How to buy real estate in Armenia for a citizen of the Russian Federation? - article on Move2Armenia website

How to buy real estate in Armenia for a citizen of the Russian Federation?

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How to buy real estate in Armenia for a citizen of the Russian Federation?
26.09.2022
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The personal experience of an emigrant about buying a house with a full description of all stages of the transaction, as well as answers to the questions: Can citizens of the Russian Federation buy houses in Armenia? What documents are needed for this? Where to look for apartments? How to pay for a deal? What tax to pay for real estate?

Background. How did we decide to buy a house?

In the spring of 2022, my husband and children moved to Armenia. We didn’t have a specific plan, but we immediately got very lucky with a rented apartment in the very center of Yerevan, we managed to rent it relatively inexpensively. It was a very spacious, cute three-ruble note for only 500$ a month.

However, rental property prices began to rise rapidly in early March. Thus, those apartments that were offered on aggregator sites for 500-700$ have risen in price by two, or even two and a half times. And very soon it became more and more difficult to find something decent for adequate money in Yerevan, and then in the surrounding area, and even in the cities of Gyumri and Dilijan not close to the capital. Demand grew, not that many new offers appeared, and our agreements with the hostess ended with the beginning of summer. In addition, Moscow friends with Armenian roots warned that May and early June are the most pleasant warm months, and then the heat will begin, which is not very pleasant to experience in the city.

In mid-April, I daily and in vain scrolled through the sections for renting country houses on list.am (Armenian analogue of Avito). Then, partly out of curiosity, partly out of despair, I began to study on the map not only the rental section, but also properties for sale. The cost of apartments and houses (often without land underneath) within the capital did not inspire optimism, and I expanded the search area. That’s how I came across an advertisement with a dream house 15 km from the center of Yerevan in the Kotayk region.

In May, we closed the deal and became the owners of Armenian real estate. The summer flew by in the hassle of construction and with a beautiful view of the Hrazdan Gorge as a bonus. I now turn to the formal details of this romantic story.

Author of the photo: Maria Goncharova.

Can citizens of the Russian Federation buy real estate in Armenia?

Citizens of the Russian Federation in Armenia can make almost any transaction for the acquisition of residential and commercial real estate. It will not be possible to buy only those lands that are in the status of agricultural purposes (as a rule, this is indicated in the advertisement for the sale, but you can always check with the seller). To become the owner of agricultural land in Armenia, a resident status is required. Purchased property can be used for living (and registered in it), sold and rented out, and also included in a will. You can register a real estate object in the sole or joint ownership of individuals or a legal entity.

Purchasing process

Stage 1 - collecting documents

So, you have found a dream house in the mountains, an apartment in an elite new building in the capital, or, on the contrary, an atmospheric apartment in a charismatic pre-revolutionary building, went to the property, met the seller and bargained, talked with neighbors, and after all these steps, you finally decided to become a homeowner in Armenia. What are your next steps?

First, you must come to a general agreement with the seller on the price and additional conditions (for example, the seller promises to remove the furniture by a certain date, tidy up the garden, etc.). To complete the transaction you will need notarized translation international passports (3-5,000 drams): alas, the internal passport of the Russian Federation is not relevant in this case. Before signing the sales contract, the Cadastre will issue the seller with a certificate of clear title, confirming that the property is not mortgaged, seized, or owned by anyone else. This is the only document in the presence of which a notary’s office can certify a transaction. If the sale of real estate has no restrictions, then the inspection process begins, followed by state registration.

May be useful: list of notaries from our directory.

So, before going to the notary's office, you and the seller should have the following package of documents in Armenian in your hands:
1. Notarized translation of your passport and your identity document from the seller.
2. Contract of sale in two copies. As a rule, the seller is engaged in its design, but you can also form a “fish” yourself in special form on the Cadaster website.
3. Certificate of registration.
4. Certificate of clear ownership of the seller.
5. Statement of absence utility debts from the seller.

Stage 2 - we draw up a transaction with a notary

To draw up a purchase and sale agreement together with the seller and with the above set of documents in hand, you need to come to a notary’s office. Armenians can register a transaction at the Cadastral Chamber, but this option is not available to foreigners. Our salesman didn't know about this, and we lost fifteen minutes by being in the wrong place, but we quickly got our bearings and moved on to the nearest notary. It is important that the office has a full-time translator from Armenian into Russian - he will translate the purchase and sale agreement aloud to you and explain your rights and obligations. There you will be asked to pay a registration fee (its size depends on the office: approximately 60-70,000 drams. Here, as you agree with the seller: he pays, you pay, or in half). And don’t forget to leave your email address to the office staff: there they will send you either a code to receive a certificate of ownership on the Cadastre website, or a file of the certificate itself.

How much to wait? The first stage in total will take you a couple of hours. It all depends on the speed of the translator and the traffic of visitors in specific offices.

Stage 3 - we are waiting for a certificate of registration of ownership

After that, the Cadastre will register the buyer's ownership of the property. Then, within a week, a certificate will be sent to your e-mail from the Cadastre. It will later need to be taken to the utilities so that they prepare service contracts in the name of the new owner. There is no physical original of the certificate - in any department of the Republic of Armenia, a printed file is enough, and somewhere its electronic version.

Transaction payment

From July 1, 2022, as part of the campaign to reduce the share of the shadow economy in the Republic of Armenia, the government decision, according to which payment for transactions for the purchase and sale of real estate and cars should be made exclusively non-cash, that is, through bank transfers. Otherwise, the transaction may be declared invalid. The new law applies to commercial transactions worth more than 300,000 drams and transactions between individuals worth more than 500,000 drams. So the only way to pay for real estate is by non-cash translation (from a local account to an account; by depositing cash into a local account and then transferring it to the seller’s account; or by SWIFT transfer from a foreign bank to the seller’s Armenian account).


MORTGAGE
The conditions for acquiring real estate by installments or mortgages (successful cases, as a rule, with commercial objects from non-residents exist) are best checked directly with developers and bankswith whom they collaborate. Judging by the experience of emigrants, Russians (like any other foreign citizens in Armenia) cannot buy residential real estate (an apartment or a private house) with a mortgage; in short, mortgages in Armenia are not available to Russian citizens.


Services realtor on average will cost you 1.5-2.5% of the transaction amount. But, as personal experience has shown, you can quite easily cope on your own.

How much does real estate cost in Armenia?

Predictably, the highest price tag is for apartments in the center of Yerevan and for new buildings in elite complexes. But the cost of apartments and houses is significantly lower, it is only necessary to increase the search radius outside the capital. Explore objects in the suburbs of Yerevan, from where the road to the center does not take more than an hour's drive, for example, in Kotayk and Armavir regions. Or even shift the focus to locations more distant from the center of the country, distinguished by picturesque nature, such as the regions of Lori, Tavush and Shirak.

In the first half of 2023, metropolitan apartments increased in price on an annual basis by 9.3% (now the average market price for 1 m² is 411,100 drams). The highest prices for apartments in Yerevan are traditionally in Kentron - on average 806,800 drams per m², in Arabkir - 564,800 drams per m², in the Kanaker-Zeytun district - 396,600 drams per m². Apartments in the resort of Tsakhkadzor are comparable in cost in these areas - this is the most expensive location outside of Yerevan. The lowest housing prices in the capital are in the Nubarashen community, where on average a m² is sold for 208,100 drams. According to the Cadastre data, prices for apartments in the regions in July 2023 the following: in Abovyan 254,400 drams/m² and ten times cheaper in the Tumanyan community of Lori region - 25,000 drams/m².

On the list.am website, you can find real estate offers for a variety of budgets. So, in Stepanavan, Lori, they sell 40-meter two-room apartment for 17 000$, 200-meter house with all communications in Sevan for 70 000$. In 2022, mixed-use commercial real estate with an area of 800 in Gyumri was sold for 42 000$ and 70-meter treshka with finishing in a new building to Teryan for 230 000$.

Where to look for real estate to buy?

Not all sellers place their objects on real estate aggregator sites or contact real estate offices. Sometimes it is best to look for the most amazing options directly in the place you like.
Do not neglect the opportunity to communicate with the inhabitants of the house where you would like to have an apartment, or the village whose nature has enchanted you: most often the locals are well aware of what is being sold with them in the neighborhood. And besides, they will immediately tell you about the minuses and pluses of a particular location that are not obvious at a cursory glance.

For example, after a conversation with a local resident, it turned out that on our small street two more houses were for sale at a very attractive price, which were not found on the Internet. And, on the contrary, it is better not to buy one of those houses that is listed on list.am, since it is located on the landslide line (it is unlikely that a realtor or seller would share this kind of information with you). In addition, a personal visit to the site is simply necessary: often, from the photographs from the advertisement, very few conclusions can be drawn that are related to reality.

If you are worried that you, as a foreigner, have a much higher risk of paying a more unjustified price than locals, you can contact an expert agency for an assessment. This is especially relevant for secondary market objects that require significant investments in repairs. You may also want to consult with a surveyor, engineer or architect. On the recommendation of local friends, we went to the Taron appraisal bureau (Yerevan, Orbeli St., 45; tel. +374 41 101217). Checking the documents that the seller sent us (registration certificate, cadastral plan and purchase and sale agreement from the previous owner) with a visit to the site cost 40,000 drams. The surveyor on site clarified whether the actual dimensions of the house and plot coincided with the cadastral plan. The expert appraiser drew attention to problem areas and warned about the approximate cost of repairing them.

What tax should be paid for real estate in Armenia?

After 2021 taxes for real estate have increased, and are now calculated based on the cadastral value of the property, which is as close as possible to the market value. The tax must be paid annually, it is approximately 0-1% of the value of the property. An exact calculation can be made at Cadastre website.

If you have any questions about purchasing real estate in Armenia, contact consulting is hiring a lawyer.

Article author: Maria Goncharova

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How to buy real estate in Armenia for a citizen of the Russian Federation?
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    24.07.2024 в 08:49

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    13.07.2024 в 21:22

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  • Karina
    22.02.2024 в 00:35

    Tell me, according to which article of the tax code of Armenia, the seller is obliged to pay 10% to the budget from the sale of real estate (own house) to a non-resident?

  • Silvia
    10.11.2023 в 13:53

    For me, the most important thing is to buy a house or apartment in the Motherland. I receive a pension in Moscow, and I want to get a mortgage.

  • Guest
    27.03.2023 в 06:17

    The most important thing was not written. What package of documents should a house have so that a Russian understands that all the documents are there. And everyone knows how to draw up a deal - or to a notary, he will draw up everything and tell you.
    I will give an example of a package of documents for a Russian private house: a house book, an extract from the USR, a certificate of ownership of a plot, a certificate of ownership of a house, a technical passport for a house, a technical plan for a house and a plot, a situational plan. In addition - separately the latest receipts for payment of all utilities, tax for the house and land and, of course, an extract stating that there are no encumbrances at the facility.
    Maybe I didn't list everything.
    And about the Armenian house, you indicated only the latter and a certificate of ownership. There really are no more documents or did you miss it?

  • Sergey
    01.02.2023 в 07:20

    I am interested in the moment with the execution of a transaction for the purchase of a private house or apartment. After the transaction has been completed with a notary, do I need to carry the contract of sale to the Cadastral Chamber myself or do notaries themselves somehow transfer information there?

  • Irina
    02.11.2022 в 12:24

    Good day! Thanks a lot for the detailed article! Now just in search of housing. And I would very much like to know if there is gas in private houses in the region?

    • IL
      05.09.2023 в 06:33

      In Armenia, the housing stock is gasified at 99.9% (natural pipeline gas - methane).

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