Italy’s countryside has enchanted overseas visitors – many of whom become buyers – for centuries. There’s just something about its rolling hills, lanes lined with cypress trees and terracotta-coloured farmhouses that hardly seem to have changed for centuries. But if you’re looking at buying a rural property in Italy, there are certain things to look out for. Here are our top tips.
1. Check the building structure
Italians generally prefer urban living, so it tends to be the case that children or grandchild inherit older properties that are liveable but do need a good amount of TLC. Sometimes, they may have been unlived in for a period of time, which means the condition can deteriorate. Have a look at structure issues like ‘concrete cancer’ (signs can include cracking under balconies or rusty metal).
2. Inspect Land Registry and townhall paperwork
Find out everything you can about permissions around the land. You don’t want to find that the land just outside your plot is going to be converted into a new development, or a rubbish tip. The most fortunate situation, if you’re not planning to extend, is to be surrounded by official ‘agricultural land’, which usually can’t be built on.
3. Verify services and utilities
Always make sure you ask your agent how the electricity is supplied to a rural property in Italy, and how much, as many are supplied with 3.5kW (which is insufficient for year-round usage).
For renovations where there is no connection, it can take months for this to be sorted, so do plan ahead.
Equally, check water and waste supplies. In some very old houses, owners have water delivered by truck, instead of using the rain cisterns that these kinds of properties have.
4. Inspect amenity access
Living in a property in the Italian countryside can, like in the UK, mean sporadic bus services and long journeys to hospitals or other essential services. Do do thorough investigation into your area to find out about access links and journey times. Remember as well for holiday homes that a shorter journey can still be long overall if you’re expecting to do weekend visits and have a long journey to the airport back in the UK.
If you are ready to buy in Italy, download your free Italy Buying Guide today to find out how the purchase process works.
Wherever you wish to live in Italy, knowing how to negotiate for your property will help you get the most house for your money! Download your free guide: How to Negotiate Abroad.
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