Top considerations for buying a property overseas in Italy
For many people who want to move to Europe, or just invest in real estate there, Italy stands out as a perfect destination. From calm countryside villages to bustling cities filled with history and culture, and from mountains to beaches, Italy has something for everyone who is hoping to buy some property abroad.
Before taking the leap and investing in real estate in Italy, whether you want a little apartment or a large plot of land, there are some things that you should consider. We’ve compiled a short guide below so that you can make the right decisions while you shop.
What properties are available for purchase in Italy?
You can find a variety of homes, townhouses, and apartments, as well as plots of land for building, throughout Italy. These are properties that you can either live in or invest in to use as rental income.
More populous cities, such as Rome, may offer more apartments than single-family homes, but if you go to more rural areas, you might be able to find a lovely villa with some land. It’s ultimately up to you to decide where you want to live, and the type of property that you would prefer to invest in, as Italy has a wide range of options for all types of buyers.
While some investors from abroad choose to purchase a permanent residence in Italy, others are only in search of buying a home that they can use when they want to go to Italy on holiday. Still others purchase a home that they can use for getaways, as well as for retirement when they’re ready to stop working.
Are there any restrictions for foreign property buyers in Italy?
Generally, when it comes to foreign ownership of real estate in Italy, there aren’t too many restrictions. Most people likely won’t find it hard to make the purchase that they want.
- Non-EU citizens and EU citizens, as well as non-EU citizens who are living in Italy legally, are able to buy property when they can prove that they have a right to stay in the country (such as a visa).
- If you are a non-EU citizen, and you do not have the right to reside in the country or buy property, check if there is what’s known as a reciprocal agreement, or reciprocity condition, between Italy and your home country. Provided that this agreement is in place, you might be able to purchase property in Italy after all, as it also means that Italian citizens can purchase property or reside in your home country too.
Tip: During the buying process, it is a great idea to work with a real estate attorney. And it is recommended that you properly document any money that you send to Italy to buy your property, as doing so will ensure any money you make from the sale of the property down the road will be repatriated.
How to budget to buy property in Italy
Real estate prices vary throughout Italy, but a search could yield some amazing places that are surprisingly affordable.
For example, in recent years, Lucca has grown in popularity even though it wasn’t all that well-known in the past, and real estate prices there may be upwards of 25% less than they are in tourist spots like Florence.
In addition to budgeting for the actual price of the property that you are planning on purchasing in Italy, also consider that, as a buyer, you will be responsible for several other taxes and fees. Those might include:
- Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Registration Tax
- Legal Fees
- Notary Fee
- Land Registry Tax
- Real Estate Agent’s Fee
Consider, too, if you are going to invest in a more modern property or a fixer-upper. If you’re willing to take on a restoration project, it could become costly, depending on the amount of repair work that’s needed, so definitely remember to factor those costs into your budget as well. You might find that buying a newer house that doesn’t need as much work, if any at all, is actually more affordable, even if the price of a fixer-upper is much lower.
Also, don’t forget to check currency exchange rates to see how far your money will go once it has been converted into euros. OFX’s helpful market rate alerts and currency charts can come in really handy while budgeting for your purchase.
Use OFX to make payments on your property
In addition to using tools like currency charts offered by OFX, you can also move your money abroad whenever you need to make payments on your property in Italy.
When you use OFX, you can complete a money transfer online at your convenience, no matter where you are. You can also call the customer service team 24 hours a day if you get stuck. And you can save money in the process because you won’t be getting hit with the high margins and fees that a bank would typically charge you to complete the same transfer.
Find your dream home in Italy!
With so few restrictions on foreign buyers who are interested in purchasing a property in Italy, there’s no reason to hesitate. If you have been thinking about investing in real estate in Europe, and Italy has caught your eye, you can begin your house hunt, whether you’re hoping to snag a beautiful place on the island of Sardinia, in the middle of Rome, up north in Venice, or anywhere in between.
IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. OzForex Limited (trading as OFX) and its affiliated entities make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.