Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Brainstorming about buying a flat somewhere in Europe...

Brainstorming about buying a flat somewhere in Europe...

Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 02:43 PM
  #81  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
No defending your property, American-style, is what I was alluding to.>>

not in Puglia. not even for 90kgs of walnuts!
annhig is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 02:55 PM
  #82  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But when someone breaks into your property, you don't know what they're after. Your safety might be at risk, not just theft of something that is replaceable.

Of course there was a story a few years ago about a Japanese exchange student down in Louisiana or one of those Gulf states who got lost and knocked on a door to try to use the phone.

The homeowner shot them through the front door or something "defending" his property.
scrb11 is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 03:01 PM
  #83  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
i don't think that there was much else in the garage, scrb.

there was a cause celebre in the UK a few years ago when a householder shot a burglar; he originally got life for murder, but this was reduced to manslaughter for which he served 3 years.

no idea what the attitude of the italian courts would be to a similar occurrence.
annhig is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 11:04 PM
  #84  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,025
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dickie, thanks, as this thread has grown it's not just about me, so I'd say that all advice is welcome, as perhaps someone will find it useful. But for me, no financing will be involved.

Giulia, I'm not currently blogging on this particular topic. I've been traveling for the past year and what I communicate to the world is via my photography. But by googling I've come across many expat blogs that do speak of the nuts and bolts of the process of buying a home overseas. Maybe not searching for a location though.

Hmmmmm, maybe I'll include an essay about this quest (with a good ending, I hope) in the coffee table book that's somewhere in my future
Nutella is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2012, 06:13 AM
  #85  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am loving this post and wishing that I could do this!
kraines is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2012, 11:06 PM
  #86  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,025
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just wanted to follow up on this topic. I've been doing some intensive house hunting here in southern Italy, and it is indeed possible to find nice properties at the price and all other criteria I listed in my original post.

No, I haven't made any offers or purchased anything. But waiting a bit to see what happens in the financial world, and optimistic for the near future...
Nutella is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 05:33 AM
  #87  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,500
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the update, Nutella! Any websites you could share for us fellow dreamers?
TexasAggie is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 07:46 AM
  #88  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Southern Italy as in away from the more popular cities and more difficult to reach, like no nearby airports?
scrb11 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 08:54 AM
  #89  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,025
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
TX, I didn't use any websites, I just wandered around town looking for real estate agencies, and just popped in and started chatting!
Nutella is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 09:18 AM
  #90  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,159
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I lost teh will to live reading that lot, so please excuse me if I'm repeating something.

When we bought in South West France (fly into Toulouse 1 1/2 hours on the train) we used an agency called Blue Homes. I just put your price limit into their search engine and came up with 1569 options.

Restricting it to apartments in France (and it did occur to me that you might want to be reasonably near a hub airport so you could easily visit other places), the options are a lot fewer. Equally, I know that just by going about our bit of France there is lots in that budget. The local paper La Depeche du Midi, has 5 pages of ads for flats in that price range.
sheila is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 09:19 AM
  #91  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,056
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a bit off the wall but - Albania? Extremely cheap compared to western Europe but actually extremely close to it - also most people there are fluent in Italian as most of the TV they watch is Italian. Lovely 'Mediterranean' style cuisine as it borders with Greece so very similar really, just a lot less well known(stuffed vine leaves, salads with olive oil and lemon juice, etc). Fantastic scenery and beaches, good climate.

I work with a couple of Albanians at the moment and I've learned a lot in the last few months. I really want to visit now.
nona1 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 12:04 PM
  #92  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heard this podcast about one American who bought in Perugia. He provides some links to resources for people buying in Italy, including a couple of real estate agencies which cater to American buyers:


http://www.eyeonitaly.com/podcast/ep...thony-paonita/
scrb11 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 12:29 PM
  #93  
twk
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Haven't re-read all this thread, but I took it from the original post that you are planning to pay cash, which I think is the only way I'd do such a transaction right now. If you pay cash, and aren't worry about the liquidity of this asset, then buying real property in Italy probably won't be a bad investment during the long term. You might regret it if an unexpected short-term need for liquidity arises, but, other than that, as long as you can be patient, it will probably be OK if you are paying cash.

If you are borrowing, that opens up all kinds of questions. I sure wouldn't borrow from a lender outside of Italy, and I'd want to know what happens to your note if Italy leaves the euro (do you have to pay the lender back in euros, or will payment be made in an Italian currency, and if the latter, how the exchange rate will be determined). This is a much riskier deal if a loan is involved.
twk is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 12:52 PM
  #94  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nutella,

Are you aware of the new Italian property taxes that will provoke thousands of Italians who own residential property to dump it on the market?

Are you aware of much-talked about plans by the Italian government to place huge amounts of state-owned properties on the market in hopes of improving its government balance sheet?

Both these developments mean that any property you buy now could plummet in value shortly thereafter.

Glad to hear you haven't bought any thing yet and are aware that the financial situation with the euro is far from settled. It would be truly unfortunate if you converted dollars to euros for an all-cash purchase, only to watch Italy a few months later revert to lira and devalue -- which means had you waited you could have spent a fraction of your dollars to buy the same property.
zeppole is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 01:40 PM
  #95  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
which is why i suggest renting rather than buying "foreign" property,
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2012, 10:35 AM
  #96  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah but if a lot of homeowners sell their property and have to rent, then rental prices could go up.

That has happened to a certain extent in the US, since the housing bust and foreclosures.
scrb11 is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2012, 02:16 PM
  #97  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Yeah but if a lot of homeowners sell their property and have to rent, then rental prices could go up.>>

that may be true, but even then you, the foreign renter, have not committed your capital in a country where you may not fully understand the system and the risks of doing so.

far better IMHO to keep a place at home [which you can rent out] and rent abroad.

in the event of ill-health or other disaster, you want to be able to get back home and not be stuck overseas.
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2012, 02:31 PM
  #98  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We spent the month of November 2010 in a friend's flat outside of Perpignan (in a beach town). Totally loved the region and hope to go back for more long-term rental trips in the future. I speak terrible French, but am not totally lost and it gets better when I'm there. We felt it was a great region with a lot of people that actually live there. Our favorite towns were Ceret, Thuir, Pezenas, and Uzes....although there were others that looked like great possibilities too (some have actually shown up on HGTV!) We decided that we'd be better off renting for a month or two than purchasing something.

This past September we spent 2 weeks in a flat in Umbria and had a blast. Can't see living there as in France, but it also made us see that we've got a lot of other places to enjoy. Another reason not to buy!
uhoh_busted is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2012, 02:51 PM
  #99  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well you wouldn't be locked in one place. All of Europe would be a short flight or a cheap train ride away.
scrb11 is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2012, 09:59 PM
  #100  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,025
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm guilty of starting this thread, and I still would like to own a tiny piece of Europe in the not too distant future. But I must admit I'm starting to think along the lines of what Annhig said re: buying in my own country instead. Having the full bundle of rights that goes with being a citizen cannot be underestimated.
Nutella is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -