa Lucija)
We are happy that architects and investors have started to pay particular attention to outdoor spaces. In the Mediterranean, which enjoys a mild climate all year round, the outdoors is a kind of a living rooms extension, so the tendency is to connect the interior and exterior in one harmonious area adopting innovative methods; therefore, the border between the two becomes almost imperceptible since all the beauty and fullness of life in the Mediterranean comes to the fore precisely by staying outdoors in a picturesque environment of magnificent nature and crystal clear sea.
We hope that we have inspired you with the latest trends and innovations in landscaping that enhance the outdoor experience and allow you to enjoy the outdoors even more. Spending more time outdoors has a beneficial effect on health and enriches our everyday life. We are convinced that, with luxury and innovative accessories, you will succeed in creating an idyllic oasis that you will be proud of and enjoy in the company of family and friends.
The year behind us was marked by a global pandemic of unprecedented proportions and consequently with an almost complete halt in all economic activities that ceased abruptly due to restrictive measures, which led to the total collapse of nearly all sectors.
And it is precisely in 2020, an unprecedented year in many ways, that the real estate market experts faced significant challenges. The key to success was in their rapid response and adapting to market conditions and trends that were changing at a relentless pace.
Despite negative statistics and economic indicators that were by no means promising, Sotheby’s International Realty is very proud to announce that our brokers and sales representatives have achieved a record sales result of $150 billion at the global level, marking a continued increase in sales growth year over year.
“Thanks to innovations we pioneered nearly a decade ago, our affiliated companies and agents made the impossible possible. Their adaptability to serve clients safely further extended our position as a leader in luxury real estate,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty.
Modern Technologies and Trends in Property Viewings
As the luxury real estate sector leader, Sotheby’s International Realty guarantees global marketing reach and high advertising standards for both sellers and end buyers looking for their new home or dream vacation villa and constantly offers innovative tools for its loyal customers. At the peak of the pandemic, clients were unable to travel and view real estate in person, and agents were faced with the daunting task of finding new solutions that could replace traditional ways of real estate viewings.
Facing unenviable circumstances, sales representatives invested much energy to fully exploit all available brand tools to present real estate to prospective buyers in the best possible way through virtual platforms. New technologies and innovative marketing solutions that Sotheby’s International Realty is continuously improving have certainly contributed to these record results. The numbers are supported by more than 43 million views on the brand’s official YouTube channel and more than 6,000 properties on the global website that have video materials or provide the possibility of a virtual tour.
Global Trends in the Local Market
As the leading luxury real estate agency in Croatia and a representative of the brand synonymous with a professional approach and commitment to each client, our team of professionals is constantly working to improve their skills and replicate global trends in the Croatian market. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that clients remained loyal to our brand even in extraordinary circumstances, keeping their expectations high as always. Our real estate experts readily accepted the challenge and provided unconditional support to clients by organizing their arrival in Croatia despite restrictive measures and carrying out virtual tours of properties.
Despite the unfavorable global situation and strict measures that were eagerly implemented in almost all countries, our Croatian office followed the global trend of Sotheby’s International Realty and achieved a record sales result. Comparing global trends with the local market situation, we can conclude that clients worldwide increasingly value privacy and isolation and prefer secluded real estate surrounded by large plots, which allows them to enjoy a peaceful stay far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Regardless of skeptical forecasts, the corona crisis leads us again to the conclusion that foreign investors gladly invest in exclusive real estate in unique locations. Given the limited number of properties in premium locations, our offer of such properties very often does not satisfy the clients’ demands. One can easily deduce that this type of real estate arguably does not undergo large oscillations in the asking price, regardless of the current market challenges.
Global Expansion and Strategic Brand Growth
In 2020 Sotheby’s International Realty continues its constant growth in the global market by opening more than 50 new offices worldwide, further enhancing the brand’s global network currently present in more than 75 countries in nearly 1,000 offices with approximately 24,000 sales associates. In addition to opening new offices in existing markets, the brand has expanded to key international markets, establishing offices in seven new territories.
“I am very proud of our brand and the whole team in Croatia. It is a great success that we followed the world trends in the local market and achieved a record sales result in these difficult times”, concluded Marko Pažanin, managing director of Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty and a global partner.
After the measures are relaxed and the borders are opened, we are again able to organize a tour of the real estate for our clients, of course respecting the minimum security measures. In the past period, not only have we all been eagerly waiting for it to pass, but international clients have also been eager to come to Croatia and continue their search for their dream real estate.
The foundation of our business is nurturing customer relationships and investing in those processes. We have built their trust over the years, always keeping in mind a relationship that will one day, to our mutual satisfaction, be much more than just business. All this will become even more pronounced in the coming period.
A high level of professionalism, correctness, trust, and work ethic will be crucial factors in sales. Why? Primarily due to the offline offer.
Customer relationships are the key
Agents are the ones who will be the critical factor. Buyers ’trust in their agent is endless, as is the seller’s. Agents have all the information in addition to the privileged ones, such as offline real estate offer, real estate for sale on preferential terms – which is not available to the general public … If the owner wants to sell the real estate under confidential conditions, which only he and the agent know, trust is an extremely important factor.
Likewise, the buyer is the one who is willing to wait and patiently search for the property. He believes that the agent he has chosen will share with him information about the property from the offline offer, which for him is an exceptional business investment or an opportunity to buy a property ideal for enjoying and relaxing in a dream location.
Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty has access to unique international clients, we have proven to be a highly professional agency that can be relied on with full confidence, we have successfully cooperated with world-renowned athletes, businessmen, but also ordinary people who absolutely do not want their relatives, friends, and neighbors know they have sold a property that has been kept for generations.
All of the above are the values that guide us in business and the benefits we have invested in for many years. We continue to develop and grow and we want to let all current and future clients know that we are there for them and that they can rely on us with full confidence. Customer relationships are and shall remain a priority to us!