Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Buying Real Estate in India

Buying real estate in India is very difficult for foreigners, due to the many restrictions on the foreign ownership of property that you must clear. Property prices have been increasing, and many seemingly legitimate actions can turn out to be illegal. The law also discriminates against

Attorneys and Real Estate Agents

You must hire a real estate attorney to purchase property in India. They will act in your best interest in this confusing legal process. They are also the one who come up with an Agreement of Sale, and they also do research on your behalf.

A real estate agent can be helpful, but is not necessary in buying property in India.

Rules, Regulations and Restrictions

Foreign nationals cannot buy any immovable property in India. You must be able to legally be in India for over 183 days; a tourist visa in India expires after 180 days. Buying property under a tourist visa is also illegal. It is illegal for property to be purchased jointly in the name of one eligible person with one non-eligible person.

The only way a foreigner can purchase property in India is after they have established residency. Then you can have the same rights as Indians in terms of buying property. The only exceptions are the citizens of Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Nepal.

Leases work differently, in which ineligible people are allowed to lease property for a maximum of five years without getting permission from anyone. However, this loophole is hard to overcome, because many of the new visas are very strict on forbidding foreigners to stay in India over 180 days.

General Process

If you obtain status as an eligible person to buy property in India, you can then start the process.

You should then settle on a property, and make an offer to the seller. After you negotiate a final decision, it is then time for your attorney to come up with an Agreement of Sale. You and the buyer must then sell this contract. You are then responsible for putting down a deposit, which is 10-20% of the purchase price.

After you put down the deposit, your attorney will then do some research on the property and make sure everything is proper with the property title. You and your lawyer must then obtain all of the title documents from the seller.

You must then bring all of the legal documents to the Stamp Duty Office to be stamped. Afterwards, you can sign them. You must pay the remainder of the balance to the seller. Then you should register your new property and the deed with the Sub-Registrar of Assurance Government, and pay government duties. The government duties vary in price, depending on what region you are purchasing property.


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