3 things you got to know before you buy property in Ecuador…
1. Municipal’s official property appraised values in most cases are WAY out of wack, or under the actual market value. It’s common to see properties selling in the six figures while municipally valued at $5,000 USD or less.
2. The buyer of a property can put the real price she paid for the property on the deed but must put at least the official Municipal appraised value.
3. Ecuadorians HATE paying taxes, even more then we North Americans do, because I suppose we are more used to it.
Put these three facts together and most who buy property in Ecuador don’t put the actual amount they paid on the deeds but the minimum amount they must put which is the Municipally appraised value.
The reason for this is because it greatly lessens your tax burden, both for your transfer fees at time of purchase and also your annual tax payments (predios) due to the Municipal each year of ownership.
Here is a real life 2016 example of a property I am looking to buy and how putting the actual amount the owner is asking on the deed effects the transfer and notary fees you will have to pay at purchase plus the annual property taxes vs just putting the Municipally appraised amount.
Figures were attained directly from a notary in Ecuador.
Actual asking price of property: $77,000
$355 Notary fees
$760 Alcabalas (Municipal transfer fees)
$228 Junta de beneficencia (Municipal transfer fees)
$4000 capital gains tax or plusvalia (the seller pays)
Annual property tax payment if based on actual purchase price (predios): $190
Current Municipal appraisal of same property(and the current value on the deed): $37,745
$237 Notary fees
$120 Junta de beneficencia
$0 capital gains tax or plusvalia (the seller pays)
Annual property tax(predios) currently being paid based on current appraised value: $71
Conclusion: Buyer could save over $600 in notary and transfer fees/taxes at time of purchase by just putting the Municipally appraised value. Could also save over $100 a year in the annual property tax due. The seller would save greatly in the capital gains tax (maybe something the buyer could ask for concessions on from the seller for saving them so much in tax by not upping deed to actual value).
Possible consequences: Nothing I know of, everyone does it in Ecuador except when there is a bank loan involved in which case the bank does NOT take the Municipal appraisal but will send a guy to do their own for a more accurate figure on which they will base their loan amount to you.
The choice is yours.