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Buying Property in Italy (updated for 2024)

Tuscany San Gimignano scenery

Buying property in Italy can be a dream come true however go into it unprepared and the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.

Andrew (my husband) and I bought our home in Italy after we had lived in this wonderful country for over five years.

To resist that long took a lot; I can't tell you how many times I was tempted to buy a property.

We would drive around the Italian countryside, seeing all these marvelous country houses, and be tempted to buy on the spot.

Looking back, I would have burned my fingers rather badly on many occasions, and I am glad I resisted. You don't need to wait five years, but make sure you are well prepared and have done as much research as possible beforehand.

The Italian property buying process and, indeed, home ownership are relatively simple, but you need to understand them as well as you possibly can.

I have put together a brief guide on things like insuring your home after purchasing it, which may prove useful. You can read the home insurance guide here. For advice on what the buying procedure involves click here.

We offer more personalized advice to our supporters, so if you aren't yet a supporter, you can discover more about what we offer (in addition to advice on finding a dream home) here.

Of great importance is having a clear idea of where you are looking for before buying. I can't stress enough how vital it is to Spend time in all the regions that meet your requirements. There is no single answer to the question I am often asked, which is this: "Where is the nicest place to live in Italy?"

My way of deciding where to buy was to make a list of points that were important to me, these can relate to:

  • the climate you want. Many places in Italy can be horribly hot in the summer but really cold in the winter.
  • considering if you want to be on or near the coast, 
  • the proximity of mountains or lakes, 
  • schools,
  • city, town, village or rural
  • how near you want to be to the shops,
  • will you need a car?
  • quality of healthcare...

 ...and a whole bunch of other factors that I judged to be vital.

Earthquake risk and volcano risk are both worth considering

Never neglect to look into this - I have friends who lost everything in the Le Marche earthquakes, and because of that, I put together this article about earthquake risk in Italy and this one about volcanoes, which I really recommend you read before starting your real estate search. 

Investing in Italian real estate purely from an investment point of view?

Then decide where the rental returns would be good; normally, a city is best; however, if you want to make a return with short-term rentals through Airbnb, then buying in a touristy city or in a coastal resort town or ski resort is essential. Remember, though, that rentals in resort towns are largely seasonal. Outside of the season, your home will probably be empty. It's not a bad option if you plan to stay there yourself outside of the season.

Lastly, Italy doesn't have capital gains tax on property that is held for over five years, which is another advantage to buying property in Italy. Things change quickly, though, especially tax rules in Italy, so do your research and speak to your tax professional.

A few thoughts...

No doubt some points on my list may not be important to everyone; for example, I wanted to buy a home within walking distance of a weekly outdoor market, on the bus route, and near a good school. Still, it worked out well for me and the family. We are very happy with our Italian home!

What about 1 Euro Houses in Italy?

These have become more and more common over the years. I spent a long time looking into dozens of small towns promising houses for a Euro; I contacted them all, or in some cases, tried to contact them. Many don't even bother to respond. You can read my rather shocking findings here.

Your Questions about Buying Property in Italy Answered

Can foreigners buy property in Italy?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Italy. Italy has no restrictions on property ownership for non-residents, and they have the same property rights as Italian citizens. However, certain restrictions may apply to citizens of non-EU countries buying agricultural land.

What are the legal requirements for buying property as a foreigner?

Foreigners need to obtain a tax identification number (codice fiscale) before purchasing property in Italy. Additionally, they should hire a notary to oversee the purchase process and ensure that all legal requirements are met.

Are there any additional costs or taxes associated with buying property in Italy?

Yes, there are additional costs and taxes associated with buying property in Italy. These may include registration taxes, notary fees, real estate agent fees, and value-added tax (VAT) if the property is new or recently renovated.

What are the typical closing costs involved in a property purchase?

Closing costs in Italy can vary but typically include notary fees, registration taxes, and real estate agent commissions. These costs can range from 7% to 10% of the property's purchase price.

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Bought a Property in Italy?

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