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  • #268707

    [QUOTE=vandilay]rural would be an understatement. We’re still waiting to hear what the percentage is, some of the neighbours told us it’s 90%. This is a non-issue for us and actually one of the reasons we love the property…. The surrounding land is all environmentally protected land[/QUOTE]
    From your description of the property, and the surrounding land, it sounds like the entire area is APP (√ɬ°rea de preserva√ɬßão permanente). If you intend to do nothing more than occupy the presently existing house, you ‘might’ be okay. However, perhaps you should perform some more due diligence and research as to what the local and state government intentions are for the area, before signing on the dotted line. In Floripa, on the island, the prefeitura is planning soon to demolish houses that are ‘irregular’, many of them on land designated as APP.
    In the serra of SC there’s a proposed national park, Campo dos Padres, and presently, many locals are trying to sell their land to unsuspecting gringos, land which lies well within the boundaries of the proposed park. The land is stunning. The topography, vistas, lush vegetation, and natural water sources that sieve up from the Guarani Aquifer, make such a purchase hard to resist. Should the park be approved and funded by Brasilia, Dilma won’t just take the land, but the landowner would be compensated. However, the buyout of landowners by the governo will be far below the price per hectare of what some of the present landowners are trying to sell for.
    Not saying that’s your situation, but I understand how intoxicating it might be to think you can own a piece of such natural beauty as you described, and let that interfere with logic and proper investigation as to the long term possibilities other official entities might have for the area.
    Again, boa sorte!

  • #268687


    From my understanding, our agent is making sure the seller signs the “contrato de INTEN√ɂİ√É∆íO de compra” and also the “procura√ɬßão da certidão da Florestal”. The lawyer researched with “Minist√ɬ©rio P√ɬ∫blico” but I’m not sure if that looks into the seller personally or just the legal status of the land. I should also mention that there is no IPTU as there is no “Usucapião”, only “posse”.[/QUOTE]
    Hmmmm, posse eh? That’s an entire other can of worms! Posse has many shades of gray. Personally, I stay away from posse, because of potential problems down the road. I know of people who have had success, but know far more who’ve been screwed. Not sure what to tell ya….
    Your mention of a “Certidão da Florestal” indicates the property is classified as rural. There is an obligation now called Reserva Legal, where 20% of the property has to be designated ‘untouchable’. Has anyone informed you about this?!?
  • #268678

    [QUOTE=GreatBallsoFire]Wait. Trade a first world citizenship so you can speculate on land in a third world country? Never. So you can vote? Rather not. Need a visa to visit family in the States? Be forced to stay as the civil war unfolds? No thanks. Perm residency gives you a valuable get out of jail card for you and family. Priceless.[/QUOTE]
    Did I say anything about relinquishing one’s original citizenship? Ummm, and I think civil war will break out on Tio Sam’s Fazenda waaaay before such civil unrest occurs here. DUAL-citizenship gives you much more of a “get out of jail free card” (or in Snowden’s case, get out of Russia card), than mere permanent residency.
    TWO passports is what I call priceless! Wink
    Finrudd: Muitissimo obrigado for your security camera post. Will read it thoroughly later tonight.
    Gringo.Floripa2014-07-31 13:14:42

  • #268660

    [QUOTE=The Abbot][QUOTE=Zummbot]To the homesteaders/sitio owners/gringoes living in rural areas: Are you concerned for safety out there at all? My Brazilian wife seems uncomfortable with the idea of living outside of a condominio. Eventually I’d love to buy a couple hectares and build a small house. Any thoughts on that?[/QUOTE

    I think that comes 100% down to “where”. In the small villa where my sogro grew up, I could not feel safer and would do this myself.
    There are spots in, say, Mato Grosso, where it’s the freaking wild west and I don’t think this would be a good idea at all. I think they are pretty uncivilized in a lot of the North and North East as well.

    I think a common mistake many gringos make is assuming Brasil is a ‘one size fits all’ country. Every region is different, some to greater degrees than others. One important distinction, which I’ve commented on numerous times before on here, is the disparity of history between the south of Brasil, and the NE. The settling of southern Brasil (PR, SC, RS) was quite similar to the settling of the midwest of the US. Individual families, mostly of German and Italian origin (at least in SC), homesteaded, and set up their own small farms. No one had a large chunk of the pie, but they each had their own particular sliver.
    Whereas, the history of the NE of Brasil is similar to the SE of the US, where you had land barons with vast fazendas/plantations, and then most of the region’s inhabitants worked as sharecroppers (though prior to be being sharecroppers, many were once slaves on the same fazenda). So you had a handful of people who controlled huge chunks of the entire pie. This created a ‘have and have not’ mentality, which still exists today in the NE of Brasil. I think SP falls somewhere in between those two contrasts.
    Because of the aforementioned, IMHO, a sitio in the NE would be a much riskier venture than in the south, prone to not only theft, but also physical assault. You would be a ‘Have’, and constantly targeted by the ‘Have-Nots’. In the south, the rural regions are much safer (though certainly not crime free), because there is very little of this have/have-not attitude. The closest town to my sitio is approx. 40 mins drive (all unpaved roads, so takes longer to travel on than asphalt). The town has less than 10,000 inhabitants. The only violent crime I’ve heard about is some guy who shot his girlfriend, and the guy who was screwing her (while they were in the act). So a crime of passion, not theft or assault.
    Nonetheless, there are two sets of rules that apply, even here. I have become good friends with a couple who own a pousada, the first place I stayed when scoping out the region. They are native born Brasilians, both from Florianopolis, which is less than half a day’s drive away. Yet even though they’ve lived in this particular rural region for ten years now, the locals still say that they are “de fora”. In other words, ‘outsiders’. Well, you can imagine what that makes someone from another country? Might as well be from another planet. I’ve been told that this distinction applies to who gets hit by theft, if one occurs. The locals don’t mess with other locals. That’s the unwritten code. Yet if you’re ‘de fora’, then you are considered fair game, should you present the opportunity. That last phrase is key.
    In Brasil, oftentimes someone who is generally ‘honest’ could become a thief if given the right opportunity (“O oportunidade faz o ladrão“). But if you don’t present the opportunity, then you should be fine, regardless where you’re from. If your sitio is merely a weekend getaway, a place you go to just 1-2 times a month, then you might arrive one day to find the place cleared out of it’s furnishings. Yet if you live there full time, those odds greatly diminish. If you have dogs on the property, then that diminishes the odds even more. Just like suburban areas, thieves will avoid a place with dogs, more so than a place clearly posted that it has an alarm system. Yet you need to have some dogs that don’t quickly take to strangers, not stupidly-happy breeds like Retrievers, etc. The best solution would be dogs + cameras + alarms + sensor lights (bright ones!). Finrudd, is your camera system CCTV or cloud-based? Could you post something please about the camera system you have set up?
    While real estate prices in the coastal cities, as well as the larger metropolitan areas inland like Curitba, BH, etc, are presently at record highs, prices for rural property are still quite reasonable in comparison (in most regions). Flat farmland is expensive, but tracts with uneven terrain, still heavily forested, are your best buy. Yet in addition to expenses like Finrudd mentioned, you can quickly become frustrated with the lack of competent services. Most likely the locals will be employed in work related to agriculture or livestock. Aside from simple pedreiros, skilled labor in construction could be a potential headache if you plan to build (which I’m experiencing right now). Yet if you pick the right region, the overall tranquility and beauty of the nature this country possesses, more than compensates for any frustrations one might encounter with cultural issues and skill shortages.
    I was back in Floripa last weekend, and the crush of traffic quickly got on my last f-n nerve (how you folks in SP capitol or Rio survive, I don’t know!). ‘Traffic’ in the rural region where I’m settling consists of a single tractor, pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with fruit or vegetables. Big smile
    Lula signed a law when he was in office that states only residents or citizens of Brasil may purchase rural property. Permanent residents are limited to one purchase, with a max of 30 hectares (I think there’s a loop hole to the number and size limitation if you’re a resident with a registered Brasilian company). There is obviously no limit for citizens. Another good reason to naturalize√¢‚Ǩ¬¶.

  • #268659

    @norah: Thanks for that update! Will give it a try. Hopefully, HSBC will leave it that way, and not go back to the measly R$300 limit.
    @miguel: OPA! That’s quite a haul from Citi. Too bad their presence is so limited in Brasil.

  • #268657

    I’m with you, something sounds fishy about all of this, especially the rush for you to close and pay.
    I’m not sure how purchasing real estate works in Canada (if that’s where you’re really from), but I’m assuming it’s quite similar to the US. First, you have the sales contract, then several weeks later comes the closing. Ditto for Brasil. You sign the promessa de compra e venda first, where the sales price is stated, down payment stipulated (usually 5-15%), and as GBoF mentioned, even details about the final payment included (seller’s account info, etc). Good call BTW on deciding NOT to pay the seller in cash! WTF?!?
    DO NOT wire ANY money until you at least have a signed copy of the promessa!(with seller’s signature officially recognized by a cartorio)
    The ‘escritura’ is the closing, and the seller will need a copy of that, along with a copy of the promessa, for the bank to release the funds you’ve wired to their account(unless their brother just happens to be the bank manager where they have the account). The exchange rate has had little fluctuation recently, nonetheless I recommend you wire approx. three to five thousand reais LESS than the sales price (per your calculations of the present exchange rate). Then bring the difference in cash to the closing, along with a receipt to be signed by the seller acknowledging they also received a nominal amount in cash. Should for some reason the exchange rate result in an overpayment on your part, well, good luck on getting the seller to refund you the difference before hell freezes over!
    Miguel mentioned this earlier in this thread, but it bears repeating, be prepared for the seller to want to have a lesser amount than you’re actually paying put in the escritura as the sales price. That’s so they’ll pay less capital gains tax. Don’t fall for that! Prefeituras are cracking down on this common practice of corruption, and even if they weren’t, if you went for this scam, then whenever you might go to sell, you’ll then need to convince the new buyer to go along with the same scam. Whatever savings you might have on your property tax bill by declaring a lower sales price are minimal, and the CG tax you could potentially have to pay down the road would offset any such ‘savings’.
    I know, it’s a somewhat scary proposition to wire a large sum of money for a yet to be performed transaction, but as long as you have a signed copy of the promessa, with all the proper verbiage, you should be fine. At the closing/escritura, you should receive copies of several ‘certid√ɬµes negativas’, all related to the seller (AND spouse, if applicable, and if the property is jointly owned), as well as what is called the Onus Reais, which is the only document actually related to the property you’re purchasing (showing that it’s free and clear of any liens)***. If those documents are not present at the closing, sign nothing until you have them! If those documents are present, but some of them show something other than “nada consta”, then sign nothing until the negative issue is resolved.
    ***Correction: In addition to the Onus Reais, the matricula itself (property registry deed) will also be a document about the property, and if any liens or encumbrances exist, they should be reflected there. That should have been one of the first things the realtor sent you, even before signing the promessa.
    Are those the documents you refer to, where you said, “We’ve finally received word back from our agent and all documents check out for the house. We’re set to close.” Has the agent not sent a copy of them to you, for you to see for yourself?! Maybe the docs check out for “the house”, but how about the seller??? As I mentioned, the majority of documents required to close on a real estate transaction in Brasil are about the seller, NOT the actual property.
    Maybe the seller wants hard cash in hand because there are some negative situations in their personal affairs that would preclude a certidão stating “nada consta”?!? Imagine, some 6-9 months down the road, someone comes and knocks on your door, stating Sra. Vendedora owes them money. She’s long gone, and now you have a potential legal hassle on your hand!
    See photo below of an example of the list required. The agent should send you copies of all of those, if they are in fact the documents you mentioned that “check out for the house”. Note: that list is from a sales contract to purchase rural property, so if you’re buying a lot, house, or apartment, omit the “Comprovante de quita√ɬßão de Imposto Rural – ITR” document.
    Lastly, rather than going by everything the realtor says(if it’s not IN WRITING, it’s not valid!), you should be in contact with the person who owns the cartorio, where you will do the closing/escritura. Their business is on the line if they screw something up, but not so for the realtor. IMO, real estate agents are all members of the same mafia (no offense Boris, if you’re still out there). You might ask the owner of the cartorio that will do the closing to also take a look at the sales contract, before you sign it (since it appears you don’t have one signed yet).
    Do you have a separate contract with the realtor that actually states they are responsible to ensure all documentation is in order, or is this merely a verbal agreement? A three percent fee sounds high, just for doing that (on a 500 thousand reais property you’d be paying 15 thousand reais!), when you probably could have obtained the same result, for free, from the owner of the cartorio where you’ll do the closing. Shoot, you could have even hired an attorney for less than that.
    Also, ask to see a copy of the paid IPTU (annual property tax). That will contain a number relating to the property, and you can go into the site of the prefeitura where the property is located, and pull up the record. Perhaps this year’s taxes were paid, but any delinquent taxes from previous years will show up there.
    Hopefully, everything is on the up and up, but you can never be too careful or too anal about making sure everything checks out (and even then, there’s only 99% certainty that everything’s ok). Remember, this is the land of Ordem, Progresso, e Corrup√ɬßão!!
    Boa sorte e cuidado!!!

    Gringo.Floripa2014-07-30 12:17:42

  • #268555

    [QUOTE=Zummbot][QUOTE=GreatBallsoFire]GF has lots of great posts? Come back later with money. Buy in during the next big panic. You have plenty of time. [/QUOTE]

    Glad you brought that up. I can’t believe the real estate market hasn’t collapsed yet all over Brazil. What are your thoughts on that? Is there a thread talking about this?

    Haha√¢‚Ǩ¬¶ GBoF, you know I love to throw around some sarcasm now and then! Yet did I say something that wasn’t true?
    @Gui.sp: Glad to hear that self-loathing episode was just a temporary moment. Now get out there, and play the job field like you were on the rugby field! Boa sorte!!!
    @ Zummbot: Check the thread heading “Investing in Brazil”. There’s some banter on there about the RE market. But like the Exchange Rate thread, there’s a variety of opinions, but no one on here possesses a crystal ball. IMO, GBoF is correct though, in that things will get ‘cheaper’ again. How cheap, no one knows. But there’s too many scary parallels with the US, Brasilians spending like crazy, piling on debt. I posted a link in the Exchange Rate thread not too long ago about how the savings rate for Brasilians has fallen 60%. Doesn’t bode well. Cash is King! Even if it is fiat currency. Use it while you can. Accumulate what you can, hold on to it until the next melt down/panic/crash occurs. It’s not a matter of if, merely when….

  • #268550

    [QUOTE=Gui.sp]That sort of comments from her side only make me feel like the temporary loser that I am.[/QUOTE]
    In the plus column, you use the word “temporary”. In the negative column, there’s the self-affirmation that you’re a “loser”.
    1) If you think you’re a loser, then you’ll most certainly be a loser.
    2) Nobody, can MAKE you feel anything (unless they’re literally sticking a cold steel knife blade in your back). Then yes, you’ll definitely feelsomething!
    Get some sacosdude!

  • #268545

    This goes out to those who might have sitios, or who live in rural regions where the majority of the roads are unpaved. So far this winter, SC has had some periods of heavy rains, and the rural roads ruined because of the typical short-sightedness we know is often the norm here in Ordem and Progresso World. Rather than do it right the first time around, the quickest, easiest (and cheapest) route is taken. Yet over a five year period, the cost analysis would surely reveal the cheapest route to be much more expensive, since it’s “repetitivemaintenance”.
    I stumbled upon this great resource which shows how to do a rural road right, to avoid erosion. Of course, none of what is mentioned in the article I’ve seen practiced here.
    Another great idea, simple and inexpensive, but again, not done here (to my knowledge) is what is called an open top culvert (or box culvert). See link below.
    Happy homesteading!
    Gringo.Floripa2014-07-27 18:22:30

  • #268541

    OPA! That’s good to know. Valeu GBoF!!!

  • #268539

    Since your wife has experience in the restaurant business, then she undoubtedly realizes that statistically, the highest failure rate of any business is opening a restaurant.
    Your idea to learn the ropes of the family supermarket business sounds like a good step forward!
    Gringo.Floripa2014-07-27 14:36:22

  • #268538

    ATM rates will vary by bank, on both ends, as will their fees, if any. And obviously, the forex rate fluctuates daily.
    HSBC (US) charges no transaction fee at an HSBC-BR ATM, but their forex rate is lower. Another US bank debit card I use charges a 1% fee, but the rate is higher. The debit card I have with Charles Schwab charges no fee on their end, and if charged a fee on the Brasil end they will refund the fee to your account. They give a decent rate too.
    EDIT: A couple of years ago HSBC-BR lowered the maximum withdrawal amount for non-Brasil debit cards, even those issued by HSBC in other countries, to a mere R$300 per day! Whereas other banks permit R$1,000.
    Gringo.Floripa2014-07-27 14:30:27

  • #268532

    The best rate, but perhaps not the safest way to exchange paper currency is with a ‘doleiro’. These are essentially the hawkers on street corners in every city (usually the ‘centro’ part of town). Definitely at your own risk, and if you try this, do a small amount first, no more that $500.
    Other than that, most cities (again, usually in the centro part of town), will have actual cambio houses, that usuallygive a better rate than the banks.
    Do you need a large sum right away, or can you slowly accumulate it? If the exchange can be done gradually, an ATM is your best and safest route. Most have limits of a thousand reais a day, but if you have more than one debit card, then you can exchange a thousand dollars a day (or more).

  • #268531

    I would echo Finrudd’s advice. My first time ever in Brasil, as a tourist, was around 1998. I was enthralled with the country, and wanted to know and explore more. Returned numerous times the next few years on extended vacations to various regions, ranging from Natal down to Floripa.
    In 2003 I purchased a home in Floripa (while still on a tourist visa). In 2004 (I think), Brasil changed the parameters for the investor visa, lowering the threshold from $200,000 USD to $50,000. I applied for and was granted permanent residency via the investor visa in 2006. In 2010, I applied for naturalization; it too was approved.
    So as you can see from that timeline, I slowly tested the waters before committing myself 100%. While you might not need to drag it out as long, but like the others who’ve commented, I’d recommend you spend more time here, specifically, for longer periods. Leave the rose-colored glasses at home. You need to see the country ‘warts and all’ before you can make a decision that you won’t regret later. Peruse the threads on this forum. There are many who came with high hopes, and left bitter and resentful.
    Boa sorte!
    Gringo.Floripa2014-07-27 13:05:35

  • #268518

    [QUOTE=bamabrasileira]Simply being good at things does not seem to be enough here.[/QUOTE]
    Mediocrity seems to abound everywhere these days, but I think it’s rampant here.

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