Guide to the Purchase of Houses in Italy for Foreign Customers

10 December 2019

Italy is increasingly becoming a destination of interest to buy a villa, a farmhouse an apartment by foreign clientele.

The reasons are easy to understand, in Italy there are all the panoramas available such as the lakes, the sea, the countryside and the mountains.

Food and wine are a flagship of the entire peninsula, Italy owns 75% of the world’s artistic heritage.

This trend is also confirmed for requests to purchase villas on Lake Maggiore and Stresa, whether for use as a holiday home or as a primary residence.


Who can buy

Real estate in Italy can be bought by both individuals and companies, with the same rights as Italian citizens.

They can buy all foreign people, where there is reciprocity between the country of origin and Italy.


Verifications to be carried out

Before proceeding with the purchase, after having identified the area of ​​interest, it is necessary to check all the technical-legal aspects related to the property itself.

The checks carried out by Stresa Luxury Real Estate take place before the marketing phase of the property on the market.

They consist in verifying that the house is built with regular permits and that during the period of possession no works have been carried out that require authorizations.

In the event that there are unauthorized works, it is necessary to verify that the works have been regularized, and that the owner has received the concession in the amnesty issued by the Municipality.

In case of purchase from a manufacturer our agency requires the latter a copy of the building permit and the project approved by the Municipality.


The steps

The first step to realize a purchase is the signature of a purchase proposal by the buyer, where all the main terms of the transaction are inserted: the price, the payment methods and the timing.

If the seller will give a positive reply, it must be sent to the notary who will follow the transfer of the property, a sum of about 5% as a deposit. This amount will be received on a dedicated “escrow” account

The second step will be the signing of the preliminary purchase contract (compromise). It consists in the payment by the buyer of a deposit of 20-30%, with the same procedures as the purchase proposal. In the preliminary contract, all the agreements made in the purchase proposal must be reported in more detail. The preliminary contract can be signed in the form of private writing or with the notary who will register it and write it down at the Conservatory of Estate Records. In this way, the buyer is protected against any transcripts detrimental to the seller.

The third and final phase is the signature of the definitive contract (notarial deed) to be compulsorily stipulated before the notary. The notary will have previously verified what has already been controlled by the Stresa Luxury Real Estate agency, to ensure the regularity and lack of mortgages or debts on the property. If the buyer does not speak the Italian language, the notarial deed will be translated into the main languages. In this phase the full price of the property is paid.


Taxes on the purchase

Taxation on properties divides essentially into two categories:

Real estate where you want to establish your residence (first non-luxury home) where you pay the 2% Registration Tax;

Property as a secondary or luxury home where the 9% Registration Tax is paid.

In both cases it is necessary to add € 100.00 of Ipotecaria and Cadastral tax.

The percentages shown are not calculated on the sale price but on the cadastral income, which is the value attributed to the property in the Land Registry. These values ​​are much lower than the real value of the property.

Even foreign citizens who possess the requirements can take advantage of the “first home” facilities.

These requisites consist in transferring the residence within 18 months from the notarial deed, not owning another property for residential use in the Municipality where it is purchased and not owning other properties on the Italian territory where it has benefited from the facilities as first home.

Stresa Luxury Real Estate in its Stresa office, with the presence since 1991 on the luxury property market on Lake Maggiore and the experience of its team is able to assist you in all phases of your purchase.

It also offers assistance for any need for restructuring and future management of your property, thanks to the assistance of specialized professionals.

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