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How to Buy Real Estate in Tbilisi, Georgia

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Georgia is one of the Top Ten easiest countries in the world for buying real estate.  There are no restrictions on buyers of any nationality purchasing real estate in Georgia.

Here’s all that you need to do in order to purchase your ideal property in the city:

By far the best way to start the purchasing process is to come to Tbilisi where we will discuss your requirements in detail and then take you to see the best properties that meet your buying criteria.  Due to the large amounts of clients who we meet each week, especially during our high season in the summer, we only work by appointment.  Sometimes we are unable to take any more clients if they require an appointment at short notice, so it is always best to book an appointment once your plans for visiting Tbilisi are finalized.   If you tell us where we are staying, we will come and meet you at your hotel or apartment and take you to see the different options.

Monday through Friday are standard working days in Georgia.  Not all developers work on Saturdays and so it is not the best day for viewing properties as we will not be able to get inside all of them.  No one works on Sundays in Georgia and so it is not possible to see any properties on that day.

If it is really not possible to come to Tbilisi to see the options, it is still possible to purchase without visiting.  Some developers are able to send contracts by email, while others would require a purchaser to give a Power of Attorney to a local lawyer to handle the purchase on your behalf.

Assuming that you are visiting Tbilisi to make your purchase, after listening carefully to your requirements, we will  select the best four or five properties that best match your requirements and take you to see those options.  As Tbilisi is quite a small city, it usually takes just half a day to see all of the best options.

For decisive buyers, it is possible to complete a purchase of real estate within two working days if they are able to make a decision overnight.  Once you have chosen your favourite option, we will take you back to visit the developer and they will prepare the purchase agreement within an hour or two.  The only document necessary to create the contract is a copy of your passport.  A few developers require a small, non-refundable reservation fee (usually around $1,000) before they will create the contract, but the majority will forego the reservation fee.

Upon signing the contract, the developer will usually give you a period of up to two weeks to make the contract payment, so that you can make the payment by bank transfer direct to the developer’s account once you return to your home country.  If you are sending funds from outside the country, then the contract can be made in USD.  If you are sending funds to the developer from an account in Georgia, however, then the contract would need to be made in Georgian Lari.  As the Georgian Lari is sometimes a little volatile compared to the USD, it is advisable to send the funds from outside the country to avoid any currency risks.

Unless you pay in full for your apartment after signing the contract, you will need to pay the interim payments on a monthly basis.  In order to avoid paying bank fees every time that you send a payment, it is perfectly fine to send funds every three or six month providing that all payments are made in advance of the due dates.

Once you have fully paid for your apartment, then you and the developer’s lawyer will go to the Ministry of Justice where they will sign over the rights to you and you will be entered as the new owner of the property in the Land Registry.  This costs just $20 if you can wait four days or $80 if you would like it made the same day.  Following reforms in 2005, Georgia is now one of the most transparent countries in the world for property ownership.  All real estate records are online for anyone to check.

There is no maximum time period for registering property after it has been paid for, so there is no need to rush over to Tbilisi as soon as you have made your final payment.  It’s perfectly fine to register the property in your name several months, or even years, after the property has been paid for.  However, if you would prefer the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the property is registered to you as soon as full payment has been made, then it is possible to give Power of Attorney to a lawyer to register the apartment in your name.

Apart from the $20-80 fee for registering the property in your name, there are no government taxes to pay in Tbilisi.  If you rent out your property, then you would need to pay a tax of 5%.  If you were to sell your property within two years of purchase, then you would need to pay 20% Capital Gains Tax on the profit.

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About The Author
Nick Pendrell

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, Nick Pendrell is an expert in the sale of international residential real estate. Over the past decade, he has sold property in Egypt, Thailand and Georgia and is the author of two books on purchasing property abroad.

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