Tips on Buying a Real Estate in Italy

Beautiful landscapes, fantastic food and wine, good weather almost all over the year and a plenty of art and opera. Where if not in Italy? Puglia, Marche, Sicily, Sardinia, Abruzzo, Tuscany and Umbria. Did you ever dream of a wonderful farmhouse in the middle of a stunning countryside? The property market have been in crisis alwmost for the last five year. There are plenty of bargains available off the beaten track. The market offers something for everyone, from rustic rural getaways and seaside villas, to Renaissance city apartments and modern ski chalets. Italy enjoys an easy-going pace of life with a strong emphasis on friends and family.

With many tourists rental returns can be lucrative. The market has shown encouraging signs of expanding beyond the traditional holiday hotspots. Lots of good airport connections allowed many of the rural Italy to be fastly reachable.

The property market is well regulated, and there are plenty of English-speaking agents.

Several taxes are due in buying an Italian property. You’ll pay purchase tax of 3% if this is the first property you are buying in Italy and you are applying for residency; if not, it is 10%. VAT may be applicable to new built property sold from companies. The tax is calculated using the official property value, known as the ‘rendita catastale’, not the sale price. Both the buyer and seller pay estate agent fees (3-5%) plus notaio fees are 1-2% of the sale price. A further budget to cover geometra’s fees (surveyor) and bank charges, need to be considered.

As far as running costs go, there are various taxes to pay annualy, including IMU, a council and property tax, TASI, a new tax on general local services, and TARI, a local tax on environmental and refuse collection.

You will also be taxed on any rental income or on the cadastral rental rate if the property is not rented out, at the income tax rate of 23-43%. Italy and the UK have a double-taxation agreement, meaning both governments will not tax the same income.

The Italian legal system is highly bureaucratic and can be a minefield for foreign buyers, so independent legal advice is crucial. The lawyer will assist you in contacting the notaio, draw up the deeds, advice you on the preliminary contract known as the “compromesso”, obtain a codice fiscal.ensure the legitimacy of the seller and make sure the transfer of the property to be property registered. The Notaio will meet to exchange contracts. The rogito (title deed) must then be registered at the local cadastro (land agency). Usually the Notaio take care of it.

Considering the Italian bureaucracy situation, and the possibility to have problems, it is better to be safe and ask for legal advice. It is strongly advice to have an indipendent lawyer in Italy.

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