Thinking of buying a home in Italy? Be sure to follow these six steps:
1- Choose an expert Italian realtor licensee (like me!). Italian real estate has many 'particularities' that only an expert Italian agent can handle for you to be secure in your purchase.
2- Obtain an Italian tax code (codice fiscale) issued by the Italian tax authority (Agenzie delle Entrate), which is required to purchase a property. You can also request the codice fiscale from the Italian Consulate for your area, via e-mail.
3- Open a current account with an Italian bank, which is an option to use for the payments. If the seller lives in Italy, I suggest this option, and doing it before the signing of the definitive sales document (rogito).
4- Drawing up of the preliminary sale contract (compromesso or preliminare di vendita), in two languages if necessary, by your trusted realtor or a lawyer. I can manage this in Italian and English.
5- Screen of the property with the land registries and fiscal authorities to ensure that there are no impediments to the sale (and that there is no reason why the property might be seized by law enforcement agencies). It would probably be best if a surveyor checks out the property structurally too to make sure that it is sound or at least as described. I can definitely help in this.
6- Find a notary (notaio – a public official legally able to represent the state) to transcribe and register, as per legal requirements, the definitive contract (rogito) in order to take effective ownership of the property. I can suggest a recommended Notaio for that area.
7- (Optional) Ask for an estimate of remodel costs if the property that you are buying needs some updates or a total restoration. This is something you might want to do before buying. I can recommend trustworthy companies in Italy. For full renovation or substantial remodel is desired, I also work with a company with Italian architects based in the USA, who specialize in this.
To buy a home in Italy is not easy, but if you work with the right professionals, the process can be transparent and secure. In general, it takes longer than buying, for example, in the USA, but it is well worth it. You finish with the home of your dreams in Italy, and in the current economic climate, you obtain tremendous value for your money.
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