“He is free who knows how to keep in his own hand the power to decide, at each step, the
course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power.” Salvador
de Madariaga (1886 – 1978) Spanish writer, historian and politician
Buying property in Paraguay can be a great bargain and a solid investment, if you are prudent and do your due diligence. I have purchased three properties here in Paraguay and have never had a problem, but I have friends who were new immigrants to Paraguay and unfortunately fell victim to a con artist, who cheated them out of a large deposit.
Prior to entering into any contract you must confirm that the counterparty is the actual owner, or authorized agent for the property and that the property is free of any liens or other legal problems which will prevent the sale of the property. You should also always have any legal document requiring your signature translated into your native language by a court licensed translator. Taking these actions will save you huge headaches if there is a problem with the property.
The sale process itself is straight forward. You find a property you like, agree on a purchase price with the owner and proceed to a notary public to sign a private contract for the purchase of the property. At this point you will also pay a deposit on the property, usually 5 or 10%. The notary then requests an information sheet about the property from the Office of Public Records in Asuncion. If everything is alright with the property, the transaction then proceeds, you pay the remainder of the purchase price, and you get title to the property. If, however, there is a problem: the property has a lien, or is embargoed by a court as a guarantee for someone with legal problems, or the owner is dead, and you are talking to the son, who hasn’t legally inherited the property, or a myriad of other possible problems, you then have to hope the seller returns your deposit as required by law. If not you have to sue him for repayment, which means finding an (honest) lawyer, paying legal fees upfront, and waiting years for a final verdict.
The bottom line is that Paraguay is a beautiful country and real estate here is truly a bargain, but as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
“Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.” -- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BC) Roman philosopher, politician and orator.