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Hi all,

We've just returned from another fantastic break in Lake Como. We (myself 30 and girlfriend 30) both British and currently living and working in Zurich, Switzerland. We love the place and are interested in buying a weekend retreat close to the northern end of the lake (about a 4 hour drive).

We plan to have kids so maybe throughout summer the wife to be could spend most of the time down there. Also the ability to rent the pad out could work for us.

I know nothing about the Italian buying process, would love to learn and take on some advice. We're not looking for a massive place, seen 4 so far, all between 75k-150k. I think we could raise 30k cash deposit and the our income is fairly good. Any idea of mortgages? Either a UK or Italian mortgage? I also have a UK house.....not much capital though :-(

First post, nice to meet you all, be nice :)

Cheers
 

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Only regular posters may recommend.. we do this as we would soon have the forum full of companies joining under and alias just to recommend themselves.

I am sure you understand our reasoning.. this keep the forum free of adverts etc

maiden
Yes I do understand. Has all the text of my post been lost, because I would like to edit it and repost.
thanks
K
 

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Go for it!

Hi all,

We've just returned from another fantastic break in Lake Como. We (myself 30 and girlfriend 30) both British and currently living and working in Zurich, Switzerland. We love the place and are interested in buying a weekend retreat close to the northern end of the lake (about a 4 hour drive).

We plan to have kids so maybe throughout summer the wife to be could spend most of the time down there. Also the ability to rent the pad out could work for us.

I know nothing about the Italian buying process, would love to learn and take on some advice. We're not looking for a massive place, seen 4 so far, all between 75k-150k. I think we could raise 30k cash deposit and the our income is fairly good. Any idea of mortgages? Either a UK or Italian mortgage? I also have a UK house.....not much capital though :-(

First post, nice to meet you all, be nice :)

Cheers
Hi
Definitely an Italian mortgage. Rates are lower and repayment periods can be longer than for UK banks. :)
 

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Thanks very much! Have you experience in Italian mortgages? Maybe you could PM me if you're not allowed to post here.
Yes indeed! I have bought two properties in Italy and sold one. I've had two mortgages too! I did give some more specific info but it had to be moderated out. I just didn't have time to write everything again but will be happy to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks. So who was the mortgage with? A decent rate? Easy to obtain? What %age deposit is required?

Also, as a weekend house, would we face any taxes, "council tax", problems etc?

On 100k house, what's the fees likely amount to?

Thanks for your help
 

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I posted all this up to you yesterday but I think it was moderated out because I am a newbie and I used a brand name. However, I'm going to have another go because this is really important and I don't think I have any other way of getting this information to you. Moderator please let this through! I confirm that I have no connections with the company named and I do not any longer have a mortgage with them.

Here goes - the mortgage company of choice is Barclays Italia. They have been active in Italy for about a decade now and have shaken the market up. They have a branch in Como.

You should not have any difficulty in getting a mortgage of at least 85%. You need to be very careful about choosing the property because building work on the lake (even more than elsewhere in Italy) is expensive. Basically there are two industries on Lake Como - tourism and building - and builders have a cartel which means that whichever way the economy is going they are going to be ok thank you very much. So if you buy a place that needs a lot of work you need to add about €1000 per square metre for 'ristutturazione'. Don't buy a country place without electricity supply because you may find that you have to pay the neighbours to bring the supply across their land.

You will have to budget for 10% tax (yes really!) on the purchase price. This you pay to the lawyer (notaio) when the deal is completed.

How the system works is that once you have found your dream home (or pile of stones) you make a deposit with the agent of about 10%. This is the caparra, and sets the wheels in motion. The agent does the legal legwork, e.g. searches etc that in the UK a solicitor would do. When this is ready, there is a formal meeting at which the parties sign a document promising to buy/sell. This is called the compromesso. At this point the deal becomes binding. You will also have to pay another 20% or so of the purchase price at this point. By now you should have your mortgage sorted. Then, the atto di comprovendita takes place some time afterwards (anything up to six months). At this meeting, which takes place in a notaio's office, all the parties are in attendance, including your mortgage lender, to physically sign the money over. Both buyer and seller listen to the deed being read out and then sign every page. It feels weird if you are used to the UK system of handing everything over to a solicitor. You will also have to pay a big fee to the estate agent (at least 3%) and legal fees to the notaio (up to €2000). In other words, it is a very expensive business over and above the price of the property. If you are in it for the long term it is worth it. But be aware that there is very little in the way of a speculative property market in Italy. There is no concept of the 'property ladder' as in the UK. So when people buy a house they intend to keep it, and possibly hand it on to their heirs. Things are changing, but the way that you have to hand money over to all and sundry is enough to make your eyes water. Our house is in Acquaseria, and we love it. It was absolutely worth it. I'd be happy to give you more advice, for free, if we can work out a way of being in contact.
Good luck!
 

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Hi - We also got a mortgage with Barclays Italia 8 years ago - which allowed us to buy ancie house and keep the cash for work/renovation. The process is as described by SimpleyJoys. The rate is pretty low - we pay approx €300 per month on £160k. Watch out for their interest only deals - which require lump sum payments at intervals.
 
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