What the home buying process in Italy was like 🇮🇹
Here’s what the buying process was like as an American buying in Italy
Some very important notes to keep in mind about the home buying process in Italy if you’re interested in doing this yourself – you can’t get a mortgage as a foreigner in Italy nor can you get one in the US to buy overseas so you will need to save up and buy in cash! (houses are fairly affordable compared to the United States)
Instead of saving for a downpayment in the US for my first home I bought my first house outright in cash a cheaper country. For anyone wondering, I didn’t inherit money at all. I worked my tail off at many jobs for 60 hours a week and saved for about 8 years to come up with the money to do so.
If you’re buying an older house be sure to hire an inspector and have extra funds for emergency fixes needing done plus any renovations needed. I bought a 400ish year old townhome so it will eventually need updates, even though now it’s livable. I was lucky that the previous owner had already fixed the home up before selling.
Before buying in Italy, I was also looking at potentially buying in Greece, Portugal or Mexico but ultimately decided on Italy due to the economic situation and my familiarity with the country.
🏡 The entire home buying process in Italy
After my offer was accepted and the house passed inspection I hired an agent to help me with the process. One difference from buying in Italy vs the United States - you pay a pretty penny for a real estate agent. They don’t take a commission. This goes for both the seller and the buyer.
1. Tax documents and bank account applied for with the Italian government. Called a “codice fiscale” in Italian, it’s basically your tax ID number, similar to an EIN in the USA.
2. Agent hired and notary and made an appointment for a closing date.
3. The full cost of the house transferred into the escrow account. To buy overseas in most of the world you cannot take out a mortgage as a foreigner in your own country or the country you buy in – you pay in full 100%
4. My closing date was 2 months later. Things move very slowly in Italy – sometimes the buying process can take up to 6 months. After closing, my notary, lawyer, taxes and other misc closing fees were paid. The taxes were very HIGH in Italy. Once all the documents were signed and the deed was transferred to my name, the house was mine.
Here are more questions to ask yourself before buying anywhere overseas or before buying in Italy
👉🏼What is the political and economic stability in this country?
👉🏼Is this a rental property or am I relocating to live here full time? If you’re using it as a rental property be sure to check on regulations. Italy has VERY strict rental and Airbnb laws so I don’t plan to rent out my property.
👉🏼If I’m relocating to this country full time, can I even become a resident or legally move? Buying property won’t give you the right to legally move there as much as everyone wishes!
👉🏼Are foreigners even allowed to own property in certain countries? Some countries don’t allow foreigners or nonresidents to buy property.
👉🏼What will be the costs of renovating this home? (usually very very old buildings will need renovating if you choose to buy anywhere in Europe) Those cheap old homes come with a hefty renovation price tag and may cost more than the cost to buy. For example, a 20k home may cost you over 200k to renovate.
👉🏼What’s the cost of living and the local healthcare situation like?
Would you ever consider buying a home overseas? Overall, the process was incredibly difficult but having a home base overseas, especially in Europe has been extremely rewarding.