One of the perks of investing in Serbia is that you can get a residence permit by buying real estate.
In case you already own immovable property in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, the situation is even easier. You only need to submit proof of possession of this property when applying for a temporary residence.
On the other hand, if you intend to buy, for example, a house or an apartment in Serbia, it is necessary to conclude a Sales & Purchase Agreement.
However, before that, you need to check if you can buy real estate as a foreigner. The question that needs to be considered at the beginning is whether between Serbia and your country exists reciprocity in regard to buying real estate. The condition of legal reciprocity is met if Serbia has concluded a bilateral agreement regulating the issue of foreigners acquiring real estate with your country. For example, reciprocity exists between Serbia and the USA, which means that citizens of Serbia are eligible to buy real estate in the USA while the citizens of the USA are eligible to buy real estate in Serbia.
Once you confirm that you are eligible to buy real estate in Serbia, for the process of real estate purchase, it is necessary to carry out all the necessary checks for that real estate with the competent state authorities (to check if there is an encumbrance, who the owner is, etc.).
It is important to mention that the tax for the transfer of ownership amounts to 2.5% of the purchase price stated in the Sales & Purchase Agreement, which is a one-time tax. However, when buying an apartment from an investor directly, you are exempted from paying the tax for the transfer of ownership. In addition to that, you, as the real estate owner, are obliged to pay the property tax. This tax needs to be paid annually, in several installments. The exact amount of this tax may change from year to year, depending on the type of real estate, its age, location, etc.
In Serbia, the purchase contract of immovable property has to be solemnized before a notary public. After that, you are not yet the owner of the real estate in question, but you have to submit a request with all the necessary documents to the Real Estate Cadaster. The Cadaster is in charge of registration of the ownership right on your behalf for that particular real estate.
It is useful to know that, when applying for a temporary residence on this basis, you have to supply the Police Department with only a certified purchase contract, and not a Real Estate Cadaster registration decision. In other words, a foreigner does not have to wait for registration on the purchased property. A foreigner can go to the Police Department and apply for a temporary residence permit immediately after the certification of the purchase contract with the notary. Of course, you should submit other requested documents, which significantly speeds up and relaxes the application itself.