How to buy a house in Italy?
The question "how to buy a house in Italy" is very frequent among foreigners who do not have any knowledge of the Italian system and law.
Each Country has its own rules, reason why you need to ask a number of questions to understand how to buy a house in Italy.
It happens many times that foreign people come to us by asking this generic question, and once we try to understand what kind of legal assistance they wish to receive, they ask many more questions. For example, they wish to know where to find their dream house, if they can transfer their residency in the Country, how much they will spend for Notary fees and any other costs in terms of completing a property purchase. Eventually, they need advice on costs, taxation, residency etc.
So whilst the question "how can I buy a house in Italy" seems to have a simple and straightforward answer, this question hides many other questions behind it.
In this article, we will try to answer what hidden behind the question "how to buy a house in Italy".
- First of all, if you are wondering how to buy a house in Italy, you might need to know if there are any websites where you can find good properties at a good value. Maybe you are looking for a real estate agency or a broker, maybe you are looking for a private who sells his house so that you can save commission costs. Our first advice in this case is to determine where you wish to buy your home, what you are willing to buy (cottage, villa, mobile home, family house, etc.) , how much you want to invest, etc. In fact, having a clear mind of the property you are looking for, will help you to get in the right direction. Your can start your searches by using websites, however, once you find the property of your dreams, make sure that you are 100% protected against frauds or any other risks. Do not pay any deposit if you have not done a proper due diligence on both property and seller. It is always advisable to ask the help of a lawyer who will inform you on each step to carry out before the signature on the final deed of purchase.
- Secondly, if you ask us how to buy a house, you probably also wish to know if you can get a mortgage and when, what requirements need to be fulfilled, and if you can obtain it if you are a foreigner. There are many cases in which foreigners obtain mortgages in Italy, however there are a few requirements and information which the bank needs to ask in order to release a mortgage. In particular if you are a Non-Eu nationals, it is usually required to have a valid residence permit, you also have to inform the bank about your income\job, and if you do not have a stable job, the bank might ask you for other guarantees.
- If you ask us how to buy a house in Italy, you also probably want to know what costs you have to afford. This obviously depend on the complexity of your purchase and on certain decisions you make in order to complete your purchase. We can list a few costs which you need to take into consideration when you buy a property in Italy:
- Notary costs: depending if you are buying a first home (and therefore you are moving for the first time your residency in Italy) or not, notary costs will change. In fact, the notary fees will remain the same, but the amount of taxes that he will pay on your behalf will be quite different. If you wish to know more about first or second house taxation, you can check this article.
- Survey costs: it is advisable to check your property with the help of a surveyor. You can chose someone who you know in the area where the property is located or ask if your lawyer has someone to introduce you. It is not mandatory to have a survey when you purchase a house in Italy, however this will help you to check in what state is the property, and potentially will help you to negotiate the price and make a proper offer.
- Real estate agency fees: if you find a property through the help of an agency or broker, you will be requested to pay commission fees. In Italy commissions are usually 3% of the purchase price, however there are agencies or broker who ask 2 or 4% commission. This is a cost that you pay once the deal is finalized. But when can we say that a deal is finalized? Can the signature of a preliminary contract be considered as a final deal? Certain agencies ask for their commission at the signature of the preliminary contract, however it would be always better to pay the commission at the final deed of purchase. This is in terms of being certain that the agent will assist you till the end of your purchase, also if something goes wrong, you do not have to pay a commission for a purchase that you eventually did not finalize.
- Legal fees: despite you are not obliged to ask for the assistance of a lawyer, a law firm can save you from a bad purchase, will help you to negotiate the price in a professional way, and will assist you with the deposit payment so that, if you do not complete the purchase you will eventually get your deposit back, etc. etc. In fact, we believe that legal fees are just an apparent cost, as you will realize by the end of your purchase, that you have saved money, time and especially you have not been exposed to risks.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.