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Brainstorming about buying a flat somewhere in Europe...

Brainstorming about buying a flat somewhere in Europe...

Old Dec 19th, 2011, 02:47 AM
  #41  
 
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DickieG - Nutella lives in Italy so it is not a cross currency property purchase.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 04:05 AM
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Only if she lives long term in Italy and derives an income there to pay for the outgoings on the flat.

An American with short term income in Italy, long term income in the US whilst purchasing a flat in France could be very messy....should the euro cease.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 05:46 AM
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You can get a very small village apartment in southern Italy, or more remote parts of central Italy, for 125k euros - I have seen adverts for such places. You'll get more for your money if you are prepared to renovate.

Re Switzerland - DH wasn't even allowed to live there when we was working there ! He had to live in Germany and commute.

If you are already in Italy, do you have or are you in the process of applying for a Permesso di Soggiorno ? Or are you not staying that long this time ?
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 05:49 AM
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P.S. Having just reread your question, the sort of properties I've seen in that price range would all require a car - they've all been in small villages (or out in the country), not big enough to have a railway station or much of a bus service.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 06:25 AM
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House Hunters International have featured some surprisingly affordable properties. In one case, a Rome couple moved south and bought a couple of flats for something like 1/3 less than asking and renovated them.

Only thing is, the shows may have been filmed a year ago so may not reflect current market conditions.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 06:26 AM
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I recall seeing advertisements for small flats in the further-out Naples suburbs within that price range in late 2008. It is a large metropolitan area with good transportation in/out. While DH and I truly find the area beautiful, interesting, and very lively, it isn't the first place I would choose to jump through the hoops of buying a place. Just wanted to mention it however, since you speak Italian.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 06:53 AM
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I know how these threads tend to go off on tangents. But I really don't want to get into my personal situation. Someone even made assumptions about my financial status and questioned my sanity. Please know that not everyone on this forum lives a lifestyle within your zone of familiarity. I was simply asking where one can purchase property for a certain figure.

For everyone else, thanks for your contributions. I've actually started researching southern Italy, but I'm still open to other places in Europe to base myself.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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FWIW, our Swiss city flat is about 115 square meters plus a 25 square meter covered balcony/terrace. While it's not large, it's certainly comfy enough for a human couple and their English cocker, esp with a private park out back and a tram stop plus bakery, cafe, hairdresser, shops, etc mere steps from the front door. FYI, many of my non-Swiss colleagues (inc Americans, Canadians, Brits, and Australians) do own their flats/homes. It's not impossible.

To the OP's brief (which, as I read it, will not be a full-time residence, but a part-time hangout rented out to visitors when the OP is not present): I'm here in Dresden now and it certainly fulfills most of the qualifications and I think you could find a small apt in your price range (Dresden expert Ingo would know better, however). Ditto for Angers, one of our favourite places in France - not too long ago we looked at a one-bed flat in that price range - nicely finished (small but well designed kitchen, LR with parquet floor and fireplace, marble-tiled bathroom) with a balcony that had a view of the castle. It's still tempting...
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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Forgot to wish you good luck with your quest! Southern Italy doesn't appeal to us at all - we're not sun lovers - but have fun looking and let us know if you find a place.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 09:55 AM
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I saw an edition of HH international where someone bought a small apt in Greece for about that price. It was some area near a beach, I just remember that. It was nothing deluxe, that's for sure, but it was probably at least 800 SF.

I agree that 110 m2 is a huge apt by any standards. I never had a place that big when I rented apts, although my apts in the US were larger than some I've seen in Paris, that's for sure. I had an 800 SF (probably around 70 m2) apt once that was a very good size for a one-bedroom, and it had a big dinigh room, also (but tiny kitchen and small bedroom). I think that is a good size apt for a 1 BR, though. The thing that I find astounding are the ads you see for vacation rental apts in Paris that claims to be 3 BR apts at about that size. Or a 2 BR apt at 500 SF. I don't see how that is even physically possible unless they aren't counting halls, bathrooms, etc. My niece had a good size studio that was 500 SF, but no way could you fit 2 BRs in that space.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 11:16 AM
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Nutella,

I cannot believe this conversation has been going on for 2 days completely oblivious to the present crisis concerning the euro, the eurozone and authoritative forecasts for global recession, depression and worse. You would be simply mad to sign a real estate contract in the euro-zone at this present moment, or to imagine you are going to cover the costs of something you purchase by relying on affluent tourists.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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I also would be very concerned about making this kind of investment at this point in time, particularly if you are an American investing dollars in a eurozone property. The Euro seems to be reaching a denouement. I think it would be rather less than prudent to actually pull the trigger before the Euro meets its fate. I suppose that if this is a long term project, doing some information gathering and brainstorming about the preferred locations might not be wasted time, and might position you to make a move at a point where exchange rates would be in your favor, but one also has to consider the effect of what happens to the Euro on asset prices, and committing your money to an asset in a market going through such a potentially destabilizing event is risky, to say the least.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 12:54 PM
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Nutella

My comment above wasn't trying to belittle, just simply trying to pass on the experiences my family have had over 200 years of property management, development and investing. One case happened 3 years ago, it was 4 months before the last credit crunch.

We earn in pounds. We had a project in Mallorca to buy a large plot of land with planning permission to build a large farmhouse with pool, the investment was in euros. We had all the building quotes and even off-plan interest in the final product. Based on all this information and the experience of other developers in the area, we stood to make £500,000. We had a 3 week trip to Vancouver booked and so could not make it over to Mallorca to sign up. At this stage the pound was at 1.48 euros and the property market still active.

During our trip to Canada, the pound started falling and has done ever since. It bottomed out at near parity with the euro. The 2008 credit crunch happened and as a result our potential customers had little way of raising finance for the property.

In short had we gone ahead, we would have £600,000 invested in a worthless farmhouse. Even the rental market has dropped.

We adapted our view and have not bought a property since. The first time this has happened as a family since WW2.

Believe me, things are bad (very bad) and be very careful.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Indeed, many of our current woes are due to programmes like
HH international, Grand Designs, Changing Rooms, Property Ladder with their rosy picture of how the world works.

After 200 years of residential letting, we know life is never rosy. We gave away 50 houses after WW2 because the rents were fixed by the government at ridiculously low levels, didn't even cover the repairs to one window. Cheaper to give them away, we currently live in times like that.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Well it's just conversation, nobody is talking about signing a contract next week.

But for people selling these properties, they're not going to give them away. For instance, properties in Spain still seem high, despite the overcapacity and the housing bubble crash there.

I'm sure plenty of people are watching to see if the Euro devalues or even disappears but that could mean a surge in demand, causing sellers to raise prices, even in a devalued currency.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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<i>For instance, properties in Spain still seem high, despite the overcapacity and the housing bubble crash there.</i>

If you mean 'sticker' price, yes it's true that Spanish owners don't seem to have lowered their asking price in response to a slump. Perhaps many don't need to sell and quite happy to sit tight for years until market recovers. British sellers who are more desperate (as money is running out and have to return home) are slashing their price drastically to get a sale.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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So there's a lot of bargaining room?
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 01:12 AM
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Nutella, you made a very good point when you said "Please know that not everyone on this forum lives a lifestyle within your zone of familiarity."

Regardless of what all the doom merchants are saying, some of us are "simply mad" enough have given up decently paid jobs outwith the eurozone to move into the eurozone with no immediate prospcts Follow your dream !
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 04:51 AM
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And thank you for letting us dream along with you. Love this post.
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:47 AM
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Caroline

You are a bad influence !!!
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