Having lived through the unprecedented times experienced during the past two to three years due to the unexpected and all-encompassing pandemic which severely impacted on commerce across the world and now faced with the economic consequences of the war in the Ukraine, many British citizens are considering a complete change of lifestyle by realising their long-held ambition of buying a house in Europe.

A sunny climate, a stress-free environment and more affordable way of life in popular destinations such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and France is driving more and more people to buy a house in Europe and relocate permanently.

Each country has different considerations to manage during property purchase but buying a house overseas need not be any more complicated than buying a property in the UK with expert legal guidance through the legal and regulatory landscape. Giambrone & Partners real estate lawyers have many years' experience in advising British citizens with their real estate purchases.

Giorgio Bianco, a partner, pointed out "Real estate remains one of the best investments for any individual and is often the largest financial outlay that they will make. The vast majority of people cannot afford avoidable financial losses on this scale and are strongly advised to appoint an expert lawyer that specialises in real estate to advise and guide them through the process." Giorgio further commented "the range of risks and adverse issues that may arise and cause a transaction to falter, such as lack of planning permission with regard to illegal extensions and adaptations to the construction of a property which render the property valueless, will be identified and managed at an early stage by an expert legal advisor."

There is a wide range of types of property to buy, from small houses in remote villages, apartments in heritage buildings, villas, farmhouses, small castles and other historical properties covering an extensive variety of architectural styles and environments.

British nationals are often unaware of factors and laws that impact on the purchase agricultural land in many countries. In those countries where agricultural land is considered to be an important resource, foreign purchasers may be subject to regulations and rules related to such land. For example, in Italy land adjacent to existing farm land is subject to pre-emption rights or first option to buy and a farmer whose land is adjacent to the property being sold must be offered the opportunity to buy the land before the foreign purchaser may do so and only after the offer has been made and rejected can the purchase go ahead.

The advice of knowledgeable real estate lawyers, in your own language, is vital. Expert lawyers will carry out meticulous due diligence to ensure that your overseas real estate purchase will be achieved without any problems or unexpected risks arising in the future. First class legal advice cannot be over-valued.

Giorgio Bianco is a partner, he leads the Sardinian office, the Tunis office and the Lyon Office

Giorgio has been a qualified Italian lawyer registered at Bar of Sassari (Sardinia) since 2011.He is also registered as a lawyer at the Bar of Lyon (France) since 2021

Giorgio joined Giambrone in 2012, initially working from the Tunisian office, which he set up in 2017 where Giorgio successfully strengthened his knowledge of International and Tunisian law. He subsequently provided an invaluable contribution to the setting of the Sardinian office as well as setting up a French desk for Italy in 2019. In 2021 Giorgio made a significant contribution to the opening of Giambrone & Partners France, with its first office in Lyon.

Giorgio was previously shortlisted by the prestigious legal magazine Top Legal for the award best Italian young lawyer of the year. Giorgio's expertise and his ongoing work as resident partner in Sardinia assisted in the success in Giambrone winning the coveted Top Legal award as Best Law Firm of Italy - Islands.

Giorgio taught law as an expert in immigration law and intercultural mediator in 2017. His main areas of expertise revolve around International and cross-border civil and commercial law, international contracts, real estate, French Law, Tunisian and Islamic Law. He also provides specialised legal expertise with respect to debt collection, corporate, arbitration, probate and family law.

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.