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Expat Exchange - Buying a Home in Georgia
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Tbilisi, Georgia


Buying a Home in Georgia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: The one tip that you hear expats living in Georgia repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Georgia. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Georgia is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Georgia.

Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for expats. Its rich history, diverse culture, and affordable cost of living make it an attractive place to settle down. If you're considering buying a home in Georgia, there are several factors to consider. This guide will provide you with the necessary information to navigate the process smoothly and successfully.

How do I find houses for sale in Georgia?

There are several ways to find houses for sale in Georgia. Online real estate portals are a popular choice, offering a wide range of properties across the country. Websites like MyHome.ge and Place.ge are commonly used. Local newspapers and real estate agencies are also good sources of information. It's advisable to engage a local real estate agent who understands the market and can guide you through the process.

Are there restrictions on foreigners owning property in Georgia?

Georgia has a very liberal property ownership policy. Foreigners can buy, own, and sell all types of property in Georgia with no restrictions, except for agricultural land. However, this restriction can be legally bypassed by setting up a Georgian company and buying the land through the company. This process is straightforward and inexpensive.

Does Georgia have an MLS type system?

Georgia does not have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system like in the United States. However, most real estate agencies have their own databases of properties for sale. It's recommended to work with a reputable agency to ensure access to a wide range of properties and accurate information.

Do brokers have licenses and how do I know if they are licensed?

Real estate brokers in Georgia are required to have a license. You can verify a broker's license by checking with the Georgian National Association of Real Estate, which maintains a database of licensed brokers. It's important to work with a licensed broker to ensure professional standards and legal protection.

What documents are required when buying a home?

When buying a home in Georgia, you will need your passport, a notarized sales contract, and proof of payment. If you're buying through a company, you'll also need the company's registration documents. All documents must be translated into Georgian and notarized.

Do I need a lawyer when buying a home in Georgia?

While it's not mandatory to have a lawyer when buying a home in Georgia, it's highly recommended. A lawyer can help ensure that all documents are in order, that the property has no liens or encumbrances, and that the process complies with all legal requirements. The cost of a lawyer can vary, but it's generally around 1% of the property price.

Do people typically buy a property with all cash or take out a mortgage?

Both options are common in Georgia. Many locals and foreigners buy property with cash due to the relatively low property prices. However, mortgages are also available, even for foreigners. Banks like TBC Bank and Bank of Georgia offer mortgages to foreigners, although the terms may be less favorable than for residents.

Are there inspections that take place, and if so what is that process like?

Property inspections are not mandatory in Georgia, but they are highly recommended. An inspection can reveal potential issues with the property that may not be immediately apparent. You can hire a professional inspector or ask your real estate agent to arrange one. The process typically involves a thorough examination of the property's structure, systems, and overall condition.

What are some of the pitfalls to avoid when buying property in Georgia?

One common pitfall is not thoroughly researching the property and the area. Make sure you understand the local market, the property's value, and any potential issues with the property. It's also important to ensure that all documents are in order and that the seller has the legal right to sell the property. Finally, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true – they often are.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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SJB Global

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Tbilisi, Georgia

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