10 Things To Know Before Buying A House In Italy
Ever dreamed of owning a second home in the land of pizza, pasta and wine? We are lucky enough to own a rustic house in the hills of Le Marche and it is something that I cannot recommend strongly enough.
We were, however, initially concerned about the buying process, assuming it to be a lengthy and bureaucratic affair. In actual fact, buying a property in Italy is surprisingly straightforward, providing you have the right people in place.
Here are our top ten tips on how to buy that dream home in Italia.
1. Research, research and research! Property prices can vary depending on who they are being marketed at. Many agents that market properties solely to overseas buyers may inflate the price, so find somebody who advertises homes at local rates.
2. Obtain a ‘Codice Fiscale’ – an Italian National Insurance number. This is actually quite simple and something that can be done at the tax office (Agenzia Dell’entrate).
3. Open an Italian bank account. A straightforward process providing you remember to take your passport and Codice Fiscale with you. You can use your UK address to begin with, and once you have found the house you want to buy, can change your address at a later date.
4. All paper work relating to the sale will be in Italian, so if you do not speak the language, arrange for a translator or English speaking lawyer to assist you – just so you know what you are signing!
5. Be aware of all fees. When you make an offer on a home, your lawyer or notary will conduct a credit check to ensure that there are no debts from the current owner against the property (which you could inherit)
6. Your lawyer should tell you what the cadastral value of the home is (this is sometimes a larger amount than what you have paid for it, if you’ve managed to negotiate a better price with the seller). All taxes relating to the purchase of the property will be costed on the cadastral value, not the amount you have actually paid.
7. The purchase tax in Italy is 2% of the cadastral value for residents, and 9% for non residents. Obtaining residency requires you to work and pay taxes in Italy, so if this is just a vacation home and not somewhere that you will live full time, the purchase tax will be 9%.
8. Once happy that there no legal or credit issues against the house, your lawyer will draw up a preliminary contract which will explain the conditions of sale, the price and the completion date.
9. If buying through a real estate agent, be aware that they will take a fee from both buyer and seller.
10. The sale of the house will be witnessed and signed by a notary (notaio) and the paperwork must match all that is written on the Preliminary Agreement. Keys are exchanged, and most notaries request the money in the form of a cashier’s cheque (hence the need for a bank account!)
And that is that! Pretty painless isn’t it? So, with an abundance of amazingly priced houses in Italy’s Le Marche, what are you waiting for?!
Out Now – ‘A Prima Vista: Our Journey to Buying & Restoring an Italian Home’
Our guide on how to buy and restore a house in Italy is out now