Anticretico is a transaction not available in the U.S. whereby a property owner requests a "loan" from you in exchange for housing, which must be paid back to you at the end of your contract. If your loan is not repaid, the property owner could lose the property to you!
Let's say Maria owns a 4-bedroom house. She lists it for $40,000 anticrético. You give her a one-time lump sum payment of $40,000 in exchange for living in her home for a specified time, for example 2 years. According to your contract, upon moving out she must return the $40,000 to you. If she cannot repay your money, you could sue to keep the house!
This is a very tricky but amazingly common housing option in Bolivia. The advantage to the property owner is that they obtain a large amount of money without paying interest on the loan. It is also an advantage for property owners who do not currently qualify for bank loans. They can use this money to make other investments and pay you back with the profits they make on said investments (providing they invest wisely and set aside the amount they will have to return to you in order to have it available upon your request).
The advantage to you is you get to live in a house virtually for FREE, since the money must be returned to you. Another advantage is that if your money is not returned to you per the contract, the property could become yours, and the amount paid in anticrético is usually lower than the actual sales value of the property.
There are risks to both parties, however. When you sign an “anticrético” contract, you should ALWAYS use an attorney AND make sure your contract contains a clause clearly indicating that ownership of the property must be fully transferred to you if the property owner is unable to return your money within a specific amount of time.
You must also make sure the “Derechos Reales” deparment of the government has a copy and that there will be no problems transferring ownership to you if you don’t get your money on time, without the need for a lawsuit. By doing so, you can also make sure that no one else has any right to the home and the land and there are no other liens on the property. If you don’t do this, you risk losing your investment.
Anticretico contracts typically contain clauses on how much time you will live in the home, how much advance notice you have to give prior to moving out and requesting your money back if you choose to cut the contract short (this gives the property owner time to get the money), how much advance notice the owner must give you if they choose to return your money in full early (priot to the time allotted to you to live in the home per the contract), and other stipulations to protect you and the property owner from scamming each other.
It’s a viable option for
housing in Bolivia
if you are willing to take the risk. Local real estate agents are well-versed on this option and can fully explain it to you (along with the risks involved) if you choose to invest your money in this manner. Additionally, allow me to share some of the house hunting lessons I've learned during my own multiple moves.