When people talk about the “nuts and bolts” of something, they are usually referring to how that “something” is put together. In this case the “something” is an Italian real estate purchase. Real estate listings and advertisements invite the foreign investor to buy house in Italy, and the seductive charms of Italy make it an easy appeal to respond to. Non-Italians are arriving in ever greater numbers, capitalizing on the attractive price-points on many desirable properties for sale in Italy. At Gate-Away.com we know and we often hear from our foreign clients that the Italian sales process is both cumbersome and difficult to follow. Although the bureaucracy can appear to be convoluted and arbitrary, the system itself is well-designed to protect everyone’s property rights.
With this in mind, we have outlined the purchase process in such a way that potential obstacles can be more easily circumvented and/or overcome. Our real estate portal helps potential buyers (and sellers) to connect with the resources they will need to successfully transact their business.
Points to Consider
1. Mortgage – It’s important to be sure that the title is free of any “clouds” or encumbrances that could delay a sale or even disqualify a property from purchase.
2. Cadastral Card – The “cadastre” is used to establish the tax base of a property, and it encompasses the public record of that property as it pertains to metes and bounds, property valuation and ownership.
3. Certificates – Applicable certificates would include things like building permits and certificates of occupancy. Buyers are wise to at least have copies of any pertinent documentation.
4. Bank loan – The mortgage process generally takes longer in Italy than it does in many other countries. If a purchaser will need a mortgage loan to finance a purchase then the deal must be structured to allow time for a lender to make decisions regarding the loan application. Buyers and sellers both benefit by knowing approval and disbursement times of a bank loan. This can mitigate problems that can accompany a rejected loan application or where disbursements might not be made within a pre-determined time frame.
5. Charges Pending – There may be utility bills, liens and taxes that need to be kept up with during the escrow period, and responsibility for those payments (buyer or seller) must be ascertained.
6. House Rules – Some properties can have restrictive covenants, so the buyer should be aware of any limitations of use or conveyance.
7. Building Status – Buyers must ask the right questions and receive the right answers, including documentation, about the soundness of the structure, and about any major renovations, additions or repairs that have been undertaken.
8. Costs and Notary – The seller and the buyer together should estimate the entire cost of the transaction, including fees and taxes. This will allow each to make payment arrangements even though the exact numbers won’t be finalized until the notary has completed all calculations.