Renting country houses in Italy is fun, but what about that feeling you get knowing you could leave your every day life at any time and relax in your own dreamy villa in the Tuscan countryside? Nice, right? Well, if you are entertaining the idea of buying property in Italy, here is some information and advice you might find useful.
In Italy, there are no restrictions on foreign property ownership, so theoretically, you could buy anything as long as your money is officially documented. Mortgage loans, unfortunately, are not an option. Because of the global economic crisis and the lack of family ties and legal status in Italy, Italians hold back from giving out money to foreign buyers.
The Italian real estate transfer process, however regulated, is generally biased in favor of the seller. As such, it’s in your best interests to hire a licensed and registered real estate agent to help you with your search. Once you find your perfect house, you will have to make an offer and pay 1.5% of the purchase price up front. Note that at this stage, the offer is binding only on the buyer. If your offer is accepted, the next step will be signing a sales contract, or compromesso and to pay a second down payment. However, before doing that, make sure you ask an architect or surveyor to check that the property is up to code, as many properties are very old. Finally, the final contract, or rogito, will need both sides to sign in front of a notary and the buyer will settle, in full, with the seller.
As far as fees and taxes are concerned, they usually add 7–15% to the cost of the property, varying according to the type of property that is purchased. VAT is applied on newly built properties and is set at 10%, whereas for resale properties, 10% of the cadastral value is payable. In both cases, percentages decrease if the buyer registers for Italian residency within a year and a half. Additional costs include, the realtor, surveyor, lawyer and notary.
Are you still interested in buying that Tuscan villa?