Mistakes Foreigners Make When Buying Real Estate in Colombia - Medellin Guru
Buying a home in Colombia as a foreigner can be challenging. There are several common mistakes that foreigners make when buying real estate in Colombia.

Top 17 Mistakes Foreigners Make When Buying Real Estate in Colombia

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9 thoughts on “Top 17 Mistakes Foreigners Make When Buying Real Estate in Colombia”

  1. Joe C. Salazar June 12, 2021

    I can’t afford thousands of dollars in a US. embassy attorney. Where could I find a reasonably priced attorney for Real Estate investments in Medellin, Colombia. I plan to buy and rent in Medellin, following areas near Poblado including Envigado and possbily Laureles or Sabaneta.

  2. Just walked around north part of Chapinero south of Calle 72. Place looks horrible. Most buildings appeared vacant with the majority having for sale or rent signs. Also, Venezuelans begging in Los Rosales… Overall the north end of Bogotá looks very bad. Bosa in the south end seems to have more life, more restaurants opened and more construction than the north. Far more traffic in the south end than last year too.

    • Lots of bargains to be had if one has the patients to wait out the economic upheavel brought about by covid 19.

  3. I recommend living in your chosen Colombian city, area where you want to purchase property for at least a year before even thinking of buying. Learn the law of the land. Personally, I don’t think purchasing property for an investment is a great idea in Colombia unless you can get it for a great price. We have two 3 bedroom apartments in Cartagena that we rent out that aren’t performing well and we always have problems with tenets not paying rent etc… Or even finding tenets in the first place. Don’t think of investing in estrata 6 as there isn’t much money in Colombia and it can take a long long time to sell or rent an estrata 6 property with exception of Bogota.

  4. Note that Ron, above, urges buyers to thoroughly agree upon legal fees with their attorney. A newcomer waved off my recommendations about this point by saying that his English speaking attorney is “handling all that” but he neglected to discuss in advance or to monitor the legal fees during the process. This resulted in a great deal of unpleasantness.

    • Thanks Geoffrey and Ron’s comment before. I added to the article to make sure to negotiate legal fees in advance.

    • As much as I dislike attorneys and distrust the vast majority on this planet. I feel one is required to truly avoid complications here in Colombia. I must say that finding an honest and competent one here is a challange and a half. Many will pawn you off to one of their junior partners. I had that happen to me and it was an unpleasant experience. The senior partner would have required me to pay triple what I did. I must say that it is important not to try to circumvent the law here. Do your due dilligence and educate yourself, that way you will know of your legal team is worth its salt. I can recommend my attorney to anyone who is interested. Humble and honest and very competent pretty fluent in English. Ask Jeff to contact me for his name. There can always be unforseen additional expenses always plan on that possibility here in Colombia. Not every deal here is a cake walk and we all want to avoid becoming victims of fraud which is not uncommon here.

  5. #5 IS absolutely essential. Transferring funds to banks like bancolombia that will require a formulario form be filled out declaring the funds are to be exclusively used to purchase real eststei is essential in order to avoid a big hassle later with the government. I was audited 3 years after buying my home and was able to provide a copy of the deed and current status of the property. They want to make sure there are no shananingans / potential money laundering activity. Banco de la republica can provide a list of our official large amount transfers which can also be used to obtain a resident visa as long as the investment requirement threshold is met. The old days of cash deals and under the table dealing are over. I used my bi-lingual us embassy recommended attorney to do my transaction. Many expats bypass an attorney and go to a notaria directly. This is doable but requires a good command of Spanish and endless hours of due diligence to get the deal done properly. I strongly recommend a good bilingual attorney. A word of caution. Agree on the set price for attorney fees up front. My first attorney billed me for every minute of his time and billled me by the hours and minutes. One million – 1.5 mllion excluding notary fees, taxes etc would be fair depending on the complexity of the deal. Fools rush into deals here. And most deals are negotiable. Good luck and do your due diligence and avoid cutting corners. You will understand later. P.S. ensure the property is constructed to code. Some people have lost a lot of money buying properties built below legal standards and were forced to vacate their homes. A good architect or licensed construction engineer may be a very smart person to consult with especially buying new or recentlly.built condos here. This is not the USA where construction projects are closely inspected for compliance. Good luck. Jeffs article is very accurate and.buyers should heed the advice people like him are providing.

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