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Buy a Property in Korea

Buy a Property in Korea

If you want to buy a house or apartment in South Korea as a foreigner, you need to comply with specific legislation. The Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act is one of the most relevant in this sense.

Below, our lawyers in South Korea explain the procedures you need to go through if you want to buy a property in Seoul or any other part of the country. We are at your disposal with legal solutions that will help you become a homeowner in this country.

The main laws enabling foreigners to buy property in Korea

Here is a brief overview of the laws regulating real estate purchase in South Korea for foreigners:

  1. the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act which provides for the fact that the buyer must inform the Government about the acquisition no later than 60 days after entering the sale-purchase agreement;
  2. the Registration of Real Estate Law which provides for the mandatory registration of the property with the Cadaster;
  3. the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act which covers the regulations applicable to non-residents who buy property in Korea.

If you wonder whether you can buy land in Korea or not, the answer is yes. You can acquire land as a foreigner. In this sense, there are two applicable procedures. In most cases, land plots are acquired by companies seeking to build various facilities. In such cases, we also offer company formation services in Korea.

How can foreigners buy houses or land in Korea?

Let’s say you want to buy an apartment in Seoul, South Korea’s capital. The main steps through which you need to go through are:

  • searching the real estate market, and you can do that through a real estate agency or on your own if you speak Korean;
  • complete the necessary due diligence procedures, and in this case, our local agents can advise you;
  • sign a pre-sale agreement;
  • sign the sale-purchase contract to complete the transaction and buy a house in South Korea under the applicable law.

With respect to the ways through which you can buy an apartment in Korea or a house for that matter, here are your options:

  1. the first one is through regular acquisition, which enables you to come to the country and complete the transaction;
  2. the second one is through the investment visa program which is associated with immigration to Korea.

The second procedure comes with the option of obtaining residency in Korea, so it is a great option if you decide to settle here. However, there is also a pre-established amount of money you need to invest to get the visa.

You can consult with our Korean company registration agents who are accustomed to advising foreign investors.

With respect to the procedure of buying land in Korea, there are two procedures you can follow:

  • simple notification, through which you do not need to file for permission to acquire the desired piece of land;
  • prior notification, which requires permission from the local government to buy land in Korea.

So, if you want to buy property in Seoul in the form of land, you need to file a notification with the local government.

You can also address our local consultants if you need support in buying an apartment in Seoul.

Documents required when buying real estate in Korea

When buying an apartment in Korea or any other type of property, the required paperwork includes:

  • a valid passport or alien registration card (residence permit);
  • a taxpayer identification card;
  • a bank statement indicating the amount of money for the purchase;
  • the sale contract;
  • the title certificate;
  • the land registration certificate;
  • the real estate ownership certificate.

Real estate acquisition taxes and fees

Here are the main fees and taxes associated with real estate acquisition in South Korea:

  • the stamp duty set at 0.20% of the property value;
  • the acquisition tax which is 2% to 4% of the assessed value of the property;
  • the registration tax which is 1% to 3% depending on the value of the property and the region it is located in.

If you want to buy a property in South Korea, please contact us.