Here you will find answers to our clients’ most frequently asked questions:
Can Foreigners Own Property in Georgia?
Yes! Unlike many countries around the world, foreigners buying property in Georgia receive the same benefits as native Georgian buyers. All real estate sales in Georgia are made on a Freehold basis and you can buy in your own name. There’s no need to set up a Georgian company or some other complicated method of owning property in the country.
Can Foreigners Obtain Mortgages in Georgia?
Unfortunately not, in most cases. Chances are that you wouldn’t want one anyway as interest rates here are very high compared to most countries – currently in the region of 8-9% per annum. If you don’t have all your financing in place, the best option is usually to invest in a project that is two or three years from completion so that you can pay 30% on contract and the remainder in installments during the construction period.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Georgia?
Probably not. Georgia has one of the most liberal visa regimes in the world, which is one of the reasons why the tourism business here is growing so rapidly. If you are a citizen of one of the EU, GCC or former CIS countries, plus North America or Australasia, then you just need to arrive in Tbilisi and you will receive a stamp in your passport at Immigration allowing you to stay in the country for up to a year.
What Does ‘White Frame’ Mean?
Most apartments in Georgia are sold on a ‘White Frame’ basis. This is basically an empty shell with bare concrete floors, ceilings and exterior walls, but little else. Georgians usually prefer to buy apartments in such a condition so that they can design the interiors to match their individual requirements. To bring an apartment up to ‘Fully Finished’ – with proper tiled floors, rendered and painted walls, ceilings, plumbing and electric throughout, a full bathroom, etc., budget a minimum of $150 per m2.
What Closing Costs Are There?
Practically none. There is no Stamp Duty or equivalent in Georgia, just a small fee payable at the Public Services Hall in order to register the property in your own name. This can be as low as ₾50/$20 if you can wait four days, up to a maximum of ₾200/$80 if you require a same-day service. The only documents needed are a copy of your passport plus the purchase contract for the property.
Can Foreigners Open Bank Accounts in Georgia?
Yes, and the process is very simple. The two largest banks in Georgia are Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank. Both banks are listed on the London Stock Exchange, are totally secure and have the largest network of branches and ATMs throughout Tbilisi and Georgia. To open a bank account, you just need a copy of your passport and a small fee to purchase a Visa or Mastercard debit card. There are no minimum balance requirements and monthly fees are low. Within 24 hours, you can return to the branch to collect your card, which can be used internationally. Both banks also offer mobile and internet banking services so that you can manage your money from anywhere in the world. Funds can be kept in GEL, USD and EUR.