Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Property in Italy

| July 22, 2014

property in italy

Buying a property in Italy is a wonderful prospect, but it can also be daunting. There’s a lot to consider, and of course you want the whole process to go well. One of the best things you can do from the outset is to learn from other people’s mistakes. Here are some of the most common errors made by home-seekers in Italy, and how you can avoid them.

1. Carefully choose your property in Italy

It all starts with the search, of course. Some buyers can’t be bothered with too much research and consequently don’t have a good idea of market prices and what they can find for their money. But here you are on Gate-Away.com, a perfect place to look through your many options and get a clear idea of what’s out there. Take your time in getting to know the market, and don’t get demotivated if after months of looking you still haven’t quite found your ideal home. Choosing the perfect property in Italy can be difficult and time-consuming. Don’t lose heart! You’ll get there.

2. Get your sums right

Then there are issues of budget. Quite a few buyers miscalculate the true cost of buying a home abroad. Be aware that various fees attend the buying of a property in Italy, and to cover these you should generally factor in an additional 10-20% of your purchase price. This will cover things such as a registration fee, land registry fees or stamp duty, notary fees, legal fees (for independent advice), the estate agent’s fee and IVA (Italy’s equivalent of VAT) if you’re buying from a construction company. Factor this extra 10-20% expenditure into your budget right from the start and it won’t come as an unpleasant surprise later on.

Running costs are another area that many buyers don’t sufficiently consider. As well as utility bills you may well also have to pay IMU (an annual tax) on your property in Italy and, if you buy in an apartment building, the condo fees (spese del condominio) for the upkeep of communal areas. Ask your agent more about these.

3. Consider negotiating

Some good news regarding costs is that many buyers make the mistake of thinking they cannot negotiate on asking price. Particularly in the current climate, with Italy having a buyer’s market, you should definitely consider negotiating. And don’t crumble and accept a price halfway through negotiation for fear of losing the chance to buy the property! As a buyer in Italy, you’re in a strong position at the moment.

4. Seek professional help

When you’ve finally found your dream home, be sure you don’t make the mistake of not employing a surveyor (geometra) to thoroughly check the condition of the house and a lawyer (notaio) to check all the legal conditions of the sale and help you sign all the important documents. Note that some estate agents provide geometra and notaio services and include this in their fee. If your agent doesn’t, be sure to find those services yourself.

5. Don’t give up

Most importantly, remember that many thousands of foreign buyers like yourself have successfully bought a home in Italy and been thoroughly delighted by it. Don’t be deterred by potential pitfalls. Thousands have successfully bought their dream property in Italy, and so can you!

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