You don’t really need an Italian bank account for buying a property in Italy any more as money is usually sent by bank transfer, although some notaries insist the funds are sent from an Italian account set up by you.
Here are the 3 main ways of paying for a house in Italy:
One-off payment:Paying the entire sale price of the property in one whack, normally by way of a bank cheque in the seller’s name that you hand over when you sign the property deed. This isn’t a very common payment method as not many people have that kind of money saved up.
Most people prefer to go for a mortgage loan: Getting a mortgage, whether it’s from an Italian bank or one at home, and using the property itself as a guarantee against defaulting. Depending on your age other personal details, loan terms can be up to 40 years and banks normally offer 80% of the property value, with the remaining 20% being paid from the buyer’s pocket.
Mortgage subrogation: This is another option to consider instead of getting a new mortgage yourself. It means changing the name of the debtor on the existing mortgage on the property to your own name, making you the new payer of the mortgage. The biggest advantage of mortgage subrogation is that you save yourself the costs and the hassle of getting a new mortgage, but the disadvantage is that the terms and conditions are fixed and you can’t modify the mortgage to your personal necessities.
You would want of course open an account to handle bills but bear in mind that some utilities companies refuse to arrange direct debits for non resident accounts, and some bills cannot be paid by direct debit. You could always pay your bills online or, if you have a property manager, then send them the funds for settling all the bills.
You would want of course open an account to pay all your annual costs:
- Local council tax – IMU. Payable only by non residents; this needs to be paid twice a year at the post office. No bill is sent. Most people use a local accountant or property manager to calculate it.
- Refuse tax (TARI)
- In some areas, mountain community tax
- If you buy a property which is part of a condominium, e.g. with shared pool and grounds, lighting etc, then there will be annual condominium fees to pay which usually range from about €200 to €1000/year unless it is a particularly luxurious property with many amenities in which case costs could be higher.
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