Holiday Home Insurance Latvia – The Republic of Latvia is a pretty little country that for over 50 years lay mostly unknown to the outside world mainly as a result of the soviet occupation. Located in the Northern Europe, the country is referred to as a Baltic State, it shares borders with Estonia in the North, Lithuania to the South and both Russia and Belarus to the east. Across the Baltic sea is Sweden. The capital city is Riga and perhaps like most other emerging property markets, it has been the focus of overseas investment, especially by second home owners, it also enjoys a flourishing buy to let market. Other important towns and cities in the country are; Daugavpils, Liepâja, Jelgava, Jûrmala, Ventspils, Valmiera, Ogre, Talsi & Ludza.
The Holiday Home Market in Latvia – This country is now opening up to foreign investment and holiday homes and second homes are being acquired by foreign investors. Before the soviet era, this part of Northern Europe was known as a dynamic country, it is very beautiful with over twelve thousand rivers and three thousand lakes, it is a flat country, marked by lowland plains and rolling hills. It has much to offer the holiday home owner with plenty of places of historical interest to visit. As mentioned above, the bulk of visitors are drawn to the capital city Riga, this city has certainly come to life again since the end of the soviet occupation and is a popular place to visit, it has much to offer in terms of nightlife, artistic movement, music and has an ever growing number of smart shops and restaurants, Riga is quickly re establishing itself as a major European capital city.
Why Buy a Holiday Home in Latvia? – As with the other Baltic states, property prices in Latvia have seen dramatic increases in the last few years, since gaining independence and joining the European Union, Latvia has seen a large growth in it’s economy. The population are well educated and business minded, there is a good local workforce and this is helping to attract big overseas manufacturing companies to some of the major Latvian towns and cities, it is also creating a need for more housing. Latvia boasts one of the largest GDP growth rates and yields on rental properties particularly in the capital city, at the present moment, these are very strong.
There are very few restrictions on foreign home owners ship in Latvia and insurance for a Holiday or second home is available from the United Kingdom. Perils that are offered by insurers are quite standard, things such as Fires, Floods, Thefts and Liability should all be included. If you are buying property in Latvia to rent, you will need to discuss this with the insurance company so as to make sure you receive the correct form of liability insurance cover. Although Latvia is not a country that is associated with major disasters such as Earthquakes, some flooding does occur but this is mainly restricted to undeveloped areas and is often the result of fast melting snow. If you are intending buying property in Latvia, you should be able to obtain flood information.
How to Buy a Latvian Holiday Home – Purchasing property in Latvia is now relatively straight forward, the obligation to set up a limited company to purchase anything other than an apartment has been removed, this makes everything easier but you may consider that setting up a limited company has certain tax advantages, professional assistance should be sought with regard to this matter. If you do decide to set up a limited company in Latvia, this can be done cheaply and quickly, the process usually takes about 14 days and will cost less than £500.00.
Your solicitor will be able to do this for you and once again, it must be stressed that quality legal advice is of paramount importance when seeking to buy any property in a foreign country. Latvian property law can be a little complex thus spending some time locating a quality solicitor will pay dividends in the long run, even if it does cost a little extra money. Your offer to purchase a property can be made verbally via an agent or via your solicitor if you would prefer not to be involved, the prices tend to be inflexible and you should check because in some cases, the price on offer will contain fees and sometimes the VAT on the property. On some new build properties, VAT is included in the price, as this can be up to 18%, it is important to establish if it is included or not.
Once the price has been agreed, it is customary to sign a Preliminary contract which of course will be subject to satisfactory searches being carried out on the property. At this stage you will usually also pay a 10% deposit. The deposit can be held by a solicitor or notary until the sale is concluded. Your solicitor should check the title of the property carefully, Latvia in common with many other emergency property markets has in the past experienced some problems with property title and previous mortgages being registered against them. Your solicitor will perform a detailed check of the Land Book before the sale is completed.
Once your solicitor is satisfied, that everything is in order, the notary act or contract for purchase is drawn up and in common with many other Latvian countries, this document will have to be signed in front of a notary. You can have this document signed in Latvia or at your local Latvian embassy. Off plan properties, are slightly different, the final contract cannot be signed until the property is completed.
Latvia imposes a 2% charge for the title deed to be registered an an annual property tax of 1.5%. On the whole purchase costs are quite reasonable though.
The main holiday home areas are: Aizkraukle, Aluksne, Balvi, Bauska, Cesis, Daugavpils, Dobele, Gulbene, Jekabpils, Jelgava, Kraslava, Kuldiga, Liepaja, Limbazi, Ludza, Madona, Ogre, Preili, Rezekne, Riga, Saldus, Talsi, Tukums, Valka, Valmiera and Ventspils.