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Brainstorming about buying a flat somewhere in Europe...

Brainstorming about buying a flat somewhere in Europe...

Old Dec 20th, 2011, 05:49 AM
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Old Dec 20th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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No one is being a "doom merchant", Caroline. Are you seriously thinking of buying property in Italy? It is one thing to live here and rent, but buying property exposes you to no end of risk.

I've never thought it was a good idea to buy property in italy, even before this, but the amount of red tape people will face if Italy leaves the euro-zone and you have a purchase contract denominated in euros is really not for "dreamers" or amateurs.

Things are likely to be much clearer in the next 10 weeks. To tell people to simply "follow their dream" is irresponsible. Sorry.
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 04:00 AM
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Hi zeppole. No, we will be renting, but I'm not sure it would make any difference to us if we were buying - it would be somewhere to live, not an investment, so I don't see what risk would be involved. We are being what many may see as irresponsible, but trying to be sensible these last few years (taking supposedly secure, permanent jobs in a bank and buying a property in the UK, now worth less than we paid for it) has not worked for us ! Like Nutella (almost) said, not everyone on this forum lives a lifestyle within the same zone of familiarity or comfort.
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 08:06 AM
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Nutella: Day before yesterday, I e-mailed one of my best friends who lives in Italy and just got an e-mail back from him. He and his wife were away at a spa. I e-mailed him to get info that I could send on to you.

My friend is American and took very early retirement about 3 years ago to move to Italy permanently. His wife is Italian and they've been married for more than 12 years and were flying back and forth to each other until he took his early retirement.

Some years ago, they bought a townhouse from a plan and paid cash. It took about a year to build it if I recall correctly. It was a really nice townhouse. A Parisian friend and I were there in 2009. He thought it was nice,too and bigger than the apartment that he owns in Paris and a lot cheaper.

An American friend, that we have in common, was just there for a visit in the early spring of this year. My friend and his wife hadn't sold their townhouse yet although they had purchased a condo (bigger). So, our friend and her friend stayed in the townhouse and he and his wife stayed in their new condo.

My friend just e-mailed me and said that he and his wife have sold the townhouse and for 115,000 Euros which is a real bargain. They live in Treviso, Italy where his wife is originally from.

Treviso is about a 35-minute train ride from Venice. We zipped up there twice for lunch. I remember the train trip being very inexpensive; 3,40 euros round trip. I just looked it up in my journal. So, staying in Treviso was a great alternative to staying in expensive Venice.

Treviso is very conveniently located and I found it to be a really lovely, small city. I could live there. And the surrounding areas that we went to were lovely.

My friend said that the real estate prices, in Treviso, are still very reasonable. Plus, it's not that far from the Venice airport. He picked my Parisian friend and me up in the car, but there's also public transportation. I looked into the public transportation as a just-in-case Plan B.

My friend's townhouse was around 65 square meters big. When you walked into it there was an open kitchen, dining room, and living room. Then there was a sliding wooden door that divided that area from the master bedroom, master bathroom, and hallway. Then there was a spiral stairway, off the living room, that lead downstairs to another bedroom with closets, and a half bathroom with toilet, sink, and a washing machine. The whole townhouse building had only about 3 or 4 units, I think it was, and there were outside/uncovered parking spaces for each unit.

My friend just wrote that he and his wife's new condo has two bathrooms, two bedrooms, two terraces, a separate kitchen, an indoor garage, building elevator, heated floors, an attic space, and a living room and dining room combined. Price 170,000 Euro.

It's possible to stay in Italy and not have to move to another European country. Hope this info has helped. Smiles. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 08:16 AM
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I forgot to add that Treviso has an airport. But, my friend said that it's closed at the moment as it's being renovated and will be larger. My Parisian friend and I flew into the Venice airport as we were flying on Air France from Paris. Treviso's airport serves fewer flights. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 09:02 AM
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The airport at Treviso is often used by budget airlines for "Venice" flights from the UK. There are direct connecting buses to Piazzale Roma.
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Tarquin: True. So, if a place is bought in Treviso and there are interested UK renters, that would be quite convenient.

Nutella: I forgot to add that my friend and his wife just sold their townhouse last month. I just went back and reread his e-mail as it was quite long. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 09:25 AM
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FoFoBT, you're right that Dresden fulfills all the criteria mentioned. To give the original poster an idea, you can buy a nice apartment of about 60-70 sqm in a quite fancy neighbourhood like Weisser Hirsch or Blasewitz/Striesen for 125,000 Euro or you can buy a 50-60 sqm apartment in an average neighbourhood for much less money (70-80,000 Euro should be ok).
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 10:08 AM
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So how much would it take to rent a townhouse like that in Treviso.

Also, if it's new construction, then it must be outside of the town center, maybe not so close to the train station either?
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 10:32 AM
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scrb11: It wasn't directly in the city center as being directly in a city center in most places would raise the price of real estate to out of a 115,000 euro price range. But, my friend and his wife have bikes and bike places. Plus, they have a car and in the car it was less than 10 minutes to the train station. There were also buses.
Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Caroline,

I did not in any way characterize your plans to move to italy as "irrespnsibile." As I have previously posted, I suspect you will enjoy living here as much as I do. I am relieved to hear that you are planning on renting, especially after your comment that you can't imagine what the problem would be purchasing a house in Italy just to have someplace to live.

What is irresponsible is to egg *other* people on to enter into contracts in Europe at the present moment out of some need to shout one's beliefs about living one's dreams. Go live your dream, but do realize that ill-advised real estate purchases in Italy could wipe out somebody else's assets. An extra measure of due diligence in needed right for people signing contracts for large amounts of money.
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Old Dec 21st, 2011, 10:49 PM
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I'm devouring this thread, and I appreciate everyone's opinions, the good, the bad and the ugly. And especially the specific suggestions and personal stories from Guenmai, Swan, Ellen, Cath, Texas, FoF, Christina, StC, and sorry if I missed anyone. I'm going to spend a lot of time researching what's been written here.

And Caroline, I closely relate to everything you say! I (and, I suspect, we!) didn't get to this point in life by making foolish decisions, financial or otherwise, and that's not about to change.

I've come to find that the hardest part about living a life outside the box trying to explain oneself
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:27 AM
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Nutella: Good luck to you and do what you need to do for your life situation. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Nutella

I am unsure as to whether you want any advice other than where you can find a property within your price range. Do you wish to receive any advice? If you are you financing the property purchase? There are some fundamental issues which you will need to be aware of in the Eurozone.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 10:19 AM
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This is such a thought provoking thread, things are really uncertain in Europe right now. My husband and I have often spoke about buying a flat in Italy when he retires. Most of my family is in Italy and although we speak the language well enough, we've always thought the red tape and just the way things are done in Italy would get the best of us. Nutella are you documenting your journey in a public blog at all? Id' love to follow your story given our interest in this subject
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 03:28 PM
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I would love to own something small in Italy, it is a dream of mine. I am loving this post.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 02:08 PM
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my friend who owns a very small house in Puglia says that she probably wouldn't buy it now, though they have just bought a garage to go with it, so they can store things more safely than they can at their property.

they have several hectares of olives and are into their second year of oil production.

the also have some walnut trees and this year picked about 90 kegs of walnuts which they stored in their new garage - from which they were promptly nicked.

the life of an italian property owner is not all cakes and ale!
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Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Can homeowners in Italy own shotguns?
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Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 02:38 PM
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Can homeowners in Italy own shotguns>>

so far as i know they can - shooting game and birds is very popular in the countryside.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 02:41 PM
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No defending your property, American-style, is what I was alluding to.

Was half-kidding.
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