Buying a Home in Italy : Part 1

Hi, welcome back. Whether you are thinking of buying a home in Italy, looking for a bolt hole to get away a few times a year, or looking to retire, the process of buying a home abroad can seem to be very daunting for some and not so much for others. A whole range of reasons can impact your decision of putting your dream on ice or maybe never making them a reality. By knowing the process, understanding how things work in the country your buying and having good representation, this can help relieve the stress making things go as smoothly and as enjoyably as possible.

There’s always things to take into consideration, change in life style , financial situations and external factors that play a big part in your decision to feel comfortable in searching for you new home. For instance, you maybe in the position to buy but the timing could be something you have to look at. At the time of writing this, being English and from the UK, as the world knows the UK is preparing to leave the EU, this would definitely be off putting for some Brits looking to buy abroad, for me however I decided not to be put off and keep the dream moving into a reality.

Enough of all that !!!!

I can only comment on my experience but it is one that has so far been a positive one. It all started with a trip to Rome with my father and girlfriend. As we moved on to the second part of the holiday which was to visit the Town where my past relatives had originally come from, the beautiful Town of Arpino.

So after 1hr 30mins on the train from Rome we changed and caught a train direct to Arpino! Now, Arpino does have a train station but as we found out even though the train stops there that’s about it  🙂 no Taxi’s,  After managing to speak to one of the locals we were rescued by the lovely owners of the hotel where we were staying ( a great hotel and more on this in another post). This was our first experience of meeting the locals and looking back it wasn’t a mistake as it gave us a taste of how helpful and friendly people are in Arpino.

Where is the rest of the train!

So once at the hotel we dropped off the bags and went to explore the town and this is where it all began. Just walking around the streets gave me a great sense of the place, seeing how people interact and the vibe you pick up from your surroundings this is in my opinion is the best way to learn about a place, get out there and meet people. If we went into a shop we struck up conversation , if we sat down for a drink people spoke to us, you can’t help but notice how warm and tolerant people were. It’s refreshing to see, especially after spending lots of times in fast paced cities.

Being from a family closely linked with the building, construction and engineering trades, property has always been an interest of mine. Wherever I go I always take a look in the local estate agencies window and try to get a picture of whats happening in the area and the variety of properties on the market . For example, is absolutely everything for sale? Why is that?Are there more high end properties for sale or a good amount across the board?…

Having some experience of building our own homes from scratch in the UK and adding extensions, this obviously gave me more scope to decide if I wanted something completely finished, needing a full refurbishment or just personalising. This will be different for each person but its a big factor in the process as I’m a great believer in the profit is made in the buying stage not the selling. However, this wasn’t the main issue of importance as I was looking for a family home to spend a lot of time in over the coming years.

Finding a reputable agent

Although this isn’t the only way to buy property in any country and good deals can be had other ways because Italy uses a different system to the one I am used to in the UK, I decided to take this approach. As luck should have it, by talking to another friendly local I was given the contact details of a local agent with a good reputation.  I made the call and arranged a meeting that afternoon to go over details. Once the meeting was over we had arranged a day of viewing the following day.

After going back to the hotel to relax I got changed and set out to visit the main piazza for a few drinks with my family. Whilst I was walking a guy dropped a coin and it rolled into a gap in the cobbles he couldn’t find it,  but I saw where it went I walked over picked it up tapped him on the shoulder and handed it back. He said grazie to me but I could tell he spoke English so I replied “that’s ok”. We got talking and he asked if I was on holiday to which I replied “yes” we then spoke about how nice the town was and got on to the subject of property. He asked me if I had looked or inquired about any and I said I was actually viewing properties the very next day. He asked me who I was dealing with and when I replied he gave me a thumbs up he said he had bought with the agent and was very happy, so at this point I had a couple of good reliable people that had been through the process I was about to start myself.

I was looking forward to seeing inside some of the properties we had spend so much time appreciating from the outside….. I shall continue in a series of posts following this one covering viewing the properties , things to take into consideration and also the actual process once you have found your potential new home and intend to buy!

Hillside Houses

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