PURCHASE AND SALE
Houses for sale in Italy
Find a residential property in Italy
When purchasing residential properties in Italy, many different factors must be considered. Residential home buyers must consider whether they need a visa, how they pay property tax, and what contractual assistances are available to them whether they are residents of Italy or not. People also need to know how to find properties in Italy, how to rent these properties, and how these properties are valued or function in auctions.
Do I need a visa to buy a property in Italy?
The first matter to consider is whether a visa is required to purchase a property in Italy. Simply put, you do not need a visa, nor do you need to be a resident to purchase property in Italy. There are, however, three considerations.
These considerations relate to the purchaser’s nationality. First, all EU and EEA Member Country citizens are allowed to purchase property in Italy and are not subject to any restrictions or requirements.
Second, non-EU and non-EEA citizens may buy residential real estate in Italy if their country of origin holds a reciprocity treaty with Italy.
The third consideration applies to non-EU citizens that reside in Italy and hold a regular immigration visa and regular residency permit or are stateless persons and refugees that have resided in Italy for at least three years. In this instance, the condition of reciprocity is not applicable. These persons require special cases to purchase a property.
In any case, people purchasing property must obtain a Codice Fiscale from the Agenzia delle Entrate to purchase real estate in Italy.
Sorting out a visa is the first step; however, it is important to know how to search and find a property in Italy, regardless of what you’re looking for.
How to find houses for sale in italy
There are many different types of homes and properties in Italy, depending on the length of the stay, size of the home, cost of the home, and many other factors. Due to these many complicating factors, it is important to work with well-acquainted people in the market to help with the property search.
The first place to look is online. Specific real estate websites such as casa.it, tecnocasa.it, idealista.it, immobiliare.it is a good place to start because they provide the broadest array and selection of properties with plenty of data to help narrow the search.
Another option is websites such as Airbnb and StudentsVille for shorter stays. These global platforms provide people easy access to rent a home in Italy without having to navigate tricky contracts and agreements. These, however, only focus on short-term stays.
One of the final ways to find a property is to search for property types in specific regions that you desire. Websites like ApartmentsinFlorence.net provide a place for foreigners to access due diligence reports, and simply offer another way to find and virtually view properties.
Nevertheless, when looking for a property in Italy, it is important to consult with local experts who can help provide insight into what is available and accessible. They can help make purchasing and rental processes simple and can help you just focus on the details that you want in a home.
Real estate taxes in italy
Finding a property in Italy thus brings up the question of how property taxes are assessed and paid in Italy—and who must pay them.
There are two types of property tax in Italy: the Tax on Waste (TARI); and, Sole Municipal Tax (IMU).
The TARI is a municipal tax that is determined by each independent municipality and is due once per year. The exact amount is indicated in a letter sent by the municipality, based on where the property is located.
The IMU is the actual tax on property ownership. However, the IMU is only required in three instances: if the property is a “second home”, if a non-resident owner rents the property, and if the property is classified as a “luxury property”. This means that if a citizen or foreigner purchases a property, and designates this as their main residence, they will not have to pay the IMU. For Italian citizens, they must formalize this decision 18 months before the purchase of the home.
These IMU taxes are based on the cadastral value of the property, the location of the land, and the overall surface of the property. The basis of this tax value is the cadastral value, established by the Catasto. Nevertheless, payments for the IMU tax are made to the Agenzia delle Entrate.
Regardless of the property type, when purchasing a home in Italy, it is advisable to work with a local real estate agent and understand what assistance is available to make sure the process is smooth as possible. This is why working with real estate agents is the best way to find and buy the right property without wasting time and money.
Documents and contracts: do I need a real estate lawyer in italy?
After the property is found, there are several pieces of paperwork that vendors must provide, including an energy rating certificate of the type of building and its water and energy data; a land registry certificate containing deeds, transfer of ownership, and property rights; the certificate of hospitality, confirming the building is fit for occupancy; and the planning permission building certificate.
There are also requirements such as special power of attorney, a purchase proposal, preliminary contract, and final deed of sale that are required in all property purchasing agreements. These documents simply ensure the legal and proper purchase of a residential property.
A topic raised above was the idea of renting a property in Italy. Italian legislation allows for five types of rental contracts, including: free, agreed, short-term lease, college student, and tourist rental contracts.
Free contracts allow independent parties to determine annual rental fees, for at least four years, to be renewed for another four years. This is the most common type of rental agreement.
Agreed contracts are set for three years and can be renewed for an additional two years. Additionally, short-term contracts can be issued for as little as one month, for no more than 18 months. Along with free contracts, these are the most stable and secure contracts for all parties.
Student contracts last between 6 and 36 months with options for renewal; and tourist contracts require no registration as they last for less than 30 days. These contracts are very specific and are designed for less common stays in Italy.
Landlords and tenants both have responsibilities in taking care of the property, ensuring it meets all legal requirements, that all bills are paid, and that a contract is not terminated earlier than agreed upon.
When managing a rental property, however, we provide four suggestions. The first is to be sure of the type of contract based on the purpose of the property and target tenants. Then, you must set the cost based on local market values; and, plan taxes accordingly (based on income). The final suggestion is to hire professionals to ensure all legal and contractual obligations are met.
A key aspect of renting is the price of rent; which, is based on the valuation of the property. In Italy, property value is all about location. Generally speaking, real estate prices are noticeably higher in the main Italian cities than in smaller towns and country areas. In addition to this, Southern Italy is generally less expensive than the North.
Aside from location, though, property values are based on the Class of home. Classes A through F designate different types of properties for residential purposes, and all lead to different valuations. With over 50 different classifications, it is important
Judicial auctions in Italy
One of the final aspects of home searches in Italy to understand is Judicial real estate auctions. Properties go to auction when they are foreclosed on due to lack of payment.
In Italy, there are two types of auctions, Vendita con incanto and Vendita senza incanto. The former of these two is the most common type of auction with a minimum price and time frame, and the offer is made in a sealed envelope to be opened by authorities.
The latter type of auction is a public open auction wherein the property is sold to the highest bidder. If no new bids are placed within three minutes, the highest bid wins. The successful bidder, however, is not the homeowner yet. After submitting their bid in a sealed envelope, the bidder must make payment within 120 days of the auction to fully own the property.
Purchasing through auction is much safer than private purchase because they offer protection and advantages in terms of price and legal guidance. Visiting the website of the ministry of justice or the National Association of Judicial Auctions provides people information on auctions and properties that are currently available.
Our services: property finding in Italy
Whether buying, looking, or trying to figure out the Italian real estate market, we are here to help. Being in Italy, we have local law and real estate expertise to help make every step of your home search and purchase as seamless as possible.
We can help you before you purchase a home by helping you navigate the market, and help you understand what you can purchase or rent in Italy, and what the costs associated are.
We provide insight and guidance on how to legally carry out transactions, like paying property tax or signing contracts, while making sure you do not lose time or money; and we also can provide and help you fill requirements for a Codice Fiscale, visa, or other forms required to purchase your Italian home.
So, whether you are from Italy, the EU, or beyond, we are here to provide help and guidance to ensure your residential property search is as fruitful as possible.
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