Buying property in Croatia: What you see is what you get?

23. srpnja 2021.


My name is Blaženka and I´m not here to destroy your dream when dreaming your perfect home. I´m just here to little wipe your smudged glasses so you can see better what you´re buying. Of course, if you want.

Wish list

When buying a property we often have a wish list with small check boxes:

In our price range – checked, or

House with big yard – checked, or

Close to the beach- checked, or

Private beach – checked, or

Isolated – checked, or

(write whatever your desire is) – checked

But, when in Croatia, please add one more check box:

What you see is what you get?

And please don’t let this be the only box you didn’t check. Why?

Croatia has a dual real estate registration system. Cadastre and land register, as well as most countries that have historically had a connection with the Habsburg Monarchy and Maria Theresa (the Czech and Hungarian-Croatian queen and the Austrian archduchess). That was a long and exhausting relationship that we will talk about on another occasion.

In real life that means that your land/property (cadastral parcel) needs to be registred in cadastre and in land registry with same title, parcel number, area and discription of the parcel.

Maria Teresa conducted the first land survey in today’s Croatia in 1763. And this is not a problem. The problem is that almost 75% of this data is official data even today. So, for Istria we have data from 1822., for Dalmatia from 1837. and Slavonia from 1864. The worst data are in most of the Dalmatia and especially on the islands. In some areas, nothing has changed in cadaster and land register but a lot has changed on the field.

For this reason, perhaps what you see and want to buy is not exactly registred in the cadastre and land register.

Maybe the house on the filed is a meadow in the register? Or you have more than one parcel in registry with many different owners? Or your seller is not signed in the land registry but have a legit purchase contract?

Double check if the seller of the land/property is the right and only owner. Co-ownership in many proportions is most likely the case you will get.

And before you buy it be shure that what you see is what you get or make sure it can be.

The holy trinity in real estate is: Location, Location, Location. Ok, I agree, but please don´t forget to mark the main check box: what you see is what you get?

If you think that buying property in Croatia is a stormy sea, you are probably right. But you don´t need to navigate that ship alone.

I am here to help you.


Blaženka Mičević, PhD

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