Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

Havana Journal is proud to post this exclusive interview with the co-founder of a new real estate group in Havana, Point 2 Cuba.

Point 2 Cuba was created by a group of young entrepreneurs following the changes in real estate law in Cuba in November 2011 that legalized the sale and purchase of real estate for Cuban citizens.

The group is based in Cuba with a focus on real estate for sale in Havana, Matanzas and Varadero and have a number of Cuban real estate experts that help buyers and sellers find each other.

Point 2 Cuba understands the complexities of Cuban law and works closely with knowledgeable lawyers to ensure proper and legal real estate transfers.

HJ How do you find real estate for sale in Cuba?

Most of the time homeowners that live in Cuba or their families abroad contact us to help them sell their properties.

HJ Do you ask for exclusivity?

Just like real estate agents and brokers in other countries, Point 2 Cuba always tries to get an exclusive listing.

HJ Can you explain the differences and/or similarities of buying/selling real estate in Cuba vs. buying/selling real estate in the US or Canada?

The biggest differences are:

In Cuba you do not pay property taxes.

In North America there are financing institutions that help buyers to finance their new house whereas in Cuba you can only pay with cash from a Cuban bank account.

In North America people can own as many houses as they wish. In Cuba (according to the law effective as of Nov. 2011) Cubans are limited to owning one home in the city and another in the country, this is an effort from the Cuban government to prevent speculative buying and the accumulation of large real estate holdings by one owner.

In Canada (in accordance with the Canadian law) non-residents have the same rights as residents and citizens of Canada in terms of buying, owning or selling real estate in Canada. In Cuba only Cuban citizens and permanent residents are allowed to sell and buy real estate.

HJ What is the biggest challenge in Cuba real estate?

OVERPRICED PROPERTIES. There are some home sellers that want to sell at extreme prices, mostly because their property is the only asset that they own and cause the owner’s opinions of their properties to be influenced by sentimental value. Most families believe their homes are worth a great deal more than the average and they assume this should be reflected in the sales price.

Unfortunately, it does not work this way. In the Cuban market, the risk of an overpriced home does not only mean that the asking price will not be met but there is also a risk of turning off potential buyers, since an unreasonable price could stigmatize the property.

HJ Who is your ideal buyer?

Entrepreneurs that want to develop a business like a “Paladar” restaurant or a “casa particular” bed and breakfast home.

HJ Can you describe the closing process?

Prior to the conclusion of the sale, the buyer must go to a Cuban bank to make the deposit of the decided amount to pay (CUP, or “pesos cubanos”) to acquire the property. (This value should not be less than the legal value of the property).

The buyer will receive a payment instrument (check) which will have to be given to the seller in the presence of the notary in the formalization of the act.

The Notary’s service for this particular act has a value of 35.00 CUP, and the stamp added to the document is worth 5 CUP or “pesos cubanos”.

On the real estate transfer of ownership there is a levy of 4% on the agreed value of the purchase, which must be paid by each of the parties within 30 days.

HJ Where are your offices?

We meet with our clients in our office in Vedado, Havana or people can call to our office in Canada at (905) 581-9948 to request any information or to book an appointment.

House for sale in Santa Fe Havana

Point 2 Cuba recently listed for sale a three bedroom three bathroom, waterfront home in Santa Fe on the north coast of Havana. This home was built in 1958 and has almost 3,500 square feet of living space.

The home has a garage, waterfront access, gardens and a swimming pool.

More information about real estate in Cuba

Legal procedures for buying and selling real estate in Cuba by Point 2 Cuba’s legal consultant Ingrid Rodríguez Escalante.