Buying a Property in Brazil: Your Complete Guide

Buying a property in Brazil

Finding the perfect piece of property for your specific needs comes with all kinds of questions. Do you want to find a new home for your growing family? Do you need to move for work? Are you simply looking for a new investment? Those questions only get more complex when you’re considering properties overseas, like in Brazil.

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and it has seen massive growth in recent years, giving way to booms in food, culture, art, and more. That has made Brazil an enticing country for foreigners looking for new properties and new opportunities.

Remitly offers fast, easy, and trustworthy services for converting and transferring currency to Brazilian reals, and our guide below can help you learn the ins and outs of buying property in Brazil as a foreigner.

Why buy property in Brazil?

As of 2022, Brazil is the seventh most populous country in the world, and for good reason. It has become a hub for good food, diverse culture, and thriving industry, so the country has a little something for everyone. The Brazilian government has also encouraged foreign investments with incentives and new ways of transferring money to and from Brazil.

Brazil is also one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has amazing architecture that shapes breathtaking skylines and a wide range of natural habitats, from rainforests to wetlands to rich coastal areas. Add in free healthcare and a relatively low cost of living, and it’s easy to see why Brazil has become such a popular destination for foreigners. With all that, why not move to Brazil?

Can foreigners buy property in Brazil?

Yes, foreigners can purchase property and real estate in Brazil. In fact, you can purchase a house for sale in Brazil even if you live abroad or lack a fixed address, and you don’t need a visa. On the other hand, you can potentially receive a visa by investing at least R$700,000 for a property in the North or Northeast Region or investing at least R$1 million for other properties.

You do, however, need a special taxpayer ID number, known as a CPF (“Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas”) for individuals or a CNPJ (“Cadastro Nacional de Pessoas Jurídicas”) for companies and organizations. A CPF is also required for other purposes, including filing taxes and opening a Brazilian bank account to build some Brazilian credit.

This does come with some small restrictions, mainly involving rural properties. Only foreigners with a Brazilian residence visa are allowed to purchase rural land for sale in Brazil, meaning that you have to live in Brazil to buy rural property legally. Even if you already own property in Brazil, you cannot purchase rural land near the national borders or coastlines.

What’s the real estate market like in Brazil?

Brazil’s real estate market is fairly robust, with steady signs of improvement as the country has seen high demand and supply. As of November 2022, the market saw an increase of 6.34% in the housing price index compared to a year prior.

Overall, Brazil’s growing economy and greater interest from foreign investors suggest a boost in the country’s housing market.

What are the legal requirements for buying real estate in Brazil?

While foreigners can purchase Brazilian houses, it does come with some basic legal requirements. As mentioned, foreign buyers need a CPF or CNPJ to buy property in Brazil legally.

The process also requires working with a third-party notary public. In order to close a home sale, both the buyer and seller are required to sign a public deed drawn up by the notary public. From there, the notary public registers that property sale with the registrar.

How much does it cost to buy property in Brazil?

Buying a property in Brazil.

The specific costs for houses for sale in Brazil will obviously differ based on dozens of different factors, like the location, size, and age of the property. A large beachside mansion built in the early 1900s will naturally cost more than a small condo found closer inland.

Using data from June 2022, the average price of a home in Rio de Janeiro was about 1.6 million reals (over US$335,000), while the average cost of a home in São Paulo was about 1.4 million reals (over US$293,000).

This also comes with a variety of other costs and fees:

  • Property taxes – 0.3% to 1% of property value per year
  • Home insurance – about R$500 per year
  • Home insurance premiums – 0.4% to 1% of the insured amount
  • Notary fees – 1.25% of purchase price
  • Transfer tax (ITBI) – 3% of purchase price
  • Legal fees – 2% of purchase price

It’s also worth keeping in mind the costs involved with traveling to Brazil to look at homes and find a property, to begin with.

Where is the best place to buy property in Brazil?

Brazil is full of amazing cities with attractions for any interest. Here are some of the most popular cities to help you start your search.

São Paulo

The capital of the state of the same name, São Paulo, is one of the biggest cities in the world, and it’s considered an alpha global city, meaning it is a central hub for the world economy. The city has immense cultural, economic, and political influence in Brazil (and the world at large).

São Paulo is also a favorite among foreigners thanks to its diverse population that is truly multinational and multiethnic. For example, the Liberdade district is home to the largest Japanese population outside Japan.

The diverse neighborhoods give way to an incredible art scene, delicious food, active nightlife, and fun international events. If you want the hustle and bustle and an easy way to meet new people, São Paulo is your city.

Rio de Janeiro

Considered by many to be Brazil’s most famous city, Rio de Janeiro is the second most populous city. This beachside city is known for so many things, from the Christ the Redeemer statue standing atop Mount Corcovado to the amazing Carnaval festival held every year before Lent.

Aside from being a great place to find beachfront property for sale in Brazil, Rio has easily accessible and well-developed public transit, and the people in the city are naturally friendly and welcoming. The level of culture and activities mean there’s always something to do, though that does mean that the city gets busy with tourists and visitors.


The capital of Paraná, Curitiba, is a cultural center known specifically for its investment in performing arts. The city has its own rich history comprising the arrival of European immigrants in the 17th century, which led to a naturally diverse population.

Despite being an urban city with beautiful skylines, Curitiba is also known for its wealth of parks, botanical gardens, and other green spaces, allowing for an atmosphere more peaceful than São Paulo and Rio. The climate is also milder than many of the northern cities in Brazil, ensuring year-round comfort.


Another city in the southern region of Brazil, Florianópolis, is the capital of Santa Catarina and comprises mostly Santa Catarina Island. The city boasts some of the highest living standards in the country, which makes sense given its amazing beachside atmosphere, excellent restaurants, and numerous museums.

The city offers plenty of job opportunities, making it a home for many expats who have relocated to Brazil and a highly desirable place for foreigners.

How to find a real estate agent in Brazil

A real estate agent showing the floor plan for a property.

A real estate agent can be extremely beneficial in the homebuying process. An agent can guide you through the process and help you find the best place to buy property in Brazil that fits your budget and personal needs.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a real trick or secret to finding a real estate agent in Brazil. It largely comes down to doing your research online or finding a friend who can connect you with a real estate agent. If you’re unsure where to start, talk to your home country’s embassy or consulate for recommendations.

Brazil has its own regulating bodies to ensure real estate agents are licensed and certified. To avoid any fake or unreliable agents, ask potential agents to show their ID cards issued by the regional bodies known as Conselhos Regionais de Corretores de Imóveis (CRECI). The federal body regulating real estate agents is Conselho Federal de Corretores de Imóveis (COFECI).

The pitfalls of buying property in Brazil

Most of the pitfalls you might experience looking at homes for sale in Brazil are similar to what you’ll encounter in any other home-buying situation.

  • Purchasing a home without seeing it in person first
  • Buying a home without walking around the neighborhood
  • Finding a home without the help of a real estate agent or other expert
  • Not considering your own long-term goals with that property (investment, vacation home, etc.)

One of the main pitfalls is that many sellers in Brazil will not accept direct payments from foreign banks. The Central Bank of Brazil has to authorize the transaction directly, which can be a potential turnoff for some sellers.

The steps to purchasing a property in Brazil

Once you have found the right property and seen it in person, you’re ready to sign some papers and own that property.

  1. Obtain a copy of the deed, known as an escritura, which will list all of the necessary information about the property and its ownership. This will also show any potential problems you may have yet to see in person, like disputes, liens, or probates.
  2. Talk to the seller to determine a price that works for all parties. Draft an agreement that states the terms of the sale and the timeline for any transactions.
  3. Provide the down payment, which usually ranges from 5% to 15%.
  4. Obtain any necessary documents, including your CPF card and any clearance certificates required for the closing. In order to properly register your property, all documents need to be translated into Portuguese by a sworn translator.
  5. Pay your registration fees and taxes.
  6. Attend the closing. In order to properly close on the home, you need to have paid all the necessary fees and taxes and filed any essential documentation with the registration office. Once completed, the escritura will be read aloud, and both the buyer and seller will sign the document. Typically, the money is released to the seller following the closing signatures.

After that full process, the property is officially yours.

Remitly is committed to fast, secure, reliable money transfers and conversions. If you are considering buying a home in Brazil, Remitly can help to make the process of converting currency into Brazilian reals as easy and stress-free as possible. That means less time worrying about money and fees and more time getting the most out of your new Brazilian home. Visit the homepage, download our app, or check out our Help Center to get started.