Buying property in Montenegro
Montenegro is a small mountainous country of the Balkan Peninsula with a population of just over 620 thousand people, the western border of which is washed by the Adriatic Sea. At one time, it was part of Soviet Yugoslavia, and now it is a candidate for membership in the European Union and, relatively recently (since 2017), it has been a part of NATO. Real estate in Montenegro is a popular investment destination for Russian residents: customers are attracted by the climate, prices and proximity to the largest European countries.
Best areas to live
The choice of location depends on the objectives of real estate acquisition: periodic beach vacations, purchase for further moving to permanent residence and for doing business, search for a “place in the sun” in advanced years. The capital Podgorica is located in the flat part of the country a few tens of kilometers from the sea, but the main and largest cities are located along the coast. From north to south, the coastal part of the country is occupied by the municipalities of five cities:
Herceg Novi (or Herceg Novi) stands on a mountain and is known for its steep relief, many stairs here connect the coast with the mountainous areas of the city.
The seaport of Kotor is famous for the Old Town, which is under the protection of UNESCO. Its red tiled roofs are the hallmark of Kotor.
Budva is the business center and largest resort of Montenegro with all the pros and cons of the tourist city. The developed infrastructure attracts tourist flows in the season, the cost of apartments and houses is higher compared to other areas. A bus ride to Herceg Novi takes 1.5 hours. There are smaller settlements around Budva, the names of which are often found in real estate advertisements: Becici, Petrovac, Pržno, Sveti Stefan.
Port Bar is one of the sunniest cities in Europe (270 sunny days a year). A railway station has been built in Bar that connects the city with the capital Podgorica, and ferry services to Italy are also organized.
Ulcinj near the border with Albania is the country’s southernmost city with a significant share of the Albanian population.
All these settlements are interconnected by a two-lane Adriatic highway as part of the European route E65.
Prices for apartments and villas
Why do Russians buy property in Montenegro? This is explained by the fact that housing on the Adriatic will be cheaper compared to houses and apartments with similar characteristics in Russia. In addition, a visa-free regime greatly facilitates entry into the country. In 2019, Russians can stay in the country without a visa for up to 90 days in the period from April 15 to October 31, the rest of the time – no more than 30 days.
The official currency of Montenegro is the euro, so all prices on specialized real estate websites are indicated in this currency. There are frequent offers, including the subsequent free registration of a residence permit (residence permit) as a bonus upon purchase.
The cost of housing, as a general rule, depends on the location and footage. For example, a studio in 23 square meters. m in Herceg Novi, half a kilometer from the sea with a parking place and a residence permit as a gift, you can buy for 29,000 euros, and the villa is 340 square meters. m with a swimming pool in Ulcinj will cost almost 600,000 euros. The average price tag for an apartment in a new building in Budva with sea views and an area of 52 square meters. m – 110,000 euros. These amounts should be guided by potential buyers.
According to unofficial data, approximately 20,000 Russian citizens purchased real estate in the country. Most of them do not live permanently in Montenegro, but come at different times of the year. Homeowners do not pay tourist tax.
Buying property in Montenegro
To buy an apartment in Montenegro, a passport is enough. When registering real estate as a property, the algorithm of actions will be as follows:
Object selection (most often through a realtor or on a website with ads).
Registration of a sales contract with a notary public (in the Montenegrin language).
Transfer of documents by a notary to the cadastral and tax services.
Obtaining a certificate of ownership by the new owner.
Payment of tax on the acquisition of real estate.
The buyer will face the costs at different stages of the acquisition and ownership of property:
the value of the property itself;
payment for notary services;
3% tax – it does not need to be paid if housing is purchased in a new building and the developer is a VAT payer;
payment for realtor services (if applicable);
fee of a court interpreter for interpretation and sometimes written translation (if translation of the contract into Russian is required);
annual property tax.
In order for the owner to be able to rent his apartment in Montenegro by law, he needs to get a permit from the administration of the settlement, which is renewed annually (his absence threatens with a fine). Tax on delivery depends on the area of housing.
How to get a residence permit
According to the Law on Foreigners of 2018, a residence permit in Montenegro can be obtained for several reasons, among which are the purchase of residential or commercial real estate of any value. An apartment or house should not be encumbered, in other words, housing purchased on a mortgage.