Marche Real Estate
Marche real estate is found in a region of Italy that is almost dreamlike in its beauty and serenity. With fairytale castles perched on remote hilltops, vast caves soaked in myth and legend, and immense gothic cathedrals with towering arches and spires, Le Marche is a place of atmosphere, culture and awe-inspiring beauty.
Le Marche, or in English ‘The Marches’, has some of the most diverse scenery in central Italy, and a correspondingly wide selection of Marche real estate. The region borders Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north and Abruzzo and Lazio to the south. With the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Apennine Mountains forming the western borders with Umbria and Tuscany, Marche real estate can be found to suit all tastes and budgets, and in a wide choice of locations - from the bustling coastal resorts to the sparsely populated countryside inland. Much of the rural landscape consists of the gently rolling hills covered in olive groves and vineyards that are synonymous with Italy, yet near the mountains, Marche real estate can be found amid a breathtaking landscape of sheer cliffs with ancient cave systems and deep tree-lined gorges cut by the raging white-water rivers below.
As much of this almost deserted area is now part of Le Marche’s extensive network of nature parks, Marche real estate here is often a rare treat. Much more accessible for property ownership are the coastal areas, and Marche real estate is often found bordering the region’s numerous long, sandy beaches. Coastal properties can be found both in traditional fishing villages, and in the more bustling and cosmopolitan resorts, such as Gabicce Mare, Pesaro, Senigallia, and San Benedetto del Tronto, all of which boast excellent facilities and nightlife. Wildly different to the sun-drenched sands of much of the coast, the Conera Peninsula offers a more dramatic and atmospheric coastline, with huge limestone cliffs teeming with bird life towering over the sea. All along the 180km of Adriatic coastline the beaches are exceptionally well maintained and boast the highest number of blue-flag beaches of any region in Italy.
In the west of the region, in the foothills of the mighty Apennine Mountains, the vast nature parks are havens both for rare species of flora and fauna, and for nature-lovers. The largest of these parks is the Parco Naturale dei Monti Sibillini; the caves are the legendary shelter of Sibyl fleeing the underworld. The park is also famed for the frightening names given to rocky outcrops, such as the ‘Devil’s Beard’, and the Piano Grande plateau, which is transformed into a vast and spectacular carpet of wildflowers in the summer months. The Torricchio Riserva Naturale contains a dramatic gorge flanked by woodland at its heart, and the rugged coastline of the Monte Conero is also a designated natural park, containing rare species of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, as well as truly spectacular views. In addition to the nature reserve near the Cistercian abbey of Fiastra, and the regional park that surrounds Genga, consisting of towering limestone gorges and breathtakingly vast caves, there are several other unspoilt areas of outstanding beauty with protected species of mountainous, sylvan and marshland flora and fauna including Golden Eagles, wild boar and deer. All of these picturesque areas allow numerous opportunities for outdoor pursuits, including hiking, mountain biking and watersports amid the spectacular scenery of the region.
Throughout Le Marche, beauty is found in more than just the natural landscapes. The Renaissance, borne of the regions of central Italy, has left a lasting mark on the area, and Marche real estate is often surrounded by breathtaking architecture, and in towns where history is crowded into the narrow streets of the old quarters. Ancient Byzantine style churches remain at the heart of traditional towns and lonely monasteries crowd the hilltops and valleys of this spectacular region. Marche is a place of light and colour that has inspired generations of artists, with the sun bouncing off the verdant landscapes and coloured light filtering in through the immense stained glass windows of the spectacular churches, bathing the frescoes and sculptures that still adorn the vast, echoing spaces.
In these beautiful towns and villages with Marche real estate, much of the ancient culture and traditional festivities remain. From the large and vibrant, such as the Rossini Opera Festival at Pesaro, the Fano Jazz Festival and the Festival Internazionale Inteatro, a contemporary theatre festival, to the ancient and less well known, the many music, dance and theatre festivals of the region are not to be missed. In addition, wherever Marche real estate is purchased, almost every town and village has its own delicious speciality to be celebrated in the festivals known as ‘sagra’, ranging from wine and cheese to the more unusual wild boar of Sassoferrato, chick peas of San Severino Marche and sweet ‘cooked’ wine of Loro Piceno. Many ancient games and local pursuits are also celebrated in annual festivities ensuring fun for all the family. Some of the most unusual of these are the medieval fair of Ascoli Piceno, including a traditional joust, the ‘Wild Boar Hunt’ of Mondavio and the unusual Fermignano Palio della Rana, which is best described as a kind of wheelbarrow race with frogs!
As can be inferred from the vast range of fairs and festivals dedicated to local produce, Marche real estate is always found in an area where food and drink play an important part in daily life. Even in the most exclusive restaurants the emphasis of the menu is generally simple, but delicious, traditional fare with fresh and local ingredients that provide an assault on the tastebuds. Almost every town and village has its own signature dish, and often these include the truffles for which the region is famed. As with much of Italy, wine is of great importance in Le Marche and of particular pride to the locals is Verdicchio; particularly good with the freshly caught seafood of the region.
Each of the five provinces boast superb Marche real estate whether in Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata or Pesaro e Urbino. Each of the four largest towns in Le Marche boasts its own unique character. Ancona, the largest by population, is located on the Adriatic coast and characterised by magnificent churches and religious buildings, including the Episcopal palace. The Roman remains found both in and around this town also make its museums well worth a visit. Pesaro is also a coastal town with Roman origins, famous as the birthplace of composer Rossini, and home to the Pesaro film festival. Fano, yet another beautiful Adriatic town, is famed for its Roman ‘Arch of Augustus’. Both Pesaro and Fano boast Blue Flag beaches. Finally, Ascoli Piceno is a spectacularly located town surrounded on three sides by mountains. Arguably, this town is one of the most attractive in the region, surrounded by natural parks and with the medieval centre being entirely built of marble quarried from the mountains, and its Renaissance Square is considered the most beautiful in Italy.
Le Marche was known in ancient times as the Picenum territory, and was finally conquered by the Romans in 295BC. The Romans left many distinctive traces, and some of Marche’s biggest towns today have Roman origins. After the fall of the Roman Empire the region was invaded and conquered by many other peoples and civilisations, including the Goths, and this has lead to the rich diversity of the area, both in culture and architecture. Though it is estimated that around 5% of the population today are foreign-born immigrants, Marche has nevertheless maintained a distinctive Italian flavour with many traditions remaining to the present day.
Marche real estate for sale
Marche real estate is often popular due to the immense charm of the region, but, as ever when buying in a foreign country, care should be taken over an unfamiliar legal process. When buying Marche real estate the first step is the compromesso, a private contract which is legally binding between the buyer and seller. This contract details the particulars of the Marche real estate and this is recorded with the land registry. The deposit, typically 10-20% of the purchase price would be lost if the contract was not adhered to after this signing process, and additional charges are also often required. The compromesso also often specifies the timing of the signing of the final contract, which is performed in the presence of the local notaio, a public official who is unbiased and therefore will not highlight any irregularities or hidden surprises in the contract. It is therefore advisable to hire a local lawyer and estate agent before the signing of the final contract and paying the full balance due.
When buying Marche real estate, a passport is usually enough to allow a stay of up to three months in Italy, perfect for buying Marche real estate as a second or holiday home. Longer stays will need to be registered with the Ufficio Anagrafe, and after five years of residence, foreign nationals can obtain the soggiorno permanente allowing total parity with Italian citizens. Of course, members of EU states will find the process of integrating into the Italian legal system more straightforward than non-EU members, and all details should be checked before considering buying Marche real estate.
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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