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Buying Property In Italy

Buying a Property in Italy

Have your sights set on moving abroad? Why not consider a place where you can indulge in mouthwatering cuisines and flowing wines while admiring breathtaking sceneries or loosing yourself in a bustling historical city - Italy has all of this and more from Tuscany to Sicily, Milan to Rome and everywhere in between. This top European destination offers residents a healthy balance between work and pleasure, especially appealing if you are from a fast-paced society. Even more, its prime geographic location along the Mediterranean - paired with the high-speed railway system - makes it more than ideal for easy travel within and outside of the Stivale.

People around the world dream of someday owning a picturesque Italian villa with a small olive grove or a few acres of vines. As Italian cities brim with idyllic landscapes and Renaissance art, it’s the high quality of life and low cost of living which make buying a property seem like the next logical step. Property and real estate in Italy is a common foreign investment. The purchasing process is relatively easy for a non-citizen and the investment will retain its value over time. Fortunately, the dream of an Italian stone home is attainable - however, there are a few things to know and consider before packing your bags. Here we have compiled some information to get you started.


Immigration Considerations when Buying Property in Italy

Buying property in Italy does not give owners the right to permesso di soggiorno, an Italian permit to stay. However, owning property can strengthen your application for an Italian elective residency visa if you prove you have stable and sufficient funds to support your stay without employment.

Non-EU citizens who reside in Italy short-term or who have a permit to stay in another EU member state can purchase property in Italy only if their home country has a reciprocity arrangement, meaning Italians are legally allowed the same type of transaction in the person’s home country. Australians and Canadians, for example, face greater restrictions due to their countries’ restrictions on foreign investments in real estate. If the buyer’s country of citizenship maintains a bilateral investment treaty with Italy, the buyer may invest in any type of Italian property.

The Italian Property Buying Process

Foremost, It is important to determine the area in which you want to settle. Italy provides buyers no shortage of desirable places to set roots. In some parts of Italy more residents own homes rather than rent, and finding availability typically is never an issue. Perhaps you’ve seen property in Italy advertised at the cost of 1 euro! While this does exist as an incentive to repopulate abandoned historical Italian villages, there are much larger fees and requirements of stay attached - as well as, major home improvements which can likely require substantial upfront investment. Do thorough research of areas and homes online to gain initial insight of the market.

In short, non-Italian residents are able to procure a mortgage loan through an Italian bank. However, over the last several years less banks are willing to grant loans to non-residents due to the latest economic crisis and anti-money laundering regulations. You will need to obtain a lawyer with connections to a bank to assist you to secure a mortgage loan. Even then, loans are only given for 60-70% of the purchase price and additional costs are attached to the process.


Sienna, one of Italy's countless picturesque cobblestoned streets.

Making an Offer on an Italian Home

When you are ready to make an offer, the broker will ask you to sign a proposta di acquisto, purchase proposal to confirm the offer, accompanied by deposit money. If you sign the proposta and then back out without a valid reason, you will likely lose your deposit. However, in the case the seller withdraws, the prospective buyer is legally entitled to receive double the amount of the deposit.

The compromesso, or contratto preliminare, preliminary contract requires parties sign the final contract. The compromesso details the main elements of the transaction with data from the land registry and specifies the closing date. The prospective buyer should retain a lawyer or notary to draft the compromesso, the notary will then register the compromesso with the land registry. Registering a preliminary contract publicly “reserves” the property for the prospective purchaser. This is important if the advance payment is substantial or a lengthy delay is anticipated between the preliminary and final contract; additionally, it reduces the possibility that a dishonest seller could try to sell the property to someone else or use it as collateral for a loan.

The final contract and property transfer takes place in front of a public notary, whose seal and signature close the contract, verifying the buyer the new owner of the property. The notary is responsible of drafting the act of sale and ensures the transfer of property complies with all regulations. The deed is typically drafted in Italian. Both parties will sign the deed in front of the notary. If one party is not fluent in Italian, the notary may obtain a certified translation of the deed, and the translation becomes part of the public deed; or, a trusted advocate fluent in Italian may receive power of attorney and negotiate for you. The notary collects all real estate transaction fees and taxes, and will enter the deed in the land registry, register the deed with Italian tax authorities, and convey payment of the relevant taxes.

Property Tax in Italy

Owners must pay annual property taxes to the Italian government. The mere fact of owning a home in Italy won’t subject you to Italy’s income tax system, but home ownership is a factor in the official determination of whether Italy is your fiscal residency. If you spend more than six months a year in Italy, or if Italy is the center of your personal or professional interests, then you must file taxes in Italy.

Relocate is Here to Make Your Move to Italy Easier

The Italian property market is currently full of unique opportunities for those considering purchasing property. Combined with various financial incentives, such as low-interest mortgages and generous tax-credits for renovating properties — Italy is truly a dream destination. However, navigating the Italian property market can be challenging for those considering to purchase real-estate in Italy.

For more in-depth information about life in Italy and how to buy property, dig-deeper into our featured articles and contact experts through Relocate. You can easily browse qualified Advisors in Italy and request a direct consultation for assistance in finding and purchasing a home in Italy.

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