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Information about buying a vacation home in Italy

On this page we have collected some information that may be of interest to those who are thinking of buying, or have already bought, a property in Italy. You can also take a look at the properties we have for sale if you are dreaming of a house in Piedmont.

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Information about buying a vacation home in Italy

Here we will briefly go through the different steps you typically have to go through, from starting the search for a property in Italy, to moving into the home of your dreams.

There are of course many ways to reach your goal, and no two paths or property transactions are the same, so consider this a helpful guide, and not a ready-made recipe for buying a home in the land of dust.

Step 1: Your finances - what can you afford to buy?

The very first thing you need to have in place before you start is to have set the budget for your house purchase in Italy. As a Dane it is not easy to get mortgages on Italian properties, and in Italy there is no mortgage, so if you are lucky enough to get your Italian bank to agree to a mortgage, it is a maximum of 50-60% on a bank loan.

Before you get too far in the process, you need to have a clear idea of how the financing of the property purchase is going to be done, and here we often see that our clients have "the money from home, via a loan in the freehold of Danish property" as it is difficult but not impossible to get a mortgage with security on an Italian property.

Step 2: Search for properties online

Try to narrow down your search by type of property, number of m2, and of course a geographical area.To start with, most people search from the Alps in the north to Sicily in the south, but one of the first things to do is to decide on an area and concentrate your search on that area, otherwise you will run out of options.

The search process often starts on the property portals immobiliare.it, casa.it, gate-away.com or idealista.it. You can also keep an eye on the various Facebook groups for buying and selling property in Italy. On the web, many hours can be spent and all types of properties can be found.

Step 3: Visit the area

Explore the chosen area on your own.

It may be a good idea to take a few trips of 3-4 days, driving around to get a feel for the different areas and towns, and thus an idea of where to buy your house. There are many different things to consider when narrowing down the area, but think about distance to shopping, coffee shops, restaurants, major towns, skiing, beach, highway or whatever you are looking for.

What types of properties should you look for - a ruin, a country house, a town house or an apartment? In short, narrow down your search and decide what you are looking for.

Step 4: Choosing a buyer's agent

In Italy it is worth noting that both buyer and seller pay a fee to the broker, whereas in Denmark it is only the seller who pays the broker once the house is sold. This means that you can choose your own buyer's agent to help arrange viewings of ALL the properties you are interested in seeing. See selected properties in the selected area. Here again it is worth mentioning the economy. It is a waste of your time, the broker's time and the seller's time to look at properties that are way over budget. It rarely makes sense to look at properties for €700,000 if your budget is €350,000 and is at best just a waste of everyone's time.

Step 5: Get an expert to inspect the property

When you have found a property that could be of interest to you and you want to go ahead with that property, and you are not able to assess the condition of the property yourself and are even the slightest bit unsure about what you want to bid for, it is recommended to take an adviser with you before signing an offer to buy. This could be a local geometra or architect, or a trusted craftsman. Note that in Italy there are no condition reports as is known in Denmark, and for this reason you should be thorough in your investigations of the property before making an agreement on a house purchase.

Step 6: Control the practical details

Before you can buy a house you need a Codice Fiscale. It is a personal tax number that is used for the purchase of a house, but a Codice Fiscale is also used to create and enter into contracts and subscriptions (eg electricity, water, gas, telephone, internet, bank account, etc.) A Codice Fiscale can be obtained in person at Agenzia delle Entrate or it can be ordered from the Italian Embassy in Copenhagen at this link.

A bank account in an Italian bank is also a must, and here you will get the most benefit from having an account with a mobile app, and not least where you can use your Danish phone number. We recommend Intesa Sanpaolo with whom we have good experience. An Italian bank account is also good to have as - a bit like our Payment Service - you can authorise selected suppliers such as electricity, water, gas, internet etc. to deduct the consumption on the monthly bills directly from the account. In addition, it is handy to have an Italian debit card you can use when shopping and buying things in Italy. If you use your Danish credit card for purchases in €, the amount is usually converted into DKK based on a high exchange rate of 7.57 or so. As the Italian account is kept in Euro, there are no currency conversions.

How to get Codice Fiscale, bank account, etc.

Step 7: Make an offer on your dream house

You make a written offer to your estate agent to buy the property. The offer is forwarded to the seller who hopefully says yes and signs. The deposit - typically between 10 and 30% - is then paid directly from your Italian account. Only then is the deal binding on both parties. If you, the buyer, back out, you lose the deposit. If the seller wishes to cancel the purchase agreement, the seller must refund the amount of the deposit x 2.

Step 8: We buy the property and go to the notary

On the date of the takeover, cheques are collected from the bank and the buyer and seller meet at the notary's office. The deed reads "notaio" in Italian, and finally both buyer and seller sign. The buyer hands over the bank cheques he has brought with him and the seller hands over the keys to the property. After that, it's your property.

Step 9: Get water, electricity and house insurance connected

Your buyer's agent will help you get the electricity and water (and gas, if you have any) connected and the contracts with the utility companies updated with the buyer's name. Next, you need to take care of house insurance.

Step 10: Renovating the property

Unless you have bought a fully renovated property that is ready to move into, there will be a period of renovation of the property. You can read more about renovating a property in Italy here.

Step 11: Furnishing the house

The house gets furnished.

Step 12: Move in and enjoy your dream home in Italy

The time has come for a glass of vino bianco on the balcony. Congratulations on your Italian house.