Frequently asked questions, how to buy property in Aruba for non-residents:
Q.: Can a foreign citizen buy property in Aruba?
A: Yes, there are no restrictions for any foreigner on buying property in Aruba.
Q: How much time can
I spend in
A: Citizens of the
For visitors from EU
VISITORS WITHOUT A VISA
Q: Can a foreign citizen work legally in Aruba?
A: All visitors wishing to
work in Aruba must have a written permit from the Directorate of Alien
Integration, Policy and Admission (DIMAS). Visitors are not allowed to be in
paid employment by an Aruban employer while visiting
Departamento di Integracion, Maneho y Admision di Stranhero (DIMAS)
Go to DIMAS website for more up-to-date information and/or an appointment: http://www.dimasaruba.aw
Q: Would it be
possible to retire on
A: we can cover all listings of all realtors for you, no extra costs involved. (The seller pays the commission and realtors share amongst them). That way you only have to deal with one broker, which will save you lots of time during your stay.
Come prepared; the Internet is of course an excellent tool to get started and it is advisable to start your search while still at home. Let us know, what you are looking for in regards to size, location and budget. Also let us know which homes on our website and the other realtor’s websites are of your liking and we will get all additional information for you.
We will prepare a list of possible properties and make all viewing appointments by e-mail.
We will during our first meeting go through the list and also make sure you get a good understanding of the areas, which ones you prefer and what is the general pricing level in that area.
We will need your ID’s, proof of address, proof of income, proof of funds, and a personal data form.
After submitting all documents to the notary, he or she might need some more documentation.
The deed can be signed in general within 12 weeks after signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. For legal support concerning the contracts we advise you to contact the selected notary.
After the notary deed is ready to sign, the notary will send a final statement to buyers and sellers. After receipt of payment, the appointment for the closing can be set. The notary will only pay-out the proceeds to the seller after another title search within 24 hours.
You will receive all necessary bank information to make the wire transfers.
Central Bank rules
A few rather complicated rules for the money exchange from and to abroad have to be observed:
a non-resident you transfer your own currency to
In case the seller is also a non-resident and likes to receive the amount in US
Dollar, than you transfer to the USD account. If the seller likes to export the
proceeds to the
In any case, where Aruban Florins need to be converted in USD, whether it goes to an Aruban USD account or whether it goes to the US or any other country, the exchange rate is 1.823 (incl. the 1.3 % currency commission).
Also, between a non resident buyer and a non –resident seller: if a mortgage is obtained by a local bank, that portion will always be in Aruba Florin and the conversion costs are for the buyer.
In case a one exports money abroad, a 1.3 % currency commission needs to be paid to the Central Bank.
In any real estate transaction over AWG 300.000 (USD 168.500,-) and between a resident and a non-resident, an exchange permit needs to be obtained from the Central Bank. Of course the notary will take care of this. The costs are for the buyer and are around AWG 250,-
TIP: Never pay the deposit directly to an agent or the seller, but always to the notary, preferably by international bank transfer.
TIP 2: The whole process can be done through email and when necessary with a power of attorney. You don’t need to be here for the closing, but it still is advisable to come to
Your agent a/o the notary can assist you with all necessary
steps and you can do many things by fax or e-mail. In case you will not be able
to be on
Q: do we need to have an inspection or survey done?
You can also contact the building department (DOW) that issues the building permits and keeps copies of all permits. Mostly the sellers can provide the original building permit.
DOW does not however provide a service of inspection. For an inspection you might use an appraiser, ideally one, that has an engineering or architectural background. We can help you finding a reliable one, who can make both a value appraisal and/or a specifically technical inspection.
The property registry , in Aruba called” kadaster and hypotheekkantoor” (land and mortgage registry) keeps track on all properties, property lines, deeds, mortgages, liens, embargos and so on.
If you like to have your property surveyed or measured, because you want to have certainty in regards to the correct property lines, you can have the kadaster (takes up to 8 weeks) or a private surveying company measure the land and put in new stakes.
TIP: always inquire about the lines, ask for the map (the so called ‘situatieplan’) issued by the kadaster and on whose land the fence/walls are built.
Q: Does the seller have to arrange an appraisal when selling their home?
A: No, the buyer has to arrange and pay for an appraisal, because he will need it in order to apply for a mortgage at the bank and also for the home insurance.
However, in many cases the seller has one made for any buyer’s convenience.
Q: How about
financing my purchase in
Please be aware, that US Banks don’t finance properties abroad. Using the equity on your own home is advisable. Contact your bank about the possibilities.
Still you can contact RBC Bank or Aruba Bank about their facilities:
TIP: you will need an appraisal for applying for a mortgage for the local banks. Ask your realtor if there is an up-to-date appraisal (not older than 6 months) or have a new one made.
Q: What are the
additional costs (closing costs) when buying property in
1. Transfer tax (one time tax) is 6 % of the purchase price or the tax value (whichever is higher)
2. For locals buying properties over AWG 250.000,- the part under AWG 250.000, has a transfer tax of 3%.
Property Tax: The so called land tax is a percentage of the tax value. The tax value is determined by the tax department. They re-evaluate every 5 years. The first USD 34.000, - of this value is free of tax.
On the balance you will pay USD 6, - per USD 1.000, - of the tax value or 0.6 % over tax value.
Long lease fee: Only applicable for long leased land. The amount was determined at the start of the lease period and will remain the same for the full duration, mostly 60 years. Ask your agent for the amount applicable. In case of long lease land you pay the fee plus property tax.
Q: why do I need a notary?
A: Unlike the Anglo-Saxon system, where lawyers work out the purchase agreement, in the Dutch legal system we work with a notary, who is a full lawyer, appointed by the queen and 100% impartial. The notary is your contact person during closing period next to your realtor. They might ask you a lot of questions regarding your marital status and some other awkward questions. But rest assured: they only are doing their job of thoroughly investigating current and future ownerships, current and future mortgages, but also on liens, infringements and so on (title search).
Q: what other costs will occur?
A: the same as in your home country:
1. home and inventory insurance,
2. maintenance of house, garden and pool,
3. management of your property,
monthly utilities (typically in the same price range here as in the
TIP: remember to get all accounts onto your name on day of closing. You need proper ID’s, copies of proof of ownership from notary, and cash for the deposits.
5. Fees for condos.
Q: How much would a home insurance cost?
There are many types of property insurance. However typical comprehensive property insurance that covers explosion, earthquake, flooding, fire, riot/ malicious damage, foreign object, etc. costs yearly approx. 0.37% of the reconstruction value.
And don’t forget the insurance on your inventory.
Q: How much do I have to calculate for water, electricity etc.?
The quality of
A deposit of AWG 250.- is required
to connect to the water supply of WEB NV.
With an average swimming pool of 30 m3, the monthly consumption of water in dollars is estimated at $250.00.
A: ELECTRICITY is produced by
Q: How much are telephone costs on the island?
The telecommunication infrastructure is advanced and sophisticated. SETAR provides all telecommunication services on an exclusive basis, except for cellular services, which are also provided by Aruba Digicel as well, which has the best roaming facilities and wireless internet access for US customers.
New connections take between 3
weeks up to 2 months, depending on whether the house is new, with a connection
fee of $28.-
For more information contact:
Q: What about an internet connection?
SETAR provides internet access
through your phone.
Faster internet services are provided through an ISDN or ASDL account
For more information contact SETAR NV:
Tel: 297-582-0404 or www.setar.aw
You can also opt for a Cable TV/ ADSL package.
See the website for the options: http://www.cta.aw/
A: You buy a house that is built on property land which means that you own the land. Besides property land you can buy a house which is built on lease land.
Long-lease fee is applied only to Long lease properties. The Government of Aruba through Domeinbeheer (Directorate of Land Administration) gives out the long-lease properties. The long lease properties are given out for a period, usually, of 60 years. The long lease fee is determined at the beginning of the contract and is fixed for the duration of the long lease period and the fee is fixed for all this time. After expiring the government will extend it for another 60 years, except when they maybe need it for other purposes. They will have to buy you out for the fair market value however.
The long lease fee is collected yearly and is 6% of the
appraised value, determined by Directorate of Land Administration. The fee
varies based on location and size of property and is fixed for the period of 60
years. Long lease fees range between $200.00 and $ 600.00 per year. The
only thing that may happen when the lease period is extended, is that the
yearly fee will increase. If, for any reason, the government will not extend
the contract, they will have to compensate the owner at market value. You can have an appraisal made yourself to that effect. So
you will never lose your investment or the increase in value. From more
information contact DIP (dienst infrastructuur en planning) Tel: 297-5833000 or
just ask us for more information.
Q: Should we set up a local bank account?
For example to pay the monthly bills of electricity, water, cable TV etc. With online access and automatic payments your life will be much easier. To set up an account, contact Aruba Bank or RBC Bank, see info above. Mostly you only need 2 bank reference letters from your home country and a deposit of a few hundred Dollars.
Q: What to do with your new home, when you are not there?
There are several property management companies on
Century 21 Real Estate only rents on a long term basis, which means a minimum rental period of 1 year. We can send you contract terms and costs on request.
Q: What type of
sewage systems do we have in
You could also consider a more sophisticated system, where you connect the sewage pump to the automatic drip-system and use the grey water for your plants.
Q: I have bought a beautiful house and now I need to furnish it. Where do I buy?
A: Furniture: Aruba has very nice furniture stores these days: Home and Nature, EQ3, Ford’s are the best for modern and /or tropical style furniture.
Appliances and air conditioners: AMC Unicon, Hagemeyer, EZeeBrothers (household items), Baba’s, Lucky Store and Price Smart.
Garden: Fantastic Garden, Flora and Cayena Gardens.
Lucky Store are more like department stores.
Household items and
especially bed- and bath linen better to bring it from the
We can also connect you with interior decorators.
Q: What kind of
medical system does
In case of an emergency you can go to The Emergency Department, which has an attending physician on site 24 hours a day. The medical specialists are on call. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Services such as oxygen tanks and hemodialysis are available.
Horacio E. Oduber Hospital Boulevard #1
Tel.: (+297) 527-4000
If you would like to contact a
notary, please e-mail to the following:
Notary Yarzagaray: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notary Tromp, New Leaf: CTromp@newleafaruba.com
Notary Helmeyer: email@example.com
Please note: The following information is meant for non-residents, who are not familiar with Aruban laws, rules and costs. They do however apply in most parts also to residents (Aruban or otherwise).
All information in subject to change. We are is never responsible or liable for the information given about, by or through 3rd parties. Inform us immediately by e-mail if you see incorrect information.
Contact me for additional information, or when you have questions/ comments.