Browse the local artisan and handicraft shops lining the intricate spiral of narrow streets and stone portals of the medieval Porto Maurizio quarter before heading off to the olive museum to learn about the history of the olive tree and how olive oil has been made throughout history; while away a relaxing afternoon sunbathing on the terrace of your luxury hillside villa and then head off to San Remo for a fun evening at the casino followed by a seafood dinner in one of the fish restaurants down by the old port; treat yourself to a boat trip around the beautiful rocky coastline before coming into town to feast on a delicious lunch of focaccia with fresh tomatoes and garlic and homemade gnocchi with Ligurian pesto washed down with a chilled glass of the local white wine. Located just over the French border on the Italian Ligurian coast and blessed with warm, fresh summers yielding to mild and bright winters, there is an excellent range of Imperia property for sale offering investors the opportunity to become part of this historically rich and diverse region.
From the sparkling Mediterranean Sea to craggy snow-capped mountains, green valleys and undulating hills, the diverse region of Imperia is famous for its olives, olive oil and flowers. The capital – also called Imperia – looks over its large harbour crammed full of small fishing boats and large sleek yachts and is surrounded by hills covered in the colourful orange buildings of the city. With a charming medieval old town full of wonderful 18th and 19th century grand houses, a classical cathedral which is the largest in the region, 'Villa Grock' – a clown museum named after the famous Swiss clown Adrien Wettach, some rather exclusive shops in the elegant arcaded Via Bonfante and a good array of beautiful beaches the city has much to offer. Further along the coast is San Remo – bursting with Riviera-style grandeur, this seaside resort has a casino, restaurants and a vibrant night life. It is also locally called the 'City of Flowers' for its colourful summertime blooms. There are numerous opportunities to hike or take a mountain bike through the network of trails winding their way through the countryside and there is also a Garden Trail which brings together nature, art and culture throughout the region.
Imperia has always been popular with foreign visitors and international property buyers; northern European artists and intellectuals have been visiting since the 19th century and the region has never really dipped in desirability since. This is good news for Imperia property as prices remain high with the year round climate ensuring a highly stable rental market which makes Imperia property a great investment.
There is a wide range of Imperia property for sale to suit all tastes and budgets ranging from contemporary new build apartments overlooking the medieval old town, luxurious villas with private gardens high on the hills surrounding the city and renovated stone houses and farmhouses in the surrounding countryside.
There are a number of new residential developments in Imperia city where a two bedroom modern apartment with modern bathrooms and kitchens, large balcony overlooking the city and shared parking would be in the region of 350,000 EUR.
Elegant villas with private gardens and sea views come in all shapes and sizes with prices starting at 750,000m EUR and going up to around 2m EUR. For example, a newly built three bedroom villa with infinity pool and surrounded by olive groves would be in the region of 900,000 EUR or how about a three bedroom luxury villa located in the hills above Imperia with huge sun terrace, lush landscaped gardens, parking and fabulous views of the sea for around 1.8m EUR.
Imperia property also has a good range of penthouses and apartments for sale both up in the hills and down near the water and typically range in price from 120,000 EUR up to 500,000 EUR depending on location and size. For example small one bedroom apartments right by the sea start at around 110,000 EUR whilst a completely renovated two bedroom period apartment right in the old town with sun terrace and harbour views would be around 470,000 EUR.
There is also an excellent range of Imperia property to be found in the surrounding countryside away from the coast. A newly restored two bedroom stone cottage with balcony and large sun terrace with breath-taking views of the surrounding valley and olive covered hillsides in the village of Borgormaro can be found for around 200,000 EUR. Similarly a renovated 18th century three bedroom house with sun terrace, garden and swimming pool with fabulous views over the green rolling hills of the Argentina valley would cost in the region of 250,000 EUR.
Imperia property provides investors with the perfect opportunity to buy a property on the Italian Riviera and enjoy the 'Dolce Vita'. Whether you decide to buy an elegant villa with swimming pool and sea views, a modern apartment near the sea or an old renovated stone house deep in the Ligurian countryside, Imperia makes a perfect holiday and investment destination.
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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