Wander up through the walled medieval old town of Ventimiglia Alta exploring the rabbit warren maze of narrow alleyways, hidden piazzas and old pastel coloured stone houses before visiting the Romanesque cathedral and 11th century baptistery built on the remains of an ancient Roman temple; while away a relaxing morning sunbathing on the terrace of your luxury penthouse and then head off to the fabulous Hanbury Gardens wandering through gardens filled with rare plants, sculptures and fountains, gardens devoted to cacti or hibiscus or passion flowers; treat yourself to a boat trip around the beautiful rocky coastline before coming into town to feast on a delicious lunch of focaccia with tomatoes, anchovies, olives and garlic followed by homemade gnocchi with pesto all washed down with a glass of the local Vermentino wine. Located on the Italian Ligurian coast just a few kilometres from the border with France and blessed with warm, fresh summers yielding to mild and bright winters, there is an excellent range of Ventimiglia property for sale offering investors the opportunity to become part of this pretty seaside resort.
Sitting at the mouth of the River Roia where it flows into the Ligurian Sea, the river divides this charming seaside town into two zones: the medieval old town on the hill on one side of the river and the modern town running along the coast line with its brand new marina. The town's Roman heritage is showcased on the eastern side of the town where part of the original Roman town of Albintimilium is being excavated. There's an amphitheatre and other areas including a thermal bath and living quarters and right next to the ruins is a museum that helps you understand what you're seeing. Among the many well preserved medieval gates into the city in Ventimiglia the most interesting is the 12th century Canarda gate which once provided westward access to the walled city. In ancient times the old road leading from Rome to Provence and Spain, the “Via Julia Augusta”, was just below this gate. And don't miss the Friday market bursting with local cheeses, olives, fresh fruit and vegetables, glistening fish and of course local olive oil!
Although property prices in Italy have been declining for more than seven years, Ventimiglia property prices remain high. There is increasing interest from international property buyers particularly those from the French Riviera and Monaco where both property prices and taxes are much higher than in Italy. There is a wide range of Ventimiglia property for sale to suit all tastes and budgets ranging from superb waterfront apartments overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to luxurious villas with private gardens up in the hills behind the town.
There is a good range of apartments for sale both down by the marina and up in the hills starting at around 390,000 EUR for a two bedroom apartment with sun terrace and fabulous views of the sea and going up to around 600,000 EUR for larger properties. At the top end of the market can be found beautifully renovated properties where a four bedroom penthouse in the centre of town and just minutes from the sea would cost in the region of 1m EUR. Luxury villas tend to be built on the outskirts of the town up in the hills offering wonderful views of the sea and surrounding countryside. There are a number of villas being built with prices starting at around 1m EUR for a three or four bedroom property with huge terraces offering superb panoramic views of Ventimiglia and the Mediterranean Sea, parking and landscaped gardens.
Ventimiglia 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 a luxury hillside villa with swimming pool and sea views or a modern apartment in the new marina with direct access to the sea, Ventimiglia 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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