Buying a house in Istria

Thinking of buying a property abroad? Why not try Istria? With Croatia due to join the EU in July 2013, after three dead years life is beginning to flow back into the Istrian property market.

LosariIn many ways, buying a house in Istria is all too easy. There are loads of attractive properties at fantastic prices currently available, and plenty of people willing to help sell them to you. However, be warned: there are also numerous pitfalls and mistakes awaiting the unwary buyer. But don’t be put off – if you do your research and keep your fits about you, then now is a great time to buy. Prices are rock bottom and there’s a good selection of new-builds, restored properties, renovation projects and land around, far more than there used to be.

 We currently own three properties in Istria and have been property hunting here off and on for the past seven years. In fact, we’re on the hunt for a fourth house at the moment. Over the next few weeks I’ll take you through the process and highlight the potential pitfalls with illustrations from real-life experience, not just ours but those of friends and local contacts. Some will be relevant wherever you buy abroad and some are uniquely Croatian.


The issues

What follows is essentially a check-list. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be filling in the details.

  1. Is this the right thing for you?
  2. Homework – there’s a lot of work you can do at home before you get here
    1. Research – make the most of the internet
    2. Money – be realistic about what you can afford and how you will fund it
  3. Property types – there are a lot of different types of property out there; which is the right one for you?
    1. Sea-side apartments, country stone houses. Modern developments and traditional old properties?
    2. From fully furnished to build your own?
    3. Off-plan developments and restoration projects
  4. Location – Istria maybe small, but there are at least four different regions, each with its own pros and cons.
  5. Property professionals
    1. Estate agents
    2. Solicitors
  6. The paperwork
    1. ‘Vlasnicki list’
    2. Kadastral plan
    3. Building permit
  7. Important issues
    1. Ownership
    2. Access
    3. Boundaries
    4. Work to be finished
  8. Outside
    1. Swimming pools
    2. Gardens
    3. Other free-standing structures
  9. Building permits and regulations
  10. The purchase procedure – who pays what and who’s involved
  11. Things to think about
    1. Property maintenance
    2. Earning money from your house – rental
  12. Bring your brain – you are not on holiday


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