Absolutely! It is absolutely possible to buy a house in Italy even if you are not a resident, even with the prima casa tax breaks. The process of buying a property in Italy does not depend much on your state of residence. However, there are some factors to consider, such as nationality and any reciprocity agreements between your country and Italy.
Buying property in Italy can be quite challenging for foreigners due to taxes and bureaucratic hurdles. To assist you in this process, we have compiled a guide specifically for buyers who are considering purchasing a home in Italy.
Requirements for foreigners buying property in Italy
When it comes to buying a home in Italy, non-Italian citizens must meet certain criteria;
1. Residence permit; if the buyer currently resides in Italy, they must have a residence permit along with their family members.
2. If the buyer does not have resident status in Italy, his home country must have an international agreement with Italy that allows the purchase of real estate according to the principle of reciprocity (which means that Italians must also be able to purchase real estate in the buyer’s home country). You can check the existence of such an agreement on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
If you are a foreigner who is a citizen of the EU, an EEA country or has been a resident of Italy for more than three years, you can purchase real estate without any restrictions. To complete the purchase, both residents and nonresidents must obtain a tax code called a “Codice Fiscale.” Although it is necessary to have a passport to travel to Italy and physically visit the property, it is technically possible to purchase a home through tours. A bank account is required to transfer the funds needed to pay the agreed upon amount and any associated fees and taxes. You can find out how to open a bank account in Italy for this purpose.
The steps of buying
When buying property in Italy as a foreigner, you need to follow three steps;
1. Purchase proposal; this is an offer that includes the terms of the transaction, such as the contact details of the parties involved, the details of the property and the amount agreed upon.
2. Preliminary contract of sale; once the proposal is accepted, a written agreement known as the contract of sale is entered into. The contract outlines the terms of the purchase. It includes provisions for the payment of a deposit.
Here are some possible challenges foreigners may encounter when purchasing a home in Italy;
1. Language barrier; if a foreigner does not understand Italian, it is important that they inform the notary. Interpreters must be present during the buying and selling process and an official translation of the deed into the buyer’s language must be provided.
2. Absentee buyer; if the buyer is not physically present in Italy at the time of purchase, he or she can still complete the transaction through a proxy. This means delegating someone to act on his behalf.
3.. Taxes; regardless of nationality, anyone buying property in Italy must pay the taxes and fees associated with the purchase, such as registration, mortgage and cadastral taxes.
These considerations are crucial for foreigners buying property in Italy.
People from other countries can also enjoy the benefits of buying a home in Italy if they meet the requirements defined by Italian law. These requirements include that the property be a residence, not classified as luxury and located in the municipality where the buyer currently resides or will reside within 18 months. In addition, the buyer must not own any property, partial or bare ownership.
Here are the specific details;
1. If you purchase a home from an individual who is not a construction company or from a construction company after more than 4 years after completion of construction;
Registration tax: 2% of the cadastral value of the dwelling.
Fixed mortgage and cadastral taxes: 50 euros each.
2. If you buy from a builder within 4 years after completion of construction;
VAT (Value Added Tax); 4%.
Fixed registration tax; 200 euros
Fixed mortgage and cadastral taxes: 200 euros each.
However, if the property is classified as luxury or does not qualify as a “house,” you will have to pay fixed amounts for registration, cadastral and mortgage taxes if the transaction is subject to VAT. If the VAT is exempt, these taxes will be proportional. 9% tax.