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Investing - Property-Seller-Developer

About the Seller/Developer

Are you dealing with an Agent or the owner/developer?
• How financially stable is the company that are proposing to build there?
• Do they have planning permission, do you have you proof.
• Does the person selling you it, own it?
• What happens when you hand over money?
• How do you know what you will pay in total?
• What happens to your deposit if the company calls in the receivers?
• Does the paperwork state ‘non returnable deposit’
• How long has the developer been building?
• Has the developer built before?
• Is the Agent who is doing the selling, also building the development, if not what controls are in place if there are delays, does the company have a pedigree... etc.
• What are the payment terms

My understanding is that when you pay a deposit in Cape Verde for an Off-Plan property you cannot get this back under Cape Verde Law if you change your mind. Also you own nothing at all until you are in front of the Notary (in Espargos) with the final purchase payment. Should anything go wrong in-between these two stages, you could end up with little or nothing.

However, the process in Cape Verde in general is that you make stage payments then pay the final amount at the Notary.

Real Estate Agents

The Real Estate Agents and developers with offices in the town usually close Saturday afternoon from 1p.m. and then don’t re-open until the Monday morning, so if you are arriving on weekend you may want to consider this, especially if wanting to look at properties.

Some of the Real Estate Offices in Santa Maria also close between 1-3p.m. mid-week, although some have slightly different times to this.

A number of the Real Estate Agencies on CV or with offices in Europe are now looking for English speaking people to help them target the British market. I hope if they are British, that they do not help to contribute to hyping up the prices!

You can sometimes get better value for money if you deal direct with the developer (as an independent) rather than through an agent, as most agents take a percentage of the sale price or an agreed commission.

I viewed a few properties in 2005 and was asked if I was with an Agent.

On saying that, you may be shown a number of developments which differ in build and finishing if you visit a Real Estate Agent.

Some British Agencies have been selling property on the islands for a good number of years, whilst some have started more recently or have brought in new partners. Make comparisons with the Imobilia/Imobiliaria that live and have been operating on the islands for a number of years. The same applies to newly built or off plan apartments as stated with re-sale prices.

Check where the role of the Agent finishes, it may be immediately after you have paid the deposit, leaving you to sort out everything yourself. Some Agents will provide additional support as part of their service to clients.

There are a number of Agents who sell property on behalf of developers, they may be individuals or working for or run a Rea Estate business. There are Agents working out of the UK, other countries or in Cape Verde.

Plots

There are three designations that I am aware of when owning a plot on the islands of Cape Verde, these are:,/p

MISTRO - (Mixed) can be commercial and habitacao (commercial property and possibly residential). Or you can enquire about just having it as residential properties i.e. apartments.

HABITACAO - You can build only residential property.

COMMERCIAL - Possible to build commercial on ground floor with habitacao on above floors.

Please check this out with your solicitor before you by land. You may be looking at buying the wrong type of plot.

Investing in Property

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