Lake Como Property
Set within an idyllic situation, with a backdrop of snow capped mountains and in verdant, wooded landscapes dotted with historic villas, Lake Como property is the perfect opportunity to buy into the very heart of Italian romance, passion and history.
Lake Como property provides a haven of tranquillity in the Lombardy area of northern Italy, combining outstanding natural beauty, towns packed with history and culture, and a wealth of attractions and activities. The area has long been a popular destination among the wealthy and aristocratic; from the Romans until the present day, with famous celebrities such as George Clooney and Madonna said to have owned Lake Como property.
The lake itself is a ‘Y’ shape, fed by the Adda River, and surrounded by pre-Alpine mountains. It is one of Europe’s deepest lakes, and this causes the vast body of water to act as a heat source, raising the surrounding temperature, and resulting in a sunny, Mediterranean climate where sub-tropical plants grow year round by the majestic shoreline.
Lake Como Property
Lake Como property can be found in any one of the towns and villages that nestle on the banks of this stunning lake. The town of Como itself is situated at the head of the lake, and its 400 year history is literally written on the magnificent architecture of the town, with awe-inspiring churches and historic villas lining the streets. Within the old walls are also a whole host of designer boutiques, street-cafes and restaurants in a perfect fusion of historic beauty and modern facilities.
A short ferry ride away from Como is the village of Cernobbio, with a stunning waterfront location, and a little further north is the lake’s only island, Isola Comacina, which is especially worth a visit at the end of June during the St, John’s Day celebrations. These festivities are focussed on the ruins of the S. Eufemia basilica, and end with a dramatic procession and spectacular fireworks display that seems to reflect on the tranquil surface of the lake for miles around.
Tremezzo and Bellaggio Property
Amongst the many other locations is which to buy Lake Como property are Tremezzo, with its traditional lakeside promenade, and Bellaggio, known as the ‘pearl of the lake’. With its cobbled streets and breathtaking views, Bellaggio is known as one of the most beautiful towns in Europe. Another stunning choice for Lake Como property is the small fishing town of Varenna, which is characterised by steep, winding alleys, lined with houses strewn with flowers that provide it with a lovely, traditionally Italian feel. Varennna is also home to an ancient castle, and Italy’s shortest river, the Fiumelatte, which, at only 800ft long, is said to have puzzled the likes of the great Leonardo da Vinci. This river cascades dramatically into the lake between the months of March to October and then abruptly ceases in the winter months.
Wherever you choose to buy Lake Como property, you can be sure of an idyllic location, surrounded by majestic hills and serene waterfront locations. There are some true gems of restauranteuring, serving the very best of fine Italian cuisine, palm-lined promenades, picturesque pavement cafes, and a vibrant nightlife. Lake Como property truly offers the very best of the Italian lifestyle.
Throughout the Lake Como area there are many things to see and do. Lake Como property is never far away from a notable historic villa, church or monastery, many of which boast spectacular gardens and breathtaking views across the lake. As well as the rich variety of restaurants, bars and clubs that would be expected, there are opportunities to spend an evening cruising across the starlit lake, or tasting the area’s exquisite local wines.
There is also plenty for the more active wishing to buy Lake Como property. Avid golfers are always delighted by the range of courses in the area, and all are set within spectacular landscapes, and tennis is a particular passion of the locals. The Alps are within easy travelling distance of Lake Como property, and, of course, have extensive skiing facilities. Watersports of all descriptions are readily found on the banks of the mighty Lake Como, including speedboating and yachting, with mooring available in a purpose built modern marina.
Whether to enjoy the spectacular scenery, the Italian way of life, or an opportunity to enjoy some active pursuits, Lake Como property truly has it all.
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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