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Buying Property in Italy


It is easy to fall in love with Italy. You may decide that you want to make it your second home. That is easily done but the first thing you need to do is research.

You need to know what you want. You need to really get to know the area of Italy that you are planning to have your home in, even if it’s only for holidays. If you have friends who have bought property in Italy, especially if they live in the area you are interested in, ask them about the process they underwent and what the community is like.

Take your time and look around. Find out what is available and know their rates. Some properties are rundown or have been poorly maintained. Others may be nice but aren’t a match to what you want. You say your looking for something rustic, (rustico would be a farmhouse that you would need to modernise yourself) but you may not expect to end up with a rudere (an abandoned ruin)

You need to learn the language for real estate in Italy. It may be different from your own country. For example, a bilocale is an appartamento (apartment with 2 rooms). Casa means house or home but that is a very vague term. Your real estate agent will ask if you want a casetta (small house), a casala (farm house or small hamlet) or a castello (castle). Imagine this is just the tip of the iceberg. Make sure that you understand and aren’t just guessing at what your real estate agent is saying.

Take the time to inspect your possible property. Really take a good look around. See if it is really what you are looking for and think hard if you should really buy it. This is a major investment after all.

If you’re sure you will purchase the property make a down payment. This is non-refundable unless the owner refused to sell, so don’t make this move unless you are sure you will go through with it.

You will need to present the following documents: your passport, birth certificate and marriage certificate (if married), Codice Fiscale or your Italian tax number which you can apply for at the Italian embassy in your country. You would also need copies of the Income Revenue forms for the last two years and a reference letter from your bank to the bank in Italy where you will hold an account for the mortgage.

You may want to have a lawyer at this point to help you check the contracts (maybe an Italian lawyer as well as one of your nationality). If you and the seller come to an agreement, he will now give you a proposal to purchase which you will both sign before you make a deposit. Usually that’s 20-30%.

A notary will now need to check the title of the property and a surveyor will parcel the land if necessary, if it is a portion of a larger estate. The closing will take 2-4 months after the proposal to purchase is issued. You may send a representative with a power of attorney in your place along with the balance of the payment and 10% of the statutory value of the property as the registration tax. Congratulations on your new property in Italy.


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