Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America's western edge, with 4,300km of Pacific Ocean coastline. Santiago, its capital, sits in a valley surrounded by the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains. The city's Plaza de Armas, founded in 1541, contains neoclassical landmarks and the National History Museum. The massive Parque Metropolitano offers swimming pools, a botanical garden and zoo.
Mar–Aug The wine harvest kicks off, while May brings snow to nearby ski areas.
Sep–Nov Comfortable temperatures make the shoulder season ideal for sightseeing.
Dec–Feb Summer brings street festivals and excellent quick adventures in the countryside.
For the most part, the Chilean constitution guarantees foreigners the same rights as Chilean citizens when buying and selling real estate. There are certain exceptions such as in the case of national security areas. It is best to ask a real estate attorney for more details.
Buying real estate in Chile is a fairly straightforward process, even if you are not a citizen. With proper planning and a good bi-lingual attorney (unless you are fluent in Spanish), buying your home here can be a hassle-free process.
Here’s what you will need in order to purchase of a home or land in Chile:
The formalized contract (escritura pública otorgada ante Notario and Escritura Pública). These two are lumped together because the contract is usually part of theEscritura Pública.
The title report for the property (Estudio de Títulos).
A RUT (Rol Único Tributario) if you are a non-citizen non-resident, or a RUN (Rol Único Nacional) if you are a Chilean citizen or resident of Chile. The RUN is the equivalent to a Social Security number and the RUT is a number used to keep track of foreigners’ for tax purposes.
The shorthand version of how you buy property in Chile is:
Locate a desirable property
Obtain a RUT number
Make an offer and agree on price
Transfer of funds
Sign at the notary, and
Inscribe the property
Standard realty commissions in Chile are between 2% and 3%, paid partially by the buyer and partially by the seller.
Total costs for title searches vary from flat fees of between $500 USD and $1,000 USD to a percentage of the purchase price (up to 1%).
After both parties sign, you need to pay the notary fee (usually between $200 USD and $400 USD), and then you can pick up the stamped copies of the deed the following day.
The fee for inscribing or recording the property usually works out to a little under 0.5% of the purchase price. After anywhere from 5 to 25 days, the new title will be recorded, and you are the official new owner of the property.
Expats will find accommodation in Chile in the form of apartments (piezas) or houses (casas), and both furnished and unfurnished options are available in Chilean cities. Unfurnished apartments will come with no furniture or appliances (sometimes not even light fittings) so it is best to negotiate to at least have a refrigerator and oven included in the apartment.
Rental agreements in Chile are generally for a 12-month period, although landlords are often flexible and shorter terms are easily negotiated – though usually at a higher price. Landlords generally require a deposit of at least one month’s rent.
Utilities are not normally included in the rent, and should be factored into the monthly budget. Water, gas and electricity are reasonably priced, but as Chilean accommodation can lack insulation, heating bills during winter can become costly
Do not forget to read and sign a contract. This is the only way to legally guarantee your right to your deposit or agreed upon utility fees. Some accommodations require a long-term visa in order to sign a contract, but look for places to live where your visa status will be respected. I was once living in a shared apartment in Providencia that largely catered to travelers with Tourist Visas, and the owner still wrote up a brief contract that we all signed at a local notary, which are common small legal institutions throughout Santiago.
While looking for an apartment, bear in mind that not all are furnished, or amueblado. Furnished apartments are not difficult to find, but those visiting Santiago for longer periods of time often choose unfurnished ones.
Fees vary between agents, check before you go on viewings