Abruzzo Real Estate
Abruzzo is to be found in central Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea. To the west of the region, the Apennine Mountains rise majestically over the horizon. To the east, the forests and plains give way to unspoilt sandy beaches washed by the clear blue of the sea.
Abruzzo is largely forgotten by tourism ensuring Abruzzo real estate is competitively priced. The locals revel in their traditions and cultures, and the Italian way of life can be experienced as it should be. Festivals and fairs, their origins in the long-forgotten past, are seen in almost every town and village in the area. As spring blossoms, locals celebrate their ‘Holy Week’ as they have done for generations, with processions, festivities, and an abundance of local produce.
The region offers a truly relaxed way of life for those looking to buy Abruzzo real estate. It is hard not to let the breathtaking mountain scenery, the deep forests and the flowering meadows seep into the soul. It is the sort of place that just begs to be watched with a glass of fine local wine and some freshly-made food, rich with the flavours of the sun drenched fields. Yet, explorers will feel the pull of the landscape. The vast regional and national parks offer routes to hike, cycle or ride on horseback. From these the green, flora-rich valleys give way to high, barren plains and snow capped granite peaks, and even Europe’s southern most glacier. Abruzzo is indeed an area of contradictions, allowing skiing on snow capped mountains in the morning, and dreamy afternoons relaxing on one of the many sun-kissed beaches. By investing in Abruzzo real estate, you can take advantage of both the Italian way of life and its many attractions.
Throughout the region, its history is apparent. Castles and citadels rise in the most unexpected places, all against a backdrop of spectacular beauty and offering breathtaking views.
Abruzzo itself is divided into four provinces, each having something spectacular and unique to offer.
The province of L’Aquila is the largest in Abruzzo and occupies the western part of the region; it is the only province that has no access to the sea, and includes the highest mountains of the Apennines. Here the hills and mountains are populated with charming towns and villages, all with an apparent sense of history, many of which offer suitable Abruzzo real estate to buy. Many of them in this mountainous region have religious feasts and processions, and also still maintain their traditional festivals for bringing in the harvests.
Chieti is the southernmost coastal province. Sandwiched between the mountains and the sea are an abundance of vineyards and olive groves, producing world famous wines and olive oils. One of the main towns in the province is Francavilla al Mare. This is a modern, vibrant town, catering superbly for locals and tourists alike with a wealth of facilities. Its fame as a seaside resort is growing, and with it, its reputation as Abruzzo’s cultural capital. There are many things to do in the city, including museums, nightspots and a variety of sports. Between May and August there are many festivals in the town, starting with the boat procession of St. Liberata and ending with a spectacular firework display over the sea. Abruzzo real estate in Chieti offers a great way to experience the Italian way of life.
Teramo is the most northerly of the coastal provinces, offering an abundance of beaches to the east, and the ski fields of Prati di Tivo in the west, high in the mountains. In this region, many interesting towns and villages can be found and include Biscenti, founded as a monastery in the 12th century, which has an abundance of beautiful churches and numerous religious festivals throughout the year. However, as the area is a great wine producer, the wine harvest in October is celebrated by the people with a procession and traditional songs with just as much fervour. Nearby Castiglione Messer Raimondo is famed for its beautiful sandstone buildings. This village too grew up around the Benedictine monasteries; of particular note is the gastronomic fair held annually in August, offering a wealth of local dishes and produce.
Perhaps the most lively of the region’s towns is Giulianova. Near the mouth of the Tordino River and bordering the Adriatic, the town is building its reputation as a tourist destination. As such, Giulianova has everything that could be desired, from modern shops to a wide range of restaurants serving the seafood freshly bought into the port, to sporting facilities including those on the famed beach. As well as a great many water sports, the town has a long equestrian history, with festivals dedicated to both sailing and horse-riding events, both accompanied by feasts, music and dance. We have many houses, villas and apartments for sale in Giulianova and much more Abruzzo real estate.
Further along the coast, between Chieti and Teramo, is the province of Pescara. Although the smallest of the four in area, it is the most densely populated, partly due to the city of Pescara itself. Pescara, being the main city in the region, has every facility required, and a beauty and a charm of its own. Nearby Montesilvano, immediately north of Pescara, has grown to unite with the city, though keeping a distinct identity of its own. This busy centre is now divided into Montesilvano Marina and Montesilvano Colle, the former a lively, bustling seaside resort. Southwest of Pescara, among hills of olive trees, Loreto Aprutino stands out against the skyline. Reaching into the sky can be seen the imposing medieval castle, the ‘Palazzo Chiola’, and the church and bell tower of ‘San Pietro Apostolo’. Both of these structures provide the visitor from a distance with an idea of the essence of the town, but once inside there are a whole host of artistic, cultural and historical treasures to be discovered. Many of the beautiful towns in this region are to be found perching on hilltops giving panoramic views of the landscape below. One such is Collecorvino, with beautiful architecture to match the views – we have Abruzzo real estate for sale in Collecorvino. Many, such as Montebello di Bertona, sitting high on a hilltop south of the Tavo River, are built on much more ancient settlements.
Civitaquana, its name deriving from the underground water supply, or possibly the Roman aqueducts, has a similarly long history. Though most of the town is medieval, its origins are Roman. The oldest medieval part follows a defensive architecture, with the houses side by side in a half-circle. Likewise, is the medieval village of Alanno that rises on the banks of the Alterno-Pescara River. This is a most unusual village and has a strange ‘fish spine’ shape. As well as the historic churches, the village holds two annual feasts. We have houses and villas in Civitaquana.
Penne, another of the main towns in the region, has been built completely of bricks on the tops of four hills. The medieval centre rises between the valleys of the Tavo and Fino rivers, amid a landscape of green hills and woods. Southeast of Penne lies the ‘Riserva Naturale Lago di Penne’, an artificial lake constructed in the 1960's. The territory is now a Natural Reserve with a Botanical Garden and an ‘Area Faunistica’ where sick and wounded birds are tended, remaining on the reserve for the rest of their lives. The area now contains over 160 species of birds situated along the banks of the lake, a section of the Tavo River and the marshland between.
Spoltore rises on a hill between the Pescara and Saline rivers with a wonderful view of the Pescara valley. The northern part of the centre rose around the ancient castle, whose ruins can still be seen, while the southern part was constructed of terraced houses, whose outer walls created a fortified defence along the weaker side of the borough. Outside the village is the XV-century monastery of St. Francesco. We have Abruzzo real estate in Spoltore and surrounding villages.
Also noteworthy is Nocciano. The centre rises on a green hill, from where the Gran Sasso, the Majella, the river Pescara valley, and the Adriatic Sea can be seen in the distance. Likewise Citta Sant’Angelo is famed for its spectacular views from its mountainside location and Moscufo, with ancient origins, lies on a beautiful hill hovering above the River Tavo Valley.
Guide to the Italian Buying Process
1. Making the Offer to Purchase (Offerta)
Once you have found the property you wish to purchase you will start the process by making a formal offer to the vendor, the estate agent will act on your behalf and put forward the offer, a deposit will be made available, generally around (10,000 - 20,000 EUR). Once the vendor has accepted the offer it will be formalised in writing to the vendor in both English and Italian. If this is accepted the deposit (Caparra Confirmatoria) will be paid to the vendor. This will form a legally binding contract. Neither party may withdraw at this point, the sale can be forced by either party or a claim for damages can be made. If the purchaser withdraws their deposit will be lost, if the vendor withdraws the purchaser can claim twice the deposit in compensation.
2. Signing the Preliminary Contract (Compromesso or Contratto preliminare)
The next step will take place between 1 and 3 months after the offer has been accepted, this is a formal agreement between the vendor and purchaser to sell and buy the property, this agreement is the Preliminary Contract and will contain the conditions and terms of the sale. It is important at this stage that you have a full understanding of all the details contained in the contract. We would strongly recommend that you appoint a Notary who is fluent in English. This document will include the purchase price, a detailed description of the property including completion date and will cover any obligations placed upon the buyer and the vendor. All information relating to the property including any planning permissions for the property and the cadastral details (a public record, survey, or map of the value, extent, and ownership of land as a basis of taxation). Once the Preliminary Contract (Contratto preliminare) has been signed a further deposit (Caparra Confirmatoria) will be paid, this will generally be 10% - 20% of the purchase price. There will also be an estate agents Commission Fee (Provvigione) which will need to be paid at this point.
3. Signing the Final Deed of Sale (Rogito or Atto Notarile)
The purchaser must have a bank account in order to make the purchase on completion. The signing of the final deed of sale which will authorise the transfer of the property must be overseen by a Notary (Notaio). The buyer will select and hire the Notary, but they are members of an independent body of public/professionals who will draft the purchase deed, they will oversee the passing of the title legally from the vendor to the purchaser. The Notary will also verify the legality of the documentation and registration with the Conservatoria dei Registri Immobiliari and the Local Land Register.
4. Formalities to be observed after Completion
Foreign buyers should obtain a certified copy of the Purchase Deed (Rogito), which the Notary will have lodged with the authorities. Generally this will be available to collect around 2 – 3 weeks after completion. The Notary will also give you a form to complete for the the local authority (Questura) who will have been given formal notice of the purchase. Your Notary will help you to complete this form. You will need to contact the utilities companies to set up new contracts (power, water, telephone, gas etc.). If the property is a flat, the condominium manager (Amministratore del condominio) should be informed of change of ownership of the property.
Various taxes must be paid on purchases. Registration tax / stamp duty (Imposta di Registro) is calculated on the government’s valuation of the property (Valore catastale). This will vary according to whether the property is being purchased as a holiday home, or as your primary residence. For a holiday home stamp duty will be 10% of the valuation. If you are intending to use the property as your primary residence and apply for residency (Prima casa), providing this is done within 18 months of the property transfer then stamp duty will be reduced to 3% for an existing property and 4% for a new build. This will be paid to the Notary on completion of the purchase.
Land registration, mortgage and cadastral taxes also need to be paid to the Notary on completion. These are one-off payments and are around €168 each.
Once the property has been purchased further taxes must be paid. There is a local council tax ICI/IMU property tax (Imposta Comunale sugli Immobili) of 0.4% to 0.9% of the property’s cadastral value. The rate for this is calculated annually by the council and paid bi-annually in June and December. This rate will be reduced if the property is the primary residence (Prima Casa).
If you are not resident in Italy you will have to declare any income gained from activities in Italy to the Italian Tax authorities. This income will also have to be declared in your country of residence, you will need a double taxation agreement to mitigate against paying twice. This declaration will apply to any income you might obtain from letting a property in Italy. Some expenses incurred on the property may be off-set against the income you derive from letting out the property. This can include management expenses, local taxes, repairs etc.
There is one tax which applies only to holiday homes, there will be a 20% Capital Gain on the difference between the buying price and the selling price if the property is sold prior to 5 years ownership.
IMPORTANT - Disclaimer :
All information provided is believed to be current and provided free of charge. No liability can be accepted for the reliability of the information and statements made as this is obtained from 3rd parties. We always recommend you take legal advice from a fully qualified Lawyer or Notary before buying a property overseas.
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