Buying real estate in Italy: from A to Z

Despite all the wealth of choice among countries located on the Mediterranean coast, for millions of Russian citizens the most attractive is Italy, which is able to satisfy their sophisticated cultural and gastronomic tastes.

This country, located on the graceful “boot” of the Apennine Peninsula, differs from many neighboring countries in its endless variety of natural landscapes, exquisite cuisine, innumerable monuments of ancient architecture and fine art, as well as clean beaches and the same sea, which attracts not only foreigners. tourists, but also residents of mainland Italy. All this together serves as more than sufficient grounds for the purchase of real estate in Italy by foreigners, regardless of their origin and financial capabilities.

Buying real estate in Italy: a sign of respectability

Unlike Spain or France, which also have a rich historical and cultural heritage, representatives of many creative professions, in particular designers and fashion designers, strive to buy real estate in Italy even after their first visit to this country.

Moreover, the specifics of purchasing real estate in Italy do not pose any particular difficulties for citizens not only of the European Union, but also of the former post-Soviet republics.

On the one hand, housing prices in Italy are much higher than in other countries located on popular sea coasts; on the other hand, this is fully justified by the absence of a massive invasion of guests from the lower strata of British society, for whom cheapness plays a decisive role.

In the past, such people flocked to Tuscany, which is why this area was jokingly nicknamed “Chiantishire” (from the popular Italian drink “Chianti” and English “shire”), but gradually this contingent was replaced by more respectable Europeans and Russian citizens, fortunately there are no restrictions for The purchase of real estate in Italy by foreigners does not exist.

The wealthiest of Russians settle in such prestigious places as Viareggio or Forte dei Marmi, where a villa will cost several million euros, or purchase luxury real estate in northern Italy. One of these places was the area around Lake Como, where during the crisis, the owners of medieval family castles put them up for sale at large discounts. At the same time, in other regions it is quite possible to buy very decent apartments for less than one hundred thousand euros.

The procedure for purchasing real estate in Italy


  1. Selecting a region and a property. As in the case of purchasing housing in a number of other EU countries that are very popular among Russians, the process begins with choosing a region, which in Italy is very diverse in terms of prices, climate, safety, proximity to main transport routes and attractions. It is best to decide on this issue, as well as the type of housing (apartment, detached house, etc.) before arriving in Italy, where it is highly advisable to resort to the services of a real estate agency with extensive experience and professional knowledge of Italian and Russian languages .
  2. View objects. Inspecting options for a future “second home” and making a final decision, as a rule, does not take more than three to four business days. However, before the buyer makes the final choice, the real estate agency is obliged to demonstrate the “cleanliness” of the property – that is, the absence of debts on taxes and utility bills from the owner, the compliance of the layout indicated in the documents with the real one, the correctness of registration in the cadastral and utility registers and many other parameters .

In parallel with this, to purchase real estate in Italy, you must obtain a tax code (codice fiscale) from the Italian Tax Service, without which it is impossible to carry out any transactions and operations, and also open an account in an Italian bank.
You can find out more about taxes when purchasing real estate in Italy in our article.

  1. Prepayment. Only after this, on behalf of the buyer, a final or irrevocable offer to purchase the property (proposta irrevocable d’aquisto) is made to the seller, which contains all the necessary information about the price, the deadline for the transaction and the amount of the deposit (caparra) – usually about 10% of the cost of the property, which in the future it is considered an advance payment.

By the way, this offer is called “irrevocable” because if the buyer refuses to purchase real estate in Italy, the deposit in full goes to the seller; otherwise, it is returned in double size to the failed buyer.

Documents and expenses when completing a real estate purchase and sale transaction in Italy

If neither party has abandoned their original intentions, then the notary draws up a preliminary agreement (compromesso), which usually takes place if the price of the object is too high, or the buyer needs time to implement a bank transfer of the second part of the value of the object. In most cases, it varies from 10% to 30%, although sometimes it is as much as half the amount.

A month and a half is given for full payment, after which the parties enter into a purchase and sale transaction (atto notarile di compravendita) in the presence of a notary, who certifies the authenticity of all documents, an official translator and two witnesses, one of whom speaks Italian and the other speaks Russian. .

After signing the contract, the keys are handed over to the new owner, and the previous owner receives bank checks, whereas when purchasing real estate in Italy, cash payments are excluded under any circumstances.

The last stage of the procedure for purchasing real estate in Italy is the registration of ownership, which is also undertaken by the notary, sending the relevant documents to various government bodies.

You can move into your new apartment or house in Italy immediately after handing over the keys, but by that time all taxes, fees and fees due in such cases must be paid. These include the following payments, the amount of which directly depends on whether the buyer is a resident or not, the seller is an organization or an individual, and the housing is a new building, resale, or belongs to the elite category:

When there is a purchase of real estate in Italy by foreigners from a private person by foreigners for non-residents:

  • registration tax (9% of the cost of the property);
  • cadastral and mortgage tax (100 euros).

When purchasing from a legal entity:

  • registration tax (200 euros);
  • cadastral and mortgage tax (400 euros);
  • value added tax (10% of the cost of a regular property and 22% if it is classified as elite).

In any case, you cannot avoid paying commissions to the agency, which are agreed upon in advance and rarely exceed 5%, and notary services will most often cost from 1% to 5% of the cost specified in the final agreement. Be that as it may, all the expenses incurred from purchasing housing in Italy will ultimately pay for themselves in full – especially when renting it out, which has been in high demand in recent years.

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