How much does it cost to grab your own piece of Italy?

April 26, 2016

Our friends at specialize in home sales in Italy and know their business very well. I feel honored by their request to help my followers to understand the buying process costs when seeking that dream home in Italy. Things are done differently in Italy.  Don’t let that stop you. I won’t let it stop me.

Italy is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. It boasts an amazing culture rich in history. Just walking through the streets will set anyone's mind at ease. Amazing architecture just flows through the country. Finding beautifully crafted statues and fountains scattered amongst the sidewalks and entrances are the norm. Not to mention the tantalizing selection of local food and flavors and the exceptionally fun and entertaining people that call this place their home. Whether you are relocating or buying a holiday home in the sun, Italy should be at the top of your list. Americans already know it! According to data analyzing the requests received in 2014 and 2015 for homes for sale in the bel paese. Americans were in 2nd position after Brits among the most enamored with Italy. And for this first quarter of 2016 they are once again at the top of the ranking after two years of British supremacy.

Why? Sure enough they are aware of the fact that Italy boasts great deals. It is not just for rich people as many wrongly think. In general, Italy has one of the best price/quality ratios in Europe which has been very attractive for many people looking to move countries, especially now that property prices are about 25% lower that around 8 years ago while still boasting a safe and valuable property market. Also the buying process is much faster than some other countries such as Spain or France.

Another common mistake overseas buyers make when purchasing property in Italy is that they don’t include other costs apart from the house price, into their budget. The general rule here is to add about 10-20% of the purchase price onto your expenses.How much does it cost? Here are the extra expenses you must count in:

Stamp duty, Land registry tax, Cadastral tax and VAT – These are three compulsory fees needed for the transfer of property and paid on the cadastral declared value. The stamp duty is equal to 2% in case you buy a principal home (prima casa) or 9% if you buy a second home. While in any case you will pay € 50 each for land registry tax and cadastral tax. In case the seller is an entity applying VAT then the amount of each one of the three fees is fixed at € 200 and you will pay VAT on the purchase price, which is 4% for primary homes and 9% for second homes.

Agency fee – If you decide to ask the help of a real estate agency to find and purchase your new house in Italy, there will be a fee to pay for the services it provides you. It varies from agency to agency and both the buyer and the seller will pay a fee at the end of the adventure which usually ranges from 3% to 5% each on the purchase price. Going through an agency is a good way to go. The less stress on your part the better. They will handle all paper work and legal matters, which just makes the whole experience easier and better for you. Anyway, always ask in advance which services they provide and at what price.

Notary fee – It will vary greatly depending on which town or city you are buying a house in. Usually areas in a more upmarket, wealthier area tend to have a higher fee. It would be wise to check with the city and make sure you know how much you will be paying.

Other fees – These may include but are not limited to lawyers, land surveyors, contractors, a moving van or company and possibly a translator if you do not speak Italian very well. They are not compulsory; you may not need one or all of these services. However, it is wise to get a lawyer and a surveyor just to cover all your bases and make sure you are getting the most out of the deal and aren’t being taken advantage of.

Moving to a new country like Italy is an exciting experience for anyone. So don’t be put off by the list of fees and unexpected costs; if you get the right people to help you, the purchase of a new home is not nearly as daunting as it may seem. There may be a few things on this list that you did not expect but now that you know you can properly budget for it.

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