Welcome to our new blog series, Italians We Love!
In it we will be profiling Italians - both in Italy and abroad - who are passionate about Italy and Italian culture, bringing their uniquely Italian sensibilities to the industries in which they work and the places in which they live.
Our first Italian We Love is Piero Lorenzo, an Italian realtor born and raised in Calabria who now works in sunny California for Keller Williams. He's passionate about helping Italian Americans find homes in the land of their ancestors. We've asked him a few questions to learn more about what he does and how his love of Italy is the driving force behind all he does:
First things first. Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I was born in Tropea, a beautiful beach town in southern Italy. I lived in Florence for 21 years, where I was a real estate broker for 13 years with my own agency. In February of this year, I moved with my wife to her hometown of Santa Cruz, California. I immediately got a California Real Estate license and I have been working with Keller Williams. I'm a CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist), and I'm concentrating especially in USA-Italy transactions, in large part helping Americans to buy homes in Italy.
What are some of the best areas to purchase property in Italy for those seeking an authentic Italian experience?
Italy is an amazing country in terms of beauty, art, history, landscape, cuisine, and culture, etc. We have many gorgeous famous cities and tourist destinations, and I help clients find areas of those cities that place them more in the midst of the locals, especially if that is what they would like.
It is a pleasure for me to help my clients discover lesser-known cities and towns, matching their desires to various regions in Italy based on things like pace of life, style of cuisine, climate, love of the sea versus love of museums and shopping, family roots, etc. In general, southern Italy is overlooked too often when choosing a home abroad and can offer exquisite ocean views, phenomenal food, and very affordable property.
What is required when purchasing a home in Italy?
It depends on whether or not you are buying a first home or a vacation/second home.. If is first home, you must obtain Italian residency (within 18 months of the purchase) and therefore must get the “permesso di soggiorno” (permit to stay).
In the case of a second home, it's sufficient to get a “codice fiscale” (tax code, free of charge) and follow the “iter burocratico” (bureaucratic process) of the “compravendita” (buying and selling of real estate).
Closing costs consist of: taxes (comprised of imposta di registro, catastale and ipotecaria if you buy privately, or IVA, imposta catastale and ipotecaria if you buy from a company), notarial fees, and agency fees.
What does the process of purchasing a home in Italy involve?
Once you have found the right house, you need to make an offer. In Italy, there are typically three steps for the sale: proposta (offer), compromesso (agreement) and rogito (deed).
In Italy you don't have the ability to search all or sometimes any records online and there is no MLS, both of which we depend on here in the USA. So, it's highly recommended - to the point of being crucial - to receive support from an expert real estate agent, because sometimes getting and evaluating the information about the property and the transactions can be pretty complicated. I have years and years of experience in the real estate industry in Italy, and that really helps my foreign clients. I also have a trusted team there who support me and my clients through the whole process.
What's your favorite area of Italy?
My hometown of Tropea. It is a very beautiful place, with the stunning Tyrrhenian Sea and the gorgeous historic city center built on a massive rock. Florence and the Tuscany region where I lived for long time is also beautiful. I also love Venice, Rome, Naples and many more places. Italy is tutto bello!
What are some possible roadblocks people might encounter when buying in Italy?
It can take a very long time if something is not correct or perfect in the city records, or some other urbanistic error. This is another reason to work with an expert that you trust.
Any last words or advice? Thank you for your time!
This is a great moment to buy a home in Italy. The prices are decreasing, the sellers are very motivated, and for an American citizen, Italian homes can be very affordable right now. Go for it!
Thank you for your time, Piero! For more information or for assistance in purchasing a property in Italy, you can contact Piero here or visit his Facebook page here.
Since 2005, we've been helping people achieve their dream of obtaining their Italian passport or living, working and studying in Italy.
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