Can you buy a property in Ireland from abroad?
The good news is that there is no legal restriction on buying an Irish property from abroad and there is no requirement to be an Irish citizen or citizen of an EU state.
You will pay the same rate of stamp duty on a purchase from abroad as someone making a purchase resident in Ireland. You will however need to obtain an Irish PPS tax number for the purposes of stamping the purchase if you do not already have such a tax number. You can apply for that number from the Irish Department of Social Protection and we can advise you on that process.
If you plan on renting out the property following its purchase, that rent will be subject to Irish taxation. The tenant will be required to withhold 20% of the rent and pay it to the Revenue on your behalf, unless you have appointed an Irish resident Collection Agent that will receive the rent. Typically investors will appoint an Irish resident letting agent to fulfil that role to avoid the tenant making the withholding and then arrange their own tax return thereafter.
Residing in Ireland
Owing a property in Ireland does not give an automatic entitlement to residing in Ireland. You will still need to satisfy the visa or immigration requirements that would otherwise apply to your application to residing in Ireland.
Completing purchase from abroad
It is advisable that you appoint a surveyor to inspect and report on the condition of the property as the overriding principle is buyer beware when it comes to making a property purchase. We can furnish you with the details of some suggested surveyors if you require assistance with engaging a surveyor.
You may also wish to appoint an estate agent to search for properties on your behalf.
When it comes to signing paperwork, it is possible to appoint your solicitor under a power of attorney to sign necessary purchase documents. It is also possible to arrange signing abroad with suitable witnesses and return the originals by post/courier to your solicitor as certain original signed documents will be needed for the purposes of submitting to the Irish Property Registration Authority. We can arrange video calls to facilitate the process of reviewing and explaining the process of purchasing the property and the terms of the documents you are required to sign, to avoid the requirement of physically attending in person.
Obtaining a mortgage from abroad
Some Irish lenders will make mortgages available to foreign buyers, in particular if a buyer is planning on moving to Ireland within a short time thereafter. It is advisable that you discuss your needs with suitably qualified brokers to determine what is available for your particular circumstances.
Becoming a client
All clients are required to furnish suitable identification documents (such as copy passports/other IDs and proofs of address) together with details of the source of their funds for the purchase.
Costs of purchase
The seller will be responsible for paying the cost of the selling estate agent and the purchaser will only have estate agent fees if they have appointed their own agent to find a suitable property. In Ireland, the purchaser will be responsible for paying their own legal costs and outlay associated with the purchase. We can advise you of typical legal costs depending on the type of property in question. The main legal outlay would be as follows:
– stamp duty of 1% of the purchase price up to €1m and 2% thereafter if residential versus 7.5% if a commercial property
– typical land registry fees of up to €1,000
– search fees of circa €250