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10 tips for foreigners who want to buy a house in Italy

Buying a property in Italy is a dream for many. After all, Italy inspired writers and artists for centuries. The landscapes are some of the most beautiful in the world, medieval towns and hilltop villages dot the views, and there are many houses, cottages and properties available for purchase at low prices. There are now many countries throughout the peninsula and in Sicily that sell property at symbolic prices in order for them to be restored, to encourage the desire to buy a house even by foreigners who love the Italian people and culture.

However, the purchase of a home by a non-EU citizen or EU citizen can be more difficult than it may seem at first glance and this also justifies the cost of real estate consultancy

Italian real estate legislation is one of the most complicated in Europe, and there are some restrictions on who can buy houses, villas and commercial properties in Italy. Problems are also originated by tax allowances, such as ‘Super bonus 110%’. These benefits are reserved for owners, therefore, for foreign owners or residents abroad of condominium houses or private villas, but they are not easily recognized. More news about it can be found at this link

What a foreigner must know before purchasing a property in Italy

Italy has always been a country of immigration. Its coasts have been the destination of different peoples over the centuries, who have made Italy culturally very diverse. The varied culture and the overlap of several peoples, uses and customs have made Italy the fourth country in the world for the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Italy is therefore a country with a high tourist vocation and owning a home can be a good investment in the real estate market both as a holiday residence and from a touristic investment point of view. However, the purchase of a real estate property in Italy by a foreigner involves a series of problems, let’s see what they are.

Types of property and how a foreign citizen can buy a house in Italy

The Italian law divides real estate into two categories:

  • commercial;
  • for home or residence use.

Houses are divided into 2 types:

  • units that are part of a condominium;
  • single houses.

A foreign citizen or a person residing abroad can buy any property in Italy. Individual real estate properties, such as villas or apartments are all categorized according to their cadastral value which is used to calculate the taxes to be paid on the house.

Documents required for the purchase of a house in Italy by an EU and non-EU citizen

Italian properties can be purchased by EU citizens and non-EU citizens, resident in Italy or owning an Italian company. Non-EU citizens can buy a house in Italy when:

Citizens of the EU, EEA countries and stateless persons with at least three years of residence in the EU can, on the other hand, purchase real estate in Italy without any limit.

Furthermore, foreigners, whether or not EU citizens, also have to overcome the language barrier. A foreign buyer who wants to buy a property in Italy or make a real estate investment must know the Italian language. For this reason, legal advice by a lawyer who understands English Italian is crucial in order to protect their interests.

Taxes and allowances for foreigners who buy property in Italy

In addition to the expenses of the real estate market, foreigners who buy or sell a property in Italy must pay taxes and duties on the sale contract including:

  • registration fees;
  • mortgage fees;
  • cadastral taxes.

Similarly, if the foreign buyer meets the requirements, they can obtain the same benefits as an Italian buyer such as:

  • 4% VAT;
  • registration allowances for the first home;
  • taxes for non-luxury category property.

If you are buying individual property, you will be subject to Italian taxes even if you don’t reside in Italy. Therefore you must register with the Italian tax authorities, such as the Revenue Agency. Property taxes are paid annually and are calculated on the basis of a percentage that depends on the cadastral value of the property. But there are also other property-related taxes that depend on the municipality where the property is located. These taxes are used to pay for important services, such as TARI, financing waste collection and disposal.

However, choosing a trusted lawyer makes it possible to easily overcome any difficulties and be sure to make a good purchase. The Italian real estate market is very interesting for investors, because of its good value compared to other European countries. House prices are relatively low, even as low as 1 euro, due to the large number of empty or unsold houses: several houses and properties are owned by Italian banks due to the acquisition of real estate assets of bankrupt companies and unpaid mortgages.

Finding the right property

If you want to buy individual property, you need a trusted legal advisor with extensive experience in real estate transactions, who can help you find the right property in the city you have chosen.

Knowing the exact value of a property

The price of a property can be difficult to estimate due to the Italian legal system. First of all, we recommend you rely on a lawyer’s assistance to help you with the purchase. Secondly, the Italian government has developed a system for calculating the cost of new buildings, while the price of old buildings is calculated differently. The cost of a new building is calculated based on square meters of construction. The cost of an old building is based on the cadastral value. The cadastral value is a complex system for calculating the value of properties and varies from area to area. It is easy to find an agreement with the seller, but it is difficult to determine the exact value of a property. It is advisable to get help from an expert to estimate the value of a property, in order to be sure you are paying a fair price for the purchase of the house.

Conclusion

Buying a property in Italy is a dream for many, and is easily achievable, because in Italy there are many very beautiful areas with affordable and available real estate for purchase. In addition, there are several benefits that apply to foreigners who want to buy a house in Italy. However, it is important to understand the Italian legal system and how buying a property in Italy works, before starting your search for a property.

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